Celestial Harmonies: A Novel

Esterhazy, Peter

Published by Ecco
ISBN 10: 0060501049 / ISBN 13: 9780060501044
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Princes, counts, commanders, diplomats, bishops, and patrons of the arts, revered, respected, and occasionally feared by their contemporaries, the Esterházy family was among the greatest and most powerful aristocrats in Hungarian history. Celestial Harmonies is the intricate chronicle of this remarkable family, a story spanning seven centuries of epic conquest, tragedy, triumph, and near annihilation.

Told by Péter Esterházy, a scion of this populous family, Celestial Harmonies unfolds in two parts, revealing two versions of the Esterházy story. Book One is a compilation of short passages about the Esterházy men, sons reflecting on their fathers, from the earliest days of the Hapsburg Empire to its demise in the early twentieth century and beyond. At one point, the father is seen fighting the Turks and writing psalms, at another he is described as herding geese and feathering his already well-feathered nest. In the nineteenth century, he is caught cavorting with his mistress while looking after matters of state; in the 1940s and 1950s, he is seen helping to organize a number of conspiracies, then reporting them (and himself) to the secret police. Conversely, he is also seen apprehended and tortured by the authorities. The father is a monster and he is an angel, but, above all, he is a man in search of his God.

Book Two chronicles the final chapter in the life of the Esterházy family, from the short Communist take over of 1919 to World War Two and its aftermath, when Hungary fell to Soviet rule and the Esterházys succumbed to dispossession, resettlement, and impoverishment. Here, Péter Esterházy reveals the story of his immediate family, especially his father, Mátyás Esterházy, who was born into great wealth and privilege in 1919. He worked as a field hand and parquet floor layer under the hard-line Communists, then, later on, as a translator making a meager living. It is a biography of a man who, despite the brutal tides of history, never relinquished the humanist values that were his birthright, and that were as inseparable from him as his illustrious name and heritage.

On the first page of Celestial Harmonies, the father is seen as a baroque grand seigneur; on the last, he is seated by his typewriter, bereft of everything except for the one word, "homeland." The individual stories of these "fathers" -- separated by centuries -- are as complex as the history of Hungary itself. Dazzling in scope and profound in implication, Celestial Harmonies is fiction at its richest and most awe-inspiring.

About the Author:

Peter Esterhazy, a member of one of Europe’s most prominent aristocratic families, was born in Budapest in 1950. His books, published mostly in Europe, are considered to be significant contributions to postwar literature.

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Title: Celestial Harmonies: A Novel
Publisher: Ecco
Book Condition: Very Good

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P?ter Esterh?zy
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers. Hardcover. Condition: Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. The spine may show signs of wear. Pages can include limited notes and highlighting, and the copy can include previous owner inscriptions. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0060501049I3N00

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Book Description Ecco, 2004. Condition: Good. 1St Edition. Ships from Reno, NV. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP95941569

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Book Description Ecco Press, 2004. hardcover. 1st edition. New York. 2004. March 2004. Ecco Press. 1st American Edition. Very Good In Dustjacket.Remainder Marking On Bottom Edge. ISBN:0060501049. Translated from the Hungarian by Judith Sollosy. 846 pages. hardcover. . Jacket art by Archivo Iconografico. FROM THE PUBLISHER - Princes, counts, commanders, diplomats, bishops, and patrons of the arts, revered, respected, and occasionally feared by their contemporaries, the Esterházy family was among the greatest and most powerful aristocrats in Hungarian history. Celestial Harmonies is the intricate chronicle of this remarkable family, a story spanning seven centuries of epic conquest, tragedy, triumph, and near annihilation. Told by Péter Esterházy, a scion of this populous family, Celestial Harmonies unfolds in two parts, revealing two versions of the Esterházy story. Book One is a compilation of short passages about the Esterházy men, sons reflecting on their fathers, from the earliest days of the Hapsburg Empire to its demise in the early twentieth century and beyond. At one point, the father is seen fighting the Turks and writing psalms, at another he is described as herding geese and feathering his already well-feathered nest. In the nineteenth century, he is caught cavorting with his mistress while looking after matters of state; in the 1940s and 1950s, he is seen helping to organize a number of conspiracies, then reporting them (and himself) to the secret police. Conversely, he is also seen apprehended and tortured by the authorities. The father is a monster and he is an angel, but, above all, he is a man in search of his God. Book Two chronicles the final chapter in the life of the Esterházy family, from the short Communist take over of 1919 to World War Two and its aftermath, when Hungary fell to Soviet rule and the Esterházys succumbed to dispossession, resettlement, and impoverishment. Here, Péter Esterházy reveals the story of his immediate family, especially his father, Mátyás Esterházy, who was born into great wealth and privilege in 1919. He worked as a field hand and parquet floor layer under the hard-line Communists, then, later on, as a translator making a meager living. It is a biography of a man who, despite the brutal tides of history, never relinquished the humanist values that were his birthright, and that were as inseparable from him as his illustrious name and heritage. On the first page of Celestial Harmonies, the father is seen as a baroque grand seigneur; on the last, he is seated by his typewriter, bereft of everything except for the one word, ‘homeland.’ The individual stories of these ‘fathers’-separated by centuries-are as complex as the history of Hungary itself. Dazzling in scope and profound in implication, Celestial Harmonies is fiction at its richest and most awe-inspiring. . Original title: Harmonia caelestis. Péter Esterházy (born 14 April 1950 in Budapest) is one of the most widely known contemporary Hungarian writers. His books are considered to be significant contributions to postwar literature. He studied mathematics at ELTE university in Budapest from 1969 to 1974; his first writings were published in literary journals in 1974. He worked as a mathematician from 1974 to 1978, and he became a freelance writer in 1978. Esterházy, the scion of an aristocratic family that traces its roots to the 12th century, is perhaps best known outside of his native country for CELESTIAL HARMONIES (Harmonia Caelestis, 2000) which chronicles his forefathers' epic rise during the Austro-Hungarian empire – when Haydn composed music at the family palace – to its dispossession under communism. His next novel, REVISED EDITION (Javított kiadás, 2002), which appeared as an ‘appendix’ to the former work, was born from the shock when he learnt that his father was an informer for the secret police of the Communist era. The book deals with the research work as a diary, his father's unfolding activity, and the very process of his facing and digesting the facts. His works have. Seller Inventory # z19628

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