Item description for A Lovely Tale of Photography by Peter Nadas...
Fiction. Peter Nadas, born in 1942 in Budapest, is the author of A BOOK OF MEMORIES and THE END OF A FAMILY STORY, which have won him wide acclaim as the outstanding Hungarian writer of his time. A LOVELY TALE OF PHOTOGRAPHY is an hallucinatory novella about a female photographer who is suffering from an undetermined illness. Confined to a sanitorium, where she is surrounded by a cast of stock characters speaking various languages, she is made to confront a reality other than that framed by her camera.
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P?ter N?das was born in Budapest in 1942. Among his works translated into English are the novels A Book of Memories (FSG, 1997), The End of a Family Story (FSG, 1998), and Love (FSG, 2000); a collection of stories and essays, Fire and Knowledge (FSG, 2007); and two pieces of short fiction, A Lovely Tale of Photography and P?ter N?das: Own Death. He lives with his wife in Gombosszeg, Hungary.
Peter Nadas currently resides in Gombosszeg. Peter Nadas was born in 1942.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Lovely Tale of Photography?
How do we survive? May 5, 2005
There is a certain melody, or better yet, absence of it, that speaks to the reader as he starts reading this book. You can't point out what exactly that melody is, but your senses tell you that it deffinitely has to be pesent somewhere. And as you focus yourself at those voices lost in the past, pictures start to flicker in front of your eyes, and you feel like you're sitting in a sofa, and your grandmother is showing you an old familiy album.
You know what kind of albums are those. People you never met, on a murky background, with twisted smiles and years that separate you. They may be your relatives, and you feel some sort of connection or obligation towards them, but essentialy, you couldn't care less about them. But pages continu to flip themselves.
There are no sharp edges of objects in this book, everything is blurred, photographer sees in picture "and picture comes before words", and yet, as it happens with family album, once it is finished, you walk your own way, and forget about it, ready to return again, when someone pulls it out and starts talking...
Peculiar little book, but not of a "grandé" sort...
Elusive Jun 12, 2000
"A Lovely Tale of Photography" is the third work of Peter Nadas to be translated into English, following the Hungarian writer's monumental "A Book of Memories" (1997) and "The End of a Family Story" (1998). One might be misled by the slimness of the current volume (120pp) into believing it to be his most accessible work; however, it is truly a complex piece that is the descendant of the previous two. The book is described as "an hallucinatory novella" and to the extent that we are presented with a plot we see the portrait of a female photographer as she suffers through an illness; her life appears to pass as a series of pictures - random images and people, sounds, colors, darkness and light. Nadas continues to confront of notions of time, place, and character, stripping these concepts down to their essences in order to explore them. Yet I would argue that this work more resembles a movie - not a silent movie, but a moving picture whose sound is turned down, such that we know that some element is missing from this world; we strain to hear it, but can only discern the screams and the cries as we watch the pictures fly past our eyes. This trick is successful for its limited purpose, unfortunately we are left yearning for more - we are only presented with hints of a love affair, of the woman's fears and her dreams and we suspect that the truth has somehow eluded us in the silence. Thus, I do not believe this to be Nadas' strongest work, but it is a worthy addition to his previous efforts and certainly valuable to any reader who wishes to join Nadas on his search for meaning.
Visual structure in novel form Jun 10, 2000
This book is very well written in an innovative style - small sections of very visually detailed segments - amazing writing of the world as viewed thru a photographer's eyes. The only narrative dislocation this caused was that it took me some time to place the story in time sufficiently to give the action context and social context is essential to following the story. I enjoyed the book - will probably reread it - but at the end of the book, I still cared nothing about the characters - this may be intentional on the part of the author as it is consistent with the photographer's inability to deal with the world outside the photograph of it.