Item description for Adventures of Sindbad (Central European Classics) (Central European Classics Series) by Gyula Krudy...
In these short stories, Sindbad, a voyager in the realms of memory and imagination, travels through the centuries in pursuit of an ideal love that is directed as much at the feminine essence as at his individual lovers. This text is an erotic elegy to the dying Habsburg empire.
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Studio: Central European University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.71" Weight: 0.76 lbs.
Release Date Apr 15, 1998
Publisher Central European University Press
ISBN 9639116122 ISBN13 9789639116122
Availability 0 units.
More About Gyula Krudy
About the Author: Gyula Krudy (1878-1939) was a prolific novelist and journalist who, shortly before his death, was awarded the Rothermore prize as late recognition of his achievements. About the Translator: George Szirtes, Senior Lecturer in Poetry at Norwich School of Art & Design and author of many collections of poetry, is the 1995 recipient of the European Poetry Translation Prize for his translation of Zsuszsa Rabovszky's New Life.
Reviews - What do customers think about Adventures of Sindbad (Central European Classics) (Central European Classics Series)?
Love, Decadence, and Decay -- Hungarian Style Jan 22, 2008
Gyula Krudy is one of several extremely accomplished Central European writers from the first half of the 20th Century who only now are becoming known, through recent translations, to the English-speaking world. (Two others are Sandor Marai and Joseph Roth.) According to the useful Introduction to this volume by the translator George Szirtes, Krudy, who was Hungarian, wrote 50 novels and 3,000 short stories during his 55-year life. If even a relatively small fraction of that output is comparable to THE ADVENTURES OF SINDBAD, Krudy ranks as a great writer indeed.
THE ADVENTURES OF SINDBAD is a collection of stories published separately between 1911 and 1917. They all feature Sindbad, who is both roguish and rakish, a sort of composite of Cassanova, Don Giovanni, and a number of randy Greek gods. He also is, according to one or more of the stories, over 300 years old, dead, living in a crypt where he had been deposited after his suicide, or resurrected. If that is somewhat confusing, welcome to Krudy's world of Sindbad, where there is much confusion -- or better, ambivalence -- about what is real and what is illusory.
Sindbad's adventures all involve love and his pursuit and almost fetishistic worship of women (seemingly all the women in Hungary) and their infatuation in turn with being loved, pursued, and worshiped. Otherwise, there is little plot or action. But there is plenty of atmosphere -- a dense fog, a miasma of veiled eroticism, kisses stolen in the night, decadence, nostalgia, and ultimately death and decay. There also is a plenitude of extraordinarily rich and lush writing and striking, fresh conceits.
One example will have to suffice:
"Ah, life was still worth living then: one might appear secretly by night in a garden, tap at a window, speak beautiful words to those waiting to hear them; one could laugh and grow rapt or languid on the subject of a ringlet, a flower, a small white hand or the peculiar curve of a neck, and watch as the train drew away from the platform. That was Sindbad in his youth -- a tireless voyager, a friend to women, a knight errant for those in sleepy provincial towns; he was the last worldly thought of virgins about to enter convents and the hope of the ageing . . . When the affair was over he would retreat to the sighing boughs of the damp and melancholy graveyard and spend a whole year listening to the drumming of the rain and, when this too grew tedious, he might engage in conversation with his dead relatives who lay to either side of him in the crypt. One particularly worm-eaten old great-uncle tended to toss and turn in his grave. He had had four wives when alive and two or three lovers beside them at any one time, and was still anxious to reassume the flesh: 'I wonder what my sweet Helen is doing?' he would ask the spiders. 'I died too soon to develop a proper taste for her.'"
In his introduction, Szirtes does not say whether these stories were originally published in the order in which they are presented in this volume, although I suspect they were. It seems to me, however, that the opening story in this volume, "Youth," is somewhat atypical and makes for an odd introduction to the collection. Much more representative are "The Night Visitor" or "The Unforgettable Compliment," and I would recommend beginning with either or both of them, saving "Youth" for near the end.
I found that the style and atmosphere of THE ADVENTURES OF SINDBAD took some getting used to. But the stories gradually, stealthily, enveloped and captivated me. As I made my way through the book, I revised my initial "this site assessment" from three stars to four, and finally to five. But be forewarned, these stories are so rich and decadent that, like eating chocolate truffles, consuming more than one or two at a time can be a surfeit.
Budapest classic goes to Budapest Mar 22, 2007
I became interested in Central European literature having discovered the brilliant work of the late Sandor Marai (he wrote the incredible novel "Embers"). I bought the "Adventures of Sindbad" to read while on a trip to Budapest, and it's by a Hungarian writer I had never heard of-- Gyula Krudy. He is not as good an artist as the great Sandor Marai-- Krudy is a bit too much the self-conscious stylist. But the "Adventures of Sindbad" has a melancholy and deliciously decadent charm all its own, and there is a hypnotic quality to Sindbad's endless musings about the nature of love and infatuation. Krudy, writing from the end of the 19th and into the early 20th century, anticipates certain modernist literary tendencies like stream of consciousness writing inflected with passages of magical realism Hungarian-style. All in all, this is an unusual work that deserves a new generation of readers and it definitely makes me curious about Krudy's other work.
Gothic, Decadent, Astonishing ! May 19, 1999
Picked this up by sheer chance a few months ago and have already read it three times.
Sindbad is the arbitarily chosen name of the main character, the ghost of a three hundred year old Don Juan figure who revisits old loves in the country round fin-de-siecle Budapest. These hypnotic little tales prefigure Surrealism and Magic Realism in their superbly atmospheric recreation of the dying Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Krudy was apparently a prolific writer - I, for one, want to see more of his work in English.