Forthcoming: Prae by Miklós Szentkuthy

PraeContra Mundum Press is publishing this year the first volume of Szentkuthy’s erudite debut novel Prae (tr. by Tim Wilkinson). Something to look forward to. The towering figure of Hungarian letters remained virtually unknown in the English-speaking world until the publication of Marginalia on Casanova, the first instalment of his intellectual epic St. Orpheus Breviary, and the collection of critical thoughts and observations Towards the One and Only Metaphor. Dubbed by some “the Hungarian Joyce” (partly because of his translation of Ulysses) Szentkuthy is in fact a distinct and original writer whose contribution to the 2oth-century culture is still to be fully assessed. This concise and alluring description of Prae at HLO should definitely infuse you with the yearning for its publication:

“Prae” is a huge mock-encyclopaedia of whatever we know (or its author knows) about mind and matter, history and self, language and reality, fact and fiction, man and woman. Its stance is a sort of Olympian irreverence of the writer as philosopher-clown toward controlling and ordering constructs of every  description.

But there is more. A Szentkuthy issue of the journal Hyperion is available from Contra Mundum Press. A lot of interesting information there, including the biographical essay and some excerpts from his work.

Update 1. An excerpt from Prae is now available at Body.

Update 2. The first volume of Prae has been published and is up for grabs now. 788 pages! Can’t wait to get my hands on it. Thanks to the generosity of Contra Mundum Press, you can sample the first 99 pages of the novel

This entry was posted in Fiction, Forthcoming Translations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Forthcoming: Prae by Miklós Szentkuthy

  1. Sounds like a great novel. There are lots of Hungarians being translated nowadyas: Nadas, Krasznahorkai; what a productive country!

  2. Blogger says:

    Absolutely. I wish I had the time and the ability to learn to read Hungarian. Would be a great investment. By the way, his work is much better represented in French translation.

  3. While his work is certainly better represented in French, Phébus have only published the first four of the ten Saint Orpheus’s Breviary books, the latest in 2006.

  4. Blogger says:

    Indeed, I wonder why they have stopped.

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