Selected biographical notes of the Hungarian guests
Johanna Bodor (1965) – Hungarian dancer, choreographer, and actress. She was born in Cluj-Napoca (Hun.: Kolozsvár). In 1985, she managed to leave Romania for Hungary. She danced in the famous Szeged Opera and Ballet Company, and in Győr afterwards. She also appeared in theatrical plays and films, and since 1994, she has been known primarily for her work as a choreographer. Her debut book, which tells the story of her childhood and growing up under the dark dictatorship of Ceauşescu, “It’s OK, I Will Understand” (Polish transl. by Irena Makarewicz, „Nie szkodzi, kiedyś zrozumiem”) will be published by Świat Książki.
Géza Csáth, né József Brenner, (1887, Subotica, Hun. Szabadka – 1919, Kelebija) – writer, playwright, musician, music critic, and psychiatrist by profession. His relative was Dezső Kosztolányi. Csáth was known primarily for his symbolic and expressionist stories, diaries and essayistic works. A selection of short stories and diaries titled "Opium" is his first book translated into Polish.
Gyula Csics (1944) – teacher of history and Russian language, librarian. After graduation, he took up a variety of jobs, including teacher, clerk in a technical library, or senior public relations specialist. From 2001, he managed Tatabanya City Library in for ten years. In 2006, on the 50th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, his childhood diary, which he kept during at that time, was released. The Polish Institute of National Remembrance made this account available to Polish readership by publishing „Węgierska Rewolucja 1956. Pamiętnik dwunastolatka” (“The 1956 Hungarian Revolution. The Diary of a Twelve-Old Boy”).
Márton Szepsi Csombor (1594 – 1623) – author of the first travel journal in Hungarian. At the age of 22, he set off abroad, and travelling mostly on foot "in yellow crackowes (soft leather boots with upturned toes) and luminous coat of scarlet cloth" traversed the Republic of Poland, Czech state and Silesia. In Gdańsk, he enrolled in college, and left the city in 1617 to go to Prussia wherefrom he sailed to Denmark. The destination of his further trip was Switzerland but he arrived in England, and visited London and Canterbury. In 1618, he spent some time in Provence and Paris. Then he went to Germany, and visiting Heidelberg, Nuremberg and Krakow on the way, returned to Hungary. He died of the plague at the young age.
Margit Garajszki (1983) – writer, literary translator and playwright. After graduating from the Slovak philology at the Comenius University, she studied direction and dramaturgy at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. Her first book published in Polish is a charming story of the teenage years of the famous Hungarian composer titled "Bartók and the Wooden Prince" („Bartók i drewniany książę” in Polish).
Ferdinand Gregorovius (1821 – 1891) – historian, specialising in the history of ancient Rome. Born in Nidzica, he studied theology and philosophy at Königsberg University. After many years of teaching, he moved to Italy where he was the first German to receive honorary citizenship of Rome in 1876. He wrote a series of songs in honour of the Polish and Hungarian insurgents fighting in the Spring of Nations. His poems were released in a rows in the trilingual edition by ElSet publishing house of Olsztyn.
Lajos Grendel (1948) – Hungarian writer, essayist. He was born in Léva (Levice, Slovakia). From 1973 to 1992, he worked in Madách publishing house in Bratislava. He also held the position of the President of the Slovakian Pen Club and the CEO of Kalligram publishing house (1993–1996). Author of numerous novels, short stories, essays as well as academic works, and papers on the history of Hungarian literature. Winner of numerous awards, including those named after: Kossuth, Imre Madách, Attila József and Tibor Déry. His works published in Poland include the collection of short stories “Sacrificing the Queen” (Polish transl. by Miłosz Waligórski, “Poświęcenie hetmana”, Biuro Literackie 2014) and his latest book “Einstein harangjai” (Polish transl. by Miłosz Waligórski, „Dzwony Einsteina” <”Einstein’s Bells”, Biuro Literackie 2016).
János Háy (1960) – poet, prose writer and playwright. Graduated of Russian philology and history at Szeged University, he also studied aesthetics at Budapest University. Member of the Hungarian Writers’ Union and the Society of Literary Writers. Winner of numerous literary and artistic awards and distinctions, such as the Attila József and Sándor Márai Awards. His theatre plays are published and readily performed in Poland (e.g. “A Bridge over the Valley”). In May, Wielka Litera house will publish a collection of his short stories under the title „Syn ogrodnika” (“Graderner’s Son”; Polish transl. by Jolanta Jarmołowicz et al.).
Imre Kertész (1929 – 2016) – writer and literary translator. At the age of 15 (1944), he was sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, and was then kept in Buchenwald, wherefrom, after liberation in 1945, he returned to his homeland. In the 1970s, his first works were published. Though he enjoyed recognition in literary circles, he became famous both domestically and abroad only after winning the Nobel Prize in 2002. The main theme of his novel is the Holocaust and the conflict between the individual and the totalitarian system.
Csaba György Kiss (1945) – literary scholar, cultural historian, university professor. Multiannual university lecturer, member of the joint Polish-Hungarian and Hungarian-Slovak Commissions of Historians. As a scholar, he specialises in Central Europe, mostly in literature, social relations, and Polish and Slovak culture. Member of the Scientific Council of the European Network of Remembrance and Solidarity. He speaks Polish, French, Slovak, Croatian and German. He also publishes may works in Polish. In 2016, Studio EMKA Publishing House will release a collection of his essays titled „Powinowactwa wyszehradzkie. Wspomnienia, szkice, eseje” ("Visegrad Affinities. Memories, Sketches, Essays").
Pál Korcsmáros (1916 – 1975) – graphic designer, book illustrator, comic book author and journalist. In 1955 he released his first comic book dedicated to the life of the famous Hungarian poet, Mihály Vörösmarty. His adaptation of Dumas’ Count of Monte Cristo, which was published in the 1958, is recognised as his first fully mature comic work. However, his next comic books are found his flagship works of the genre, especially the graphic interpretation of the novel by Jenő Rejtő titled "14 karátos autó" ("14-Carat Auto"). As a master of the grotesque realism, Korcsmáros was recognised as the most outstanding illustrator of Rejtő’s works.
Dénes Lengyel (1910 – 1987) – writer, literary historian and educator. Grandson of Elek Benedek (1859-1929) writer, poet, journalist. He earned his teacher’s diploma at the Hungarian-Latin-French Philology Department. He was the head of the Department of Hungarian Philology at the Central Institute of Pedagogical Education. Until his retirement, he held a creditable position of deputy director of the Sandor Petofi Museum of Literature in Budapest. He edited the literary series entitled "The Great Hungarian Poets" (Nagy Magyar Költők), and popularised famous nineteenth century authors. In the last two decades of his life, he focused on the world of the Hungarian legends.
Sándor Márai (1900, Koszyce, Hun. Kassa – 1989, San Diego) – novelist, poet, essayist, one of the most popular Hungarian authors in the world. He made his debut in the interwar years, and after the Second World War he emigrated to spend the second half of his life in Italy and the United States. Known primarily for his novels (including "Embers," "Memoirs of a Patrician"), aphoristic works ("Book of Herbs"), and diaries.
Roman Marcinek – historian, graduate of the Jagiellonian University. Author of numerous publications on monuments and their preservation, cultural landscapes and its intangible value, history of the eighteenth century, and of the military.
Zoltán Móser (1946) – artistic photographer, ethnographer, and writer. Member of the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts. He presented his works at more than one hundred solo exhibitions and published over a hundred books and authored photo albums. He travelled thousands of kilometres to capture the landscapes of Europe and the Carpathian region, famous monuments, contemporary Hungarian writers, artists and musicians living in Hungary and abroad. He published albums in Polish earlier as well as „Śladami Mártona Szepsi Csombora po czterystu latach” ("Following the Traces of Márton Szepsi Csombora after Four Hundred Years," with comments by Attila Szalai.
János Oláh (1942) – poet and writer. After graduation he worked as a bookseller, and then he chose to become a freelance writer. In 1994, he was the chief editor of "Magyar Napló," literary magazine In 1969, in the famous anthology titled "Elérhetetlen föld" (pl. Unreachable Earth, Nieosiągalna ziemia in Polish) he made his debut as a poet. He builds his poems using laconic sentences full of oxymorons, parallels and paradoxes. In his reflective and nostalgic novels, he goes back to the memories of his own childhood.
Géza Röhrig (1967) – actor, writer, poet, singer and the lead in the movie “Son of Saul”. In the 1980s he was an underground artist, founder and lead musician of the banned punk band Huckleberry. Later, he studied at the University of Theatre and Film Arts Budapest in the Directing Department, in the class of the legendary director, István Szabó. He also completed two years of Polish studies at Budapest University. In 2000, he moved to New York, where he earned a Bible teacher diploma at the Jewish Theological Seminary. He published many books of poems in Hungarian, and in 2016 the Polish publishing house, Austeria will publish his collection of (pseudo)Hasidic tales titled „Oskubana papuga rabego” (“Rabbi’s Plucked Parrot”; Polish transl. by Kinga Piotrowiak-Junkiert).
György Spiró (1946) – prose writer, playwright, essayist, translator. Winner of the ‘Angelus’ Central European Literature Award for the novel “Messiahs”, which tells the story of Andrzej Towiański and his sect (Polish edition: „Mesjasze”, W.A.B. 2009); author of the bestselling novel “Captivity” about the experiences of a Jewish boy named Uri growing up in Rome in the time of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, a wanderer returning to his roots (Polish edition: “Niewola”, W.A.B. 2015), as well as numerous plays (Polish translations: “Szalbierz”, 1987; “Dogrywka”, 1998; “Stłuczka”, 2004), collections of essays and short stories. He is an expert in Polish culture, an admirer of Wyspiański; he translated all of Wyspiański’s plays and some by Gombrowicz.
Stanisław A. Sroka (1966) – Jagiellonian University professor, medievalist. For twenty-five years, he has been researching the history of Central Europe, with special emphasis on Polish-Hungarian relations. Author of several monographs in this field and 5 volumes of source materials he prepared for print: "Polish documents in the Archives of the Former Kingdom of Hungary." Recently he released „Początki Węgier” ("The Origins of Hungary") (2015) and "A Kozepkori Bártfa" (Bardejov in the Middle Ages, Budapest 2016). In 2008-2012, he headed the Institute of History at the Jagiellonian University, and currently, he holds the position of the Deputy Dean for General Matters in the Department of History at the Jagiellonian University. Decorated with Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary by the President of Hungary.
Attila Szalai (1950) – political journalist, literary translator, writer, former diplomat. In 1976-1990, he lived in Warsaw working as a translator and published in Polish cultural magazines and, under pen name, in samizdats printed by the democratic opposition. In the 1990she worked as a journalist in conservative daily newspapers in Hungary. Longtime diplomat, counsellor at the Embassy of Hungary, and in 2001-2005, director of the Hungarian Cultural Institute in Warsaw. Currently, he works as a scholar at the Research Institute of System Transformation (RETÖRKI) in Budapest.
Andrea Tompa (1971) – born in Cluj-Napoca (Hung.: Kolozsvár), since 1990 she has been living in Budapest. She studied Hungarian and Russian philology at the Eötvös Loránd University, where she obtained a PhD in Russian literature. She is a theatre critic, member of the Faculty of Theatre and Television at the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, editor of numerous publications concerning the history of theatre, as well as writer and translator of literature. In 2010 she debuted with her book “The Hangman’s House”, and her second book – “Fejtől s lábtól” – was published three years later. Both novels are very popular with critics and readers alike. “The Hangman’s House” (Polish transl. by Anna Butrym as „Dom kata”) will be published by the publishing house Książkowe Klimaty.
Krisztina Tóth (1967) – poet, writer, translator of literature, winner of numerous literary awards and art scholarships; with a passion for creating stained glass. She debuted in 2006 with the collection of short stories “Vonalkód. Tizenöt történet” (Linear Bar Code), for which she received the prestigious Sándor Márai Award. Her works have been translated into French, German, Spanish, Czech, Bulgarian, Finnish, Serbian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Polish. In Poland she is known primarily for the collection of short stories Pixel. Tekst ciała” (transl. by Klara Anna Marciniak, Studio EMKA 2014), which is considered one of the most extraordinary translations of contemporary Hungarian prose. In 2016, Książkowe Klimaty will publish her collection of short stories “Vonalkód. Tizenöt történet” as „Linie kodu kreskowego”.
Endre László Varga (1951) – historian and archivist, graduate of the Jagiellonian University. He focuses on Hungarian–Polish relations between 1914 and 1944 as well as the history of the Second Republic of Poland. For many years, he worked at the Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church in Budapest, and he was a holder of a scholarship of the Polish History Museum. Recently he has been focusing on compiling a collection of documents on the military and political relations between Poland and Hungary in 1918–1920.
Maria Zima (1989) – graduate of history (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsaw) and postgraduate studies in Foreign Service (The Warsaw School of Economics). She specialises in the history of Polish-Hungarian relations, with special emphasis on the presence of Hungarian soldiers on Polish territory during the Second World War. Author of articles, talks, lectures, scientific consultant in films on history.
Apart from the majority of the above authors and their works, the stand will also host the following persons:
Antal Bayer, Ildikó Boldizsár, Anna Butrym, Justyna Czechowska, Hungarian FolkEmbassy, Csilla Gizińska, Márta Gedeon, Gourmand band, Anna Górecka, Kristóf Horváth (Színész Bob), Paweł Marek Huelle, Ottó Kaiser, Noémi Kiss, István Kovács, Irena Makarewicz, Zsófia Mautner, István Pion, Kinga Piotrowiak-Junkiert, Bence Sárközy, Márton Simon, Mihály Szajbély, László Valuska, Teresa Worowska.
Translators to whom we owe special and separate words of appreciation for their strenuous efforts:
Anna Butrym, Elżbieta Cygielska, Anna Górecka, Jolanta Jarmołowicz, Tomasz Kulisiewicz, Irena Makarewicz, Alicja Mazurkiewicz, Wojciech Obiała, Maja Paczoska, Kinga Piotrowiak-Junkiert, Maciej Sagata, Magdalena Schweinitz-Kulisiewicz, Miłosz Waligórski, Adam Snopek, Anna Maria Snopek, Jerzy Snopek, Izabella Szyszkowska, Krzysztof Wołosiuk, Teresa Worowska, Marta Żbikowska, Robert Żmùda-Trzebiatowsczi.