Sunflower

Overview

Gyula Krúdy is a marvelous writer who haunted the taverns of Budapest and lived on its streets while turning out a series of mesmerizing, revelatory novels that are among the masterpieces of modern literature. Krúdy conjures up a world that is entirely his own—dreamy, macabre, comic, and erotic—where urbane sophistication can erupt without warning into passion and madness.

In Sunflower young Eveline leaves the city and returns to her country estate to escape the memory of her ...

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Overview

Gyula Krúdy is a marvelous writer who haunted the taverns of Budapest and lived on its streets while turning out a series of mesmerizing, revelatory novels that are among the masterpieces of modern literature. Krúdy conjures up a world that is entirely his own—dreamy, macabre, comic, and erotic—where urbane sophistication can erupt without warning into passion and madness.

In Sunflower young Eveline leaves the city and returns to her country estate to escape the memory of her desperate love for the unscrupulous charmer Kálmán. There she encounters the melancholy Álmos-Dreamer, who is languishing for love of her, and is visited by the bizarre and beautiful Miss Maszkerádi, a woman who is a force of nature. The plot twists and turns; elemental myth mingles with sheer farce: Krúdy brilliantly illuminates the shifting contours and acid colors of the landscape of desire.

John Bátki’s outstanding translation of Sunflower is the perfect introduction to the world of Gyula Krúdy, a genius as singular as Robert Walser, Bruno Schulz, or Joseph Roth.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Krúdy (1878-1933), a well-known early 20th-century Hungarian author, produced a prolific body of 60 novels and 3000 short stories before dying in relative obscurity. In this novel, appearing in English for the first time, Eveline leaves the city for her country estate in order to forget her love for Kálmán. Eveline's story becomes inextricably intertwined with the lives of the locals: she is wooed by the legendary Álmos-Dreamer, provides lodging and company for the odd Miss Maszkerádi, and tries to keep peace with Gypsy-loving neighbor Pistoli. In this community, everyone knows everything about one another, making each interaction full of complications, village gossip, and intrigue. Krúdy eulogizes a way of life already disappearing as the work was being written and presents a glimpse of rural Hungary that is at once comic, nostalgic, romantic, and erotic. The introduction by John Lukacs provides insight into Krúdy's life and works. Recommended for academic collections or large public libraries.
—Heather Wright

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789631343328
  • Publisher: Corvina Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Pages: 208

Meet the Author

Gyula Krúdy (1878--1933) was born in Nyíregyháza. Publishing his first short story in 1893, he would become one of the most acclaimed figures of twentieth century Hungarian literature. A novelist, short story writer, and journalist, he published more than sixty novels, three thousand short stories, four plays, and more than one thousand newspapers articles. Winner of the Baumgarten Prize in 1930, he died in Budapest in 1933.

John Lukacs is an author of several well-known history books, among them Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and its Culture.

John Bátki's stories have appeared in The New Yorker. He has received the O. Henry Award for short fiction and has taught at Harvard University.

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