Cloud over the City

Cloud over the City

Cloud over the City
Proofreading and preface by Andrea Juhász
Edited by Gyula H. Szabó
NSZL–Kriterion, Budapest–Cluj-Napoca, 2016.
[Collected Works of Aladár Kuncz , Vol. III., series edited by László Boka and Tamás Gusztáv Filep], 336 pages
ISBN 978 973 26 1147 0

2 990,- Ft

Cloud over the City is the third volume of the Collected Works of Aladár Kuncz series published in cooperation between National Széchényi Library and Kriterion Publishing House. The volume does not only present the so far known text first published in sequels by Erdélyi Helikon, but also adds a recently discovered close-to-the-text manuscript. This makes our edition a real sensation in philology. The manuscript, published now as an annex, contains parts of the first version of the novel, including a six page fragment of the earlier version of the text as we know, and fragments belonging to the (previously regarded as non-existing) second and third parts of the planned trilogy. There were altogether 59 pages of the second, and 4 pages of the third volume found in one of the legacies at the Manuscript Collection of National Széchényi Library which are now added to the text, together with a study of literary history and explanatory footnotes.

The plot starts in 1913, when the main character, Tamás Szentgyörgyi, is appointed to Principal at the school of natural sciences in Oltvár. We can learn about the year he spends there, with conflicts at work, in public life and love. In 1914 he goes to France for holiday, but suddenly World War I. breaks out, and Szentgyörgyi and his friends find themselves interned by the French authorities that turn against them.

Collected Works of Aladár Kuncz

It was a hundred years ago, in 1914,  that Aladár Kuncz, the renowned writer, editor, critic and translator, a devoted admirer of the French culture, was interned by the French authorities together with other Hungarians staying in France. It was immediately after the breakout of World War I., but before a state of war between Austria-Hungary and France would have been officially declared. Although Kuncz had been going to France for holiday for years, he suddenly became persona non grata for being a citizen of an enemy state at war, and so did his fellow Hungarians.

The collection and publishing of the entire Kuncz oeuvre has not taken place until this anniversary, but now efforts are being made to fill the gap. Specialized researchers, academic workshops at National Széchényi Library that keeps part of the legacy, and Kriterion Publishing House in Romania, that excels in the publication of the Hungarian literary legacy in Romania, all contribute to the project. Within its framework we plan to complete the publication of the Collected Works (without the translations) of the writer of Black Monastery by another significant year, 2018: the centenary of the beginning of the Hungarian minority literature in Transylvania. The series of seven volumes edited by László Boka and Tamás Gusztáv Filep is planned to include the entire Kuncz oeuvre: novels, works of small epic, reviews, correspondence and monographs on Ferenc Toldy and the evolution of the Hungarian literary science.

Each volume will be complemented by an explanatory study and several critical notes. The  last title of the series is planned to include a bibliography of the articles, studies, essays and portraits expressing opinions on the reception of Kuncz and his works.