News – 22nd January, 2019

Edina Szvoren has won Miklós Mészöly prize

News–22nd January, 2019


Edina Szvoren has won Miklós Mészöly prize

Edina Szvoren has won this year’s Miklós Mészöly prize, which was awarded to her in Mészöly’s birthplace, Szekszárd.

The Mészöly Miklós Association awarded the prize for ‘Verseim’ – ‘My Poems’ – a volume of short stories published last year by Magvető. The award was presented by László Szörényi, literary historian and president of the association, and the ceremony was held in Szekszard’s Művészetek Háza, or House of Arts, on the sixteenth occasion of the annual Mészöly memorial event.

Photo: Hutter Katalin Cecília

The writer Noé Kiss Tibor characterised Szvoren’s volume of thirteen short stories as follows: Her sentences are perfect, “penetrating to the viscera.” The writer’s psychological sensitivity and ruthlessness plumb the depths of both individuals and human relationships, and she is “capable of giving palpable life to anything, even from amid apparent banality.” In his own appraisal, László Szörényi remarked that Szvoren “likes to cloak all her characters in mystery,” and he also drew several parallels between her work and Mészöly’s. After receiving the award, Szvoren remarked that for a long time she had felt contemporary Hungarian literature could not match the gravity of world literature.

As you can read in Könyvesblog's review about Verseim:

“The shocking, overwhelming effect of these texts is not merely down to the frequency of tragic events, but also their unexplained nature. These stories, with their lean, suffocating terseness, always ensure that we are drawn back in through some yearning sense of absence. Unspoken facts and feelings, disseminated secrets and hints of past trauma all conspire to keep us in a state of permanent suspense. What drives this prose, what continually urges it on, is the desire we feel to delve into these secrets, to uncover the reasons behind this choked, eerie atmosphere, at once so strange and so familiar, which seems to pervade everything. If many of these stories are unpleasant, then what is it about this world that inexorably grips us, drawing us in?” – The whole review will be available in Enligsh on HLO shortly.

In addition to the prize, a Miklós Mészöly memorial plaque was also awarded to the Szekszárd cultural coordinator and vice-president of the Pad Literary Association Zoltán Jankovics, for, among other things, the work he undertook in restoring the Mészöly farm in Szekszárd.

The Association for Upholding the Literary Legacy of Miklós Mészöly was founded in 2004, and recognises contemporary Hungarian authors. Starting from 2005, the prize has been awarded to László Márton, László Darvasi, Péter Macsovszky, András Cserna-Szabó, István Baka (1948-1995, posthumously), Gergely Péterfy, Tibor Zalán, Endre Szkárosi, Ákos Győrffy and Szilárd Borbély (1963-2014), Zoltán Danyi , Csaba Szabó Róbert and Endre Lábass.

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