Many of Simon's memories are of stories told to him by his grandfather. Though a soldier in the First World War and a survivor of a labour camp in the Second, his grandfather's stories range further back in time. He has lost his Jewish faith and argues about religion with his brother, but he is proud of his family traditions and tells the stories told to him by his grandfather, of their ancestors all the way back to the time of Jesus.
The End of a Family Story is an original and haunting work, in which Peter Nadas captures the naivety of childhood and the confusions and uncertainties of memory. This is reflected in the layout, with no paragraph breaks and fairly arbitrary chapter divisions, but the result is never difficult to read — it is most definitely a case of "art hiding art". The End of a Family Story also offers a stark perspective on Hungary under Stalinist repression.
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