Zilahy, Lajos (translated from the Hungarian by George Halasz) The Deserter
Garden City NY Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc. 1932 NO 1st (U.S.) edition Hardcover Near Fine in Very Good+ dj
[sharp-looking copy, only faint shelfwear to bottom edge, vintage bookseller's label (The Seven Arts, Carmel) on rear pastedown; jacket a bit scuffed, but still quite attractive]. A Hungarian nationalist novel, about a "breathless and bewildered man whose life spanned two irreconcilable worlds" -- before and after World War I. Zilahy (1891-1974), a law student before the war, was severely wounded while serving in the Austro-Hungarian army, and took up poetry and playwriting during his convalescence. He subsequently found work as a journalist, but his most notable success came as a playwright; he cranked out a dozen or so plays during the 1920s, one of which won the Hungarian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize. At the time this book appeared, one of his plays ("The General") had already been filmed in Hollywood under the much more marketable title THE VIRTUOUS SIN. "The Deserter," his third novel, was the second to be published in America; he remained in Budapest through World War II (at one point establishing a film studio, for which he wrote and directed several films), but went into exile in the U.S. in 1947 as a result of having fallen out of favor with the post-war Communist government.