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( 1931 - 2008 )

» Plays (.)
» Landscape with a Woman (1990)
» Poems I.-II. (2004)


1931 born in Budapest
1942-50 student at the Piaist School of Budapest
1950 for political reasons not admitted to the Faculty of Law or Medical School; also rejected from the Academy of Dramatic Art; for a few months becomes a physical labourer, then a student at the Institute for the Education of Handicapped Children
1955 receives diploma in Psychology at the University of Budapest
1955 teacher at the Institute for Handicapped Children
1956 loses his job because of the role he played in the Hungarian Revolution
1958-60 works as a psychologist for Central Child Care
1958 poems are introduced by György Rónay in the Catholic periodical 1982 Vigilia (Vigil)
1960-68 psychologist of the Central Mental Asylum
1966-70 expert in Forensic Medicine of the Pest County Court of Justice
1968 freelance writer
1988-1992 story editor of the Theatre of Veszprém
1989-1991 editor of the periodical Új Idő (New Time)
1991-present permanent member of the literary TV program Lyukasóra (An Hour Off) and editor of the journal with the same title
1991-1995 co-president of the Hungarian Writer s Chamber
1992 vice-president of the Hungarian Academy of Arts
1994 psychologist of the Hungarian football team
1995 president of the Society of Hungarian Writers
15 November 2008 - he dies in Budapest
Major prizes include:
1982 Attila József Prize; 1985 IBBY Prize; 1987 Bölöni Prize; 1992 Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic; 1992 Erzsébet Prize; 1994 Kossuth Prize; 1997 Hungarian Heritage Prize; 2001 Prize for Hungarian Art


The collected plays of Tibor Gyurkovics appeared as the 5th and 6th volumes of the series of his Collected Works and contain both popular and less known plays by the author, from the drama Estére meghalsz (You Will Die Until the Evening, 1969) to the play Háború hármasban (Threesome War, 1995), enriched by documents, critical writings and photos. Gyurkovics the dramatist functions like a psychologist as he shows everyday people in absurd situations: the old man at his family’s mercy (Hospice, 1970), the cold-hearted Csóka family hunting for inheritance (Condolences, 1975), generations living together (Hungarian Bride, 1979) or the couple in a permanent struggle (Threesome War, 1995). According to critics, Gyurkovics’s best play is the absurd and static Hospital Round (1972) which was not well-received by the Communist authorities. The play is about a hospital room in which four men struggle with their desperate illnesses while they are continuously talking—not with each other, but only as monologues; thus we get to know the story of their lives. Gyurkovics has written many fine theatre adaptations, among which the best are the Kreutzer Sonata (1976) based on Tolstoy and Anna Édes (1983) based on one of Dezső Kosztolányi’s novels. “Gyurkovics is the follower of the Eastern European absurd, combining a dark worldview with moral responsibility....His main concern is: what it means to be a Hungarian today” -Erzsébet Ézsiás

Landscape with a Woman

“The painting was only a cover” says one of the poems in this verse collection, the subtitle of which is “Painter’s Poems” because it combines the reproductions of famous paintings combined with beautiful poems. Gyurkovics is at home in corresponding arts (not only was he an actor in one of his own plays, but he also directed a radio musical program), and he proves that paintings and poems complement each other, especially so when the poet is able to enter into the spirit of such masters as Hieronymus Bosch, Klee, Lajos Gulácsy, József Egry, Monet, Rousseu or Tivadar Csontváry Kosztka, examining many different characters and periods of art. The continuation and answer to this volume is Extázis (Ecstasy); here are found 2 times 107 paintings and poems, combining transcendent art with erotic experience.

Poems I.-II.

My life’s ascending day by day the sun grows on a hill then falls and then deep in the depths it slowly tucks up still How many nerves have snapped and cracked the air crackles like bone I’m not Sisyphus any more I am the stone. (from “Sisyphus”) This is how the poet depicts about his method of writing; he has written almost fifty volumes in different genres, but he still considers himself primarily a poet. The recurring topic of his poems is love: The water’s beating like a drum, it swallows up the sun. I love you, by heaven and earth. Conditions? There are none (from “Drum”) And, as a parallel, love of his country, in spite of the fact that he feels not only patriotic sentiments, but also anger. And how are poems created? Here are a few sentences from an interview: “Yes, inspiration is a fact, a kind of meditative concentration that borders on the land where poems are born. There’s a sea from which sometimes the subconscious jumps out—like some Loch Ness monster— it is you, living in your own depths, but you can’t measure those depths or even imagine them....I usually meet my monster in the mornings: you wake up, light comes in faintly through the blinds, the subconscious gets into motion and you are now able to grab this shiny thing, like the fisherman catches the fish, and pull it out from the depths of the subconscious. And then that special thing is created. It becomes aware of itself.”

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