Miklós Szentkuthy: Prae (Prae Part 2)

The latest addition to my website is Miklós Szentkuthy‘s Prae (Prae Part 2). This is the second part of Szentkuthy’s monumental novel, the first part having been reviewed previously. Like the first part it is long and very complicated, with key themes – love/lust, loneliness, religion, morals and coping with life, examined in a decidedly complex way. While the early part of the novel focusses on Leatrice, whom we met in the first part, and examines her dreams, her loneliness, her relationship with her Uncle Peter and with a drug-using actress, the second part is the ruminations of a sixty-year old Anglican priest living in Exeter. He is a flawed character – drug using, unfaithful to his wife, with whom he has frequent fights and generally unhappy with his life – but, as we might expect, he ruminates on a variety of topics, including, of course, love/sex. women, loneliness, religion and morals. This work might be better known had it been written in English, French or German but, whatever the language, like Joyce and Proust, it is one of those works likely to be more talked about than read.

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