Imre Kertesz's Auschwitz Tetralogy

I recently finished the three books of Kertesz's Auschwitz tetralogy that are translated into English (by the great Tim Wilkinson): Fatelessness, Kaddish for an Unborn Child, and Liquidation. (We're still waiting for Fiasco, the third published, to be translated).

I enjoyed all three, and reading them close to each other was not a burden at all since all have unique styles. Fatelessness is much like a conventional novel with a philosophical core. Kaddish for an Unborn Child was a declamation in the style of Notes from Underground. And Liquidation read like a Tom Stoppard play, though it is for the most part a novel.

In these books Kertesz analyzes what Auschwitz means. He himself is a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald (like the narrator in Fatelessness). Thankfully, he has also survived suriving Auschwitz - most other writers who survived have taken their lives - and has produced these excellent ruminations on the subject and on what it means to humanity.

All of the novels are short, but they say a lot more than most. Highly recommended reading.

For my complete reviews of each novel, please visit the Kertesz page of my blog:

1 comment

Anni said...

maybe interesting, in the 70es in Hungary there was a trend writing whort novels, it was a kind of reaction to the experiment: the world isn't possible to narrating in a novel with classical form anymore

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