Skip to content
cover image for

A tender comedy tinged with the absurdity of life, the thrill of sociability, and the imminence of death, which I guess is exactly the kind of book I like.

—Chad Harbach

A great masterpiece never before available in English, Kornél Esti is the wild final book by a Hungarian genius.

Kornél Esti

Fiction by Dezső Kosztolányi

translated from the Hungarian by Bernard Adams

Crazy, funny and gorgeously dark, Kornél Esti sets into rollicking action a series of adventures about a man and his wicked doppelgänger, who breathes every forbidden idea of his childhood into his ear, and then reappears decades later. Part Gogol, part Chekhov, and all brilliance, Kosztolányi’s final book serves up his most magical, radical, and intoxicating work. Here is a novel which inquires: What if your id (loyally keeping your name) decides to strike out on its own, cuts a disreputable swatch through the world, and then sends home to you all its unpaid bills and ruined maidens? And then: What if you and your alter ego decide to write a book together?

published January 1st, 2010
related articles