A Guest in My Own Country: A Hungarian Life by George Konrad

By George Konrad

A strong memoir of warfare, politics, literature, and kin existence via one among Europe's top intellectuals.

When George Konrád was once a toddler of 11, he, his sister, and cousins controlled to escape to Budapest from the Hungarian nation-state the day ahead of deportations swept via his domestic city. finally, they have been the single Jewish teenagers of town to outlive the Holocaust.

A visitor in my very own Country remembers the lifetime of certainly one of japanese Europe's such a lot finished glossy writers, starting along with his survival in the course of the ultimate months of the warfare. Konrád captures the risks, the hopes, the betrayals and brave acts of the interval via a sequence of conscientiously selected episodes that sometimes border at the surreal (as whilst a useless German soldier starts off to talk, trying to justify his actions).

The finish of the warfare launches the younger guy on a awesome occupation in letters and politics. supplying vigorous descriptions of either his deepest and public existence in Budapest, big apple, and Berlin, Konrád displays insightfully on his position within the Hungarian rebellion, the inspiration of "internal emigration"—the destiny of many writers who, like Konrád, refused to depart the jap Bloc below socialism—and different complexities of ecu identification. To learn A visitor in my very own Country is to event the new background of East-Central Europe from the interior.

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We enjoyed working together but there was nothing to suggest that we would later become close friends or that I would actually be asked to act as a spy for Australia’s most notorious communist. 52 Noeline Brown pgs 22/4/05 2:20 PM Page 53 CHAPTER FOUR SOBRANIS AND STROGANOFF After I met Bob Hughes at Vadim’s restaurant, he and I became almost permanent fixtures. We could be found there together nearly every night, sharing a table with the regulars on the prestigious upper level. Bob was back home from the UK, where he had gone to pursue a young ballet dancer from Rose Bay.

I could see she had noticed me. She started to withdraw into the safety of her garden. I smiled at her and said, ‘Hullo’, as I hurried by. Who was this girl and what was her story? I rushed down to the local milkbar, which was run by a Greek family who had been there for years. My friends, Helen and Angela, the owners’ daughters, worked there every day after school. All the kids in the neighbourhood used to congregate at their popular shop after three o’clock to share a milkshake or a ‘spider’.

She cared for them all singlehandedly till her husband and her sister came out of their black depression, although Gertrude would spend many years in and out of asylums, receiving treatment for her recurring bouts of melancholia, and Bert would sometimes spectacularly take to the bottle. 30 Noeline Brown pgs 22/4/05 2:20 PM Page 31 ALWAYS IN STRIFE More than twenty years after the death of his wife, Grandpa found somebody else. Dorothy Gladys was bright and amusing but nobody in the family was particularly happy when she and my grandfather decided to move in together because she was overly fond of alcohol and when she had been drinking she was always looking for a fight.

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