Publishing during the 100th Anniversary of the First World War An NYRB Classics Original The budding young Hungarian artist Bela Zombory-Moldovan was on holiday when the First World War broke out in July 1914. Called up by the army, he soon found himself hundreds of miles away, advancing on Russian lines-or perhaps on his own lines-and facing relentless rifle and artillery fire. Badly wounded, he returned to normal life, which now struck him as unspeakably strange. He had witnessed, he realized, the end of a way of life, of a whole world. Recently discovered among private papers and published here for the first time in any language, this extraordinary reminiscence is a deeply moving addition to the literature of the terrible war that defined the shape of the twentieth century.
To be in a war, within it, to know what that means, to understand the appalling and dreadful significance of all that is appaling and dreadful-such was the fate of this gentle Hungarian painter, who, with several million companions, became entangled in the First World War and was never able to free himself from its memories. He tried to do so, nonetheless; he tried to free himself from these memories--this volume is the proof of that. This is perilous reading: the reader is invited, along with the writer, the one who remembers, to take part in what happened. But this is what we must do: from sympathy, from compassion, so that the one who truly lived through all of this will not be so utterly, unbearably alone -- Laszlo Krasznahorkai One reads with never-ending curiosity and ever deeper emotions the recollections of a compassionate artist of the first year of World War I on the nearly forgotten Eastern front. Unlike in the West, here there were few trenches; instead, there was constant movement within which vast armies of ill-equipped and ill-trained Russians, Cossacks, Caucasians, Asians, Austro-Germans, Reich Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Croats, Serbs, Slovenes, and innumerable other nationalities massacred each other for causes that many, if not most participants were unable to understand. -- Istvan Deak, Columbia University "During this, the centennial of the outbreak of WWI, there is bound to be a steady flow of historical tracts and a revisiting of memoirs of the seminal conflict. This haunting, heartbreaking and beautifully written memoir should stand above most ... This is a deeply moving account of a young man's short but terrible plunge into an inferno." Booklist ...haunting, heartbreaking, and beautifully written...[Zombory-Moldovan's] relatively short exposure to combat is conveyed with an unforgettable intensity. But this is not another chronicle of trench warfare...This is a deeply moving account of a young man's short but terrible plunge into an inferno. Booklist, starred review The writing detailing the author's experiences in battle has an energy and sense of urgency, and the whole book is filled with the understanding that life would never be the same again...recommended for anyone interested in World War I, war memoirs, and the history of eastern Europe. Library Journal
Number Of Pages: 176
Available: 5th August 2014
Dimensions (cm): 21.0 x 15.0 x 2.2
Weight (kg): 0.37