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

By George Konrad

A robust memoir of warfare, politics, literature, and relatives lifestyles via one in all Europe's prime 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 earlier than deportations swept via his domestic city. finally, they have been the single Jewish youngsters of the city to outlive the Holocaust.

A visitor in my very own Country remembers the lifetime of considered one of jap Europe's so much complete glossy writers, starting along with his survival in the course of the ultimate months of the battle. Konrád captures the risks, the hopes, the betrayals and brave acts of the interval via a chain of rigorously selected episodes that sometimes border at the surreal (as while a useless German soldier starts off to talk, trying to justify his actions).

The finish of the conflict launches the younger guy on a impressive occupation in letters and politics. delivering full of life descriptions of either his inner most and public lifestyles in Budapest, ny, and Berlin, Konrád displays insightfully on his position within the Hungarian rebellion, the thought of "internal emigration"—the destiny of many writers who, like Konrád, refused to depart the jap Bloc lower than socialism—and different complexities of eu id. 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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And instead of throwing it away or putting it in my donation pile, I folded it neatly, the way previous retail experience had taught me. And I placed it in the back of my closet, next to old scrapbooks my aunt had made me when I graduated from college. These garments that I’ve collected—mind you, there are only a few—are not special. In fact, few of them are even aesthetically interesting. Yet, they possess a rare quality that borders on metaphysical, housing connections to people and actions that have no other proof of existence.

I had him make two—for me and for one of my dearest pizza brothers, Chris. Chris and I shared a studio together, and we’d begun working on a music project we called Endless Joy. I’d recently left my band after five years and was figuring out what my next project might be. That spring Chris and I discovered a shared love for pizza. I’d bring strange posters, or little toys, or pizza boxes with drawings on them into the studio and that began my pizza collection. But the T-shirt was the first thing I got in earnest to express my love for pizza.

It was around this time that I bought Spree’s number eight Knicks jersey in the blue-and-orange away colors. I got it at Gerry Cosby. It fit snug. And wearing it was an act of embracing my inner Spree: the guy who would defy you by hoisting up a thirty-foot jumper, or choke you for no apparent reason. I wasn’t very good at basketball—some might say I was awful—and I have long suffered from a debilitating neck injury that makes it difficult to run or jump. But I identified with Spree nonetheless.

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