Author's page

Biography

1953 born in Szekszárd
1977 graduates in history and Hungarian literature in Pécs
1979-86 editor of the prestigious Jelenkor
1986 moves to Budapest, becomes a freelance writer
1994 grant of the Kulturfounds Wiepensdorf in Germany

Awards
1982 Bölöni Award
1983 Art Foundation s Literary Award
1987 Zsigmond Móricz Grant
1988, 1993 MTA-Soros Grant
1990 Tibor Déry Award
1991 Graves Award
1991-1992 Playwrights Grant
1991 Magyar Napló Award
1991 New Hungarian Radio Play Award
1992 Attila József Award
1992 Károly Puskás Award
1993, 1996 Theatre Critics Award
1993 Ernő Szép Award
1994 Book of the Year Award
1994 Soros Award
1994 Artisjus Award
1996 Laurel Wreath of the Hungarian Republic
1996 Award of the Kelemen Mikes Kör in the Netherlands (Association for Hungarian Art, Literature and Science in the Netherlands)
1996 Writers Book Store s Marble Award
1996 Laurel Wreath of the Hungarian Republic
1997 Alföld Award
1998 New Hungarian Radio Play Award
1998 Alföld Award
2004 Hungarian Literary Award
2003 For Budapest Award
2004 Júlia Szinnyei Award
2005 Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic (civilian) - Officer Cross
2007 Kossuth Award

The Frozen Dog’s Leg
2006

MAGVETO½, BUDAPEST, 2006. 192 PAGES This new volume, from a writer who is known for his poetry, short stories, plays, a novel as well as a regular newspaper column, is a collection of short stories that have seen the light of day over the last decade or so. In much the same way as 18th- and 19th-centry novels, the list of contents provides “synopses” of the 22 stories making up the volume, though in this case they are not so much digests of plot as free-verse poems that are concentrates of motifs, keywords, sentence fragments and word plays. With their masterfully fashioned texts, the stories themselves lie on the borderline between prose and poetry. They are refreshing cocktails of linguistic registers from the highest flown to the gutter-scraping, displaying a profound acquaintance with what drives lives in the Hungary of today, employing irony and parody as important tools, with a partiality for playing around with linguistic statements—inverting hackneyed phrases, for instance, or rewriting the Hungarian literary tradition. The mangled language assumes humorous form, acquires a poetic density and, at the same time, succeeds in mapping the reality of the Hungary of toady with near-anthropological precision. The short stories present an array of odd figures, such as a body-gilder, a muscle-lark beater, and a mine-washer. One recurrent character goes by the name of Róza Szép (an allusion to the Hungarian word for belles-lettres—a Bella Wright, so to say), who is the source for a fund of good tales. At one point she is in charge of a market hall’s public toilets and on the side sells ties; elsewhere she recounts how, fifty years ago, when grape-picking was in progress, the blew up the treading vat along with her husband, who went by the name of Wolfram. The most powerful pieces in the volume are the opening one, which provides the overall title (it is of more than incidental interest that this, along with other texts, was used to fashion the screenplay for film director György Pálfi’s Taxidermia, which won the main prize in the Hungarian Film Week for 2006) and the closing story, which is entitled ‘Devil String’. Parti Nagy once declared that “I build from meat flesh”—an assertion that certainly applies to this collection. “Parti Nagy… is a suave conjurer-up of stylistic imitations, of familiar literary voices, of the precisely observed detritus and sediment of everyday language, moreover in a manner that quite carries you away.” Ferenc Takács, Népszabadság “Poetic disintegration, this shackled stumbling, assumes a sociographic appearance. A complexion that seems to be boiling down, and thereby parodying, genuine oral documents.” Sándor Radnóti, Élet és Irodalom

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