TWO PRISONERS by Lajos Zilahy


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This romantic Hungarian goulash has been revised by the author and re-translated since its appearance in English in 1939 -- and to no particular benefit. Regrettable, since the story of searing loves rent and reassembled has a grand Hurstian potential. The lovers, Peter and Miette, are finally married after much tittering in muffs, salon flirting and moments of bare passion. Marriage is an anthem until World War I sends Peter in the Hungarian army to Siberia as a prisoner. While Peter suffers in a gentlemanly fashion, Miette over a period of three years applies her not inconsiderable susceptibility to the handsome Golgonszky and -- alas -- what of Peter? But Peter also finds comfort in the lovely ministrations of the Russian girl, Zinaida, and very ill, conceives a plan after receiving an anonymous letter concerning Miette's activities. The war ends and having been told Peter is dead, the happy Golgonszkys journey to view Peter's grave, not really recognizing the bearded gentleman, his wife Zinaida (with toddler), nearby. Fairly rips one apart, but lines like: ""And from that day they kissed every afternoon for hours at a time, tiring themselves to exhaustion at the game"" and ""The last words were spoken almost sobbingly"" furthers the dissolution -- into hilarity. A disastrous translation of a love story in the opulent manner.

Pub Date: Nov. 11th, 1968
Publisher: Stackpole/Giniger