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“What you have loved remains yours.” Thus speaks the irresistible rogue Sindbad, ironic hero of these fantastic tales, who has seduced and abandoned countless women over the course of centuries but never lost one, for he returns to visit them all–ladies, actresses, housemaids–in his memories and dreams. From the bustling streets of Budapest to small provincial towns where nothing ever seems to change, the roaming consciousness of this ghostly Lothario comes upon his old flames under windows where they first courted, along the banks of the Danube in which they drowned, in churches and in graveyards, where Eros and Thanatos tryst. As the women pour out their tales of happy and unhappy love since he left them, lies, bad behavior, and fickleness on both sides are forgiven, and love is reaffirmed as the only thing worth persevering for, weeping for, and living for. Hugely popular in his native Hungary and throughout Eastern Europe, The Adventures of Sindbad is Gyula Krúdy’s most famous book and a tender evocation of the autumn of the Habsburg Empire.
“[Krúdy’s] literary power and greatness are almost past comprehension . . . Few in world literature could so vivify the mythical in reality . . . With a few pencil strokes he draws apocalyptic scenes about sex, flesh, human cruelty and hopelessness.” –Sándor Márai
“There is about Krúdy an absolutely railed-down otherworldliness. A brilliant spectrum where reality is just one possible colour… This book is just a gift. I am grateful to George Szirtes for making it possible for me to read it and praise it.” –Michael Hofmann, The Times Literary Supplement