György Dalos

* 1943

  • This saying „it doesn’t depend on me” permeated the whole Hungarian literary life. I was always rejected, but none of the editors told me clearly whether he liked or he didn’t like my writings. They kept telling me that there was nothing to do. This led me to believe that there wasn’t a concrete list of banned writers, but that it was decided in the course of the weekly meeting of the editors-in-chief. Captured by this idea, I wrote a paper entitled "To the Critique of the Structure of Publication” at the end of 1971. It criticized certain aspects of literary democracy and suggested some ways to reform the process of publication.

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    Berlin, 17.05.2005

    duration: 02:47:07
    media recorded in project Oral History Archive - Budapest
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The saying, “it doesn’t depend on me”, permeated Hungarian literary life

dalos.jpg (historic)
György Dalos
photo: családi

György Dalos was born on September 23, 1943 in Budapest. He graduated from Kölcsey Secondary School in 1962 and then he attended the History Faculty of Lomonosov University in Moscow until 1967. He wrote his thesis on the German socialdemocratic movement in the Republic of Weimar. He married Rimma Vlagimirovna Trusova. In 1964 he became a member of the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, and in the following year he was admitted to the Hungarian Writers’ Association. He constantly published poems, reviews and reports on the literary life of Moscow. His first book „The Birth of Our Words” was published in 1964. Returning to Hungary in 1967, he began to work as an assistant museologist in the Museum of the Workers’ Movement. In 1968 in the course of the so called Maoist process he, as a member of a extreme leftist student group, was sentenced to seven months suspended imprisonment for treason. He was ousted from the party, laid off from his job, prohibited to travel abroad, and censored. Consequently, he was restricted from publishing in Hungary for nineteen years. After another conflict with authorities in 1970, he was put under police surveillance. He began a hunger strike with Miklós Haraszti, protesting against this measure. Finally the philosopher György Lukács intervened and succeeded in raising the control. This was the last time he was engaged in open conflict with the one-party regime, nevertheless he continued to participate in the activities of the democratic underground. His daughter, Anna was born in 1973. As a freelance translater he translated several German and Russian technical and literary works, among those were Semjonov Stirlitz’s folders. He began to publish his own writings in the German Federal Republic in 1979. Dalos received a Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst scholarship in 1984. One year later he accepted a position at the Institute for Eastern European Studies in Brema. Then in 1986 he worked for the Hungarian transmission of Deutschlandfunk as a contributor of written work. After receiving a work permission in 1987, he moved to Wien. In 1995 he was nominated director  of the Hungarian House in Berlin. When Hungary was the main guest of the book fair in Frankfurt he was asked to be literary curator of the event. Between 1992 and 1996 he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Cologne and later in Berlin. He moved to Berlin in 1995 and continued to work as a freelance writer. In 1997 he was elected associate member of the Saxon Artistic Academy. He’s collaborated with a couple of artistic juries in Germany. Since 2006 he is editor of the weekly Freitag. In the spring of 2008 he was curator of the presentation of Croatian literature at the book fair in Leipzig. Awards: Officer Grade of the Order of Merit of the  Hungarian Republic (2006), Main Award of the Leipzig International Book Fair  (2010).