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Пътуване около моя череп

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  931 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Невероятен и смел репортаж на живо за дръзка мозъчна операция, поднесен ни с много ирония и саркастичен хумор. Безподобната история на един сполетян от мозъчен тумор унгарски хуморист, чудодейно оцелял благодарения на жизнения си характер и артистичен плам!
И сега става нещо необичайно. Мисля, че само аз с развалените си очи забелязвам, че професорът стиска устни. Ням
Paperback, 253 pages
Published 2007 by Ерго (first published 1936)
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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Who did the photo editing for this particular New York Review Book? My God, it's dreadful, and by far the most off-putting aspect of the book. The book itself is a fascinating autobiographical account by a well-known member of Hungary's pre-WW II literati who discovers that he has a brain tumor. The text itself is an interesting blend of travel writing, medical memoir, cultural observation, and philosophical inquiry. Karinthy is interested in the effect of his tumor on everything, not just himse ...more
I'll first list some interesting things I've learned about Karinthy:
--He was the first to posit the idea that any two people on earth are joined by six degrees of separation, an idea that seems almost ludicrous before the computer age.
--The cafe in which he performed most of his writing, including Journey, is called the Central Cafe, and still functions as it always has. I'm making a point to visit it on our trip to Budapest.
--In Journey, Karinthy makes a seemingly off-hand allusion
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
People interested in medicine and the history of medicine will enjoy this memoir by a middle-aged man who had a benign brain tumor removed in 1936. Karinthy, a Hungarian writer and journalist, was a bit of a celebrity in his native country and it was thanks to his social connections that he was able to be operated on by one of the best brain surgeons in the world. But the operation and Karinthy's recovery are only a small part of the book; he also covers in detail the months leading up to the op ...more
Sam Bissell
Mar 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember what drew me to this book because, ordinarily, I wouldn't have bought it, so it must have been a referral from looking up another book. Having finished it at all is a testament to it's being a great book despite the odd title. I believe I chose it because the spiel sounded interesting: "he was disturbed by the roaring—so loud as to drown out all other noises—of a passing train. Soon it was gone, only to be succeeded by another. And another. Strange, Karinthy thought, it had been ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: put-it-aside
So... This one goes back to the bookshelf for a while. I hope to re-read it, or actually, read it in a bit.
It's not bad. It's quite interesting actually.
But this time it just didn't strike the right cord with me, so I abandoned it after 60-odd pages.
Aug 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In recognition of its thoroughness and accuracy, book store franchises shelve this memoir in the medical section, though it reads like literature. Frigyes Karinthy was a well known and much respected writer and humorist in Budapest in the 1930s when he began to suffer from intensifying auditory hallucinations. These disturbances initiate his progression through the medical establishments of Budapest, Vienna and Stockholm. In parallel, his symptoms accumulate, prompt various misdiagnoses (such as ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
4 or 5 stars? I am not sure yet.

This was a very powerful read. True to its title, it was a journey inside a skull and mind. Having lost a relative from brain cancer, I found this quite difficult to read at some points. Apart from that it was really interesting. The writing style was excellent.

In the end I felt that I truly knew this person. I love it when a book has this effect on me. It makes a connection, a real bond.
Eclectic Indulgence
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
This book is more like a friend to me than a book. I have cried and laughed. It has taught me much and served as an arm around my neck, as my own shipwrecked head searches around for a new beginning.
In his introduction to Karinthy's work, Oliver Sacks states that this is "the first autobiographical description of a journey inside the brain" - and while there are surely qualifiers to attach (in Western literature; in Western form) Karinthy's work does stand as a remarkable look at neurological illness, brain surgery, and treatment in early twentieth century Europe. The book is a muddle of styles - flamboyant description; stripped-bare medical detail; camp gossip - but within that muddle lies ...more
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Journey Round My Skull by distinguished Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy is an extraordinary non-fiction account of the author's diagnosis, treatment, and recovery from a brain tumor in 1936. Karinthy begins his book with the experience of his first symptom. As he sits in a cafe in Budapest contemplating the next literary work to produce, he hears the roaring of a train. He is surprised; when did the last trains in the city disappear? When he looks up and sees that no one else seems to have heard ...more
Michelle Morgan
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thoroughly fascinating read.
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mysteriously compelling, perhaps because so open and honest? Amazing window onto the world (especially medical) of the 1930s...
If you don’t already know what a trephine is, this book will give you a memorable encounter with one. (Although any encounter with one promises to be memorable, as it is a rather primitive-looking surgical instrument with a single disagreeable purpose: to bore a circular hole through one’s skull.) And if you don’t have a brain tumor (most of you, I hope), this book will give you an idea of what it might be like. At first, there is the suspicion that something is wrong, but frighteningly soon the ...more
Yuri Faenza
The Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy tells the story of his brain tumour, from the first symptoms to the successful surgical operation that led to its removal. The author reconstructs the events using his annotations from the period, enriching them with his humoristic style and the cheerfulness of someone who was able to survive such a terrible illness.

Everything starts with the annoying noise of some trains, that sounded real but were in fact only in the author's head. It continues with small
May 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hongaren
Karinthy goes to the doctor and gets surgery on his brain tumor. In 2015, this would make an super-extraordinary writer to make this fact into an exciting novel. In Karinthy's time, brain surgery was almost unheard of, you had to travel by train through Nazi Germany to reach the Swedish doctor who could perform such an operation, and you had to stumble upon the Hungarian doctors who even knew of such a thing as brain surgery and diagnose you with it.
Karinthy describes this process, from th
Mar 31, 2008 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
While sitting in a Budapest café, writer Frigyes Karinthy (1887–1938) suddenly heard the roaring of a train, without there being a train station nearby. The roaring noise he heard over and over again turned out to be an auditory hallucination, and the writer’s calvary began.

Even though he fainted on several occasions and his eyesight deteriorated severely, first neither he nor his doctors suspected serious illness. But as his symptoms became more and more severe, he arrived at the conclus
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting first-hand perspective read from someone who survived early modern brain surgery. karinthy's story traces his early symptoms through to the actual surgery. his metaphors and descriptions of the hallucinations, pains and general experiences are enlightening and relevant. he considers the scientific without getting away from the human. it bogs a bit in the middle when he's finally worried some about the surgery, but otherwise the flow is good and the story + his thought processes ...more
Jun 14, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book by a Hungarian author describing the onset of a brain tumor in Budapest in the 1930s, and how his case came to be properly diagnosed after visiting many physicians there and in Vienna. Finally, when the diagnosis of a tumor in the cerebellum is made, he is sent to Dr. Olivecrona in Stockholm, Sweden, to actually perform the surgery. He recovered completely -- a real raity in those days -- only to die two years later of a stroke while stooping down to tie his shoelaces.

Aug 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A neat book--Karinthy was a Hungarian humorist/journalist/etc., so the book about his brain tumor and operation reads a little like James Thurber. A closer comparison might be Joseph Heller/Speed Vogel's "No Laughing Matter," but with fantasy sequences and creative descriptions, this is a much more interesting book (though I wouldn't call it funny--the humor is dated and James Thurber is better). The later chapters--when he gets a little less goofy and a little more scared--are actually better, ...more
Karinthy was a journalist/essayist, and this book does a good job of getting at the experience of what it's like to have a brain tumor, as well as the denial, misdiagnosis, fear, and lack of human concern that individuals with a serious illness face. The author is not a great stylist, and seems more intent on amusing himself than addressing his emotions directly; as such, this account is not compelling, but it's still worth a look.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On Crusoe's island (...) I see now that there is little point in crying out against injustice of man or the cruelty of fate, for, if my friend betrays and my brother in arms deceive me, a foreigner whom I never knew comes forward and saves my life.
May 20, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very interesting. It was a first hand account of a brain tumor surgery. It can be very wordy at some times. I would recommend this book to someone that doesn't know what book to read next.
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is great, the author writes about his experience living through (though eventually dying from) a brain tumor. Amazing descriptions of brain surgery while conscious. Read this one while my dog was dying of a brain tumor, sad, strange...
Valerie Osbourn
This book was good, in a medical way. Maybe it was the translation but the writing was at once dry and flowery. I could have skipped the first 3/4 of the book, as it did not add much. The operation itself, as told from the patient was fascinating. Apart from that it was a bit...bland.
Jan 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, classics
Karinthy, always.

Too bad the world won't know his genious for the lack of translations and the impossible task of translating the full depth of his writing.

He is Vonegut and Huxley and Defoe and so much more than all of them combined.
Mona Harrison
Intriguing, insightful, ultimately unsettling.
Maree Kimberley
May 09, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
incredible to read a book about a person's experience of a brain tumour, written back in the 1930s almost 30 years before the word "neuroscience" was first used.
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book, at moments a bit hard to follow author's train of thought. Took me a while to read it, but was well worth the effort.
Sep 20, 2010 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
do ILL
Mar 03, 2008 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Laura, Jason
Added to list after reading Oliver Sacks' article in the NY Review of Books.
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NYRB Classics: A Journey Round My Skull, by Frigyes Karinthy 1 9 Oct 23, 2013 02:39PM  

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Frigyes Karinthy (25 June 1887 in Budapest – 29 August 1938 in Siófok) was a Hungarian author, playwright, poet, journalist, and translator. He was the first proponent of the six degrees of separation concept, in his 1929 short story, Chains (Láncszemek). Karinthy remains one of the most popular Hungarian writers. He was the father of poet Gábor Karinthy and writer Ferenc Karinthy.
Among the
“My head ached. I was thinking of the pain, and wondering how it was possible for physical agony to be so intense. I had never imagined that such a torture could be endured. Yet here was I, both conscious and able to think clearly. And not only to think, but to observe the process and make calculations about it. The steel circle round my skull was closing in with faint cracking noises. How much farther could it shrink? I counted the cracking sounds. Since I took the triple dose of pain-killer, there had been two more. …I took out my watch and laid it on the table.

“Give me morphia,” I said in a calm, hostile, icy tone.

“You mustn’t take morphia! You know perfectly well. The very idea! And what are you doing with that watch?”

“You will give me morphia within three minutes.”

They looked me uneasily up and down. No one moved. Three minutes went by. Then ten more. I slipped the watch calmly into my pocket and rose unsteadily to my feet.

“Then take me to the Fiakker Bar. They say it’s a good show, and to-night I want to enjoy myself.”

The others jumped up with a feeling of relief.

I never confessed the secret to anyone, either then or afterwards. I had made up my mind at the end of those three minutes — for the first and last time in my life — that if my headache had not stopped within the next ten I should throw myself under the nearest tram.

It never came out whether I should have kept to my resolve, for the pain left with the suddenness of lighting.”
“Délután kisüt a nap. Valami olyan jóleső, békés nyugalom fog el. Keresem az okát. Mi lehet az? Talán mert nem kell dolgoznom, ürügyem van henyélni? Nem, ez túlságosan felületes magyarázat. Valami van a hangulatomban, amit soha nem éreztem. Először élvezem a teljes felelőtlenség boldogító állapotát. Hogy magyarázzam a normális, rendes embereknek? Értsétek meg, az ilyen görcsös lélek, amilyen az enyém, állandóan és szüntelenül abban a feszültségben szorong, amibe ti, boldogok, csak egyszer-kétszer kerültök egy élet folyamán: az élet minden pillanatában kénytelen vagyok az egész életemre gondolni. Nekem minden percem olyan, mint nektek, ha a hatodik emeletről zuhantok alá, vagy elkapott a forgószél – ostoba érzékenység, hogy lehetne kigyógyulni belőle? Vagy talán csak túlzott aggodalmaskodás, gyerekkorból megmaradt, nádpálcától, büntetéstől való félelem? Hogy mondja Shakespeare: A gyáva ezerszer hal meg, a bátor csak egyszer.” 0 likes
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