|About the Book|
Some of Karinthys notebooks were found after his death. In these he jotted down his first ideas, whenever he used one, he crossed it out at once. But even the ones which are left undeveloped are splendid as promises.One such jotting reads: Humour is the whole truth. This might have served as the motto for Please Sir!, one of the worlds unforgettable, unfading books. Unfading, in spite of the fifty years which have elapsed, and in spite of a series of educational reforms. It reaches to the raw centre, the never-congealed experience, through which we have all passed at the time of our greatest sensitivity, in the state of highest tension, in our teens.For is there anyone who has never crept along silent, deserted school corridors, when classes had already begun, who had never been struck by the dark terror of being fatally, irrevocably late? And is there anyone who does not recall the deadly, frozen silence before opening an exam paper, when the one subject not properly covered turned out to be the compulsory question? And who did not, especially in Hungarian schools where examination is carried out by oral tests, try to shrink behind his desk, become annihilated, step out from life just this once, while the teacher was rustling his notebook to call the next to be examined? And who has never tried to explain a school report at home, and who has never been tempted to sell a textbook second-hand, at a time when pocket-money seemed far more desirable than a grammar?These were the great moments of life- and Karinthy, even in his early work, is a grand master of prose. He does not have to set the scene-there is never a superfluous word - we are in the thick of it at once, at explosion point. Every situation he creates chokes the reader in a suddenly tightened noose of memory.