- Péter Zilahy
Péter Zilahy was born in 1970 in Budapest. He is a writer and performer with diverse interests. His cult dictionary-novel confirmed him as one of the great rising literary talents in Europe. He was a lecturer at New York University in 2001. Among other prizes his novel won the Book of the Year Prize in Ukraine in 2003. The author regularly writes essays in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Zilahy presently lives in Buda and is the captain of the Hungarian writer's football team.
Péter Zilahy (born in
Budapest, November 8, 1970) is a many-sided author, whose proseand poetryhas been widely translated and who has often used photography, interactive mediaand performance artin his work. He was editor-in-chief of Link Budapest, an Internet magazinefor contemporary literature in English and Hungarian between 1997-1999. He has been the editor-in-chief of 'The World Literature Series' since 1998: first at Jak Books and later at Gondolat Publishers. His book of poems "Statue Under White Sheet, Ready to Jump" was published in 1993. His dictionary novel "The Last Window Giraffe" was published in 1998 and has since been translated into 18 languages. The CD-ROMbased on his book has been performed in over twenty countries. In 2001, he was a visiting scholar at New York University. In 2002, Ludwig Museum Budapest held an exhibition of his selected pictures and interactive works. In 2003, he had an exhibition in Akademie Schloss Solitude in Germany, where his latest book, "Drei", was also published.
The Last Window-Giraffe
The Last Window-Giraffe is a memoir about the madness of everyday life under a dictatorship. It shifts in theme and time, testing the borderlines of prose and poetry, fiction and non-fiction, history and autobiography – all in the unassuming guise of a children’s ABC. The Last Window Giraffe is a book of a whole generation and is based on a children's dictionary which was entitled Window-Giraffe (Ablak-Zsiráf, Ablak=Window being the first item and Zsiráf=Giraffe being the last item in this A to Z). The Window-Giraffe explained the whole world in simple words, where everything was in order and problems were always solved. The author had been travelling throughout Eastern Europe during the series of protests that changed the so-called 'soft dictatorships' with the conviction that the best way to understand it was through the end. The book also describes the events of the Carnival like protest of Belgrade 1996-97' as being symbolic of all protests in its courage and absurdity. This humorous style mirrors the way the regime treated the people like children. The system ceased to exist at the year of his graduation from school and thus memories of childhood and regime become interdependent and the hero's character grows out of dictatorship as time goes by. The Last Window Giraffe is a lexicon of what's been left out. The book is filled with Zilahy's own photographs, and gives fascinating insight into whole other universe behind the Iron Curtain.
* [http://www.zilahy.net Zilahy homepage]
* [http://www.literaturfestival.com/bios1_3_6_293.html Biography from the international literature festival berlin]
* [http://www.the-ledge.com/flash/ledge.php?conversation=42&lan=UK Interview with Péter Zilahy on The Ledge]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.