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Károly MÉHES
( 1965 )

Biography

1965 born in Pécs
1979-83 attends the Benedictine Grammar School at Pannonhalma
1985-1991 gradates in Hungarian and Aesthetics from Janus Pannonius University, Pécs
1989 spends a semester at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1991 contributes to Új Dunántúli Napló
from 1999 secretary of the Southern Transdanubian Group of the Hungarian Writers` Association

His prizes include:
1994 IRAT Quality Prize, 1996 Miklós Radnóti Prize, 2000 Tibor Déry Award, 2004 Shared Third Prize in the Poetry Category of the Hungarian Cultural Ministry`s Contest

Slowly Every Secret
2002

Lassan minden titok (Slowly Every Secret) 2002 Károly Méhes initially wrote poetry and short prose pieces; Andrea Máthé writes of his fiction: [It is] centred around the story, following the tradition of Mikszáth and Móricz in its narrative technique and structure, while in its themes it moves along the line set by Gozsdu, Bródy and Krúdy. He handles the planes of time with care, as in the centre of his writings there is always some human action, whether really experienced or missed, that becomes someone s fate. From the slowly recalled, mosaic-like memories of his life (brilliantly shown by Méhes), the central character, a middle-aged librarian, tries to understand the meaning of certain family secrets. In this way, Méhes examines emotional situations and the difficulties of communication which he examined in his earlier work as well. In the story, the moment of the memory is counterpointed with the moment of remembering, the world of the 1960s with that of the 1990s, just like the first person singular narrator s childhood and adult points of view. The really well-rounded figures in the story are the mother and her girlfriend (the one-time seducer of the boy), while Gaby, the ex-wife of the librarian, in accordance with the writer s intention, cannot be only one affair among the many , which gives the novel an open ending.

Weingruber's Guest
2003

Weingruber vendége (Weingruber s Guest) 2003 In the opening story of the book ( The Invention of Villibald Katz ), the fictional hero increasingly influences the life of the narrator. The title story also introduces a person of uncertain identity (of the post-modern kind): the protagonist is a middle-aged expert in forensic medicine, who arrives in Vienna at the invitation of a colleague, and as the host is away, he makes himself at home in the flat. He learns several details about Weingruber and at last, inexplicably but, it seems, inevitably, starts to live the other man s life. These two stories frame the remaining writings, which often relate grotesque stories about defenceless and humiliated men-in-the-street, and take place either in the past (e.g., in the late Kádár-era, Pascal s Mother ) or in the present ( Go Back There ).

The Little Dead Man Seer
2004

A kis halottlátó (The Little Dead Man Seer) 2004 In these fifteen (morbid, grotesque or ironic) stories, by accident or as a result of some sudden recognition, the past interferes with the present, or, incidentally, the events of the present take place in parallel, in just one day ( Cases On a Rainy Day ). Méhes follows the classical school of story-telling; critics emphasize the structure, the sentences, the rhythm and the variety of his stories. The role of irony, comments Andrea Máthé, is crucial in texts that are built in the traditional form and manner, since by expressing both distance and belonging, it can give credibility to the writing....The short stories assume a peculiar enough atmosphere to connect the familiar with the unknown, and the reader can easily enter into and think about Károly Méhes s created world.

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