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Csaba BÁTHORI
( 1956 )

» Glass Film (2003)
» The Arrow and the String (2005)
» Happy Lead (2006)

Biography

1956 born in Mohács
1970–1974 attends Piarist School in Budapest
1974–1979 attends and graduates from the Law Faculty, Pécs and Budapest
1981 moves to Austria
1996 returns to Hungary; at present lives in Budapest with poet wife, Zsófia Balla

His major prizes include:
Tekintet Prize (1995); AustrianTranslators’ Prize (1996); Soros Foundation Scholarship (1998); Tibor Szobotka Prize (1998); Milán Füst Scholarship (2000); Tibor Déry Award (2005); Attila József Prize (2007); Hetedhét Prize (2011); Szépíró Prize (2013)

Glass Film
2003

Csaba Báthori’s oeuvre as a poet started at the periodical Mozgó Világ, his masters being Ágnes Nemes Nagy and other poets of the Újhold circle. His poetry is characterized by punctuality, honesty, recollection and clarity of form; he presents the sensual details of a well-observed outer and inner world in concentrated diction. In his poems, a likeable personality, wrestling with the world, gradually emerges. Glass Film commemorates the tragic figure of Báthori’s mother, particularly in the sequence “The Prodigal Son”. “Báthori rolls weight in front of himself; he lifts weight, the weight of personal and existential grievances, of life and death. His poems gain by re-reading, they become increasingly effective: it is after one has sorted out the details and thought them over that the clear and suffered-for unity of thought that unites the whole volume unfolds.” -Anna Szabó T.

The Arrow and the String
2005

Csaba Báthori is an expert of twentieth-century and present-day Hungarian literature, and is equally at home in German-language literature. This volume includes selections from almost three decades of essays, studies and criticism. “The Loneliness of the Peregrine” collects writings concerning world literature, primarily German literature (Goethe, Schiller, Rilke, Walser, Kafka, Mann), which the author knows perfectly as a translator, while “Wider Within” presents Hungarian authors (Jenő Dsida, Zoltán Somlyó, Iván Mándy, Amy Károlyi, Stefánia Mándy, Ottó Orbán, György Somlyó, Magda Székely, Ágnes Gergely, Zsuzsa Takács, Zsuzsa Beney), many of whom are outside the official literary canon. “His manner of writing is not heavy with professional humility; it takes risks. He gets rid of overused patterns, he can be impudent, provocative, at times unpleasant. In the writings collected here, the poet overcomes the reviewer and the interpreter and makes strong assertions. He relies on language rather than knowledge. Or, on his own tastes rather than others’ opinions....What makes reading of Csaba Báthori such a joy is the fact that however cautiously he builds on criticism, most of the time he handles...works...with a dryly ironic voice, and he is always interested in the man that transpires from behind the actual work of art. … His sentences are sharp, his words snap with judgment. … His ideas are precise, and his way of putting them won’t leave any doubt as to his own personal opinion. -Szilárd Borbély

Happy Lead
2006

This time Báthori observes the figure of the self-destructive and unreachable father, and his own wrestling with him (as in the sequence “The Snake’s Egg”). His new volume is linked to more than one tradition. His poems either shock the reader with strong, intensive, apocalyptic similes, offer objective and precise descriptions, or speak in a confessional-meditative tone. “According to their theme, it would be possible...to link Csaba Báthori’s new book, and especially the poems in the sequences “The Snake’s Egg” and “Diving”, to the father-and-son novels of the last few years (Harmonia caelestis by Esterházy, TündérVölgy by Kukorelly, etc.). Yet I’d much rather stress how he has cleaned and formed to his own liking many poetic devices and manners of writing that had become worn and uninteresting. Instead of taking a step backwards, he has managed to enrich the lyrical language he is using at the moment.” - Béla Bodor

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