Shimmering Details, Volume I
Author: Péter Nádas; Translated from the Hungarian by Judith Sollosy
The magnum opus of one of Europe's greatest living writers.
“When telling one’s life story to someone else one manufactures not chronicles but legends for oneself,” Péter Nádas writes in his fiction masterpiece, Parallel Stories. Now, in his illuminating memoir, Shimmering Details, the renowned author investigates what it means to reconstruct a life without recourse to the techniques and embellishments of traditional storytelling.
Taking his firmly embedded memories—the “shimmering details” that give this work its title—as his starting point, Nádas dissects them using a method inspired by Freudian dream interpretation. Sounds, scenes, smells, feelings—all are probed for details that might allow him to reconstruct what happened, and when and where. To avoid conscious or unconscious distortions, he deconstructs the stories of others, too—moving in concentric circles toward cause and effect, until their meaning and significance come to light.
In Shimmering Details, Volume I, Nádas probes the history of his family from the late nineteenth century to his birth in 1942 and beyond. In a work that encompasses World War II and the Hungarian Revolution, Nádas traces the hidden connections between the seemingly random events of a life and assembles them into a memoir like no other.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux