#AMREADING MAGDA SZABO’S KATALIN STREET.
|Image from 3bp.blogspot
The novel follows the lives of three families in Budapest through WWII and its political aftermath into the post-communist era. It is a tragic tale, in which the survivors are filled with guilt and regret and the dead continue to wander the streets full of longing.
Irén reflects on the nature of time.
The past is inescapable. It is not only facts that are irreversible; our past reactions and feelings are too. One can neither relive them nor alter them.
We do not appreciate the present. You always realize too late the importance of drawing out the moment while you can, while it is still possible. I was always in too much of a hurry, I just wanted the time to pass.
And when old age arrives, she realizes:
The most frightening thing about the loss of youth is not what is taken away but what is granted in exchange. Not wisdom. Not serenity. Not sound judgment or tranquility. Only the awareness of universal disintegration.