Thursday, April 3, 2008

Peter Nadas' Family Story

Nadas is, after I read his "A book of Memories", which is a work unusually thick in feeling, not only paper, one of most pleasant european writers for me. This booklet, on the contrary to the 1st book, is a thin one, but language is the same, peculiar, and reading often has to be back and forth, to understand what's up. From the very beginning when it is not clear at all who is mother, who father and how to hell the change occurs... Nadas is a master of word, and plays, sometimes, a kind of game with a reader.

Imre Goldstein's translation from Hungarian transfers, I feel, the taste of Nadas' language.

For a book "The End of a Family Story", to enclose Jewish family history of last 10 or so generations in 250 pages of small "Penguin" is a formidable achievemnent. And not to tell ther stories all the time, just follow the boy's story and what his grandpa told him...

Highly reccomendable reading, albeit for connesseur's palate only, I am afraid, as many could be repelled by non-transparent language of Nadas. He is, in English rendition, somewhat similar to Salman Rushdie, probably it is because of Middle East air of the jewish stories inside, which are so pregnant with desert sands and winds, anciet cities and people.

If you want to touch today's Literature of Europe, Nadas is for sure one of its most pleasant eminences.

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