The Door is a novel by Hungarian writer Magda Szabó. The novel concerns the developing relationship between a young Hungarian writer and her. One of The New York Times Book Review’s “10 Best Books of ” An NYRB Classics Original The Door is an unsettling exploration of the relationship. The Door continues to be eerily resonant, as Szabó’s consideration of the changing sociopolitical terrain in s–s Hungary speaks across borders of time.

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Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now. The Door is slow because its subject matter is difficult and slippery. Nobody, except herself and her foundlings were allowed behind the locked door of her apartment.

Magda Szabó’s “The Door” – Words Without Borders

No person is an island, although life forced Emerence to create her own hide-away since she was a young girl of nine-years-old. It takes courage to write about oneself in less than a positive light, yet Szabo does this in The Door. Although the work cannot be taken autobiographically, there are many similarities between the life of the author Magda and the narrator, Magda. I don’t think it is shallow to identify with characters but I always found that I don’t gain new perspectives or widen my experiences hanging out with just people I like.

Can we allow ourselves to remain untouched by others in our world? Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals.

S Byatt or vice-versa. I had rushed off in a TV car towards its radiance, away from illness, old age, loneliness and incapacity.


And, for me, the deepest realm of this odd novel is the door between who you think you are and who you actually are. Invece siamo nella capitale, a Pest per la precisione. Should Emerence not dole out the same respect? She is caring and confiding one moment and distant and hostile the next. Magda Szabo evokes an entry into the wilderness of self inflicted avoidance and therefore exile of the self.

After a gripping beginning, she then takes us through a very intense, scary, and magical unfolding of the tale. She is an atavistic force that communicates with animals like no other person can, and who has a magnetic power and te strength to attract or banish or condemn those beings around her according to her beliefs, moods and whims. I read it with gathering intensity, and a swelling admiration. Over the next several years, Magda and Emerence become increasingly close, and start to depend on szzabo other more than either of them could have anticipated.

The Door continues to speak to readers as vocally as it did when it was first published in —not just Hungarian readers, but all readers who are bound by these social, cultural, and personal fetters, and who wish to bridge the inevitable gaps that one encounters in the acts of writing histories and stories.

After the death of its final leaf, the trees lay barren like a country that had abruptly lost its people. She was trustworthy but untouchable; giving but refused to receive; tough but loving; challenging but devoted to the people she lived with. She thought she could trust the famous author.


What does friendship mean? In she was awarded the Baumgarten Prize, which was–for political reasons–withdrawn from her on the very day it was given. Being told in first person, the POV of the writer, I was especially geared up, loving the hum and vibrations coursing through my veins by being right there.

She lived alone with her secrets, and never allowed anyone through her door. Jan 27, Pages Buy. She also wrote dramas, essays, studies, memories and poetry. The unbalance in strength is found also in the way the book focuses our view. I thought it was appropriate that the narrator is unnamed, only known as “the lady writer”. No questions asked, her family sees nothing but Emerence’s shame, yet the Grossmans repay her generously for her selflessness.

This is about a Hungarian writer and her husband who have an older servant woman who basically takes over their household and their life.

Labours of love

She seems to have a compulsive need to serve, gravitating toward wrecks of any kind – wounded animals or broken men or women. Indeed, it would be impossible not to read the growing intimacy between Magda and Emerence without reading the characters as embodiments of the Hungarian class system.

After an unpromising and caustic start benign feelings develop and ultimately the writer benefits from what becomes an inseparable relationship.