Gyula Krúdy (1878-1933) produced the main bulk of his fictional work in the period 1897-1920, when Modernist writing in Hungary was initially dominated by the short story as the medium of experiment and innovation. The basic form of his prodigious output was, similarly to a number of other important prose authors of the period, the short story. His highly influential work has an elusive quality: it is unclassifiable, and general critical labels such as Symbolism, Impressionism and Surrealism have been of partial and dubious help in discussions of his writing. Approached from a technical point of view, the underlying narrative strategy of Krúdy's work can be identified as serial accumulation, with its attendant openness of form: the short-story sequence, the story-tagged-on-the-previous-story organisation of his novels, the historically pre-novelistic frame-tale-like coordination of various narrative forms. This is particularly evident in the case of Szindbád, Krúdy's crowning achievement in fiction, which came into being as an ever expanding series of short stories, novels and “dreams”, held together by their protagonist, the symbolically reimagined figure of Sindbad the Sailor, the mythic wanderer of The Arabian Nights. Infused with the lyricism of conjugal Eros and Thanatos, the stories develop, and give variations on, the central character as a composite symbol, the manifold meanings of which range from authorial self-dramatisation to a philosophical vision of Man as metaphysical superfluity.