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Deep Sad Sorrowful again Lonely Misery of choices.Beautifully written into every crevice of a sense of abandonment and uncaring that can arise like a black fog when people of age lose their closest and have few peers of shared expression In the most active, the hope and purposes are murkier than I like to experience This author captures a sense of purposeless and joylessness quite well If it hadn t been as few pages as it was, I would not have finished it The Door was better for me, but Deep Sad Sorrowful again Lonely Misery of choices.Beautifully written into every crevice of a sense of abandonment and uncaring that can arise like a black fog when people of age lose their closest and have few peers of shared expression In the most active, the hope and purposes are murkier than I like to experience This author captures a sense of purposeless and joylessness quite well If it hadn t been as few pages as it was, I would not have finished it The Door was better for me, but I didn t enjoy that one to any great extent either NoSzabo for me Depressant This seems to be only the third of the late Magda Szab s books to appear in English translation It was published in Hungary in 1963, and like The Door, it is a story of generational differences, but this time the key relationship is between Ettie, an old country woman and her daughter Iza, a city doctor When Ettie s husband Vince dies, Iza arranges for Ettie to move from her old fashioned house in a rural town into her modern flat in the capital Pest What follows is tragic, moving and beauti This seems to be only the third of the late Magda Szab s books to appear in English translation It was published in Hungary in 1963, and like The Door, it is a story of generational differences, but this time the key relationship is between Ettie, an old country woman and her daughter Iza, a city doctor When Ettie s husband Vince dies, Iza arranges for Ettie to move from her old fashioned house in a rural town into her modern flat in the capital Pest What follows is tragic, moving and beautifully written Ettie is unable to adjust or find any purpose to her new life having spent her whole life supporting a husband with physical work, she finds herself redundant in Iza s tightly controlled world, and seems to upset Iza with everything she tries to do The central theme is that love alone does not prevent people, even close family, from hurting one another deeply and failing to comprehend one another s needs and aspirations Another theme is the contrast between the old fashioned rural Hungary and the modern city, there is also quite a lot of history and there is a subplot involving Iza s ex husband Antal, who was Vince s doctor and has bought and moved into the old couple s house This is a melancholy book, but a hauntingly memorable and deeply moving one, and if anything else Szab wrote is as good as this and The Door, their translation into English is long overdue This is the third piece of fiction I have read by Magda Szabo She is amazing Five stars I will regret when I have run out of books by her to read I have read The Door 1987 and Abigail 1970, tr 2019, issued by NYRB 2020 Loved both of them Iza s Ballad was written in 1963 and translated by George Szirtes in 2014 I believe the publication date for the NYRB edition was 2016 This edition has a nice introduction by the translator.I had started this on a Thursday and had read about 1 This is the third piece of fiction I have read by Magda Szabo She is amazing Five stars I will regret when I have run out of books by her to read I have read The Door 1987 and Abigail 1970, tr 2019, issued by NYRB 2020 Loved both of them Iza s Ballad was written in 1963 and translated by George Szirtes in 2014 I believe the publication date for the NYRB edition was 2016 This edition has a nice introduction by the translator.I had started this on a Thursday and had read about 100 pages, and figured yesterday I would read another 100 pages and finish up today Not to be I could not stop last night I had to find out what words Vince, Iza s father, had spoken on his deathbed to Lidia, a nurse in the hospital Because I thought it would tie up some important loose ends and they did But I m not going to tell you Iza was the daughter of Vince and Ettie Vince and Ettie s first born, Endrus, had died as a young boy The setting is Hungary in the early 1960s Iza is a successful physician, divorced 7 years ago, from Antal they had been married apparently happily for 4 years They used to live in the small home of her mother and father Why Antal divorced Iza is a mystery at the outset of the book, and initially doesn t seem important but then as one reads on it does Iza now has a boyfriend, Domokos When Vince, Iza s father dies, she takes Ettie, her mother to lza to Budapest to live with her Iza has a maid, Terez And that covers the main protagonists of the novel.I took 1 pages of notes as I was reading along I really hate to go into anydetail about this book It was just wonderful to read this book, without anyknowledge than what was given on the back of the book, and I imagine this website page for Iza s Ballad has a brief synopsis To explain who Iza is, her personality, and who her mother is, her personality, who Antal is I think there was a reason why I finished this book in two sittings, and it was the fact that I learned about these characters only from what Szabo and the translator Szirtes told me And I wanted to learnand , and hence why I couldn t put the book down yesterday Maybe just a couple of observations This book centered on the relationship between Iza and those around her the other protagonists , and chiefly her mother It is interesting how the mother is referred to in the novel by Szabo She is referred to as the old woman I would have to guess because that is what Ettie felt like throughout much of the novel She is sometimes referred to as Ettie and only once as far as I can tell in the book by her full first name Etel What a wonderful writer Szabo is This was a 328 page book With most books of this length I could say that at some times the book might have lagged in some parts Not this book Here is one snippet my note was simply so sad and this is what Szabo wrote when the old woman is looking at the gravestone she had carved for her husband Iza Iza again The comfortless truth of her words Iza with her cigarette as she waved her hands about in the dusk Forget the headstone, mama, just get the grave dug and forget memorial stones What do you want one for A wooden memorial islike him, less loud,modest But the old woman wanted to do something special for Vince and had spent a fortune on the black marble she was now sadly contemplating When she was a young girl she had had angels carved for Endrus s headstone, light and charming figures, and for years and for decades after she felt they were like playmates to this tiny boy At night when the body was not subject to the normal laws of decay, she imagined the stone angels playing with Endrus, all flying together Now that she was seventy six, looking at the new headstone, she knew the dead really die and there was nothing you could give them by way of commiseration, no sadness, no love Reviews Jim Don t read this until after you read the novel too many spoilers Jim Don t read this until after you read the novel too many spoilers Exquisite Deeply lonely and hit me hard Too close to home. Extremely emotional read for me Iza s Ballad is the only other novel by Hungarian novelist, Magda Szab , that has been translated into English As in The Door, Szab explores the spaces between people as much as their need for closeness In both, she communicates the destructive potential of love with startling lucidity In this novel, Szab sensitively describes the complex relationship between a mother and daughter.Iza is a respected doctor in Pest, dedicated to her vocation, and deeply loved by her parents who are proud of Iza s Ballad is the only other novel by Hungarian novelist, Magda Szab , that has been translated into English As in The Door, Szab explores the spaces between people as much as their need for closeness In both, she communicates the destructive potential of love with startling lucidity In this novel, Szab sensitively describes the complex relationship between a mother and daughter.Iza is a respected doctor in Pest, dedicated to her vocation, and deeply loved by her parents who are proud of but also cowered by her brilliance and independence She is married to a fellow doctor, Antal, but he soon divorced her for reasons that are gradually unraveled When her magistrate father, Vince, died, Iza brings her 76 year old mother, Ettie, to live with her in the city Although Iza has the best of intentions, Ettis sorely misses her life in the country and has tremendous difficulty adjusting to life in a modern city To her Every flight was a form of blasphemy, unnatural, terrifying She refuses to use even a bread toaster Ettie is rarely called by her name in the novel She is referred to as the old woman ostensibly to underline the poor fit between her frugal way of life and that of her pragmatic daughter Living under the same roof, they try to accommodate each other but the distance between them keeps widening to an alarming and irredeemable degree The strength of this story lies in Szab s ability to engage the reader s sympathies toward both women I felt sorry for the mother her sense of dislocation, grief over her loss of a spouse and the simple life she knew, desire for her daughter s presence, and fear of being a burden At the same time, I understood Iza s need for her own space, the melancholy freedom of being alone , and her struggle to spend time with her mother given the challenges of her job Iza s guilt is understandable, but so is Ettie s loneliness On a personal level, I have found this novel difficult to read There is an intensity between the mother daughter relationship that is both familiar and alienating To me, what is most unsettling is the revelation that one can do what is right and still get it wrong Solicitude borne of duty and love may not bring people closer to those they love I have now read two of Szab s novels They share that finely tuned sensibility that sifts the dross from the precious that resides in the best of us I prefer The Door but Iza s Ballad is well worth reading too An old man dies and his widow goes to live with their only child, a daughter living far away in the capital The old lady feels like a fish out of water in the metropolis in some ways she feels like she has regressed, from being in control of her life to being dependent She feelsandlike a burden to her cosmopolitan doctor daughter.This is a very rich and multi layered book, highlighting with laser focus the bonds that bind, the petty irritations at those close to us and the deep s An old man dies and his widow goes to live with their only child, a daughter living far away in the capital The old lady feels like a fish out of water in the metropolis in some ways she feels like she has regressed, from being in control of her life to being dependent She feelsandlike a burden to her cosmopolitan doctor daughter.This is a very rich and multi layered book, highlighting with laser focus the bonds that bind, the petty irritations at those close to us and the deep seam of belonging to place and kin It sets out how one persons intended kindness can in reality be an imposition on the recipient, how helping can be seen as meddling or interfering, and how we can never really understand even those we love In that sense we are all totally alone.Sad and deep, this is a powerful book Magda Szabo is one of the rare writers who can keep a reader glued to a 330 page novel about he most banal people you can imagine who are just dealing with daily life in a small Hungarian town A masterpiece My thanks to the translator. It is a wonderful thing to discover, in my dotage, a writer I previously didn t know It s always been that way, of course Salinger at 15 Steinbeck at 16 Kafka, Hesse, Solzhenitsyn, when it mattered most Murakami and Mitchell, when it didn t matter at all Much later Colum McCann Vargas Llosa and Marias Bolano and Gass In their own way, Barnes and Trevor.Writers, who, once you read them, you have to read every word.I was 30 pages into Magda Szab s The Door when I ordered `DOWNLOAD EPUB ↵ La ballata di Iza ↝ Alla morte del marito Vince, un vecchio magistrato, Etelka accetta la proposta della figlia di lasciare la cittadina di provincia dove ha trascorso gran parte della vita e di trasferirsi a BudapestIza, una dottoressa molto attiva e stimata da pazienti e colleghi, organizza la vita della madre in ogni dettaglio, eliminando qualsiasi traccia del passato Poco alla volta l anziana donna si ritrova come pietrificata in una sorta di non esistenza, sino a quando non decide di tornare nella cittadina per assistere alla posa di una lapide sulla tomba del maritoScritto nei primi anni Sessanta, La ballata di Iza ha alcuni punti di contatto con La porta, il romanzo pi noto di Magda Szab il complesso rapporto fra due donne, la generale incapacit umana di comprendersi e di comunicare, con la storia dell Ungheria sullo sfondo Il romanzo conferma cos la straordinaria bravura della scrittrice, capace di narrare l insopportabile solitudine di Etelka, il suo lento rinchiudersi e spegnersi, l incapacit di Iza di immedesimarsi nella madre, con una scrittura lieve ma allo stesso tempo precisa e implacabile, alla quale difficile sottrarsi