3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An Invaluable Education,
This review is from: Fire and Knowledge: Fiction and Essays (Paperback)
I read Peter Nadas' book of insightful essays and short fiction during the Russo-Georgian war of this summer. It was instructive, as the media deconstructed the crisis into soundbites and photo opportunities, to read these thoughtful dispatches from Nadas' native Hungary, another post-communist state struggling with the transition to democracy. Nadas is a perceptive analyst on the deep rift which the iron curtain drove between western and eastern european mindsets, but his way with language, and the delicately observed stories which he interleaves with his essays, prevent this being a purely analytical exercise. Two stories, in particular, stand out: 'The Lamb', in which Nadas unearths the banality of Hungarian anti-semitism, and 'The Bible', in which he investigates the way in which, even in a communist society, class divisions are still keenly felt, even if masked by ideology.
As the former Eastern Bloc countries become more and more important to the future of Europe, and the world, it is equally important to understand the way their inhabitants think, and how their view of the world differs from our own. Peter Nadas offers us an invaluable education in the lives of these others.