Books by Péter Nádas

Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"A pensive, beautifully written tour de force of modern European literature, worthy of shelving alongside Döblin, Pasternak and Mann."
A robust epic of a Mitteleuropa lurching out of totalitarianism into whatever passes for modern society—"not a terrain without perils," as one of the principal characters grimly observes. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 1, 2007

"A book that enlarges our sense of the moral, political and literary worlds we inhabit."
From Budapest-born Nádas (Love, 2000, etc.), a collection of fiction and essays, spanning roughly 40 years. Read full book review >
LOVE by Péter Nádas
Released: Nov. 1, 2000

In this slight 1979 novel by the acclaimed Hungarian author of A Book of Memories (1997), a nameless lover attempts to leave his mistress, smokes dope and glides soporifically out of "the time which I've up to now believed to be reality," and considers the possibility that this amorphous fugue state makes more tolerable the emotional conflicts imposed by the quotidian. Nothing else happens, in a draggy pseudofiction buttressed with exclamatory redundancy, rhetorical questions, and skewed typography. "It feels as if I'm having a conversation with myself," the narrator dreamily observes. Alas, it does—and few readers will be inclined to eavesdrop. Nádas at his best is a lot better than this. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1997

An imposing novel of ideas closely related in spirit to the great fictional syntheses of Hermann Broch and Robert Musil, as well as to the autobiographical masterpiece that is its specific inspiration: Proust's Remembrance of Things Past. Originally published in 1986 in N†das's native Hungary, this big book offers a startlingly wide-angled view of a young Hungarian writer (never named) whose pursuit of artistic happiness and success is intricately counterpointed against his country's struggles with Stalinist communism, climaxing in the revolution of 1956. In the first of several separate narratives, the writer describes his troubled youth during the 1950s, focusing on his explosive relations with his pro-communist father, a state prosecutor who committed suicide in 1956 (as did N†das's own father)—and also recounts his Bohemian lifestyle some 20 years later in Berlin, where he carries on love affairs with Thea, a temperamental actress, and also her lover, an equally mercurial poet named Melchior. A second story, which parallels the writer's own, is narrated by his fictional invention Thomas, the protagonist of a novel-in-progress set in Germany in the early 1900s. A third story is told by a boyhood friend of the writer's who happens to meet him in Moscow many years after their youth, and continues to think about the writer following the latter's death. His account contradicts the writer's earlier one—but it's made clear to us that the contradictions may be explained by the differences in personality and outlook of these two narrators. N†das's brilliant book is an epic of uncertainty, a dazzling fictional demonstration of the relativity of our efforts to understand ourselves and our world. To that end, the author and his counterparts suggest a series of ingenious discriminations between the unexamined life led by the European bourgeoisie and the involuted self-consciousness- -and, by implication, self-righteousness—of artistic responses to it. One of the major contemporary European novels. Read full book review >