A Book of Memories

A Book of Memories This extraordinary magnum opus seems at first to be a confessional autobiographical novel in the grand manner claiming and extending the legacy of Proust and Mann But it is Peter Nadas has given us a

  • Title: A Book of Memories
  • Author: Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein
  • ISBN: 9780140275674
  • Page: 251
  • Format: Paperback
  • This extraordinary magnum opus seems at first to be a confessional autobiographical novel in the grand manner, claiming and extending the legacy of Proust and Mann But it is Peter Nadas has given us a superb contemporary psychological novel that comes to terms with the ghosts, corpses, and repressed nightmares of Europe s recent past A Book of Memories is made upThis extraordinary magnum opus seems at first to be a confessional autobiographical novel in the grand manner, claiming and extending the legacy of Proust and Mann But it is Peter Nadas has given us a superb contemporary psychological novel that comes to terms with the ghosts, corpses, and repressed nightmares of Europe s recent past A Book of Memories is made up of three first person narratives the first that of a young Hungarian writer and his fated love for a German poet we also learn of the narrator s adolescence in Budapest, when he experiences the downfall of his once upper class but now pro Communist family and of his beloved but repudiated father, a state prosecutor who commits suicide after the 1956 uprising A second memoir, alternating with the first, is a novel the narrator is composing about a refined Belle Epoque aesthete, whose anti bourgeois transgressions seem like emotionally overcharged versions of the narrator s own experiences A third voice is that of a childhood friend who, after the narrator s return to his homeland, offers an apparently objective account of their friendship Together these brilliantly colored lives are integrated in a powerful work of tragic intensity.

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    • A Book of Memories By Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein
      251 Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein
    • thumbnail Title: A Book of Memories By Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein
      Posted by:Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein
      Published :2019-07-16T15:37:47+00:00

    About "Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein"

    1. Péter Nádas Ivan Sanders Imre Goldstein

      Hungarian novelist, essayist, and dramatist, a major central European literary figure N das made his international breakthrough with the monumental novel A Book of Memories 1986 , a psychological novel following the tradition of Proust, Thomas Mann, and magic realism P ter N das was born in Budapest, as the son of a high ranking party functionary N das s grandfather, Moritz Gr nfeld, changed his name into Hungarian, which was considered a scandal in the family N das s youth was shadowed by the loss of his parents N das s mother died of cancer when he was young and his father committed suicide At the age of 16 his uncle gave him a camera, and after dropping out of school N das turned to photojournalism During the late 1960s and early 1970s, he worked as an editor, reader, and drama consultant After the Soviet led invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, N das quit his job as a journalist and devoted himself to literature I resigned, walked out, and turned my back on the system to save my soul, he later said.

    739 thoughts on “A Book of Memories”

    1. A Book of Memories recalls a lost era of literature: of long, complex sentences; deeply personal introspection; and minute analysis of the subtleties of mundane social interactions, captured in neurotically exhaustive detail. To these hallmarks of Mann, Proust and Musil, Nádas adds a proclivity for endless digression: a stream of consciousness that is coherent, yet nonlinear: it drifts at will through time and space, often channeling third-person perspectives directly through the first-person n [...]

    2. This lyrical montage of random musings, ostensibly grouped under the veneer of memories, is not for the faint of heart. One has to be imbued with self recriminations, patchworked of doubt, second guessing and depressive threads to fully appreciate this torturous journey of self exploration into the disarray of a twisted soul. Looking out a window, or contemplating another human being can take up whole chapters: time splinters into a multi-temporal glissando, defying any culture specific zeitgeis [...]

    3. Yeah, this was a present from an ex-girlfriend who was way classier and more sophisticated than I am.It even contains a charming dedication along the lines of having seen this book and thought immediately of me.Which just goes to show how badly I inadvertently deceived this poor woman.She lives in Paris now. I occasionally visit and sit smoking and drinking red wine outside lovely little cafes with her and her equally gorgeous girlfriend, feeling like a fucking fraud.Which is to say, this book l [...]

    4. This must be the most romantic book ever written. I once gave it to a beau, saying he reminded me of Melchior, but I don't think he read it.(Kind of a dick move on my part. More recently I considered giving Our Lady of the Flowers to a new flame, but wisely thought better of it)*(having just read it again, 1-19-16)George Steiner has remarked that while culture gave way to pop consumerism in western Europe in the postwar years, classic bourgeois civilization was actually fairly well preserved in [...]

    5. Let's talk about excess.I suppose that most of us who read whatever the world has come to label "literary fiction" have some stomach for excess, that we aren't satisfied with a book that trims language and scene down to the minimal unless that minimal is so razor-sharp (James Cain, for example) that you start to notice it as a trick in-and-of-itself. (An excess of minimalism?) And there's no surer sign of philistinism than when someone says they just want their books to get "straight to the poin [...]

    6. This novel is a trial. I keep forcing myself onward. For me, it’s almost completely devoid of narrative pleasure. It is admirably executed, with a beautiful mastery of tone and continuity, but a wearying read. I’m waiting to get over the hump. I’m waiting to arrive in that bright land where all is felicity and joy. Will I get there? It occurs to me too that long beautifully written stretches of this book depress me unutterably. There’s no narrative pleasure here, not for me. Perhaps it [...]

    7. This is one of those Proustian let's-write-about-how-the-tea-stain-on-the-doily-reminds-me-of-my -dead-father kind of books. But I love it. There are a lot of central-european themes of displacement and nostalgia, issues of fatherhood/nationhood, and more things that require me to use a lot of dashes to describe them. I cried a lot when I was reading this, but I can't tell you what about--it's just one of those things.

    8. This is a book I wish I could have inhabited--spent weeks with in a dusty dacha as I parsed out its story lines and mulled over his sentences. It is written that Nadas spent eleven years writing this book and I can believe it. The prose is beautiful and even when I was lost, I was glad to be inside of it. In the end as the strands of stories wove together, I heard echoes of their earlier forms and it made me want to read the book all over again. This book is a great instructor in handling time a [...]

    9. Laying in bed reading this book conjures up such pleasant recollections of being in Cape Cod. I spent a lot of time in the bus station at Hyannis, waiting for the next bus to Provincetown, my nose buried in "A Book of Memories". I had nothing else to do at the time.My last morning in Hyannis, the tall blond fellow I shared rooms with at the hostel came into the bus station as well. It was strange, as I never really talked to the guy. Even though our sharing of the same physical space seemed so i [...]

    10. This book almost ruined literature for me- it was really that good. Other novels seemed halfhearted and pithy by comparison. It's a tough book, both from the style standpoint of three chronologically separated stories happening throughout the text, and also from the content.

    11. very, painfully, long. Very elegant, convoluted sentences expressing things i've not read expressed elsewhere. The best bit is the love triangle in Berlin, i think, but don't worry about the boring bits, they don't last. In parts a five, in parts a three: four because it is unique, and great literature without being interesting literature a lot of the time (there's a clear difference between incredible skill put to effective but tedious use, and mediochre). Read if you feel like, if you have tim [...]

    12. There are parts of this book that are 4-star. There are parts of this book that are 2-star. There is no part of this book that is middle-of-the-road 3 stars!The book is long -- over 700 pages -- and is basically all memoir. But who's? The narrators (and there are three different ones for each of the three sections of the book) are all writers telling you stories from diffeerent times of their lives, as well as from the lives of characters they are writing about. But they are all purposefully unc [...]

    13. 1st from nádas for mea book of memories, paperback, 706 pagesanslated from the hungarian by ivan sanders with imre goldsteinnguin books "author's note" is my pleasant duty to state that what i have written is not my own memoirs. i have written a novel, the recollections of several people separated by time, somewhat in the fashion of Plutarch's, Parallel Lives Vol. 1"curious, in light of my recent read just finished, The Floating Operaat includes adam's original & unparalleled floating opera [...]

    14. A young Hungarian esthete moves to Berlin, just before the wall comes down, and spends a serious amount of time walking about the city, alone or with an aquaintance, reminiscing about childhood friends and his picaresque family. Eventually he retreats into the home of two elderly spinsters to write a novel, or some form of manuscript, in which the protagonist, an Hungarian esthete, spends a lot of time reminiscing and similarly perambulating. The chapters of both are interspersed and melded toge [...]

    15. Long, rambling, and too sentimental for my taste. This took me longer to get through than usual, and I had to keep struggling to pick it back up. After reading some other works in between I finally finished it. The characters were so narcissistic and closed off from the world around them, it could be really annoying at times. Lots of ego and Freudian ideas throughout the plot, and the attempt to sort of draw it together at the end fell way short in my mind. I love Eastern European work and was r [...]

    16. This book basically took me all month to read, and I'm not sure that it was worth it. I may be missing some allegorical connection to European history, but there is a lot of sex.

    17. Having already read his subsequent Parallel Stories - a novel which is extremely daunting, arguably uneven (though it was probably more simply a matter of my having felt periodically totally lost), but full of some of the best passages I have read in any novel - I have long been intending to read A Book of Memories, especially based on Susan Sontag's assertion that it was the "greatest novel written in our time," upon its publication in America. What Nádas excels at is the geology of the person [...]

    18. This book appeared in Publisher's Weekly with a brief review saying that it was a logical choice if you had already worked your way through Proust, Musil, and Mann's Magic Mountain. I had, so I picked it up; after that comparison, it had much to live up to. It does.Nadas is a Hungarian who deserves to be better known in this country. In this volume, he juxtaposes two narrative lines, and it takes a while to sort that out. The best way that I can describe is writing is dreamlike: not in the sense [...]

    19. Af en toe trek ik een avondje uit om nieuwe boeken te ontdekken. Een van de dingen die ik dan doe is op zoek gaan naar mijn favoriete boeken op deze site, vervolgens de users op te zoeken die dat boek ook hoog waarderen, en ten slotte de boeken bekijken die diezelfde user ook hoog heeft zitten. Door op deze manier inspiratie op te doen, heb ik een groot deel van mijn favorietste boeken ontdekt. Drie weken geleden las ik het heerlijk beklemmende, met zoveel helderheid geschreven boek Satanstango [...]

    20. I really expected to love this book. I usually enjoy ruminative fiction, but this was just a bit too rambling and sentimental for me. I couldn't get lost in it and I didn't feel like other than the inner monologue, I got enough character development to get lost in it or to care what happened to the characters. Every time I put it down even for a few days, I had to reread chapters to remember what was going on. All that being said, I'm willing to give it a second chance (maybe in a few years or i [...]

    21. 24DEC17. This thing arrived from and it almost literally was like Christmas since I have no memory of buying it. (Hic!) I'm telling myself it's a tune-up for the March 2018 paperback re-issue of McElroy's Women and Men. (All this assumes that in the interim I don't finally commit to The Recognitions, or Against the Day, or JR, or any of the other ten-pounders I keep telling myself I'm going to tackle.)

    22. this book is a little bit too much for my taste, and i was lost in some parts, i will read it again in 20 years.

    23. A wonderful novel about esthetes living behind the Iron Curtain. I cannot speak for the English edition, but Henry Kammer’s Dutch translation is a pure pleasure to read, allowing the reader to savour the prose in one beautiful flow. The main character, as well as his German spinoff, come across as slighltly self-obsessed navel-gazing types, but the way Nádas describes their thoughts, doubts and passions left me no other choice than to empathize strongly with their plights. Perhaps it’s unav [...]

    24. I started reading this book, but I don't think I'm making through it now, so I'm returning it to my to-read shelf. It was interesting and had a special atmosphere that I really enjoyed, but the language is rather heavy and difficult, and the book so massive, that I just don't feel able to do it now. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with massive books, but when the language is so hard I feel it's a job to read more than a page or two and then there are something like a thousand of such [...]

    25. I think I enjoyed this one more than "Parallel Stories," though I think the latter was perhaps more sophisticated. The aspect I think I enjoyed best was the mirroring between the relationships, the reflections between the live triangles of the parents as well as those of both childhood and adulthood for the narrator. These have similar interesting juxtapositions to the reflections between the narrator and his childhood friend. Regardless, this is a meaty novel, going as deep as the reader wants [...]

    26. This was quite a maddening book. What little action there is inches forward buried in paragraphs of description and/or exposition, but this is business-as-usual for Nadas, and he writes beautifully enough to get away with it. When reading about Eastern Europe and WWII and/or its aftermath, I'm willing to put up with a lot. Beautiful and long-winded as it was, I wasn't quite sure where this sequence of memories was going until the last two chapters (mostly) tied things up.

    27. I felt that I was holding something very special, at lease for first few hundred pages. But I tend to agree with other reviewers that wrote of the overdrawn descriptions and complexity (for it's own sake). I find "Gravity's Rainbow" similar in it's dense styling. Some famous author (am I thinking of Umberto Eco here?) said (and I paraphrase: if it took me two years to write the damn thing, I would expect the readers to do the same). For me, can't go there, can't do that.

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