Although he is now mostly remembered as a novelist, it is as a poet and translator of poetry that Sándor Márai first made his name in the literary world. The first translation of Márai's poems into English, entitled "The Withering World", was published in a dual-language edition by Alma Books.
This collection, the first and only edition of Márai's poems in the English language, presented in John Ridland's and Peter V. Czipott's brilliant verse translation, and with an introduction by Tibor Fischer, offers a comprehensive selection spanning the author's whole career and exemplifying his mastery of what he considered to be the highest form of literary expression.
The contributors: Born in London, John Ridland has lived in California most of his life. For over forty years, he has been a professor of English at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he contributed important work to Robert Frost scholarship and the literatures of Australia and New Zealand, as well as publishing seven books of poetry and a translation of Hungarian folk epic John the Valiant.
Born in California to Hungarian parents and a physicist by profession, Peter V. Czipott has published a number of translations from the Hungarian in literary journals the world over, including the poems of Sándor Márai, Miklós Radnóti, Sándor Reményik, György Faludy and Zoltán Zelk. In 2010, he received the Bálint Balassi Memorial Medallion for services to Hungarian culture.
Tibor Fischer was born in Stockport, brought up in South London, he was educated at Cambridge and worked as a journalist. He was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for his first novel, Under the Frog, which also won a Betty Trask Award, and he was nominated as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. Subsequent works include The Thought Gang, The Collector Collector, Don't Read this Book if You're Stupid and Voyage to the End of the Room. His latest novel, Good to Be God, is published by Alma Books.
Winner of the title of Independent Publisher of the Year – Bookseller Industry Awards 2013, Alma Books was set up in October 2005 by Alessandro Gallenzi and Elisabetta Minervini, the founders of Hesperus Press. Publishing from twenty to twenty-five titles a year, mainly in the field of contemporary literary fiction, Alma takes around half of its titles from English-language originals, while the rest are translations from other languages such as French, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese. Alma also publishes two or three non-fiction titles each year.
In the last decade, many of Márai’s prose works have been published in English with great success, including Embers, Portraits of a Marriage, Memoir of Hungary 1944-1948, The Rebels, Esther’s Inheritance and Casanova in Bolzano.
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