Readings and Listenings

This page has links to Pilinszky poems and recordings, as well as select works by our guests. It serves two purposes: Before the event, it will provide audience members with materials for (entirely optional) advance reading and listening. At the event, it will allow readers to follow along. These materials do not exactly match what we will discuss at the event, but they are a good start. Later we will specify which poems and other works we plan to include.


János Pilinszky

"Egyenes labirintus" ("Straight Labyrinth"): original Hungarian text and recording, published on Magyarul Bábelben.

"The Straight Labyrinth" (translation by Géza Simon, published in Hungarian Literature Online). Also, listen to Cz.K. Sebő read this translation on a musical bed of guitar (in a 2014 recording).

Nicole Waldner, "The Ecstatic Barriers of Silence." Lili Ország Part II. (This wonderful essay quotes Ted Hughes's translation of "Straight Labyrinth" in full.)

"On a Fine Day" (translation of Pilinszky's "Egy szép napon" by Géza Simon, published in Hungarian Literature Online).

"Kegyelem" ("Grace"): Hungarian text with English translation by Katalin N. Ullrich, published on Babelmatrix; see also Diana Senechal's rough translation and commentary.

Several Pilinszky poems, side by side with translations, including three translations of "Apokrif," the last of these by Ted Hughes and János Csokits.

György Kurtág's musical response (a short cello composition) to Pilinszky's poem Gérard de Nerval" (a translation of which can be found here).

JSTOR has a plethora of articles about and translations of Pilinszky. To access them, just register for free. JSTOR has expanded its access during Covid so that individuals without institutional access may read 100 articles per month.


Cz.K. Sebő (Sebestyén Czakó-Kuraly)

"On a Fine Day" (Cz.K. Sebő's song rendition of Pilinszky's "Egy szép napon" as translated by Géza Simon).

"First Snow" (written and performed by Cz.K. Sebő, with Soma Bradák on drums).


Csenger Kertai

Listen to five of Csenger Kertai's poems ("Saját csillagod," "Hold," "Ahogy te akarod," "Balaton," and Én) set to music and song by different Hungarian musicians, including Cz.K. Sebő. You can listen to the whole EP here. Also, for the Hász Eszter Quintet's version of "Hold," go here.


Platon Karataev

Listen to Platon Karataev's "Bitter Steps" (from their Atoms album; read the lyrics here).

Listen to Platon Karataev's "Vízből van" (from their forthcoming album Partért kiáltó). The video features the actor Miklós H. Vecsei and is directed by Gergely Balla.