Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948” as Want to Read:
Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  179 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
The novel Embers is selling in tens of thousand in a number of countries. The memoir of its author depicts Hungary between 1944 and 1948.
Paperback, 426 pages
Published September 1st 2002 by Central European University Press (first published 1971)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Paul Haspel
Oct 28, 2011 Paul Haspel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hungary
Sándor Márai’s Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948 captures life in Hungary during one of the most turbulent times in Hungary’s history. Márai, a prolific novelist who critiqued in his novels the smugness and intellectual aridity he saw in the Hungarian middle class, describes well in this book what he saw unfolding in Budapest as his city and country moved from the horrors of the Second World War to Soviet occupation and the imposition of a communist regime controlled from Moscow. The book begins in M ...more
Pensaba que sabía, más o menos, lo que era el comunismo. Sándor Márai explica detalladamente lo que es: una debacle espiritual. la pérdida de la decencia, de la búsqueda de la excelencia, de la libertad. Es la muerte, terrorífica, sufriente, del humanismo, de lo humano, de lo que hace al hombre lo que es, de eso que lo distingue de las bestias. Lo humano que se ha dado de manera más perfecta en Occidente, en Europa. Solo allí el régimen se puso al servicio del individuo, y no al revés, como pasa ...more
Jan 15, 2008 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in Hungarian. Recollections of life in Hungary from late 1944 to 1948, during the Russian liberation and the subsequent communist takeover of the country. He delves into the role and fate of Hungarian writers in particular, and his own experiences and ultimate decision to leave the country. A fairly heavy and introspective book with some sharp commentary on the absurdity of life under the communists. One funny chapter is about his childhood memories of his grandmother. The book was a ...more
Meryl Natchez
Oct 10, 2011 Meryl Natchez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How rare to read a chronicle of the invasion of a country that is so even-handed and insightful. Marai Sandor kept diaries during the invasion of Hungary, first by the Germans, then by the Russians. His book covers the siege of Budapest, and the eventual Communist takeover of the Hungarian government and his subsequent exile. A fascinating and informative read for anyone interested in this period. (And I hardly ever read non-fiction!)
Michael Van Campenhout
As an Hungarian himself it must have been difficult to keep an objective opinion in writing this autobiography, something he succeeds well enough. This writer is one of the most important persons in 20th century since he is not only giving his opinion about the history of his own country, but also a strong believe in a stronger Europe that looks for its existence after WWII.
Despina Cook
Nov 15, 2016 Ivan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Il est pour moi difficile de rédiger une critique, qui serait d'emblée limitée, car ce livre est un témoignage précieux - peu de personnes ont écris sur la période de la fin de la guerre en Europe centrale, encore moins - ont été suffisamment éloquents pour être remarqués et moins encore - traduits pour être appréciés par les lecteur du monde et non seulement par des indigènes exilés venant de ces pays.

L'incompréhension mutuel des cultures et le snobisme donne un revers plutôt comique et léger
Jan 08, 2017 Janek rated it it was amazing
deeply moving.
Bözsi Claussen
Jan 27, 2013 Bözsi Claussen rated it it was amazing
I only just finished this book today, and think it would be of tremendous interest to anyone, such as the members of my family, who knew Father and is interested in hearing another thinker-writer's description and memories of essentially the same period that my parents experienced and what led them, too, eventually to leave Hungary. I was impressed in the way Márai wrote about the period, but also the way he foregrounds how much the Hungarian language IS what both unites Hungarians with Hungaria ...more
Elkin Ortega
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 03, 2011 Rob rated it liked it
Shelves: hungary
Very telling account of Marai's life just prior to the "liberation" of Hungary from German control and the ensuing Russian occupation. From one bad circumstance to another.

I have read a handful of Marai's novels. This 4 year biography is very different than his books yet allows you to see the man is extremely intelligent and explains some of the pure genius in his other novels (Embers is my favorite).

His description of the first several encounters with Russian soldiers is almost surreal. I canno
Adrian Buck
Marai asks himself what it means to be a writer in three parts. In the first, what value the Soviet Union assigns to the role of the writer. In the second, what it meant to be a writer in Horty's Hungary. And the last whether it would be worthwhile to be a writer in a Hungary that is occupied by the Soviet Union. The dramatic events of 1944-1948 and the broader political implications of occupation form the background to these questions. This is very self-absorbed memoir, but I find Marai such a ...more
Mar 14, 2015 Meurs rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un témoignage sur le basculement de Budapest de la guerre au communisme. Permet d'approcher la culture hongroise, de comprendre l'importance de la langue ( pas assez de mots en hongrois pour traduire, d.ou le statut des traducteurs la bas et une identité fondée sur cette rareté - peut-être à rapprocher du droit de vote donné aux hongrois vivant à l'étranger, même s'ils sont naturalisés) souffrance de la guerre, pillage soviétique, l.autriche qui échappe aux russes et la Hongrie encore sacrifiée. ...more
David Koblos
Dec 18, 2012 David Koblos rated it liked it
Shelves: history
His memoirs from his first encounter with a Russian soldier at the end of the war, until his sad and reluctant departure from Hungary, as the result of the unbearable conditions under the communist regime. Certain parts are lively and exciting to read. Other parts are really just interesting for those who know more about Hungarian literature. More than me, at least.
Oct 01, 2011 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Diepzinnig boek over hoe de schrijver Marai bij de keuze komt, om zijn geboorteland te verlaten en nooit meer terug te keren. In de overpeinzingen en gedachten lees en leef je mee met de verandering van Hongarije naar een communistische satelietstaat van de Sovjet Unie na 1945.
Apr 05, 2009 Henry rated it really liked it
At once heart-rending in its description of Hungary 1944-1948 and hilarious in the author's narcissism amid the horror.
Broch rated it really liked it
Aug 22, 2011
Christian rated it liked it
Jan 08, 2008
Matthew rated it it was amazing
Dec 17, 2016
That_girl rated it liked it
Jan 25, 2016
Yufei rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2012
Alfredo Gtz
Alfredo Gtz rated it it was amazing
Jul 01, 2016
James rated it liked it
Jan 15, 2011
Mariano rated it it was ok
Feb 16, 2015
Zoe rated it liked it
Mar 13, 2011
Radko Obratko
Radko Obratko rated it it was amazing
Jun 10, 2016
Judith rated it liked it
Feb 16, 2008
Dušan Šuhajda
Dušan Šuhajda rated it really liked it
May 24, 2014
Daria Ravlic
Daria Ravlic rated it liked it
Jun 01, 2015
Fekete Macska
Fekete Macska rated it liked it
Aug 04, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Niki: The Story of a Dog
  • My Happy Days In Hell
  • Budapest 1900: A Historical Portrait of a City and Its Culture
  • A Journey Round My Skull
  • They Were Counted
  • A Book of Memories
  • Sunflower
  • The Burning of the World: A Memoir of 1914
  • Desert War: The North African Campaign 1940-43
  • Journey by Moonlight
  • My Century
  • Tranquility
  • Fiasco
  • Twelve Days: The Story of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution
  • Hannah Senesh, Her Life and Diary
  • Under a Red Sky: Memoir of a Childhood in Communist Romania
  • Under a Cruel Star: A Life in Prague, 1941-1968
  • Skylark
Sándor Márai (originally Sándor Károly Henrik Grosschmied de Mára) was a Hungarian writer and journalist.
He was born in the city of Kassa in Austria-Hungary (now Košice in Slovakia) to an old family of Saxon origin who had mixed with magyars through the centuries. Through his father he was a relative of the Ország-family. In his early years, Márai travelled to and lived in Frankfurt, Berlin, and P
More about Sándor Márai...

Share This Book

“así se abalanzó la Unión Soviética sobre los bienes de los países vencidos; y así se abalanzaría más tarde sobre la miseria del Lejano Oriente, para conseguir algún beneficio, y si otra cosa no, por lo menos mano de obra para trabajos forzados; y del mismo modo se abalanzará algún día sobre Europa Occidental, de existir la posibilidad, cuando los intelectuales occidentales hayan preparado el camino, en su afán de «apertura», «diálogo» y «coexistencia».” 2 likes
“Goethe (I don’t know why, but Goethe somehow always speaks up in my critical moments) said: “Man must experience his own destiny” - not a factual destiny forced on him by History, but the nonrecurrent, his very own. Perhaps this was possible a hundred years ago. At the time of the French Revolution and also of the Napoleonic Wars, an individual still had the means of turning against the collective destiny adroitly, cunningly. He could hide or build emergency dams hastily in his soul. And a hundred years ago when someone mounted the scaffold or fell on the battlefield, he knew that what was then being consummated personally was his destiny. But today? There is no longer a “personal destiny;” there are only statistical probabilities. One cannot feel it to be personal destiny when an atom bomb explodes or when a dictatorship enunciates an outmoded, stupid judgment on a society. This is why I must go somewhere from this place where, perhaps, it will be possible for me to live my own destiny for a time. Because here I have already become only a piece of data in a category.” 1 likes
More quotes…