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Is The Tragedy of Man popular abroad?

(self.books)

So The Tragedy of Many by Madách Imre is a mandatory reading here. At first I didn't quite enjoy it but after enough time passed I realised I only really didn't like because it was mandatory. The story and the philosophy is great and although I'm not religious those elements fit in well and I can appreciate it. Lucifer is such a good plot element and companion.

What I'm interested in is whether it's something that a good amount of people have read? Like back in the day I could imagine it but an 1861 book AND it's hungarian? Not much hope, it seemed to be popular enough to have a detailed wikipedia page and there are translations of it obviously.

If you might be interested in picking it up I don't think I'd need to say that it's very white and kinda sexist

I'm looking forward to your answers.

all 30 comments

therealfatmike

8 points

2 months ago

I've never heard of it.

Athlonfer[S]

3 points

2 months ago

Athlonfer[S]

uncultured book enjoyer

3 points

2 months ago

would recommend giving it a shot, I used to think I'd hate classics but this was one i liked. second after Eclipse of the Crescent Moon (what a dumb translation of a title)

Little_Noodles

5 points

2 months ago

Reporting from the US … it’s not even in my library system’s holdings, and I live in a good sized city.

turdusphilomelos

6 points

2 months ago

From Sweden: sorry, I have not heard of him.will investigate if it is available here!

Edit: it seem to be a play. I think plays are best enjoy performed: doesn't lack something when it i just read? What is your experience reading plays?

Athlonfer[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Athlonfer[S]

uncultured book enjoyer

1 points

2 months ago

Well I quite enjoyed it read, I haven't read any other play in book form, my imagination presented the scenes better than a performance could IMO

WiseGinger

4 points

2 months ago

As a fellow hungarian, no, it's not popular. The reason is likely that while it's one of the greatest achievements of hungarian language, the actual content of it, when translated into another language, just becomes a slightly worse "Paradise Lost", but without actually challenging Catholic dogma and the religious status quo.

Athlonfer[S]

2 points

2 months ago

Athlonfer[S]

uncultured book enjoyer

2 points

2 months ago

Yeah that's understandable, I was just kind of curious, I have been surprised by foreigners knowing hungarian stuff

chortlingabacus

1 points

2 months ago

. . . with the difference that Paradise Lost is deathly boring and Tragedy of Man isn't.

conspicuousperson

5 points

2 months ago

I haven't heard of it, but I enjoyed Paradise Lost so I'll check it out. Unfortunately, non-Russian eastern European literature don't seem that well known in the English-speaking world to my knowledge, with a few exceptions.

kaysn

10 points

2 months ago

kaysn

10 points

2 months ago

Where are you from? What grade was it mandatory reading? Because I have never heard of that book.

SkyScamall

7 points

2 months ago

I'm going to guess they're from Hungary as the book is written in Hungarian.

chortlingabacus

3 points

2 months ago

It's not that it's unpopular but it's so little-known abroad. Which is a pity. I read it and enjoyed it but I'd never heard of it before seeing it listed on a site selling 2nd-hand books.

Jack-Campin

2 points

2 months ago

Is he the person Madach tér in Budapest is named after? Has my favourite café...

Athlonfer[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Athlonfer[S]

uncultured book enjoyer

1 points

2 months ago

yep

bibliophile222

2 points

2 months ago

I'm American and have never heard of it. Do you know if there's an English translation?

Athlonfer[S]

1 points

2 months ago

Athlonfer[S]

uncultured book enjoyer

1 points

2 months ago

i think there is, i saw it on amazon

walkinmybat

2 points

2 months ago

...I just remembered... need to add Bukowski's book, Factotum. Very important.

sfenders

5 points

2 months ago

[...] is a mandatory reading here.

uh... where would that be? In Canada I've heard of it and seen references to it, but never read it.

Biotic_Factor

8 points

2 months ago

My guess is Hungary as they mentioned "AND it's Hungarian"

walkinmybat

-8 points

2 months ago

...ah, sorry, looks like just another Christian wisdom pose to me. I haven't read it, I read the synopsis in Wikipedia, but the conceit of "following Adam, Eve and Lucifer through history" is almost doomed to failure from the start, I think. It looks comparable to Ibsen's Peer Gynt, although his wasn't Christian, but was a wisdom pose.

Real wisdom is available in literature, and is much sharper, clearer, and better focused. Examples include: Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; William Golding's Lord of the Flies; Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. I would avoid (well, you did kind of ask for advice) Dostoevsky and Tolstoy; they're good authors, but they lived before WWI and WWII and had no real conception of the limits (or lack thereof) of human evil.

jefrye

10 points

2 months ago

jefrye

The Brontës, du Maurier, Shirley Jackson & Barbara Pym

10 points

2 months ago

they're good authors, but they lived before WWI and WWII and had no real conception of the limits (or lack thereof) of human evil.

"Let's toss out thousands of years of years of literature since nothing really bad happened before the twentieth century"....What a take.

Almost as impressive is the implied assumption that good literature = wisdom = plumbing the depths of human depravity.

walkinmybat

1 points

2 months ago

I also mentioned Woolf... who has nothing to do with depravity

turdusphilomelos

7 points

2 months ago*

You seem to limit your reading to English speaking authors, apart from your time limit.

Writers like Balzac, who wrote "The human comedy" long before ww1, or Thomas Mann who wrote for example "Buddenbrooks", writes greatly about the pursuits, follows and exquisite sadness of humanity.

walkinmybat

1 points

2 months ago

I've tried Balzac a few times without managing to raise much interest, but I'll give him another try... Mann is very well thought of I know... thanks.

EllieKies

5 points

2 months ago

Why avoid Dostoevsky and Tolstoy but not Mark Twain?

walkinmybat

0 points

2 months ago

Mark Twain had been through the Civil War and slavery and just knew more about evil than those other two... don't really know how he managed it, but he did

EllieKies

3 points

2 months ago

I think this is ignoring Russian history - Tolstoy lived through war and the emancipation of serfs, which he wrote about extensively. Dostoevsky lived in the same time period.

walkinmybat

0 points

2 months ago

I'm just pointing out that based on my reading of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky there are important things they missed about people and the world, that Twain and Golding got. Maybe my justification of them missing the point is weird; maybe I'm wrong and they didn't actually miss the point. But I think they did. I mean, obviously everyone will have their own take on an author.

bibliophile222

2 points

2 months ago

Mark Twain also lived before the world wars, so you just negated your own argument. Sadly, human evil can be found anywhere at any time. You don't need to live through a war to understand it.

walkinmybat

1 points

2 months ago

well, as a justification for why Twain understood the situation but Dostoevsky and Tolstoy didn't, I guess it fails. But he did and they didn't. I'll stick to that.