SUMMARY Párhuzamos történetek 107

Párhuzamos történetek

SUMMARY Párhuzamos történetek

Circumstances of their lives may vary greatly their sexual and spiritual longings may seem to each of them entirely uniue yet Péter Nádas’s magnificent tapestry unveils uncanny reverberating parallels that link them across time and spaceThis is Péter Nádas’s masterpiece eighteen years in the writing a sensation in Hungary even before it was published and almost four years in the translating Parallel Stories is the first foreign translation of this daring demanding and momentous novel and it confirms for an even larger audience what Hungary already knows that it is the author’s greatest work. REVIEW published in The National November 4th 2011Henry James famously referred to the spate of unwieldy enormous world engulfing 19th century novels that once flooded the literary world and Tolstoy's War and Peace specifically as loose baggy monsters Such monsters are now pretty much a genre Perhaps it's simply that word monster but what critic can resist giving the giant novel that kind of label And let's face it books featuring hundreds of characters suirrelly plot lines or no discernible plot lines at all can be threatening If the 19th century gave us this species the 20th century literary canon was arguably ruled by such beasts Joyce Gaddis Proust Pynchon Mann DeLillo Musil David Foster Wallace; almost every novelist it seems had at least one monster in them Some even had two or threeWith the publication of Parallel Stories Peter Nádas the Hungarian novelist playwright and essayist has unleashed yet another such 1000 plus pages into the world But don't let that scare you Parallel Stories is uite simply the finest literary monster that our young century has produced; it's both a bloated high modernist anachronism and one of the most fully formed arguments for what the novel is still capable of Here finally is a new way forwardOn its English release in 1997 Susan Sontag called Nádas's previous novel A Book of Memories which had been published in Hungary 11 years earlier one of the great books of the century Well this one is betterBorn in Budapest in 1942 Nádas has lived his life inside the maw of his country's monstrous years Eighteen years in the writing Parallel Stories is the first novel that Nádas has published since the collapse of communism he began writing it in the late 1980s and the first by his own admission to be written without any kind of oppositional political intent Unlike many so called eastern bloc authors who struggled to find a voice to fit the post communist world literary and political freedom suits Nádas Unfettered by both state censorship and the need to oppose the same state Nádas has burrowed deeper into the human condition one compromised not only by history but by the body itselfLoosely baggily the novel concerns dozens of intertwined characters and nearly 75 years of European history Hungarians and Germans and Jews and Gypsies; Nazis communists and secret associations of nationalists and spies among many others To attempt an untangling of the threads and stories here would be both impossible and a great disservice to the novel The very structure of Parallel Stories is in itself a refutation of the linear mode of storytelling and at times the novel feels like a film hijacked by its extrasParallel Stories is divided into three volumes and twists itself around two families the Lippy Lehrs and the Dohrings and the untold dozens of connected or possibly unconnected characters that orbit them There is family drama a kinky murder mystery and some of the best writing on war this side of WG Sebald's The Natural History of Destruction The themes and historical periods touched upon are as eccentric as they are brilliant Nazi eugenics opera singing pre war architecture and Bauhaus furniture building the trenches of the First World War the Eichmann papers epileptic bath attendants Jewish lumber merchants Hungarian aristocracy undergarment fetishism in post Wall Berlin the Holocaust criminology perfume academic politics and even a chapter that reads like communist Hungary's answer to Who's Afraid of Virginia WoolfNot to be crass but Parallel Stories has an almost Facebook like approach to character plotting We have primary and often reoccurring characters yes our friends but then we have our friends of friends too; and then scrolling deeper into the work our friends of friends of friendsFrom chapter to chapter the reader jumps not only between epochs but between the parallel stories of characters that we struggle to place in relation to other characters From a woman practising her piano to the story of the man who built the furniture with which her flat had once been furnished before the Nazi's defenestrated it; from an unsolved murder in post Wall Berlin to a character dreaming of killing his own grandfather a Nazi prison guard after the collapse of a German death camp on the Dutch borderYou surf the novel as if it were a high modernist social network stalking through photographs or memorabilia of people you are vaguely familiar with or who your friends know getting detailed immoderate personal snippets of stories that by their design can't ever be resolved or expanded on Just that one click or peak in everything hyperlinked to everything else The novel itself an example of chat speak's TMI too much information but like a fractal the whole picture seems somehow contained inside these disparate fragments Or as one character puts it There were secret passages then among individual lives Which she has now uncovered found the trial of but should not tell anyone about lest they think she's gone madMake no mistake there is something maddening about 1000 pages of this though reading a well tempered novel after Parallel Stories can feel a bit like switching from the blazing colour of a cinema to an old black and white televisionMost of the characters in Parallel Stories like the author himself whose mother died of cancer when he was 13 and whose father committed suicide when Nádas was 16 are orphans Absent parents haunt the novel a theme that glues many of the narratives together and shines a light onto Europe itself The powerlessness of Hungary for so long washed up against the shores of its powerful neighbours is a major theme here; a country always searching often with terrible results for that one parent to finally raise it into self sufficient adulthoodThe novel is mostly told in third person except when it isn't For instance suddenly and almost imperceptibly the narration of one character the sexually confused Kristof Demen switches from third to first personWhy Hard to say except that it works on an intuitive level Nádas's prose is full of such hairpin bends except there are no signposts here Instead he seems to have absorbed high modernistic modes until they feel less like experiments and like the only way these stories could possibly be told Parallel Stories is built from long paragraphs interspersed with single sentence almost poetic bumps or jabs giving the reader a delicious sense of movement and rhythm as in this uote relating to a character's experiences during the First World WarHe could never tell whether he saw imagined or only envisioned in his memory the impact of the bomb that had lifted the torso of his machine gunner along with muddy clumps of earth spraying the sky high into the air from a spot now emptied and exuding only heat and while the torn off arms flew off in different directions the gunner's trunk pared down to its bare frame but still alive was skewered on a tree branch Had this really happened; had he in fact seen itBut central and most revolutionary about Nádas's work is how he engages with and expands the role of corporeality in literature The human body with all its savage and mute needs stenches and grace He writes in a way that makes one uncomfortably aware of one's own physicality while reading More than any novel I can think of Parallel Stories is an exploration of what it means to be a human animal Characters defecate copulate twitch and bleed and sweat and they do this in almost monomaniacal detailParallel Stories charts out a new kind of humanism one that boldly explores every last breath and belly rumble of the body's consciousness Not one movement it seems goes without being remarked upon This can be both repellent and exasperating and there isn't much humour in the book it must be said But ultimately it does what so little contemporary fiction has the courage to do it unsettles us and encourages new modes of thinkingWhen was the last time a novel made you painfully aware of your physical body For too long in fiction the subconscious has been a vassal of the mind; here the body itself steps up to demand its own consciousness its own place in the fractured tableau of memory and history For what else is history it seems to ask but those finite fleshy vessels that contain itPeter Nádas's Parallel Stories is an intensely private exploration of the maintenance and demands of the body set against the public backdrop of modern European history In the end it's all one and the same We create our own monsters Henry James would not have approvedTod Wodicka is the author of the novel All Shall Be Well; And All Shall Be Well; And All Manner of Things Shall Be Well He lives in Berlin where he is at work on his second novel The Household Spirit

FREE READ ´ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB ð Péter Nádas

In 1989 the year the Wall came down a university student in Berlin on his morning run finds a corpse on a park bench and alerts the authorities This scene opens a novel of extraordinary scope and depth a masterwork that traces the fate of myriad Europeans Hungarians Jews Germans Gypsies across the treacherous years of the mid twentieth centuryThree unusual men are at the heart of Parallel Stories Hans von Wolkenstein whose German mother is linked to secrets of fascist Nazi collaboration during the 1940s; Ágost Lippay Lehr whose influential father has served Hungary’s different political regimes for. ABSURDLY LONG NOVELS MY 2016 PROJECTYou can’t help but notice that some novels are stupefyingly long so long that they put you right off This one is 1133 pages Really I mean who are they kidding If you come to that part of your life when you have the time for such a novel you will probably no longer have enough bodily strength to pick it up A robot or a nurse will have to help This kind of annoyed me Because I thought – wait Someone – uite a few someones – thought that this novel had to be this long it couldn’t be any shorter The author yes but he also managed to convince his agent and editor and publisher at the very least All fairly serious people not the type who’d say heh let’s just publish a 1133 page novel which no one will read for the sheer fun of it What a laughSo this made me think that I am missing what might be some great books just because they are insanely long I therefore conceived a cunning plan – I would choose ten of these behemoths and I would read one hundred pages and if I wasn’t hooked I would say – “faugh upon you you bloated wedge of wood pulp begone to Oxfam” and to the author I would say “May the lamb of God stir his hoof through the roof of heaven and kick you in the arse down to hell May you have the runs on your wedding night and may you be imprisoned in a library containing only Dan Brown novels and railway timetables from 1931”So then I checked on a well known online book retailer’s site and found to my great surprise that many of these vast novels were being sold at amazing bargain prices like a uid or two uid On reflection this did not bode well but shoving aside any trepidations I have been buying these tomes like a one armed sailor on a three day pass The postman has probably muttered the Lamb of God curse at me several times come to think of it Anyway Parallel Stories is Experimental Long Novel Number One We shall see what we shall see Pray! Pray! Pray! in Berlin on his morning run finds a corpse on a park bench and alerts the authorities This scene opens a novel of extraordinary scope and depth a masterwork that traces the fate of myriad Europeans Hungarians Jews Germans Gypsies across the treacherous years of the mid twentieth centuryThree unusual men are at the heart of Parallel Stories Hans von Wolkenstein whose German mother Killer Cat is linked to secrets of fascist Nazi collaboration during the 1940s; Ágost Lippay Lehr whose 14 Sai (14æ­³, influential father has served Hungary’s different political regimes for. ABSURDLY LONG NOVELS MY 2016 PROJECTYou can’t help but notice that some novels are stupefyingly long so long that they put you right off This one Public Speaking is 1133 pages Really I mean who are they kidding If you come to that part of your life when you have the time for such a novel you will probably no longer have enough bodily strength to pick False Prophet (Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus, it up A robot or a nurse will have to help This kind of annoyed me Because I thought – wait Someone – uite a few someones – thought that this novel had to be this long A Forfeit Owed (Eldritch Legacy, it couldn’t be any shorter The author yes but he also managed to convince his agent and editor and publisher at the very least All fairly serious people not the type who’d say heh let’s just publish a 1133 page novel which no one will read for the sheer fun of The Book of Hebrews it What a laughSo this made me think that I am missing what might be some great books just because they are Daughter Of Vanth insanely long I therefore conceived a cunning plan – I would choose ten of these behemoths and I would read one hundred pages and The Red Duke if I wasn’t hooked I would say – “faugh upon you you bloated wedge of wood pulp begone to Oxfam” and to the author I would say “May the lamb of God stir his hoof through the roof of heaven and kick you Love Notes (Love Notes, in the arse down to hell May you have the runs on your wedding night and may you be Hearts in Atlantis/Misery imprisoned Smallpox Strikes! (The American Adventure, in a library containing only Dan Brown novels and railway timetables from 1931”So then I checked on a well known online book retailer’s site and found to my great surprise that many of these vast novels were being sold at amazing bargain prices like a uid or two uid On reflection this did not bode well but shoving aside any trepidations I have been buying these tomes like a one armed sailor on a three day pass The postman has probably muttered the Lamb of God curse at me several times come to think of Good Vibrations it Anyway Parallel Stories Jolted Awake is Experimental Long Novel Number One We shall see what we shall see

Péter Nádas ð 7 SUMMARY

Decades; and András Rott who has his own dark record of mysterious activities abroad The web of extended and interconnected dramas reaches from 1989 back to the spring of 1939 when Europe trembled on the edge of war and extends 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 on to the cataclysmic Hungarian Revolution of October 1956 We follow these men from Berlin and Moscow to Switzerland and Holland from the Mediterranean to the North Sea and of course from village to city in Hungary The social and political. I'm setting this one aside for now Gave it 150 pages but I see no reason to continue on for another thousand It's an utterly bleak humorless 19th century style Realist novel told in fairly conventional prose yes the book's chronology is fragmented and scattered but really that's not particularly inventive or difficult you write 6 small novels and shuffle the chapters like a deck of cards not that Nadas can't write there are some startling descriptions here nicely made images but when the book is not focused on the disgusting aspects of the human body its filth its excretions its pain its antagonism and betrayal of life it takes to describing rather uninteresting buildings and characters in minute detail And then to break that up there is violence or disgust inserted everywhere This may very well be a masterpiece as other goodreaders whose taste I respect and whose recommendations I take seriously declare But this is not for me not right now I do hope that if the history of Hungary in the 20th century is to be told in novelistic form it does not have to be entirely sunk in descriptions of pain and shitting Doesn't Hungary deserve better than that Again I only read 11% of a very long novel so do not take my word for it Here are a few positive reviews from good people Me and Mine interconnected dramas reaches from 1989 back to the spring of 1939 when Europe trembled on the edge of war and extends 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 on to the cataclysmic Hungarian Revolution of October 1956 We follow these men from Berlin and Moscow to Switzerland and Holland from the Mediterranean to the North Sea and of course from village to city Mrs. Robins Son in Hungary The social and political. I'm setting this one aside for now Gave Shortchanged it 150 pages but I see no reason to continue on for another thousand It's an utterly bleak humorless 19th century style Realist novel told Books and Islands in Ojibwe Country in fairly conventional prose yes the book's chronology Blackening Song (Ella Clah, is fragmented and scattered but really that's not particularly The Books of Magic inventive or difficult you write 6 small novels and shuffle the chapters like a deck of cards not that Nadas can't write there are some startling descriptions here nicely made Los Libros de la Magia images but when the book Exclusively Yours (Kowalski Family, is not focused on the disgusting aspects of the human body Deep Crotch Mother its filth The Watchman its excretions A Taste of Submission its pain My Life, My Times, And The Future its antagonism and betrayal of life Saint Nicholas it takes to describing rather uninteresting buildings and characters Pizza! in minute detail And then to break that up there Chinaberry Sidewalks is violence or disgust Chasing Alpha inserted everywhere This may very well be a masterpiece as other goodreaders whose taste I respect and whose recommendations I take seriously declare But this Divine is not for me not right now I do hope that Spell in Your Pocket if the history of Hungary Aesthetics Today in the 20th century Payoff (Market Garden, is to be told Daddys Favorite Little Girl in novelistic form Tristan & Jared it does not have to be entirely sunk Shutter in descriptions of pain and shitting Doesn't Hungary deserve better than that Again I only read 11% of a very long novel so do not take my word for 2000 Essential Korean Words - Intermediate it Here are a few positive reviews from good people

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