|Publisher:||Random House Inc|
|Publish Date:||May 2013|
|Number of Pages:||217|
|Shipping Weight (in pounds):||0.44|
|Product in Inches (L x W x H):||5.0 x 8.0 x 0.5|
At the age of 14, Hungarian Kertesz was arrested in Budapest and sent to Auschwitz and Buchenwald. The trauma of this harrowing experience is conveyed in Kertesz's fiction (Fatelessness; Fiasco; Kaddish for an Unborn Child) in an intentionally prosaic style lacking in sentimentality, self-pity and protracted anguish. This dispassionate approach and his rejection not only of the term "Holocaust" to signify the annihilation of Europe's Jews, but also the notion of "Holocaust literature", have evoked sustained criticism and ostracism.
However, it was Hungary's right-wing, anti-Semitic regime that prompted his move to Berlin shortly after receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2002. This memoir, first published in Hungary (2006), is in the form of an analytical self-interview with Kertesz guilefully playing both psychiatrist and patient. In the "dossier" Kertesz is prompted to recall childhood and family episodes and their relevance to his fiction, his incarceration in the concentration camps, and to elaborate on "the Holocaust" and his literary and intellectual influences. London-based Wilkinson serves again as Kertesz's chief translator. His 2005 translation of Fatelessness was awarded the PEN Club/Book of the Month Club Translation Prize.
Verdict: Familiarity with Kertesz's fiction, though not essential, would enhance the reading of this idiosyncratic yet compelling memoir.
-Lonnie Weatherby, McGill Univ. Lib., Montreal
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The first and only memoir from the Nobel Prize–winning author, in the form of an illuminating, often funny, and often combative interview—with himself
Dossier K. is Imre Kertész’s response to the hasty biographies and profiles that followed his 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature—an attempt to set the record straight.
The result is an extraordinary self-portrait, in which Kertész interrogates himself about the course of his own remarkable life, moving from memories of his childhood in Budapest, his imprisonment in Nazi death camps and the forged record that saved his life, his experiences as a censored journalist in postwar Hungary under successive totalitarian communist regimes, and his eventual turn to fiction, culminating in the novels—such as Fatelessness, Fiasco, and Kaddish for an Unborn Child—that have established him as one of the most powerful, unsentimental, and imaginatively daring writers of our time.
In this wide-ranging and provocative book, Kertész continues to delve into the questions that have long occupied him: the legacy of the Holocaust, the distinctions drawn between fiction and reality, and what he calls “that wonderful burden of being responsible for oneself.”
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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