Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Stand In

The fellow above is our 103rd hero of the day, but with a couple of "problems." His name is Gyula Krudy, and he was born October 21, 1878 in Nyíregyháza, Hungary. Clearly, problem number one is that today is December 1st, and obviously not his birthday, but a) his birthday was already taken by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, b) I was so incompetent that I "missed" Krudy's birthday on the list, and c) they are my rules, and I can break them if I want. Problem two is slightly more serious, my present location is distant from some of my "notes" that I have about Krudy, and I might have to come back and re-edit this post later, but for now on with the show. He was born the son of a lawyer who appears to have been diddling the maid (i.e. his mother), and his father did not chose to make an honest woman of his mother until Krudy was seventeen. By then Krudy was already writing for the local newspaper, and in spite of his father's wishes that he become a lawyer, was embarking on his literary career. Good choice both for him, and for the people lucky enough to read his work(s). Plus, I am a lawyer and trust me not becoming a lawyer is generally a good, healthy idea. Besides the world is full of lawyers, and we do not need any more of those pompous jackasses running around. Krudy's career choice managed to get him disinherited, by the pompous jackass he called Father, and he moved to Budapest to follow his star. There he supported himself and his family by his writing, and his novels were very popular during the First World War. He was, by the accounts I have read, a raging drunk. Writing articles at the bars he frequented, sometimes on bar napkins. He was always on a deadline, but was somehow able to keep it together to meet most of them. I have to appreciate that. He must have hung out with some intelligent folks, or at interesting bars. I go to my bar, and I am able to do is get drunk, and play darts, or video golf. No writing great articles or parts of novels for me thanks, just another shot and/or beer please. One of his works "The Adventures of Sinbad" is a lovely work, and it contained an idea that, foolishly I thought was one of the few original ideas I have had, but was mistaken since Krudy had written about it 70 or so years before. His "Chronicles of Krudy" is also worth a read. His health declined due to his wild drinking, and his readership also went into a downward spiral, and his works were pretty much forgotten after his death. At least until 1940, when another lovely author Sandor Mari, wrote "Sinbad Comes Home," a fictional account of Krudy's last day (not, as far as I can tell available in English). The book's success brought Krudy back where he belongs into a wide readership. For writing two lovely books (or the two of his that I have read), and for keeping all those deadlines no matter how hammered he was, Gyula Krudy (October 21st,1878-May 12th, 1933, at the age of 54), you are my (stand in) hero of the day.

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