ReadySteadyBlog

Reviewing Nobel prize-winning Imre Kertész's Fatelessness, our Book of the Month, the Complete Review said:


Fatelessness, is a fine work, but -- unlike Kertész's later works -- ultimately not a truly remarkable one. Nevertheless, in laying the foundation for almost everything he wrote afterwards (and for understanding the man) it remains an essential text. It is good place to start on Kertész, but should be just that: the start. In moving from this book to his later works one moves from a simple, affecting story to true literature, from reality to art.


I differ, a little, in my thoughts on Kertész's debut: I did think it was "remarkable". It was powerfully restrained; György Köves, the Jewish teenage narrator has an authentic and compelling voice; and the ironic distance Kertész's builds through the György's naivety is chilling.


Kertész is very careful, via György, not to describe Buchenwald, where Kertész himself was imprisoned, as "hell". What does that - hell - mean? It is too metaphoriacal, too abstract. György simply describes what happened to him. He doesn't abstract - mythologise - the horror. And it is this device that gives the work its power.

 

Readers Comments

Leave a Comment

If you have not posted a comment on RSB before, it will need to be approved by the Managing Editor. Once you have an approved comment, you are safe to post further comments. We have also introduced a captcha code to prevent spam.

 

 

 

Enter the code shown here:   [captcha]

Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above image, reload the page to generate a new one.