I’d wanted to write about Dezso Kosztolányi’s Skylark, a deceptively quiet and quietly radiant, intermittently wildly funny, ultimately heartbreaking, and altogether extraordinary novel about life at its most seemingly ordinary, but Deborah Eisenberg got there first. Her review of the book, published in the April 8 issue of The New York Review of Books, begins:
“This short, perfect novel seems to encapsulate all the world’s pain in a soap bubble. Its surface is as smooth as a fable, its setting and characters are unremarkable, its tone is blithe, and its effect is shattering.”
All true. I (as you see) can’t say it better. You can read Deborah Eisenberg’s full review here. It is, from this editor’s point of view, a perfect review, but Skylark is even better.
Edwin Frank, Editor
By Dezső Kosztolányi
Introduction by Péter Esterházy
Translated from the Hungarian by Richard Aczel