A very short introduction to Péter Nádas

The Hungarian writer and essayist Péter Nádas (1942) is said to be one of contemporary literatures most important voices. His second novel Book of Memories (1986) earned him comparisons to Proust. It got generally great reviews all over the world, amongst others from Susan Sontag.

The book I’m reading, Parallel Stories (2005), is a three-volume novel (I believe not yet translated into English). The books in the trilogy are called:

I) The Mute Realm II) In the Depths of Night III) A Breath of Freedom

Parallel Stories gives us a multitude of independent stories melted into one single narrative. It is said that it took Nádas eighteen years to complete the book. The plot in Parallel Stories is constructed around the histories of two families: the Hungarian Lippay-Lehrs, and the German Döhrings.

I’m reading Nádas in Norwegian. The first volume of the trilogy (“Den stumme provinsen”)
is just out, the next two volumes will be published within a year. I’m about hundred pages into the first volume, and I am totally impressed, I will be writing more about my reading experience in my next posts.


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