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Sandor Marai

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ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2007 | Michael Sims, Special to The Times
A capsule biography of novelist Sandor Marai seems bleak, as most life summaries do when shorn of extras. Born in the small town of Kassa, Hungary, in 1900, the last year of the 19th century, he would be described nowadays as Austro-Hungarian. He began writing at an early age. Anti-fascist, he was often in trouble with the authorities. He fled the Communists in 1948. After a stint in Italy, Marai wound up in the United States, where he grew into Hungary's most renowned expatriate writer.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 14, 2007 | Michael Sims, Special to The Times
A capsule biography of novelist Sandor Marai seems bleak, as most life summaries do when shorn of extras. Born in the small town of Kassa, Hungary, in 1900, the last year of the 19th century, he would be described nowadays as Austro-Hungarian. He began writing at an early age. Anti-fascist, he was often in trouble with the authorities. He fled the Communists in 1948. After a stint in Italy, Marai wound up in the United States, where he grew into Hungary's most renowned expatriate writer.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 2005
Thank you for the splendid, personal account by Tim Rutten of his friendship with Susan Sontag ["The Life of a Restless Mind," Dec. 29]. I too feel the loss of this lively, intellectual woman -- almost as though we had been personal friends. Sontag has influenced my reading over the years, led me to writers I might never have encountered (Sandor Marai, Karoly Pap, many more) and thus been denied the brilliance and humanity of their work. How sorely this distorted world needs people who offer their humane vision, bravely.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 1, 2005
Thank you for the splendid, personal account by Tim Rutten of his friendship with Susan Sontag ["The Life of a Restless Mind," Dec. 29]. I too feel the loss of this lively, intellectual woman -- almost as though we had been personal friends. Sontag has influenced my reading over the years, led me to writers I might never have encountered (Sandor Marai, Karoly Pap, many more) and thus been denied the brilliance and humanity of their work. How sorely this distorted world needs people who offer their humane vision, bravely.
NEWS
January 15, 2002 | SCOTT MARTELLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
By the time Sandor Marai touched the barrel of the gun to the roof of his mouth, he had already plotted how the next few minutes would unfold. It was a warm and clear-skied Tuesday in February. The cleaning woman had the day off, so would not be wandering in. Marai's closest living relatives--his daughter-in-law and three teenage granddaughters--visited only on weekends, so they too would be spared the shock of finding their beloved "Poppa" in a blood-splattered room.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2004 | Thomas McGonigle, Special to The Times
Posthumous fame -- if only the person could be alive to enjoy it. That is the knot at the center of the lives and reputations of Giacomo Casanova and Sandor Marai, both of whom were well known in their times but conscious that their real fame would be in posterity. There really is a vivid, compelling Casanova (1725-1798) lurking behind the tired contemporary phrase, "he's a real Casanova."
BOOKS
November 11, 2001 | THOMAS MCGONIGLE, Thomas McGonigle is the author of "The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov" and "Going to Patchogue."
On a summer day in 1940 in a Hungarian castle, Henrik, a 75-year-old general, is waiting for Konrad, his closest friend from childhood. They haven't seen each other in 41 years--not since a hunt they had been on in July 1899. Eventually Konrad arrives. Dinner is served. The general talks and asks a few questions. The visitor departs. The reader of "Embers" will have been very quietly nailed to the spot by this short, mesmerizing novel depicting the nature and limits of friendship.
BOOKS
November 21, 2004 | Susan Salter Reynolds
Tattoo for a Slave Hortense Calisher Harcourt: 336 pp., $24 "Only trust the inanimate," Hortense Calisher muses in her latest memoir, while recalling the two kinds of cupcakes she ate as a child -- one frothy and over-iced, the other small and underdecorated -- the two of them representing, respectively, the lavish German and prim Southern strains of her ancestry. Calisher, who grew up in New York City, here considers her slave-owning Jewish forebears. Her father was born in Richmond, Va.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 4, 2009 | Richard Eder, Eder, a former book critic for The Times, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1987.
Much like a bit of DNA from a frozen mammoth somehow bringing that huge, stomping beast back to life, the novels of the Hungarian Sandor Marai -- many decades old, dealing with long-vanished worlds and only now published here -- have returned from literary extinction with unfaded fierceness and dazzle. "Embers," the first to appear, in 2001, is a night-long verbal duel between two dying aristocratic rivals on the eve of World War II.
BOOKS
July 15, 2007 | James Marcus, James Marcus is the author of "Amazonia: Five Years at the Epicenter of the Dot.Com Juggernaut" and the proprietor of a blog, House of Mirth.
WHEN J.M. Coetzee received the Nobel Prize in 2003, the citation from the Swedish Academy dwelt primarily on his career as a novelist. That made perfect sense. Although the author had produced a large body of memoir, criticism and polemical prose, it was his pitiless fiction that made the biggest impact, from the quasi-allegory of "Waiting for the Barbarians" to the serial traumas of "Disgrace." These are major books, despite their slender heft and endless modulations of disgust.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 15, 2004 | Thomas McGonigle, Special to The Times
Posthumous fame -- if only the person could be alive to enjoy it. That is the knot at the center of the lives and reputations of Giacomo Casanova and Sandor Marai, both of whom were well known in their times but conscious that their real fame would be in posterity. There really is a vivid, compelling Casanova (1725-1798) lurking behind the tired contemporary phrase, "he's a real Casanova."
NEWS
January 15, 2002 | SCOTT MARTELLE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
By the time Sandor Marai touched the barrel of the gun to the roof of his mouth, he had already plotted how the next few minutes would unfold. It was a warm and clear-skied Tuesday in February. The cleaning woman had the day off, so would not be wandering in. Marai's closest living relatives--his daughter-in-law and three teenage granddaughters--visited only on weekends, so they too would be spared the shock of finding their beloved "Poppa" in a blood-splattered room.
BOOKS
November 11, 2001 | THOMAS MCGONIGLE, Thomas McGonigle is the author of "The Corpse Dream of N. Petkov" and "Going to Patchogue."
On a summer day in 1940 in a Hungarian castle, Henrik, a 75-year-old general, is waiting for Konrad, his closest friend from childhood. They haven't seen each other in 41 years--not since a hunt they had been on in July 1899. Eventually Konrad arrives. Dinner is served. The general talks and asks a few questions. The visitor departs. The reader of "Embers" will have been very quietly nailed to the spot by this short, mesmerizing novel depicting the nature and limits of friendship.
BOOKS
February 17, 2002
BT Southern California RatingTD FICTION TDLast WeekTD Weeks on ListTR ET BT 1TDTHE CORRECTIONS by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus & Giroux: $26) The saga of a dysfunctional Midwestern family living at the end of the 20th century.TD1TD23TR 2TDTHE MILLIONAIRES by Brad Meltzer (Warner: $25.95) Two brothers who loot the account of a deceased client at a private bank get more than they bargained for.TD3TD4TR 3TDTISHOMINGO BLUES by Elmore Leonard (William Morrow: $25.95)
BOOKS
April 14, 2002
* PAPERBACKS *--* Southern California Rating FICTION Last Week Weeks on List *--* *--* 1 ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday: $26) A 1 4 haunting novel of guilt and redemption that follows several lives through the chaos of England in World War II 2 2nd CHANCE by James Patterson (Little, Brown: $26.
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