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This is an auction for CELESTIAL HARMONIES by Peter Esterhazy. review:

“Esterházy has created a vast anti-epic. The writer, whose family name holds a place in Hungarian history equivalent to that of the Churchills in British history, takes advantage of his genealogy by making numerous references to his many distinguished ancestors - the very title refers to a Haydn piece commissioned by one of the author's forefathers. Divided into two sections, the novel circles its mark with cunning and humour, lighting on strange outcroppings of family and national lore. The first section contains 371 "sentences," which are really micro to mid-range narratives, all of them about a "father," a term that constantly shifts in meaning: "It goes without saying. My father had many faces, one with a moustache, one with a double chin, one like a Cumanian, et cetera." Sometimes there is a direct reference to Esterházy's real father; sometimes the father is mythological; sometimes he is extracted from another literary text. The novel's second section relates more conventionally the struggle of the Esterházy family after 1945, when the Communists expropriated their property. Peter's father drinks, gets a job as an agricultural labourer, and endures by withdrawing into an inner exile. The reader who perseveres through the sometimes knotty Magyar references and nods to writers like James Joyce and Donald Barthelme will be rewarded with a sense of having submitted to an astonishing if exhausting outburst of creativity. This is a belated 20th-century masterpiece.”

More very favourable reviews on

Hardback 2004.

846 pages.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $7.95 (tracked mail). If you are on rural delivery, the shipping cost will be $10.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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Shipping options

  • tracked mail$7.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$10.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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