The End


Translated from by

Published: August 22, 2023


ISBN: 9781953861429

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Book Description

“Nothing approximates death as closely as photography.” In a small town in Communist Hungary, András Szabad’s childhood comes to an abrupt end with his father’s return from prison and the death of his loving mother. In search of new beginnings, András moves with his father to Budapest, where he discovers a passion for photography, for uncovering the invisible through the visible, and for fixing matter and memory so as to ward them against the inevitability of time. An unorthodox first encounter brings András together with Éva, and soon they become entangled in a psychosexual relationship of consuming passion, but also of bitterness and resentment. Unspooling like a roll of film, The End captures in frames of language the faces and places of András’ memory, which together form a fever-dream collage of an artist’s psyche. With electric precision and fluid dialogue, Attila Bartis weaves a sprawling family saga with 20th-century European history and offers an unflinchingly lucid yet boundlessly compassionate account of psychological devastation under authoritarianism.

A vivid and highly personal Künstlerroman about damaged lives deeply steeped in struggle, but nevertheless still occasionally shot through with glimmers of joy. Intensely human, painfully honest, and deftly written.
Brian Evenson

Praise for Tranquility

Bartis at times puts one in mind of Joyce, at others of Kafka, at others of Roth, yet ultimately eludes all comparison by the strength of his originality.
Arturo Mantecón, ForeWord

Tranquility is a moving, emotionally complex, subtle, shocking novel.
Tom McGonigle, Los Angeles Times

Oddly beautiful and unsettling, the novel boldly illustrates the lengths people go to in securing their own private hells.
Publishers Weekly

Reading like the bastard child of Thomas Bernhard and Elfriede Jelinek, Tranquility is political and personal suffering distilled perfectly and transformed into dark, viscid beauty. It is among the most haunted, most honest, and most human novels I have ever read.
Brian Evenson

With impressive force of language, Bartis succeeds in laying bare the ambivalences of his characters, their love-hate relationships and self-destructive energies . . . The play that mother and son perform . . . is part Strindberg and part Chekhov, but mostly sheer Beckett or even pure theater of cruelty.
Richard Kämmerlings, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Bartis's synthesizing energy, the way he brings together ancient myths and ‘soc-real’ outrages, archetypal emotions with slick contemporary manipulations, transfigures reason into a waking dream (à la Péter Nádas) or nightmare.
Clara Györgyey, World Literature Today

An excerpt in LitHub

An excerpt in Hungarian Literature Online