Postcard from London
Iván Mándy (1918–1995) has been called ‘the prose poet of Budapest’, and this volume of short stories presents the first comprehensive collection of his work in English. His early oeuvre created an urban mythology full of picaresque characters inhabiting the seedier neighborhoods of the city: its flea-market stalls, second-run cinemas, and old-fashioned coffeehouses. The stories from the later decades of Mándy’s life, often bordering on the absurd, introduce many autobiographical elements spun around the author’s alter-ego, János Zsámboky, whose hapless adventures on a rare trip abroad constitute this group of stories, including ‘Postcard from London’. Mándy’s unique style at times borrows techniques from films and radio plays, his quirky cuts creating a flicker of images seen in the mind’s eye. Memory and perception, time and place spin in narrative legerdemain that invites and rewards the reader’s active participation.
Read one of the stories from the volume excerpted in Hungarian Literature Online.
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