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Review: Camp Notebook, by Miklós Radnóti

Translation Review – Annotated Books Received – Vol. 7, No. 1 – August 2001.

Miklós Radnóti is still regarded as one of Hungary's leading 20th century poets, although he died nearly 60 years ago, a victim of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. During the 1940s, he served three periods of forced labor, the last in a slave camp in northern Serbia. Here, in a tiny concealed notebook, he wrote his last and finest poems. In 1944, Radnóti was shot while being force-marched towards Germany and his body, exhumed from a ditch after the war, was identified from the notebook in his pocket. This notebook is reproduced in facsimile at the beginning of the present edition and adds tremendous poignancy to Francis R. Jones's new translation.