The Accident
In a Wall Street Journal review titled "Tender and Tense," Sam Sacks writes of Mihail Sebastian's The Accident (in a translation by Stephen Henighan): The Romanian-Jewish writer Mihail Sebastian (1907-45) came to the attention of the English-speaking world in 2000 with the publication of his incandescently angry and exacting World War II diaries. Yet during the war—as he survived in Bucharest, shunned by his Nazi-supporting former friends—he wrote The Accident, a captivating novel about a love affair. The Accident, translated by Stephen Henighan, would be a marvel of beauty and control under any circumstance; that it was written by a Jew in Romania in 1940 seems miraculous. ...The mountains provide an escape for Paul from his paralyzing lovesickness—just as the writing of the novel, we suspect, transported Sebastian from what he called in his diaries the "anti-Semitic dementia" of his daily surroundings. As in Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain," the snowbound fastnesses seem to warp the standard measurements of time. When Paul takes to the slopes—the skiing scenes are the best I've read since Mann's—time's passage thrillingly compresses and expands in his consciousness ...
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Henighan, Stephen

Stephen Henighan is Professor of Spanish and Hispanic Studies in the School of Languages and Literatures. He studied at universities in Pennsylvania, Colombia, Quebec and England, earning his doctorate in Modern Languages and Literature from Oxford University. Henighan is the author of more than a dozen books, including "Sandino's Nation: Ernesto Cardenal and Sergio Ramírez Writing Nicaragua, 1940-2012", which was a finalist for the Canada Prize in the Humanities and won the Canadian association of Hispanists' Award for Best book 2013-2016. His essay collection, "When Words Deny the World", was shortlisted for the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award.