Miklós Szentkuthy: Europa Minor

The latest addition to my website is Miklós Szentkuthy‘s Europa Minor, the fourth book in Szentkuthy’s Saint Orpheus’s Breviary series. This is the last of the series translated into French, though it is expected that this and further ones will appear in English from Contra Mundum Press. In this novel, Szentkuthy turns his attention to Asia, with the title a somewhat mocking reference to the European use of Asia Minor for the Anatolian plateau. We jump around from Philip II of Spain, Queen Mary of England (who was married to Philip) and Queen Elizabeth I of England (who reads The Tale of the Genji, nearly three hundred years before it appeared in English), before moving on to strange Persian folk-tales, invented by Szentkuthy, the Mogul Empire and Emperor Akbar in particular and Genghis Khan before returning to Queens Mary and Elizabeth. We even get an appearance from a couple of Americans: Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck, of all people. It is glorious fun, totally anarchic and it all goes to show that, well, the Asians are superior to the Europeans in many ways.

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