Frederick Karinthy

Question and Answer

“Hello, old man. Where’d you get that tan? Been to the country?”

“I spent the weekend at Reichenau.”

“Really? My family’s there on holiday.”

“I know. I met your wife.”

“Did she send a message?”

“No, I only saw her for a few moments. Just had time enough to exchange greetings with her.”

“What do you mean? Surely, she must have said something. Didn’t she ask about me?”

“She did ask something, but I don’t know exactly——”

“What a fathead you are! It’s impossible to get anything out of you.”

“Well, what is it you want to know?”

“I’d like to know exactly what she said and what you said—word for word.”

“All right. Well, I met her, and I said, ʻGood morning, madam!’ Whereupon she——”

“Whereupon she? Please tell me everything in detail.”

“Whereupon she began to wave her arms and kick her legs, and she said, ʻHello, Mr. Skurek.’ And she spat and spluttered. Is that what you wanted to know?”

“Why. . . . What. . . . What the devil are you talking about? She waved her arms and kicked her legs? . . . And she spat and spluttered? . . . . My wife!”

Karinthy - Q & A

“Yes, that’s what I’m telling you. And that wasn’t everything, because the next instant she lay down on her stomach and turned round and round kicking her legs in the air. And she called out to me, ʻIf you see Emil, tell him I’m getting on fine.’”

“Good heavens! Is this true? . . . And do you mean to stand there and tell me all this as if it were nothing out of the ordinary?”

“Well, did you expect me to perform a somersault? You asked me to tell you everything exactly as it happened, didn’t you.”

“Good heavens, she must be suffering from sunstroke. . . or St. Vitus's dance . . . . Show me, what exactly did she do?”

“She kicked her legs like this . . . and she waved her arms like this. . . . ”

“And you stood by without attempting to help her? You didn’t raise her ? . . . . And you didn’t call a doctor ?”

“What for? The water was quite shallow, and, besides, your wife’s a good swimmer.”

“What water?”

“The pool, where I saw her.”

“Idiot! So you met her at the swimming pool? Why didn’t you say so?”

“You only wanted to know what happened and what we talked, and you didn’t ask me where.”

SOURCE: Karinthy, Frigyes [Frederick]. “Question and Answer,” in Soliloquies in the Bath, translated by Lawrence Wolfe, illustrated by Franz Katzer (London; Edinburgh; Glasgow: William Hodge and Company Limited, 1937), pp. 220- 222.

Note: The graphic is positioned approximately where it appears in the printed text.

Frigyes Karinthy, Humorist and Thinker” by Miklós Vajda

Frigyes & Ferenc Karinthy in English

Frigyes (Frederiko) Karinthy (1887-1938) en Esperanto

Futurology, Science Fiction, Utopia, and Alienation
in the Work of Imre Madách, György Lukács, and Other Hungarian Writers:
Select Bibliography

Sándor Szathmári (1897-1974): Bibliografio & Retgvidilo / Bibliography & Web Guide

Alireteje / Offsite:

Frigyes Karinthy @ Ĝirafo

Frigyes Karinthy @ 50 watts

Home Page | Site Map | What's New | Coming Attractions | Book News
Bibliography | Mini-Bibliographies | Study Guides | Special Sections
My Writings | Other Authors' Texts | Philosophical Quotations
Blogs | Images & Sounds | External Links

CONTACT Ralph Dumain

Uploaded 24 February 2022

Site © 1999-2022 Ralph Dumain