In a Bucolic Land


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About the Author

Szilard Borbely (1963-2014) was born in Fehergyarmat in northeastern Hungary and studied Hungarian philology and literature at the University of Debrecen, where he later taught. An authority on Hungarian literature of the late-Baroque period as well as a writer, Borbely was awarded several literary prizes, including the prestigious Palladium Prize in 2005. Widely considered to be one of the most important European poets of the post-Communist period, Borbely's poetic concerns were broad but generally encompassed the marginalized in Hungarian society. Ottilie Mulzet is a translator of poetry and prose, as well as a literary critic. She was awarded the Tibor Dery Prize in 2020 and the National Book Award for Translated Literature in 2019 for her translation of Laszl Krasznahorkai's Baron Wenckheim's Homecoming. In addition to In a Bucolic Land, she has translated Borbely's novel The Dispossessed and his verse collections Berlin-Hamlet (NYRB Poets) and Final Matters- Selected Poems, 2004-2010. She is based in Prague.


"[Borbely's] poetry is epoch-making." -Peter Nadas

"Szilard Borbely was one of the best and most original poets and novelists of his generation-and Ottilie Mulzet is a wonderful translator of his work." -George Szirtes

"[Borbely] is considered one of the most important figures in contemporary Hungarian literature, having had an immense impact on the transformation of Hungarian poetry in the last decade, strongly influencing the conceptualization of poetry's social role and linguistic-thematic possibilities. . . . Borbely's poetry, prose, and essays try to bring the readers closer to the lives of those who cannot speak of their trauma or suffering. They can be uneducated and poor villagers, survivors of the Holocaust, women grieving after a miscarriage, or victims of terrible aggression. Through Borbely's texts we readers become increasingly less cruel-hearted." -Laszlo Bedecs, Asymptote

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