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By George Konrad

A strong memoir of struggle, politics, literature, and relatives existence through one in every of Europe's best intellectuals.

When George Konrád was once a toddler of 11, he, his sister, and cousins controlled to escape to Budapest from the Hungarian geographical region the day sooner than deportations swept via his domestic city. eventually, they have been the one Jewish young children of town to outlive the Holocaust.

A visitor in my very own Country remembers the lifetime of one in every of japanese Europe's such a lot entire glossy writers, starting together with his survival through the ultimate months of the warfare. Konrád captures the risks, the hopes, the betrayals and brave acts of the interval via a chain of conscientiously selected episodes that sometimes border at the surreal (as while a useless German soldier starts to talk, trying to justify his actions).

The finish of the struggle launches the younger guy on a awesome occupation in letters and politics. providing energetic descriptions of either his inner most and public lifestyles in Budapest, big apple, and Berlin, Konrád displays insightfully on his position within the Hungarian rebellion, the thought of "internal emigration"—the destiny of many writers who, like Konrád, refused to go away the japanese Bloc lower than socialism—and different complexities of ecu id. To learn A visitor in my very own Country is to event the new background of East-Central Europe from the interior.

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I had never submitted an application. When I reached the head of the line, I was referred to the registrar sitting under an oak tree. He looked at my Swarthmore transcript, and I was accepted on the spot. I stayed the year at Stanford but soon decided to go on to Berkeley. First, because my major professor (Clair Wilcox) at Swarthmore had immediately replied to my note telling him where I had ended up. I was making, he wrote, a terrible mistake; if I were foolish enough to be in California at all, I should transfer as quickly as possible to Berkeley, which was much the better university.

While he was still head of the Reading Classical School, my father met my mother, who was working as a milliner for one of the local department stores. She made fancy hats with flowers on order for local women. She would sit in a front window of Whitners on Penn Street, making these hats for customers, and people would stop and watch and some would then enter the store. Apparently she was quite expert and had traveled at least as far west as Milwaukee displaying her talents. She came from an English background (her family name was Clark).

As a young faculty member and director of a new institute beginning in 1945, I had greatly appreciated his support and the personal interest he had shown in my e¤orts. I still marvel at how e¤ective he was externally in public relations and, at the same time, internally at detailed decision-making. I have never worked with anyone who was so talented at both of these quite disparate capacities. KERR, The Gold and the Blue 6/21/01 3:59 PM Page 19 19 . A Giant Astride the University be the university, and also among longer-term legislators in Sacramento where he had, as noted above, represented the university from 1920 to 1930 before becoming president.

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