Accident, The Paperback – May 1 2011
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"A beautifully written and translated story, which brings vividly to life the intellectually and artistically bustling Romania of the 1930s."—Jewish Independent
"Mihail Sebastian's The Accident is a compelling mercurial novel."—ForeWord Review
"The Accident, translated by Stephen Henighan, would be a marvel of beauty and control under any circumstance; that it was written by a Jew in Romania in 1940 seems miraculous. . . . The crystalline note of [Sebastian's] insight, so clear in the novel and so poignantly ironic in Mihail Sebastian's life, rings out across the decades."—The Wall Street Journal
The National Post praises Mihail Sebastian's "lyricism and depth of feeling" in Biblioasis's "elegant translation" of The Accident—The National Post
From the Back Cover
In the tradition of Sandor Marai, Mihail Sebastian is a captivating Central European storyteller from the first half of the 20th century whose work is being rediscovered by new generations of readers throughout Europe, Latin American and the United States. The 2000 publication of his Journal 1935-1944: The Fascist Years introduced his writing to an English-speaking audience for the first time, garnering universal acclaim. Philip Roth wrote that Sebastian's Journal "deserves to be on the same shelf as Anne Frank's Diary and find as huge a readership."
Outside the English-speaking world, Sebastian's reputation rests on his fiction. This publication of The Accident marks the first appearance of the author's fiction in English. A love story set in the Bucharest art world of the 1930s and the Transylvanian mountains, this deeply romantic tale of two people who meet by chance has enthralled readers all over Europe. Along snowy ski trails and among a mysterious family in a mountain cabin, Paul and Nora, united by an attraction that contains elements of repulsion, find the keys to their fate.See all Product Description
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
It opens with a street accident scene that brings together the two lonely protagonists and then races on via an unusual plot and tumultuous emotional upheavals.
While the story was written back in the `30's it has such a fresh, contemporary feel to it that I involuntarily wondered where cell phones were.
Characters move through pre war Bucharest's artistic and intellectual circles but heal, strengthen and live life to its fullest while skiing in the Carpathian Mountains.
The train ride to Belgium, via Germany, gives a glimpse of the Europe's escalating, fascist terror. In stark contrast, the train ride to the slopes of Transylvania's mountains brings a joyful, contagiously enthusiastic atmosphere.
The book was first published in 1940. Recent translations became instant best sellers in Europe.
Stephen Henighan's English translation brings this gem to us; it remains to be seen how the American public will react to it. I could not put it down.
The whole "romance" angle I was less certain of. When the book ended (rather abruptly) I was left with a handful of questions: Are Paul and Nora really in love with each other? Are they going to continue their relationship after the ski trip? Was Paul really suicidal, anyway, and is he still? Yet it was nice to watch their developing romance.
I would say this book was worth reading, even if it wasn't "my kind" of story. Certainly it would interest those who want to know about everyday life in Central Europe in the inter-war period.