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peter nadas
Topic Started: Jul 23 2007, 10:34 AM (3,814 Views)
alliknowis
Literary lunatic
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has anyone read him? i paged through the new hardcover in english thats out of his essays and short stories and it looked interesting. also on the inside cover they have susan sontag saying he wrote "the best novel of our time and one of the best of the century" which i guess is the book of memories. any insights?
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plechazunga
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One of my favourite hungarian writer. Emlékiratok könyve (Book of Memoirs) is one of the best (hungarian) novels of the XXth century. Dunno nothing about the english translation.
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alliknowis
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interesting. what makes it such a great novel? which other novels would you compare it to?
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plechazunga
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well it's an odd novel. Proustian view on the post-war communist dictature. It has a unique view on the hungarian history.
<in the first draft i wrote here some narrative tricks the author uses, but i rather wont spoil it, read it for yourself>
while I was reading the novel i had an epiphany: 'Oh God, this is Literature!'

I should reread it (and I should read moooooore hungarian novels)

the only so-to-say "weak point" of the novel is its seriousness. its not humorous at all. i like dark comedy. but its simply dark.
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alliknowis
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thanks, i will definitely read it.
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Tatzelwurm
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Gran madrugador y amigo de la caza
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Quote:
 
Parallel Stories, the new novel by Péter Nádas, is a virtuoso combination of nineteenth-century high realism with the experimentalism of the nouveau roman, says Gábor Csordás. The novel's four sets of interwoven narratives, spanning eastern and western Europe from the early 1960s to the fall of the Berlin Wall, are powered by the twin forces of politics and eroticism. But Parallel Stories is more than the sum of its plot lines: the real narrative is that of bodies' actions on one another, their attraction and desires, their mutual memories. This kind of "corporeal writing" is Nádas's great novelistic innovation.


http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2006-01-30-csordas1-en.html



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alliknowis
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Book of Memories is one of the greatest novels i've ever read.
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Jacek
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A comment (dated 7 August 2009) to a blog post had the following to offer:

Quote:
 
On the projected publication of the English version of Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas -- the grapevine has it down for Fall 2010, translation by Imre Goldstein.


Seeing as it's almost Fall '10 and there seems to be no word of it, I suspect it won't be out quite so soon, but most likely soon enough, anyway. This means I better read A Book of Memories soon!
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Jacek
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I read Nadas's two earliest English-translated stories yesterday, "The Bible" and "Little Alex," the first of which he wrote at 20 years old, the second at 23... seems to like he's a born writer, if he was already so good, so young. Both are gripping, masterfully narrated pieces, and stirring/disturbing, too.

Haven't read anything else of his yet but on this basis, I will very soon.
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Tatzelwurm
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The novel description is now available on amazon

Quote:
 
In 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down, a university student on his morning run finds a corpse on a park bench and alerts the authorities. This classic police-procedural scene opens an extraordinary novel that traces the fate of myriad Europeans—Hungarians, Jews, Germans, Gypsies—across the treacherous years of the mid-twentieth century. The social and political circumstances of their lives may vary, their sexual and spiritual longings may seem unique to each of them, yet Péter Nádas’s magnificent tapestry weaves uncanny, reverberating parallels that link them across time and space.

Three men are at the heart of Parallel Stories: Hans von Wolkenstein, whose German mother is linked to dark secrets of Fascist-Nazi collaboration during the 1940s; Ágost Lippay Lehr, whose influential father has served Hungary’s political regimes for decades; and Andras Rott, who has his own record of dark activities abroad. They are friends in Budapest when we meet them in the spring of 1961, a pivotal time in the postwar epoch. Their richly detailed, dramatic experiences now center on Budapest, but the action of the novel carries us across Europe from the Alps to river ports on the Danube, from Greece to the North Sea. The daring episodes of Parallel Stories explore the most intimate, difficult human experiences in prose glowing with uncommon clarity and mysterious uncertainty.

This web of extended dramas reaches not just forward to the transformative year of 1989 but back to the spring of 1939, with Europe trembling on the edge of war; to the bestial times of 1944–45, when Budapest was besieged, the Final Solution devastated Hungary’s Jews, and the war came to an end; and to the cataclysmic Hungarian Revolution of October 1956. Parallel Stories is a daring, demanding, and moving exploration of humanity at its most constrained and its most free.
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Tatzelwurm
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Gran madrugador y amigo de la caza
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Quote:
 
Párhuzamos történetek (2005, Parallel Stories), a trilogy on which Nádas worked for 18 years, revolves around the histories of two families, one Hungarian, one German. The novel was a bestseller but received mixed reviews by critics, who were puzzled by its lack of organizing perspective and chaotic structure. Abandoning causal narrative, Nádas creates between his characters an irregular web of acausal internal connections and analogies through such keywords as murder, poverty, Jewishness, racism, masturbation, etc. "The question is not what connects people who know each other, but rather, what is the nature of the connections between those people who don't?" Nádas has argued.


http://www.kirjasto.sci.fi/nadas.htm


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sub-pet
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Just How Big Is Peter Nadas' Parallel Stories?
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Jacek
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sub-pet
May 12 2011, 12:52 PM
Hahaha, that was excellent.

I take it this is the same dude/tte who did a similar comparison with The Instructions and/or Witz some time back. Good stuff.
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DB Cooper
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alliknowis
Sep 5 2010, 10:17 AM
Book of Memories is one of the greatest novels i've ever read.
High praise. Im unfamiliar with Nadas. After doing a little research it appears Book of Memories is well thought of, though many state that it is tedious and not exactly an edge of your seat page turner. Which is fine, but I need a little narrative propulsion. Now Parallel Stories looks to be more my cup of tea. It comes out in October, the same day as 1Q84 actually, so on that day I will acquire 2000 pages of awesome reading.
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Jacek
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DB Cooper
May 17 2011, 12:10 AM
It comes out in October, the same day as 1Q84 actually, so on that day I will acquire 2000 pages of awesome reading.
Yep, me too! I've preordered both.

Trippy cover, incidentally.
Edited by Jacek, May 19 2011, 01:23 PM.
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alliknowis
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DB Cooper
May 17 2011, 12:10 AM
alliknowis
Sep 5 2010, 10:17 AM
Book of Memories is one of the greatest novels i've ever read.
High praise. Im unfamiliar with Nadas. After doing a little research it appears Book of Memories is well thought of, though many state that it is tedious and not exactly an edge of your seat page turner. Which is fine, but I need a little narrative propulsion. Now Parallel Stories looks to be more my cup of tea. It comes out in October, the same day as 1Q84 actually, so on that day I will acquire 2000 pages of awesome reading.
If you find Proust boring you might find Nadas boring...but then that says something about you, not about those authors.
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DB Cooper
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Never read Proust. Though its just fine if someone dislikes any author, people have different sensibilities and tastes. You could call it a "failure" of the reader, but the art of fiction is subjective. I may intellectually understand what an author is doing, why he is doing it, and to what aim, but still nevertheless fail to appreciate it. The lack of appreciation isnt born of lack of understanding, but rather a lack of resonance. To categorically state that X writer's stories or prose is critically bulletproof, I can only ask why. Because thats what people have told you? That youve been indoctrinated to believe that? That if you dont appreciate it that equates to your failure, so then you begin to force yourself to see or feel things that arent there? Not an attack on Proust, because I havent read the man, but to say that a lack of appreciation of Nadas or Proust falls squarely on the reader, and the author has been granted infallibility, I dont believe that.
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alliknowis
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Random request: Has anyone got a review copy of Parallel Stories that they might be willing to sell me?? Or any ideas how I might get my hands on one?

Just ITCHING to read it, and my schedule would allow me to right now but come late October it'll be a lot more difficult...Anyways, thanks in advance for any advice.
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alliknowis
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Intelligent but brief review of Parallel Stories (the reviewer is Joshua Cohen in case that lures any of his fans, among whom I do not count myself)
http://nymag.com/print/?/guides/fallpreview/2011/books/peter-nadas/
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alliknowis
Aug 25 2011, 02:48 PM
Intelligent but brief review of Parallel Stories (the reviewer is Joshua Cohen in case that lures any of his fans, among whom I do not count myself)
http://nymag.com/print/?/guides/fallpreview/2011/books/peter-nadas/
"Parallel Stories is being called a 21st-century War and Peace. Péter Nádas would settle for The Magic Mountain. "

Ugh! If this is true then I should really skip the book...
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