Grew Up… in a Hungarian noble family. Although he was born in Hungary, Almásy was mostly raised and educated in the United Kingdom. He retains a Hungarian title, a Hungarian name, and a slight Hungarian accent. Otherwise Almásy is entirely English and assumed to be English by many he meets.
Living… in the Sahara, a land without borders. Though his exploration and map-making is of great interest to the powers that be, Almásy is unconcerned with the frontiers and nations on the verge of eruption into world war. For Almásy, North Africa of the late 1930’s and its Sahara are pure and serene, and completely devoid of patriotism and nationality. It is a land to be explored, but not settled; to be mapped, but not owned.
Profession… explorer, cartographer, and aviator. Almásy has had the best education money can buy. He speaks German, Hungarian, English, and Arabic, perhaps among other languages native to North Africa. Though an avid aviator, Almásy understands that exploration must be done on the ground. Almásy approaches his work with the single-mindedness of an academic and the grit of a true explorer. He sees the purpose of his work as part of the grand project of human exploration.
Interests… flying planes and sewing (but he’s not very good at the latter).
Relationship Status… single. He’s quite jaded when it comes to love. As he says, “New lovers are nervous and tender, but smash everything. For the heart is an organ of fire.” Despite his cynicism, he can’t ignore his attraction to another woman on the map-making expediciton, Katharine Clifton. It’s unfortunate that she is married and her husband Geoffrey is also on the trip.
Challenge… dealing with the political realities of the Sahara. Almásy sees the land as it truly is, without lines of demarcation. In a place and time where these new lines – lines of ownership – suddenly become very important, Almásy must determine who he is and what side of each line he stands on. He needs to decide where his loyalties lay, amidst the violence of love, war, and passion.
Personality… reserved to the point of being taciturn. As he says about himself, “I once traveled with a guide who was taking me to Faya. He didn't speak for nine hours. At the end of it he pointed at the horizon and said, "Faya!" That was a good day.” When he does speak, Almásy is possessed of a dry wit and a good sense of humor. He is very clever but seemingly quite moody.
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