Contra Mundum Press is publishing this year the first volume of Szentkuthy’s erudite debut novel Prae. 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 installment of his intellectual epic St. Orpheus Breviary, and the collection of critical thoughts and observations Towards the One and Only Metaphor. Dubbed by some as 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.