I want to express a kind of apology and explanation for a delay in my first review. I’m revisiting Sándor Márai A zendülők (The Rebels) because it’s very difficult to read and not because it’s an English translation.
For me, it’s a very good and bad time to read this novel. It is difficult for me to leave out my personal feelings and experience right now even though one shouldn’t make such comparisons. It’s good to relate to a book, even if you are relating to a much milder degree.
To begin, I last read this book in my old apartment on Villányi út (Móricz Zsigmond Körtér tram stop…. Buda side 😉 on the fourth floor. The building was completed in 1910. My room was renovated sometime in the 1950s (I had a Soviet stove and refridgerator.) The sun streamed in through one large three-part window and the lace curtains blew in the wind of that unusually cool summer as I read lying on my old bed.
I guess all the folk stories didn’t convince me that having a lot of opportunities might not make you as happy as you imagined and that making the best out of situations can be better sometimes than a great situation.
This week, in an unfamiliar city, knowing no one, I started reading this same novel. My best friends are in various parts of the world. The time we spent together feels like a dream, the kind of dream that nevers happens again, no matter how much you hope it will. I miss them all dearly. I am incredibly homesick, yet I feel like I cannot ever go back to the same home I knew. Let’s just say, these are also very important themes in the novels. Although I’ve never experienced the anxiety of knowing you would be leaving for a seemingly unending bloody war, in my own small way I’m deeply effected by this book, even more so now.