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Gyula Krúdy (1878-1933)

Inventory number: T99 1/32/3
Location: Hall 1

Gyula Krúdy: TELEPHONE LADIES OF PEST You never see them only hear their voice...It was once the fashion for night journalists, railwaymen on night duty, policemen, porters of small stations and sleepless patients to chat with the telephone lady on duty. It often happened that the ingrained bachelor, the night editor whose lamp had burnt out fell in love with a pleasant, soothing female voice and would gladly have spent their remaining life within reach of it. Post office ladies with enchanting, quiet voices in a little post house amid the cold mountains by the borders. They would make life-long acquaintance with the officer of the neighboring station through Edison's wire. There are even legends circulating around the wire-roofed female barracks about reliable, serious and serene female voices winning the hearts of old gentlemen, princes charming who would then come into the office in top hat and morning coat to ask the owner of the voice to marry them. − Because these women are poor and in fact, earn their living with their voice...Over the telephone most female voices are enchanting, like the magic flute. ...Sentiments of the human life that can be expressed with the voice in words come and go over the wires. As if another life were happening above the roofs of the houses of the city, where the telephone cranes stand in the wind, far from the streets, the inside of the houses. Myriads of voices sounding simultaneously in the air, as if large flocks of birds were flying over the city, bumping into one other, stepping aside, embracing each other, quarrelling, growing old and dying. The dead no longer telephone from the graves. In this tempest, in this cloud of voices, the telephone operator lady stands serenely and modestly, she connects and disconnects on the device of the American genius, she works anonymously and invisibly, like the boilerman in the bowels of the ocean liner. 1917

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  • Gyula Krúdy (1878-1933)

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