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Book Information: Fatelessness

Fatelessness (1975) [Novel]
by Imre Kertész Rating: No votes (Rate!)
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Summary (From the publisher):

A moving and disturbing novel about a Hungarian Jewish boy’s experiences in German concentration camps and his attempts to reconcile himself to those experiences after the war. Upon his return to his native Budapest still clad in his striped prison clothes, fourteen-year-old George Koves senses the indifference, even hostility, of people on the street. His former neighbors and friends urge him to put the ordeal out of his mind, while a sympathetic journalist refers to the camps as "the lowest circle of hell." The boy can relate to neither cliche and is left to ponder the meaning of his experience alone.

George's response to his experience is curiously ambivalent. In the camps he tries to adjust to his ever-worsening situation by imputing human motives to his inhumane captors. By imposing his logic--that of a bright, sensitive, though in many ways ordinary teenager - he maintains a precarious semblance of normalcy. Once freed, he must contend with the "banality of evil" to which he has become accustomed: when asked why he uses words like "naturally," "undeniably," and "without question" to describe the most horrendous of experiences, he responds, "In the concentration camp it was natural." Without emotional or spiritual ties to his Jewish heritage and rejected by his country, he ultimately comes to the conclusion that neither his Hungarianness nor his Jewishness was really at the heart of his fate: rather, there are only "given situations, and within these, further givens."

Original title: Sorstalanság
Alternative titles: Fateless
Original languages: Hungarian

Quotes:

Genre: FictionHistoricalWorld War IIHolocaust

Edition #1: Fatelessness

Fatelessness (2004)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Translated by: Tim Wilkinson
Blurbs:
  • "Remarkable . . .an original and chilling quality, surpassed only by Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz" The New York Review of Books
  • "In his writing Imre Kertesz explores the possibility of continuing to live and think as an individual in an era in which the subjection of human beings to social forces has become increasingly completeÉ. upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history." The Swedish Academy, The Nobel Prize in Literature 2002
  • "[S]hould be savored slowly . . . Only through exploring its subtlety and detail will the reader come to appreciate such an ornate and honest testimony to the human spirit." The Washington Times
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Manifested in:

Fatelessness (2004)

Format: Paperback
Publisher: Vintage International
ISBN: 1400078636
Pages: 262

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Edition #2: Fateless

Fateless (1992)
Edition Details:

Language: English

Translated by: Katharina M. Wilson Christopher C. Wilson
Blurbs:
  • "Remarkable . . .an original and chilling quality, surpassed only by Primo Levi’s Survival in Auschwitz" The New York Review of Books
  • "In his writing Imre Kertesz explores the possibility of continuing to live and think as an individual in an era in which the subjection of human beings to social forces has become increasingly completeÉ. upholds the fragile experience of the individual against the barbaric arbitrariness of history." The Swedish Academy, The Nobel Prize in Literature 2002
  • "[S]hould be savored slowly . . . Only through exploring its subtlety and detail will the reader come to appreciate such an ornate and honest testimony to the human spirit." The Washington Times
Search at Amazon!

Search at Powells!

Search at AbeBooks!


Manifested in:
cover

Fateless (1992)

Format: Paperback
Place of publication: Evanston, IL
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
ISBN: 0810110490
Pages: 191

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