Just on its title alone many Hungarian readers in 1976 (and since) must have been puzzled by László Fábián's first short novel, an astonishingly rich growing-of-age tale, told in a persuasively poetic manner.
"If for several centuries we all have to be jointly and uniformly silent about the body, this means that we need to be silent about a number of other ramifications, too. This means we expose ourselves to some truly dangerous things."
Addressed to an imaginary aunt, these letters from the 1700s, written by a member of Prince Ferenc Rákóczi's retinue in Turkish exile, are the first example of art prose in Hungarian. – – Excerpts from a new English edition forthcoming from Corvina Press, Budapest.