(Critiques at the time of publication)

“An impressive feat of scholarship.... There can be no doubt that Béla Balázs, the Man and the Artist will be a definitive study of its subject in English or any other language for many years to come. The book is clearly a labor of love.... The result, a fact-studded and scrupulously documented biography, took twenty-five years to research in some seven languages and on three continents and about half a million pages.... Beside the film fans, the volume should appeal especially to buffs of the opera, another area in which Balázs made several outstanding contributions, and indeed to all students of modern Central European history.” World Literature Today, USA.
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“An exceptionally informative book, anchoring its subject in the convulsive events of European history. It is not only a tribute to Balázs, but also an evocation of the stormy climate of the first half-century when cinema grew up to become an art.” Village Voice, USA.
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Béla Balázs, the Man and the Artist tells the life of a major film theorist and rival of Eisenstein. This is a long detailed work which ought to be closely examined for it contains complete documentation and provides a fresh look at one of the foremost thinkers about cinema.” Communication Booknotes, USA.
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“Joseph Zsuffa wrote an extraordinary, thoroughly researched and at the same time very readable scholarly work.... Beside Balázs, Zsuffa also portrays the historical periods in which Balázs lived and worked.... Zsuffa shows Balázs in his full artistic manysidedness: as lyrical poet and playwright, author of pantomimes and librettos, writer of prose and feuilletons, theater critic and director, film critic and theoretician, screenplay writer and filmmaker, author of fables and children’s books.... Zsuffa’s biography puts the worldwide reception of Balázs on a new basis. For the first time it is possible to get a good look at Balázs’s multifaceted oeuvre and his turbulent life in its entirety, which till now could only be conjectured.” Medienwissenschaft, Germany.
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“The range of sources from three continents that Zsuffa has deployed is extremely impressive and the ten years that he spent on the book have been well worth while. This scholarly biography is a major contribution to our understanding both of Balázs himself and of the Central European intellectual milieu from which he came.” London Times Literary Supplement, England.
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“Joseph Zsuffa thoroughly investigated Béla Balázs’s vast literary output, his diaries and biographical writings. The footnotes give an excellent guide to the sources and he appends a comprehensive filmography. For the first time we have a scholarly account of this member of the group of Hungarian intellectuals who enriched European cultural life in the early twentieth century.” The Slavonic and East European Review, England.
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“Joseph Zsuffa’s outstanding biography chronicles the embattled life of the Hungarian-born philosopher, critic, screenwriter and director. His lasting contribution, a seminal theory of film aesthetics formulated in the early 1920s was embraced by leading European filmmakers of the day.” Cinema Canada, Canada.
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“Joseph Zsuffa’s excellent work is a meticulously detailed and thorough biography ... rich in information ... with interesting illustrations.... The exclusive subject of Balázs’s poetic world view is the soul, its characteristic quivers, mysterious conjectures, which take place down in the subconscious. It is this soul that Joseph Zsuffa has endeavored to reveal.” Mozgó Képek, Hungary.
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“This voluminous book is not only a standard source for studying Balázs, but it also gives us valuable help for reconsidering the cultural history of the twentieth century.” Mainichi Shimbun, Japan.
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“Joseph Zsuffa’s Béla Balázs, the Man and the Artist, is an exciting and intricate biography, reminiscent of a spy novel and in its details incredibly rich. Zsuffa has labored for almost a quarter of a century on his work ... and created a detailed and passionate basic ground work, which from now on will be the standard of Balázs research.” Filmihullu, Finland.