Andres Laszlo Sr.


Senior – French by nationality, born Austro-Hungarian but remembered mainly as a Spanish writer – was agented by Jenny Aspinwall Bradley, and thus associated with writers such as Joyce, Camus, Hemingway, etc. Senior hung out with the existentialist crowd in Saint-Germain-des-Pres, was a keen observer, had a melancholic disposition, was one heck of a writer, and has been forgotten only because he has too many mother countries. He was also once enough of an actor to “do Rosencrantz” on Budapest’s main stage, a theatre stage manager, a scriptwriter, an antique dealer pushing forgeries to von Thyssen in Madrid, and a maybe insufficiently appreciated father. Arguably he should have been thrown to the wolves already in 1911, and allegedly there was a scheme afoot to see this done.
Andres Laszlo Sr.


    Andres (Andras) Emerico Laszlo (von Keller) was born in Szinna, Austro-Hungary in 1910 (now Snina, Slovakia) and died in Evry, France in 1985. His mother was Baroness Ilona von Keller (d1966), and his father was Maximilian Leibrowitz (d1931). The family later assumed the name, Laszlo. Andres' brother, Adalberto Laszlo, was a successful biochemist (d1972) and Andres' son, Andres Ulf Laszlo was born in Lund, Sweden, in 1955. A well-known author, Andres Laszlo Sr's fiction has also inspired three movies. He is remembered as a Spanish author, although born Austro-Hungarian and nationalized French: a "quadruple EU nationality" that could be the reason that no country has "claimed him" as his own: something that has caused his authorship of lately (arguably unfairly) get neglected/forgotten.



    Born the son of a baroness and the traveling theater impresario that she eloped with, much of Andres' early youth - when not traveling with the theater company - was spent in Budapest where he hung out around theaters, and eking out his weekly allowance by selling cherries on the ferries that navigated the waters between Buda from Pest. He went to school in Budapest and worked as an art critic, an actor, a stage director, and as manager of his father's traveling thespian society. He left Hungary for Paris in 1938 where he allegedly attended Ecole Superieure des Beaux-Arts at Sorbonne. Not returning to Hungary after the war, France and Spain were to become his new home countries. Before the outbreak of the war, he brought his mother, brother, and oldest nephew from Hungary to live in Madrid. His later years were spent in Spain and France, making trips to Canada and the US to exhibit his art collections. In 1956 he bought a house in Evry, outside Paris, where he lived for five years with his wife, Ulla, and me (his son: Andres Laszlo Jr.). During the sixties, seventies, and part of the eighties, he spent summers in France and winters in Spain. Laszlo Sr. had a great interest in art and put together two collections: Goya’s engravings and naïve Spanish art. Both collections were exhibited all over the world.


    NB. The texts here listed are paper books only. Since 2014 most of these books have been published in Kindle- and POD format and many new translations have been added. More about these books is available elsewhere on this site. Note that all books have been translated (5)/retranslated (2) into English while getting proper content editing and general polish.


    1946. Francisco Goya, Spain: Editorial Tartessos. Several books on Goya and on Laszlo's own collection have been published earlier/later.
    1947. El Castillo de las Focas, Spain: Janez.
    1948. La Rapsodia del Cangrejo, Spain: Janez.
    1952. Donde los Vientos Duermen, Spain: Janez & Ediciones, Mere Inconnue, France: Stock, Die Mutter Meines Sohnes, Germany/Austria: Paul Zsolnay Verlag, 1958.
    1952. Donja Juana, Don Juan, Juan y Juanito, Spain: Janez.
    1955. Solo el Paisaje Cambia, Spain: Janez.
    1956. Mi Tio Jacinto, Spain: Janez, Pepote, Italy: Paravia, 1956. Le Muchacho, France: Gallimard, 1957 Mein Onkel Jacinto, Germany/Austria: Paul Zsolnay Verlag 1957 My Uncle Jacinto, Japan: Sogensha & Co, 1958. My Uncle Jacinto, U.S.A: Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., 1958. My Uncle Jacinto, UK: Jonathan Cape, 1958.
    1956. Paco el Seguro, Spain: Janez, Paco l’infaillible/Paco le Prolifique France: Editions Gallimard, 1959. Paco Never Fails, UK: Secker & Warburg, 1960.  



    Sin Uniforme is a movie based on a script that Andres Laszlo co-wrote with Ladislao Vajda and others. Though the underlying text (assuming there was one) has gone missing, my guess is that it was produced by Senior, as he related strongly to the "without uniform issue". Back in Austro-Hungary in the late 1920s or early 1930s Senior did spend time in prison because of his refusal to wear a uniform. IMDB


    My Uncle Jacinto was a Spanish-Italian co-production released 31st of May 1956. The movie was directed by Ladislao Vajda, who co-wrote the script with Laszlo. The movie starred Pablito Calvo and Antonio Vico. Calvo went on to win the Premio del Public in Berlin for his performance, and the movie won a silver bear. The director and Laszlo were close friends, and the screenplay remained faithful to the original text. Unfortunately the last "cut" of the film has removed the wonderful undecidability that should result from that the viewer doesn´t know (and shouldn't know) whether Pepote's "they threw me out" is the truth or not. IMDB


    Paco el Seguro was a French-Spanish co-production released 1979. Directed by Didier Haudepin, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Laszlo. Bloody Mary Productions were the main producer, but Filmoblic, Lotus Films, Record, and Tanagra were also involved. There were contractual disputes which resulted in that the film has not been shown outside Spain. IMDB


    Mother Unknown. At his demise, Andres Laszlo Sr. was in the process of turning "Solo el Paisaje Cambia" into a film script. 


    Marcel Marceau performed his interpretation of Senior's Don Juan, Doña Juana, Juanita, and Juanthat I have renamed Doña JuanaThe performance received good reviews and Marcel Marceau enjoyed the script (or choreography). I do not know the extent of Senior's involvement in the production of this play. View