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Love And Other Stories

by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, Trans. By Constance Black Garnett

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From Publishers Weekly
Déry (1894–1977) was a noted Hungarian Communist intellectual imprisoned three times by various regimes, including Hungary's Stalinist government, over his long career. Some of the 12 short stories here have not aged particularly well, nor have the translations, most of which are from the 1960s. The best, though, are highly calibrated, compressing years of horror into a few pages. "Love" (the basis for a 1971 Hungarian film) tracks the release of a political prisoner who is suddenly and arbitrarily returned to his family, resulting in an extremely moving controlled catharsis. "Two Women" also concerns a political prisoner, with a structural innovation: the prisoner is completely absent from the story, just as he has been forcibly removed from the lives of his wife and mother. A grim series of linked stories called "Games of the Underworld," first published in 1946, illustrates the WWII occupation of Budapest on the eve of the Russian liberation, now seems somewhat saturated by its subject. Though Nobel laureate Imre Kertész remains the known postwar Hungarian for U.S. readers, this retrospective collection (with a reasonably informative introduction from poet Szirtes) should remind them of Déry's central place in modern Hungarian literature. (June)
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The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Michael Pinker
Superb stories of ordinary Hungarians struggling with the agents of their oppression.

Ben Sonnenberg
Here is one of the outstanding writers of the twentieth century.

Andrew Ervin, The Miami Herald, 9 January, 2005
At long last, an American publisher will finally release a volume... by the mid-20th century Hungarian master Tibor Déry.

Kirkus Reviews, 1 May 2005
One of the least known of 20th-century Europe's great writers here receives his due. It's about time.

Library Journal, Michael Rogers, 1 May 2005
A selection of the Hungarian writer's best.

American Book Review, Sheila Heti
What comes through most powerfully in Dery's writing is his humanism, his sympathy for his suffering characters.

The Plain Dealer, Andrew Ervin
Dery was first and foremost an author—one of the highest caliber.

The Plain Dealer, Andrew Ervin
The single best depiction of civilian life during war….these stories are felt as much as read.

The Plain Dealer, Andrew Ervin
Dery's mastery of form rivals that of the 20th century's acknowledged masters, including Joyce or Gombrowicz or Kafka.

The Plain Dealer, Andrew Ervin
A welcome glimpse into the world of this sublime Hungarian master.

Book Description
Short stories orchestrated with the visionary intensity of Bruno Schulz and the subtlety of Chekhov, by the great Hungarian master.

First imprisoned in 1919, then in 1934 for translating André Gide's diary of his journey to Russia, over twenty years later Tibor Déry was imprisoned again, this time sentenced to nine years for his writings and political activities during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 against Soviet occupation. Tibor Déry Committees formed around the world in protest, among the many involved: Picasso, Camus, Sartre, Bertrand Russell, and E.M. Forster.

Today, Tibor Déry is venerated as one of the most important literary figures of Hungary. Love & Other Stories presents a selection of his finest short stories. Dive into the underworld of ordinary lives in Budapest trying to survive the winter of war, menaced by "Arrow-cross men" (enthusiastic local supporters of the Nazi SS). A loyal Party worker quietly breaks down under oppression, and a political prisoner is released after seven years and returns home. Permeating the whole are questions of responsibility and conscience, of social justice and renewal.

About the Author
Tibor Déry (1894-1977), a short-story writer, novelist, playwright, and poet, was born in Budapest. Though an exile and literary outcast for several years, he received Hungary's highest artistic honor, the Kossuth Prize, in 1948. Poet and translator George Szirtes has won numerous awards for his work, including the 1990 Déry Prize for Translation.



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