Reflections in the Library
Selected Literary Essays 1926–1944

Antal Szerb

Studies In Comparative Literature 46

Legenda

13 February 2017  •  160pp

ISBN: 978-1-781884-61-4 (hardback)  •  RRP £75, $99, €85

ISBN: 978-1-781884-62-1 (paperback, 30 September 2018)  •  RRP £9.99, $12.50, €12.50

ISBN: 978-1-781884-63-8 (JSTOR ebook)

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In this important new volume we see the great Hungarian writer Antal Szerb at the height of his powers. Widely recognised in his native country as one of Europe's most important critics, and as the author of enduringly fascinating novels, Szerb was a leading figure in Hungarian inter-war literary life. He was to be overwhelmed by the rise of Fascism: in 1942 his ambitious History of Hungarian Literature was banned; in 1944 he was deported to a concentration camp. Three months later he was dead. Though his writings were revived in Communist Hungary and elsewhere, and his major novels have enjoyed great popularity in English in recent years, this is the first collection of his important essays to appear in English.

Reflections in the Library was edited by Zsuzsanna Varga, with introductory essays by Ágnes Péter and Galin Tihanov. The English text is the work of the distinguished translator Peter Sherwood.

Reviews:

  • ‘Skillfully translated from Hungarian by Peter Sherwood, edited with utmost circumspection by Zsuzsanna Varga, provided with a magisterial Introduction by Ágnes Péter and a foreword by Galin Tihanov, reveals much about its author, the novelist, scholar, and man of letters Antal Szerb and his mindset... Reflections in the Library can be seen, among its other achievements, as a gesture of proclaiming, now to the English-speaking world, the lasting relevance of Szerb’s legacy... Although Szerb’s life’s work was left unfinished, his contribution to the art of the essay is large and remarkable enough to merit a sequel.’ — Ákos Farkas, Hungarian Cultural Studies 10, 2017 (full text online)
  • ‘This is a beautifully produced and judiciously edited selection of essays by a major writer from early-twentieth-century Hungary... All of the essays reveal Szerb’s sparkling wit and humour as well as his acumen: describing Chesterton as a great scholar and sophisticated clown, he prophecies that Shaw’s work will outlive Chesterton’s, while his essays on Gogol and Proust equally overflow with aphoristic wit. It is a must-have volume both for critics and general readers: beautiful, touching, and remarkably up-to-date prose on nineteenth-century European literature.’ — unsigned notice, Forum for Modern Language Studies 55.1, January 2019, 119-20

Contents:

i-vi
Reflections in the Library: Reflections in the Library
Antal Szerb
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vii-viii
Table of Contents
Antal Szerb
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ix-xii
Foreword
Galin Tihanov
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xiii-xiv
Translator’s Note
Peter Sherwood
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xv-xvi
Acknowledgements
Z.V.
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xvii-xviii
Notes On the Principal Literary Figures Mentioned in the Essays
Antal Szerb
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xix-xxv
Timeline of Major Works By Antal Szerb
Antal Szerb
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1-14
Introduction Antal Szerb: the Passionate Reader
Ágnes Péter
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17-36
Chapter 1 William Blake (1928)
Antal Szerb
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37-40
Chapter 2 Milton (1941)
Antal Szerb
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41-50
Chapter 3 the Second Romantic Generation (byron, Shelley, Keats) (1941)
Antal Szerb
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51-60
Chapter 4 Rousseau (1929)
Antal Szerb
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61-62
Chapter 5 Don Juan’s Secret (1940)
Antal Szerb
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65-78
Chapter 6 Stefan George (1926)
Antal Szerb
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79-88
Chapter 7 Ibsen (1928)
Antal Szerb
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89-96
Chapter 8 Dulcinea (cervantes) (1936)
Antal Szerb
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97-102
Chapter 9 G. K. Chesterton (1929)
Antal Szerb
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103-106
Chapter 10 Katherine Mansfield (1931)
Antal Szerb
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107-116
Chapter 11 Gogol (1944)
Antal Szerb
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117-122
Chapter 12 Marcel Proust (1936)
Antal Szerb
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123-129
Chapter 13 Thomas Mann (1936)
Antal Szerb
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130-134
Index
Antal Szerb
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Bibliography entry:

Szerb, Antal, Reflections in the Library: Selected Literary Essays 1926–1944, Studies In Comparative Literature, 46 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017)

First footnote reference: 35 Reflections in the Library: Selected Literary Essays 1926–1944, antal Szerb, Studies In Comparative Literature, 46 (Cambridge: Legenda, 2017), p. 21.

Subsequent footnote reference: 37 Szerb, p. 47.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)

Bibliography entry:

Szerb, Antal. 2017. Reflections in the Library: Selected Literary Essays 1926–1944, Studies In Comparative Literature, 46 (Cambridge: Legenda)

Example citation: ‘A quotation occurring on page 21 of this work’ (Szerb 2017: 21).

Example footnote reference: 35 Szerb 2017: 21.

(To see how these citations were worked out, follow this link.)


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