Author's page

Katalin SZLUKOVÉNYI
( 1977 )

Biography

1977 born in Győr
1994 present publishes poetry in periodicals, translates from German
1996 begins studies at Eötvös Loránd University and Eötvös Collegium, Budapest
2001 2002 editor of the World Literature Column of the periodical Magyar Napló
2002 English teacher s degree
2003 Hungarian teacher s degree
2005 present doctoral student in Eötvös Loránd University s School of Modern English and American Literature

Prize:
2000 Zsigmond Móricz Scholarship, 2005 Attila Gérecz Prize

Experimental Rabbit’s Nose
2005

Katalin Szlukovényi s book is an exceptionally mature first volume. Besides mastering poetic techniques, she has immediately found an unmistakable voice of her own. In her poems she constantly undermines the romanticism or pathos one part of her character seems to demand. She is a highly conscious poet not susceptible to the crampedness consciousness often triggers. Her way of thinking quickly brings together distant concepts, the way 17th-century English metaphysical poets did with their wilfully far-fetched metaphors, or conceits. Yet hers is an analytic and dramatic mind. She writes role-poems: partly projecting in third person singular the figure of Chekhov s Irina (from The Cherry Garden ), deprived of all hope ( Sonnets from the Brick Factory A Chekhov Epilogue ), partly writing dramatic monologues of Greek heroines with noticeable empathy. The final cycle of the book sparkles with the drama and passion of a love story, and in harmony with confessional poetry, she takes her own innermost feelings on stage instead of dramatic monologues, here the poems have a real addressee. Szlukovényi mythologizes the situation, and refers to this mythic scene in the text. The mood of the poems is rarely homogeneous, as the whirling of objects, situations, emotions and impulses alternate with a coldly sober analysis. And at parts she allows for a beautiful and sad poem, like Üllői út . In Katalin Szlukovényi s poems there are crucial poetic merits: unexpected expressions, exact images, and powerful lines easily recalled ( this is again the sober dawn / a drainpipe s frightful rumbling Post-Song ). She handles texts courageously, putting short mottos under titles or in front of cycles, probably her own earlier texts or fragments. But above all it is a striking personality that acts in her poems: a fresh voice full of self-assurance and self-reproach, irony and relieving humour. And the changes, the knife-sharp flashes of that voice. -Mónika Mesterházi Szlukovényi cultivates a rather strong intellectual poetry of experiences, something that clearly shows, let us put it this way, familiarity. Her poetic world is governed by transparency, which its creator expresses with bitter self-irony, to the greatest joy of someone who is especially responsive to other people s personal tragedies, and so is perverted and ultimately an ideal reader....The exactness of remembering, the ice-cold, surgeon-like punctuality, the way the poetic ego explores her own self, is almost alarming. It is the daring optics with which Szlukovényi willingly or unwillingly records and displays hidden and broken-down moments that offer some relief. -Zoltán Pallag

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