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The Door by Magda Szabo

The Door (original 1987; edition 2005)

by Magda Szabo

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,1056011,951 (4.11)106
"The Door is an unsettling exploration of the relationship between two very different women. Magda is a writer, educated, married to an academic, public-spirited, with an on-again-off-again relationship with Hungary's Communist authorities. Emerence is a peasant, illiterate, impassive, abrupt, seemingly ageless. She lives alone in a house that no one else may enter, not even her closest relatives. She is Magda's housekeeper and she has taken control over Magda's household, becoming indispensable to her. And Emerence, in her way, has come to depend on Magda. They share a kind of love--at least until Magda's long-sought success as a writer leads to a devastating revelation. Len Rix's prizewinning translation of The Door at last makes it possible for American readers to appreciate the masterwork of a major modern European writer"--… (more)
Title:The Door
Authors:Magda Szabo
Info:Harvill Secker (2005), Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Tags:read, magyarul, hungarian, contemporary

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The Door by Magda Szabó (1987)


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» See also 106 mentions

English (52)  French (3)  Italian (2)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Absent-minded and non-practical writer Magda, who has more than a few echoes of author Magda Szabó, hires elderly housekeeper Emerence, who is doggedly herself and refuses to compromise. Both women are diametric opposites in many respects: Magda is a politically active writer, but she is quick to give in, doesn’t speak up and lets everyday things happen to her; Emerence is a barely-literate who never rests, who even sleeps sitting up, and who has her unshakeable habits, which she is firmly convinced are the only way to live. Her bull-headed insistence on interacting with people on her own terms is enforced through sheer force of character. For a character she is: secretive, but known to all in the neighbourhood, and they are protective of her like a local semi-tame cat.

I found this novel to be strangely compelling. There really is not much to it, just the relationship between two women who are unlike each other, and the fascinating portrait of working class intransigence. But the development of the central friendship is captivating in a way I find hard to express in words. Much of the novel’s hypnotizing force, I think, rests on it feeling more like an autobiography or a character study than narrative fiction -- perhaps even a confession and a meditation on shame.

The door is not my usual cup of tea, but I’m glad I got to read it. It’s a book I’ll be turning over in my head from time to time. ( )
  Petroglyph | Dec 30, 2019 |
A psychological novel that delves into the personalities and relationship of two women. The Door is more spellbinding than that sounds. I never felt that I quite understood Emerence or the narrators dependence on her yet the slowly unwinding narrative compelled me to keep reading. ( )
  janw | Mar 31, 2019 |
This story is compelling, not in action or novelty, but in strength of character. It's story of how life has created both strength and resiliency, yet vulnerability and eccentricity all in one unique character.

I liked the book and found that it has stirred much contemplation in me. ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
Not my favorite book to be stuck reading on a snowy day. I have the feeling that in its original language it could be quite beautiful but I think that maybe something was literally lost in translation here. ( )
  Katie_Roscher | Jan 18, 2019 |
Story that really shocked me ....... what a wonderful writing that of Szabo , describing it in depth the most ' deep soul of' man .....
I had a grandmother basically similar to Emerenc , and I am still wondering , after 18 years since her death , why , because of whom lived , his heart had become in the eyes of others like marble .....
I have to get over this reading !! one of the best i have read in these years!!!

Storia che mi ha veramente scosso....... ma che meravigliosa scrittura quella della Szabo, descrivere così in profondità l'aspetto piu' intimo dell'anima dell' uomo.....
io avevo una nonna tendenzialmente simile a Emerenc, e ancora oggi mi chiedo, dopo 18 anni dalla sua morte , per quale motivo, a causa di quale vissuto, il suo cuore fosse diventato agli occhi degli altri simile a marmo.....
devo proprio riprendermi da questa lettura!!! ( )
  Mandane75 | Nov 16, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
"Den fortjener å bli en bestselger."

"... en sjelden velskrevet, morsom og rørende bok ... "Døren" skal du lese fordi du fortjener det."
"... et av de mest underfundige portrett jeg noensinne har lest."
"Døren" er den type roman du ikke er ferdig med etter endt lesning ... noe av hemmeligheten ved at "Døren" griper så uimotståelig, er at den gjennomføres med konsekvens, uten sentimentalitet. Resten er det uhåndgripelige som kjennetegner all stor kunst."
"Døren" er en roman der leseren rives med fra første side. Den er et fascinerende portrett av to kvinner - historiens forteller, en forfatter, og den eldre uforglemmelige hushjelpen Emerenc, som har jobbet for henne i nærmere tjue år. Den ene lever nesten bare gjennom ordene, den andre kan knapt nok lese. Likevel knyttes de nærmere sammen enn noen av dem kunne ane. For Emerenc gir alt, enten det dreier seg om å redde en jøde, en tysker, en tyv eller en hjemløs katt. Hun tviler aldri et sekund. Men det er én ting hun ikke deler. Hun slipper aldri noen innenfor døren til sitt hjem.

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Magda Szabóprimary authorall editionscalculated
Daróczi, AnikóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Draughon, StefanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Komlósi, MártaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Paetzke, Hans-HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Philippe, ChantalTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rix, LenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thies, VeraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Door ( [2011]IMDb)
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Ritkán álmodom.
I seldom dream
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