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Károly PAP
( 1897 - 1945 )

» Azarel (1938)
» Mozes (1944)
» short story collection (1945)


1897 born in Sopron, son of the town's rabbi
1915 army service, sent to front lines
1919 officer in the Red Army of the Hungarian Soviet Republic
1920-21 imprisoned for revolutionary activity
1921 goes to Vienna
1922 returns to Debrecen, works as a coffin maker
1923 publishes first short story in the Pesti Napló
1927 marries Hedvig Solymosi
1930 considered for the Baumgartner Prize; does not receive it due to his 1919 service with the Red Army
1944 drafted into forced labour service; sent to Buchenwald in November
1945 possibly taken to Bergen-Belsen, date of death unknown, sometime after 31. January


Azarel Azarel is a novel centred on a powerful, agitated inner monologue: the almost hysterical thoughts of a troubled young child are presented in detail. The story represents the inner journey of his quest for understanding his own self and his relation to religion and to God. György Azarel is the town rabbi s third and youngest son. Before his birth his father promises him to his grandfather, Papa Jeremiah. The old man is an ultra-orthodox old Jew who lives in a tent in the yard of a synagogue, contemplating the possibility of redemption. He considers all his seven sons heathen failures and seeks to impart his knowledge of Jewish Learning on his young grandson hoping that the child will prove to become his true disciple. Over time the grandfather becomes increasingly zealous, and is totally incapable of dealing with the child. The young boy tries to adapt to the desolate world of the yard and the adjoining cemetery, and takes refuge in his imagination, investing inanimate objects with souls. After his grandfather dies, young György is reunited with his family, but he no longer feels at home. His parent do not seem to love him: they perceive all of his attempts to elicit parental love as the wicked acts of a spoilt child. A suicide attempt (the young boy jumps out of a window) is considered an act of childish ingratitude. This lack of understanding only leads him to rebel further and question the very existence of God. He accuses his father and mother of being hypocrites, whose faith is only a cover for the livelihood earned by being a rabbi. After a severe beating the child runs away, and plots to denounce all the hypocrites in the world, regardless of age and faith. He goes to the synagogue to scream his denial of God, but in a emotional breakdown hears a heavenly voice, and is taken in by his parents as a prodigal son.

short story collection

A szűziesség fátylai (short story collection) The title story of this collection deals with the vulgar and carnal aspects of the man-woman relation, which renders all love impossible.

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