Library Journal 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.
The Reading Life: The Burning of the World - A Memoir of by Béla Zombory-Moldován()
Booklist, starred review 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.
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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. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Budapest, he established himself as a painter, illustrator, and graphic artist.
Wounded in action in , he served the rest of the war in noncombatant duties. He enjoyed some renown, especially as a portrait painter, during the interwar years and was the principal of the Budapest School of Applied Arts from until his dismissal by the Communist regime in Out of official favor and artistic fashion in the postwar years, he devoted himself to the quiet landscapes in oils and watercolor that are his finest work. The writing of his recently discovered memoirs probably also dates from these years of seclusion.
He lives in London. Testament of youth . The burning of the world : a memoir of .
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