One of the charms of Miklos Banffy’s superb Transylvanian Trilogy is the evocative and tapestried description of landscapes by a man who knew and loved them in their detail, and who, when he was writing, knew that many of them were no longer accessible to him.  

This one is marvelous, you could lie on the forest floor and think great or languid thoughts.

In the clearings between the trees cornelian-coloured cherries were in bloom and the hazel bushes were tasselled with catkins. Orange-red ‘Bleeding Hearts’ glowed beneath the white stars of blackthorn and here and there wild cherries were festooned with cream-coloured bouquets. Looking up through the lacy green trembling foliage of the trees one could see that the sky, though flecked with a few barely moving clouds, was still brilliantly blue; down below the shadows of dusk were just beginning to blur the outlines of the magic forest, giving it a dreamlike quality of unreality.

 

Source: Miklos Banffy, They Were Found Wanting, trans. Patrick Thursfield and Katalin Banffy-Jelen (London: Arcadia Books, 2011 (1937)), p. 44

Photo credit: Nennieinszweidrei at pixabay

 

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