Péter Esterházy

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Péter Esterházy (occasionally written Eszterházy) is one of the most widely known contemporary Hungarian writers. His books are considered to be significant contributions to postwar literature. He was born April 14, 1950 in Budapest, Hungary.

He studied mathematics at ELTE university in Budapest from 1969 to 1974; his first writings were published in literary journals in 1974. He worked as a mathematician from 1974 to 1978, and he became a freelance writer in 1978.

Esterházy, the scion of an aristocratic family that traces its roots to the 12th century (see Esterházy), is perhaps best known outside of his native country for Celestial Harmonies (Harmonia Caelestis, 2000) which chronicles his forefathers' epic rise during the Austro-Hungarian empire – when Haydn composed music at the family palace – to its dispossession under communism.

His next (and, as of 2005, latest) novel, Revised Edition (Javított kiadás, 2002), which appeared as an "appendix" to the former work, was born from the shock when he learnt that his father was an informer for the secret police of the Communist era. The book deals with the research work as a diary, his father's unfolding activity, and the very process of his facing and digesting the facts.

His works have been published in more than 20 languages. He has won almost every literary distinction in Hungary, including the prestigious Kossuth Prize in 1996, and has received awards for his work in France, Austria, Germany, Slovenia and Norway.


[edit] His works published in English

(The italicized dates refer to original publication, other dates refer to the English-language publications.)

  • Helping Verbs of the Heart (A szív segédigéi, 1985, 1990, 1991, 1996)
  • The Transporters (Fuharosok, 1983, 1991, 1994)
  • The Book of Hrabal (Hrabal könyve, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996)
  • The Glance of Countess Hahn-Hahn (Down the Danube) (Hahn-Hahn grófnő pillantása, 1991, 1994, 1998, 1999)
  • She loves me (Egy nő, 1993, 1994, 1997, 1998)
  • A Little Hungarian Pornography (Kis magyar pornográfia, 1984, 1995, 1997)
  • Celestial Harmonies : A Novel (Harmonia Caelestis, 2000, 2004)

[edit] International awards

Besides, he has received nearly 20 awards in his native country.

[edit] Membership

  • Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (Darmstadt)
  • Akademie der Künste (Berlin)
  • Académie Européenne des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres

[edit] About him

"Esterhazy's prose is jumpy, allusive, and slangy. ...there is vividness, an electric crackle. The sentences are active and concrete. Physical details leap from the murk of emotional ambivalence." (John Updike, The New Yorker)

[edit] External links

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Péter Esterházy

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