Author's page

Biography

1930 born in Zámoly
1953 poems first published in literary journals
1953-56 contributes to various newspapers and literary journals
1962-63 works as a journalist
1981 wins Herder Prize
1988 co-editor of the literary and political journal Hitel
1991-2000 President of the World Association of Hungarians
1992 editor-in-chief of Hitel

Prizes
1954, 1970 Attila József Prize
1981 Herder Prize
1984 István Bibó Prize
1985, 1995, 2004 Prize for the Book of the Year
1987 Tibor Déry Award
1989 József Fitz Prize
1990 Kossuth Prize
1990 Prize of Excellence awarded by the Magvető Publishing House
1990 Main Prize for Poetry at the Radnóti Biennial
1995 Eeva Joenpelto Prize
1997 Gáspár Károli Prize
1997 Hungarian Heritage Title
2000 Cross with Star Order of the Hungarian Republic
2004 Prize for the Hungarian Art
2005 Hungarian Heritage Title
2006 Bálint Balassi Memorial Sword Award
2008 Prima Primissima Prize

A Bird Takes Flight
1954

Csoóri s first volume of poems was praised by numerous critics for its confrontation with the worries of contemporary society, rather than just contemplation of society s obligatory joys. Even at this early stage in his career, Csoóri s own particular style his objective descriptions and political-sociological attentiveness appears. In a single poem, Csoóri strives to describe the universe in which sense of life may be found in one single word. Overall, the volume gives an early display of Csoóri s peculiar mixture of personal confession and concern with politics. Csoóri once noted, From the first there has been present in my work in whichever genre a general sense of unease about how to maintain the existence of the human personality in the world amid great campaigns of depersonalization.

Report from the Tower
1963

In the spirit of great Hungarian writers, Csoóri presents Hungarian peasant life something not unknown to him without, however, concealing the strife of the peasants in their attempt to adapt to the tyrannical institutions and demands of socialist farming. Csoóri s sociologically inspired writings serve as a standard for this genre yet today.

From Wall to Wall
1969

“Weeping wall to wall...” This volume reveals Sándor Csoóri’s interest in ballads and folk songs. In his prose, as well as his poems, Csoóri experiments with the use of archaic language. At the same time, though, he is fully aware that a language’s constant formation, destruction and renewal are possibly the most important conditions for human interrelationships. According to Csoóri, “Language means continual construction and destruction; it establishes relationships between people, and it links cause and effect.”

A Dialogue in the Dark
1973

The maturity of Csoóri’s style clearly shows as he highlights single words as well as larger structures of the poem, a method which makes the poems much more dramatic: “There is a whole world in each word—mountains, crevices, large uprooted forests.” “Without sacrificing his poetry to propaganda, he has been able, by absorbing the social and political turmoil of his period into himself, to digest these turmoils and re-create them on a personal, artistic level which is completely authentic. His are the masterful words of a man who was there, the words of a daring witness.” -Len Roberts, translator

Rain of Mud
1980

Besides being a poet, essayist and writer of short stories and influential film scripts for Ferenc Kósa and Sándor Sára, Csoóri started writing prose as a part of his struggle to find modern and authentic ways of expression. His essays have greatly influenced both his readers and other writers in the genre. This book is a novella, a documentary approach to a Hungarian peasant family—a search for the answer to the suicide of a girl of twenty. In the course of the investigation, a world of poverty and barbaric cruelty unfolds, and none of the characters seem to be mature enough for a fight for their freedom.

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