For my previous two reviews in this series I have churned out over 2500 words and so as I come to write the third and final review I find myself at something of a loss. What can I say about Miklos Banffy’s Transylvanian Trilogy that I haven’t already said? Not a lot, it seems. It doesn’t help that They Were Divided is much shorter than the two preceding volumes. Indeed, while all three follow on, volumes one and two did feel, in some way, like separate entities. They dealt with markedly different stages in the lives of the main characters; and each unfolded at a different pace. This one, however, does not feel distinct; in fact, it feels odd that it stands alone.
As befitting the concluding volume of a series, the one thing that does stand out about They Were Divided is the increased atmosphere of decline and destruction that hangs over it. As noted previously, the real title of the whole work is The Writing On The Wall and that makes most sense in relation to the book under review here. First of all, there is destruction on what I will call a local level i.e. amongst the inhabitants of the novel, within their families etc. There have been deaths in the preceding two volumes but there are more of them in They Were Divided and, unlike before, it is major characters that are struck down. There is, in the book, a very real sense of things coming to an end, of the end of an era, so to speak, and this means that it is the most moving of the three volumes.
In addition to the deaths of certain beloved characters there is also the prospect of largescale death on an international level. The timespan of the trilogy is 1904 to 1914. I don’t think you have to be a historian to know what the significance of the date 1914 is. The reality of what is happening in the world outside of the communities we have been so focused on becomes more apparent in They Were Divided; it can no longer be ignored. Indeed, it was always the case that the narrative was moving towards destruction, towards, more specifically, war. Yet it is easy for the reader to lose sight of that, to put it to the back of your mind; it is easy to become so engrossed in what is happening between, and to, these charming, interesting characters and to therefore not recognise the full significance of what is taking place in the worldatlarge. It’s a neat trick, because that is exactly the same mindset that the majority of the characters have; they are so taken up with their own dramas, their own fun and games, that they are unaware of just how quickly they are hurtling towards, well, extinction or certainly the end of life as they know it.
Now that I have read the entire thing my opinion of some of what came before this final instalment has altered somewhat. I loved the first volume, almost without reservation, but I was far less enamoured with the second. A few of those reservations, however, seem less serious upon reflection. The drop off in drama, the slowing of the pace in They Were Found Wanting now seems necessary, for an entire 1500 pages of the kind of intensity that They Were Counted provided would perhaps have been too much. Furthermore, Balint, who I previously called a nonentity, takes on something of a heroic edge by the end of They Were Divided. His simpleminded goodness, his strong values and sense of honour were always admirable, but not particularly interesting. However, he is one of the few, if not the only, character who is not so selfabsorbed as to not see what is coming; and there is something, for me, incredibly moving about the idea of one man, surrounded by jovial but ignorant people, who has his eyes open and turned towards a world that is set to burn.
"There was nothing to see but ice and snow, only ice and snow, a petrified world were there could be no life. Ice everywhere, like the frozen inferno of Dante’s seventh hell. Even the sky seemed carved from ice, clean, majestic…and implacable…and even the stars held no mercy.
In front rose the inkblack outline of the Matterhorn, seeming more than ever like a claw, Satan’s claw, reaching for the Heavens. The great peak was no longer a natural pyramid of rock but rather some fatal, razorsharp milestone threatening death to the sky above – a milestone that pointed to the end of the world."
So, ultimately, despite its flaws [I still can’t accept the repetition], The Transylvanian Trilogy is a largehearted, beautiful novel, which may not, contrary to the hype, stand shouldertoshoulder with War & Peace, but is well worth the considerable time that is required in order to read it.
The Transylvanian Trilogy
Part 1: They Were Counted https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Part2: They Were Found Wanting: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
Overall rating:**** I wish I could write like this writer. I never thought that one could enjoy description of such simple things like forest, river, trees and meadows. Even without sunrises and sun sets, if you know what I mean. It was truly a pleasure to read.
The book ends with the murder in Sarajevo and we will never know how the main character would go through the hell of the WWI. We are left with hope as we know that the book is based on personal memories..... In the midst of my obsession with Jane Smiley, I listened to an interview with her where she recommended the Transylvanian Trilogy. I had no other connection to the author or the setting. In fact, I generally have trouble with Great Novels, as they tend to start feeling like eating your vegetables. But The Transylvanian Trilogy was a true delight, a Great Novel that really worked for me as a riveting story.
Miklos Banffy was a count and politician in Hungary for many years, and he writes about prewar Hungary with deep familiarity and a powerfully specific memory. The trilogy, which covers the years from 1904 until the outbreak of World War I, conveys a powerful feeling of a world lost to time. However, Banffy is as interested in condemning the elite of his generation as he is in recreating the world of his childhood; and at the same time his warmhearted characterizations make it hard to truly dismiss most of the people that he also wants to condemn. (A comparison with Jean Renoir, and specifically the film The Rules of the Game, seems appropriate at this point.) The world of the trilogy is in many ways strange to modern eyes, but even at its most absurd (and Banffy is hilarious on the subject of dueling), the world feels lived in.
What really made the trilogy work so well for me was Banffy's tonal mastery, mixing gothic suspense, psychological drama, political polemic, comedy of manners, and a powerful affection for the land into a rich emotional experience. (Okay, I could have lost a bit of the political polemic, but only just a bit.) The personal struggles of Balint Abady, in love with a married woman, and Laszlo Gyoffery, the selfdestructive composer, were as real and immediate to me as any contemporary novel.
At the same time, as the trilogy concludes it takes on this larger melancholy. Banffy conjures into being a whole world of honor and selfdestruction, gentility and hypocrisy, unrequited love and remarkable myopia, with a large cast of characters that you remember and feel for. And then it turns out (as you always knew a little bit, but were trying to ignore) that they're all marching blind to their doom.
The Transylvanian Trilogy is remarkable. I finished reading it more than two weeks ago, and the experience of reading it is still with me now. I would recommend it in a heartbeat.
I no longer think of Transylvania as the land of scary blood thirst that I only knew from Dracula moviesbut rather a beautiful mountainous region characterized by a juxtaposition of traditional values and the growing pains of modernizationnot unlike many other places in the world at alland certainly nothing that justifies the constant transmogrification of Hollywood projection.
I really enjoyed this trilogy and despite the fact that he's not an amazing writerhe's a good writer, a great story teller and it's a piece of history that I now understand in fairly dense detail. There are not too many Hungarian books in translation I have not enjoyed and this is no exception. I can't imagine any wellread Hungarian isn't familiar with this important document of Eastern European history.
Fitting conclusion to trilogy, completing one of the masterpieces of twentieth century literature. Works on every level, and everything seamlessly blended together, as a time/place way of life is raised before the reader's eyes, populated by a huge cast of sympathetic/realistic/recognisable characters, with the overarching political upheavals of the approach of world war providing painful poignancy to the individual strivings, without taking away from their human/emotional impact. 4.5 stars for this third book itself (rounding down to 4 for couple of minor quibbles which aren't worth mentioning), but 5 STARS FOR THE WRITING ON THE WALL/TRANSYLVANIA TRILOGY.
Abady descended the path at his own pace. The city's myriad lights glowed down in the valley and for a moment Abady found himself almost blinded by the arclights of the station at the foot of the hill. For a moment or two he paused to gaze at the beauty of the great spread of tiny lights in the dark night; and, as he stopped, he was thinking what a strange man Tamas Laczok was. he knew so much, he was filled with esoteric knowledge, he had gazed at wide horizons and not been dazzled, and he was also a man of culture and refinement. But he had used none of it: he had just let it go to waste, burying himself here in a ramshackle cottage with a little gypsy whore, and yet he showed all the signs of being a happy man.
Balint thought of poor Gazsi Kadacsay, who had killed himself in despair because he could not acquire what Count Tamas had carelessly tossed away. He wondered if Gazsi's fate would have been different if he had managed to learn all that Tamas had learned; and would Laczok be so carefree and merry if, with all his knowledge, he had not abandoned his origins and turned his back on power and worldly success? Was it some inborn wisdom that had given him the strength to throw all that away, or would he have been just as happy if fate had not made him leave his own country and go away to learn about the world elsewhere? Would he have been as jovial and contented if he had merely stayed at home, living in idleness and easy ignorance?
Was a man formed by his experience or by his natural talents? Can a man only give up calmly what he is already sure of possessing, and never what he has vainly longed to acquire? (Part II, Chapter 5)
*READ DOWNLOAD ↟ Darabokra szaggattatol ⇱ Darabokra Szaggattatol TV MovieIMDb Directed By Zoltn Czigny With Istvn Bnffy, Ildik Marosi Mail Svaradi Sprynet For Translation Dokumentumfilm Az Erdelyi Arisztokracia Szetszorattatasarol Darabokra Szaggattatol By Mikls Bnffy Darabokra Szaggattatol Book Readreviews From The World S Largest Community For Readers Abdy Nem Fogadott Szt Szerelmnek, S Nem N Slt Meg, Adri Darabokra Szaggattatol TV MovieFull Cast Darabokra Szaggattatol TV Moviecast And Crew Credits, Including Actors, Actresses, Directors, Writers AndHagyatk Darabokra Szaggattatol Az EzervesA Hagyatk A Magyar Szellemi Kulturlis Rksg Trktsn Munklkodik Leporolja A Magyar Mlt Szellemi Hagyatknak Egy Egy Darabkjrl A Modern Korokba Darabokra SzaggattatolNews IMDb Darabokra Szaggattatolon IMDb Movies, Tv, Celebrities, AndMenu Movies Release Calendar DVD Blu Ray Releases Top Rated Movies Most Popular Movies Browse Movies By Genre Top Box Office Showtimes Tickets Showtimes Tickets In Theaters Coming Soon Coming Soon Movie News India Movie Spotlight TV Shows What S On TV Streaming What S On TV Streaming Top Darabokra Szaggattatol TV MoviePlot Darabokra SzaggattatolTV Movie Plot Showing Allitems Jump To SummariesSummaries Mail Svaradi Sprynet For Translation Dokumentumfilm Az Erdelyi Arisztokracia Szetszorattatasarol SteveDarabokra Szaggattatol Alrt Bnffy MiklsDarabokra Szaggattatol Alrt Bnffy Mikls Darabokra Szaggattatol Alrt Elrhet Pldnyok Antikvr Knyv Jelenleg Nincsenek Elrhet Pldnyok El Jegyzs Ajnlja Ismer Seinek Is Sharevlemny Bnffy Mikls, Grf A Fali Rs Harmadik Szava Darabokra Szaggattatol BpRvaip Kiadi, Feliratos, Aranyozott, Egszvszon Ktsbengrf Bnffy Mikls Darabokra Szaggattatol ErdlyiDarabokra Szaggattatol Bezrs Grf Bnffy Mikls Grf Bnffy Mikls M Veinek Az Antikvarium N Kaphat Vagy El Jegyezhet Listjt Itt Tekintheti Meg Grf Bnffy Mikls Knyvek, M Vek Megvsrolhat Pldnyok Llapotfotk Close Darabokra Szaggattatol Bezrs A Bort, A Laplek S Nhny Lap Enyhn Foltos Llapot JFtpontGrf Bnffy Mikls Erdlyi Trtnet III DarabokraA Darabokra Szaggattatol Grf Bnffy Mikls Erdly Trilgijnak Harmadik, Befejez Rsze Az Apokaliptikus Ltoms Vgs Jeleneteit Ltjuk A Monarchia A Buks Kszbn Ll Bnffy Mikls Ri Tehetsgnek Jabb Bizonytkaknt Emlthetem Meg Kivteles Jellemteremt Technikjt Mikls Bnffy Wikipdia Mikls Comte Bnffy De Losoncz Losonczi Grf Bnffy Mikls En Hongrois , N LedcembreKolozsvr Et Dcd LejuinBudapest, Est Un Homme Politique Et Crivain Hongrois "They Were Divided" is the final instalment of Miklós Bánffy's immense and stylish Transylvanian Trilogy, set in the years before WWI. As with the earlier books in the series, the novel is simultaneously a love story, a family saga and an elegy to the lost world of Hungarian ruled Transylvania, a world that was obviously very dear to the author's heart.
It is difficult to describe the plot in detail without including spoilers, but in this final part the hero, Balint Abady, continues his difficult love affair with a married woman, as well as attempting, with variable success, to improve the lives of the local Romanian peasantry. Throughout the trilogy the latter are ruthlessly exploited by some particularly grasping members of the local middle classes. The issue of the relationship between the Hungarian and Romanian populations of Transylvania, very muted in the first part of the Trilogy, becomes more prominent in the second and especially the final part. Meanwhile, Bánffy continues his theme of castigating Hungary's preWWI politicians for their selfserving and inward looking behaviour, despite the mounting international crises in the leadup to the Great War. Some of the detailed descriptions of infighting within the Hungarian Parliament are a bit of a struggle to get through, but on the whole this is as entertaining a novel as its predecessors. The story ends with the outbreak of WWI, and a wave of patriotism and enthusiasm sweeping the country at the news. Of course the reader knows that the end result with be the death of millions and the dismemberment of Hungary. Our hero Balint is one of the few who greets the war with foreboding rather than enthusiasm, and his final farewells before leaving for the Front are a suitably moving end to the Trilogy. They Were Divided provides a fascinating eyewitness account of the last years leading up to WW1 from the point of view of Hungary, specifically Transylvania. There is also a fictional story about the travails of a set of aristocratic families over several generations and a love story. Some of the fictional pieces are slice of life gems that reflect both character and social mores. Others, including the love story of the main character, are less compelling. However, both as history and literature this is a unique and valuable work. Very readable and thought provoking.
It is the third volume of the Transylvanian trilogy and I intend to go back to read the first two.