Author's page

Biography

(sometimes appears under a pen-name, György Gabriely)
1956 born in Budapest
1975-1979 graduates in Hungarian and History from a teacher`s training college, Budapest
1983 obtains degree from György Bálint School of Journalism (MÚOSZ)
1980-85 contributes to Napi Világgazdaság
1985-88 contributes to Design Center
1986-present editor of the 84-es kijárat (84 exit)
1989 contributes to the Ipari Forma (Industrial Form)
1989-991 contributes to Riport
1991-93 editor of the Young Authors` Society`s fiction series
1991-1994 edits fiction column for Magyar Napló
1994 editor at Magyar Napló
1994-2000 editor at Orpheus Publishing House
1994-present editor for the Hungarian Radio`s Literary Department
1999-present editor for Octogon

His prizes include:
1991 IRAT Quality Prize, 1996 Prize at the Holmi`s Short Story Writing Contest, 1998 Best Screenplay at the Hungarian Film Review, 2004 Attila József Prize, The Belletrist Society`s Prize, 2005 Sándor Márai Prize

Lake Huron
1988

A huron tó (Lake Huron) 1998 The short fictional pieces (that is, the loosely co-ordered texts marked with a title in parenthesis) in Gábor Németh s fourth book relate stories and fragments of memories, while the author, putting together his book and applying various editorial and typographical methods, inserts fresh reflections into his previous sentences. [Németh s are] genuine, true stories based on the statement that the only thing one can state anything about with safety and without doubts is oneself....The cohesion between the pieces is produced by Gábor Németh s self and personality, as it is all about him, his childhood, his youth, his family and friends, his thoughts and feelings...like in a mosaic. -Eszter Kovács By all means it is the vision kept and operated at a steady level that makes one the intimate and secret reader of Gábor Németh s self-history, which is worth as much here and now as that of a turn-of-the-century Indian s; it penetrates deeply and grabs the essence, but at the same time is short and simple. -Attila Bombitz.

Landscape for Contemplation, or Forgivable Landscape
2003

Elnézhető látkép (Landscape for Contemplation, or Forgivable Landscape) 2003 This collection comprises the author s first three books which he connects in a short and reserved introduction: It is as if you got to a high place. Looking back is indeed wonderful. The horse is grazing, you are gazing down, and let s not mention your buttocks. That meandering thing down there must be the road. The three books all concern the personal, the narratable. Perhaps one should try it this way, as if one were talking to people lying mutely on their backs, with their eyes closed, we read at the beginning of Angyal és bábu (Angel and Puppet). Gyöngyi Mikola puts her finger on the meaning of the first book, Nothing, with a capital-N, is undividable from its metaphysical inverse, God; it is a paradox, like Jakob Böhme s mystical vision about the cold and dark fire. Angyal és bábu is the recognition of the duality according to which, if we can only speak about God as something that is not, then we will have to speak about nothing as something that is . The second book, A Semmi Könyvéből (From the Book of Nothing), follows in the medium of nothing, and meanwhile it operates with sensual attention that focuses on one or two objects and describes it in exact sentences, akin to minimalist fiction. While in the world of Gábor Németh s books the narrated person becomes unstressed and, as a mere element of the landscape, loses all of his metaphysical privileges, the texts that are born cannot speak of anything else (for they cannot speak from anywhere else) but of the fact that differentiates man from landscape, plants or animals, that, with his mind capable of reflection, he can measure his own mortality, and can watch and measure (human) life from death s point of view. In this sense, Gábor Németh is absolutely the scribe of a language approaching the endless, one of the authors through whom language keeps its distance from, tries to postpone, death till the end. -Ákos Teslár reviews Elnézhető látkép

Are You a Jew?
2004

Zsidó vagy? (Are You a Jew?) 2004 In his childhood, after the level of the first sensual experiences, the narrator of this essay-novel faces images of Auschwitz on a chance school visit to the cinema, and what he sees makes him feel the anguish of also belonging to the victims; he is part of the unknown sin that triggered such a hideous punishment. He takes for granted the fact that he is a Jew and starts to search for the family secret. The next layer of experiences belongs to language (and society); the adult world is full of unexplainable sudden silences and lies, it does not encourage any inquiry. Gábor Németh s book is a post-Holocaust reflection on childhood, in which the reality of socialist Hungary in the 1960s and 1970s is present in a way that it is not present. The novelty of the book is that it takes certain maladies of our co-existence to such depths where they should normally have nothing to do. This is what makes it so liberatingly mystical, so frenetically secret and uniquely ironic. -Vilmos Csaplár It modifies the rules of confession significantly; it is ironic, it does not uncover dark mysteries, it disarranges the casual and temporal connections and the narrator never for a moment feels or invites pity for himself. And essentially: he does not have the kernel he wants to express, or cannot hide any more. It is in fact what he is after. -György Kálmán C. Here is this book, this magnificent text, which promises that it will examine one of the most awful and hence most important and, from many points of view, most meaningless issues of contemporary Hungarian intellectual discourse (simply making it the title of the book in the form of a question, and with this, challengingly and provocatively, carrying it on and neutralizing it); yet if you have read it to the end and have learnt a lot about the world, about the inscrutable, threatening and valueless plurality of the relationships that one can have with the world, you suddenly realize that it has given no simple answer to the rudely and simply put question of the title; it has circumscribed it and so has avoided the simplifying naivety and seems to have talked about something else. - István Margócsy

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