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Following the luck of Miklos Banffy's highly-praised Transylvanian Trilogy, winner of the Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2002, Arcadia are thrilled to announce the ebook of Miklos Banffy's memoirs. The a hundred year-old nation of Hungary, which shaped the key a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire till the final Habsburg fled in 1918, was once eventually dismembered by means of the Western Allies by means of the phrases of the peace treaties which the 1st global warfare. Phoenix-like the Hungarian humans survived the horrors of the struggle, the disgruntlement of the 1st socialist republic, the disillusion of the short yet terrifying communist rule of Bela Kun, and the bitterness of seeing their cherished nation dismembered via the Treaty of Trianon. this can be the area that Miklos Banffy describes within the Phoenix Land.

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I discovered myself in entrance of the Hofburg, and there one other shock awaited me. the nice doorways with the dome above, which led from the Kohlmarkt to the Maria Theresia statue, have been closed. just a tiny door on the part used to be left open, and in it stood an armed soldier. different armed guards have been published all around the complete palace complicated, together with the 2 nice museums. They have been all armed to teeth, with hand grenades putting from their belts and weapons on their shoulders as though they anticipated the enemy at any second. I requested approximately this and used to be instructed few hundred officials, in their personal loose will and dressed as universal squaddies, had occupied the palace and the museums and in uninterrupted shifts, guarded where so strictly that nobody was once allowed in or out. Deeply unswerving, even with all that have been taking place within the final weeks33, they felt it their responsibility to protect what they thought of imperial estate. There, correct within the centre of the town, the Hofburg used to be like a warship on my own at sea, hopelessly combating opposed to a raging hurricane and but, manned via a faithful team nonetheless trustworthy to their responsibility, nonetheless scuffling with on although the chief to whom they owed that responsibility had deserted them. The sight of those males jogged my memory of the tale of the trustworthy hound that guarded his master’s grave until eventually he died himself. yet the following in Vienna the tomb used to be empty for the grasp had lengthy due to the fact fled to Eckartsau, doubtless he have been given no selection, and so the steadfastness of these guards used to be in useless. all of the similar it was once attractive to work out and touching. It used to be the final time that there has been to be obvious the genuine spirit of Mannestreue, that ray of ethical sunshine comparable to were sung within the Nibelugenlied34. *** figuring out that evaluation of the funds of the joint Austrian and Hungarian international places of work were given to a guy I had recognized good ever on the grounds that we had numerous instances served jointly en poste in Germany and with whom I had remained sturdy acquaintances, I went to determine him within the well-known development at the Ballplatz. while the govt. had collapsed, my outdated good friend had already reached the senior rank of councillor, maybe even with the identify of ambassador. Now he were entrusted through the Austrian govt – and likewise very likely by means of that of Hungary too – with the duty of bringing order to the department’s advanced monetary and body of workers difficulties. The aged porter on responsibility on the gigantic outdated doorway of the Ballplatz construction appeared extremely joyful to determine me. This, I fancy, used to be no longer simply because he knew me yet simply because he now had so few viewers and was once longing to have an individual to announce. He right now confirmed me up the massive staircase which were fixed 100 years earlier than in the course of the Congress of Vienna35 by means of all these kings and princes massive or small who have been longing for Metternich to revive to them the lands that they had as soon as governed. Upstairs i used to be greeted by way of an reliable with obsequious politeness and a second or later i discovered myself in that fab writing-room from which the far-flung Habsburg Empire have been managed for 2 centuries.

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