1. The litblog, Fiction Advocate, recently posted an article on the 7 best Hungarian writers of the 20th Century and the list included Gyula Krúdy, Antal Szerb, Dezsö Kosztolányi, and Frigyes Karinthy (pictured above in that order).

    Check out the whole article over at Fiction Advocate here.

  2. 
(Kálmán, in his mind still back in the neighborhood of the Museum Boulevard, imagined his nose detected, in the aroma of steaming black coffee, the ineffably sweet scent of a young lady’s lingerie…. Eveline kept reverberating in his head, an incantation, a mantra protecting him from all danger.)

—Gyula Krúdy, Sunflower
Submit pictures of your copies of NYRB Classics (or books from our Children’s Collction) with coffee, tea, cocoa or any warm drink and we will post them here.

    (Kálmán, in his mind still back in the neighborhood of the Museum Boulevard, imagined his nose detected, in the aroma of steaming black coffee, the ineffably sweet scent of a young lady’s lingerie…. Eveline kept reverberating in his head, an incantation, a mantra protecting him from all danger.)

    Gyula Krúdy, Sunflower

    Submit pictures of your copies of NYRB Classics (or books from our Children’s Collction) with coffee, tea, cocoa or any warm drink and we will post them here.

  3. The Adventures of Sindbad

    Gyula Krúdy’s The Adventures of Sindbad might be one of the strangest collection of short stories you will read. Reminiscent of the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende, but with a modern style of stream-of-consciousness narrative similar to James Joyce and Virginia Woolf—which is why it’s often strange reading—it is hard to get across the tone of the novel with a brief excerpt, but we’ll try anyway with one of our favorite scenes. In it, Sindbad’s ghost has returned to check up on one of his many ex-lovers in a small town in Hungary.

    - - -

    "Sindbad put the little flute he had been prepared to play for her back into its satchel. He addressed Francesca in a cold interrogatory manner. ‘Did you never feel sick in your life? Have you been happy of unhappy?

    'I have been both. Anyone who tries to arrange his life in one mode only is simply an ass. I have been in love, have loved and been loved, have given and received, I have done my crying. I woke to find it was morning, and was delighted to find cold fresh water in my bowl. The dew dripping from leaves helped me forget I had spent the night in the muck and sweat of a ball, that trembling hands had touched my waist and lustful kisses fluttered on the nape of my neck and that, like a fool, I had believed I had the finest hair in all of Hungary. I have always loved cold water and cleanliness. I made my own soap as I made my own bed. That may be why I didn't succumb to either melancholy or happiness. I have all my own teeth, Sindbad. In fact, a new tooth appeared not so long ago. But you, you look as scruffy as a scarecrow in the snow,' said Francesca and stroked Sindbad's cheek. 'But I was never really angry…Only in a gentle womanish sort of way, when I couldn't remember what you looked like, however hard I tried.'”

    Read More

  4. Arthur Phillips on ‘The Adventures of Sindbad’

    Continuing with our look at “Best Books of the Year” articles that populate certain websites this time of year, we were thrilled to see that Arthur Phillips, author of the much-acclaimed The Tragedy of Arthur, chose Gyula Krúdy’s The Adventures of Sindbad as his favorite book of the year in Salon’s round-up.

    Krúdy is the best writer you’ve never heard of. A Hungarian who hit his peak in the 1920s and ’30s, he is unique. He just is. There’s really no one to compare him to that gets you any closer to what he does well. I can tell you that if you like Proust, Kafka or Schnitzler, you’ll feel at home with Krúdy, but that doesn’t quite capture it. Come for the atmosphere, the Central European mist, the fin-de-siècle eroticism and above all, the bursts of language. Don’t come for the plot. Don’t expect to hurry through it and devour it for a quick story. Pour yourself a glass of Tokaj, dim the lamps, turn off your electronics and prepare to experience something new. (It just happens to be 90 years old.)

  5. On Gyula Krúdy

                When reading Gyula Krúdy’s Sunflower, one is immediately thrust into a Budapest clouded in mystic realism; deceased, heartbroken lovers climb out of their coffins to win back their true loves, and memories of the sordid characters strolling the dark streets of  ‘Pest’ are so haunting and real that they can assume human form. These harrowing memories and resurrected corpses, however, never pull the reader so far into the ethereal that they truly escape Pest—the events, as mystic as they can be, unfold in Budapest (and just outside it) and the reader is never challenged to completely abandon geography and remove himself from the city.

                Krúdy’s The Adventures of Sindbad, however, is just the opposite. It instills in its characters, all of which seem to dance along the line of the living and the dead, such poignant feelings of hopelessness, loss, and yearning, unified and lent a certain aesthetic by a prevailing love, that the reader can’t help but feel that everything is occurring in a sort of netherworld. Or, perhaps, that everything either has long since transpired, or won’t transpire for ages to come.

                Reading the many tales of Sindbad, you get the sense that Krúdy doesn’t really want the reader to know, because it doesn’t really matter; and he’s right—it doesn’t. Whether living or dead, long ago or soon to be, following Sindbad through his many visitations to former lovers, you can’t help but feel yourself like an apparition, floating through chapters of an eerie life that at moments may feel familiar to your own, but is distinguished by something not quite identifiable, yet utterly terrifying. And once the journey is over, instead of leaving the traveler wistful, Krúdy manages to somehow transform all of the loss and regret encountered along the way into a dark, yet resilient, euphoria that confirms the trope; love conquers all.  

  6. sashawantsmore:


“Let’s wait for winter. The first, the second, the third winter… Let’s wait for monotonous evenings of this place, the courses of the moon, the howling-wolf nights. We’ll just have to make sure to wind the clocks each day, bury our memories, sit in tranquility by the warm fireside, play enough tric-trac, and never, ever write letters without each other’s knowledge, no matter how overcast the twilight.”
“I’ll be waiting for you.”
“Let crazy life rush headlong on the highway, for others; we shall contemplate the sunflowers, watch them sprout, blossom, fade away. Yesterday they were still giants, but now, in autumn, they are thatch on the roof.”

The last lines of Sunflower by Gyula Krúdy, translated from the Hungarian by John Bátki, with an introduction by John Lukacs. Published by NYRB Classics.
 (via Sasha & The Silverfish)

    sashawantsmore:

    “Let’s wait for winter. The first, the second, the third winter… Let’s wait for monotonous evenings of this place, the courses of the moon, the howling-wolf nights. We’ll just have to make sure to wind the clocks each day, bury our memories, sit in tranquility by the warm fireside, play enough tric-trac, and never, ever write letters without each other’s knowledge, no matter how overcast the twilight.”

    “I’ll be waiting for you.”

    “Let crazy life rush headlong on the highway, for others; we shall contemplate the sunflowers, watch them sprout, blossom, fade away. Yesterday they were still giants, but now, in autumn, they are thatch on the roof.”

    The last lines of Sunflower by Gyula Krúdy, translated from the Hungarian by John Bátki, with an introduction by John Lukacs. Published by NYRB Classics.

     (via Sasha & The Silverfish)