The City Builder
An architect in an unnamed city considers his life, his work, and the many-layered history of the city he and his familyarchitects allhave contributed to building. In the days after World War IIduring which American bombers destroyed much of what his father builthe becomes a Stalinist planner and realizes that the power of the nobility, the wealthy and the bourgeois has been usurped by technocrats. Vanished by those technocrats into the communist underworld of torture and imprisonment, he is eventually released into a post-Stalinist world and becomes the chief builder in a provincial town. Told with wit and elegance by one of Hungary's greatest novelists, The City Builder is one of the most important and impassioned books about the indignities of living inand contributing toa cruelly depersonalized society.
"Konrd is an extraordinary writer, possessedin Ivan Sanders's excellent translation--of an acrid eloquence that can rise to a pitch of ecstasy. Surreal juxtapositions and lightning shifts of thought show the hand of a highly sophisticated artist."--Newsweek
"Striking . . . Konrd's metaphors can go off like depth charges."--Time
"The City Builder is another bravura performance . . . Konrd has evidently learned a great deal from Joyce and the French nouveau roman."--Nation
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