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László Darvasi was born in Törökszentmiklós, Hungary, in 1962. For many years now, he has lived in Szeged, a university town on the border to Serbia in southern Hungary, and in Budapest. After completing studies at a College of Education, he taught at various elementary schools until 1989, after which he turned initially to journalism. Using the pseudonym Sziv Ernö, he continues to write football reports, TV criticism and features for a daily newspaper in Szeged. In 1990, he was cofounder of the literary magazine Pompeji, and has been editor of the Budapest weekly Élet és Irodalom (Life and Literature) since 1993. He published his first volume of poetry in 1991, and since then a rapid succession of mainly prose works has followed, including stories, novellas and the novel "A könnymutatványosok legendája" (1999; The Legend of the Weeping Artistes). Among other awards for his literary work, in 1996 Darvasi received a fellowship from Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf, in 1997 the literary fellowship of the City of Graz, and in 2004 – together with his translator Heinrich Eisterer – the literary and translation prize "Brücke Berlin". Darvasi’s books have been translated into eight languages to date.

The "Legend of the Weeping Artistes", which was written while influenced by his impressions of the Balkan War, collects episodes from the Turkish occupation of Hungary during the 16th and 17th centuries. Islamic, Christian and Talmud traditions, together with historical facts, are the setting for a moving world theatre permeated by miracles. This does not focus on the great names of history, but on five mysterious figures that travel in a rattling old wagon through a world that is confusingly timeless despite the historical framework. They are the weeping artistes, showmen who travel through many countries and weep on behalf of the suffering people. In this burlesque, Darvasi generates a fascinating wealth of images and an impressive range of characters and action, interlocked to create a network of mourning as fairy-tale as it is terrible.

In the collection "Die Hundejäger von Loyang" (The Dog-Catchers of Loyang 1993), Darvasi depicts a totalitarian regime in an imaginary China of old, the parable-like quality of which, however, makes it utterly up-to-date. Encoded and enigmatic, absurd, cruel and simultaneously full of magic and beauty, the stories in the volume "Eine Frau besorgen" (Getting a Woman), which also appeared in 2003, take place before a backdrop that is based on the Bosnian war, but often appears surreal.

As a features writer, Darvasi presents reflections on the meaning of life and the game in his volume of essays "Wenn ein Mittelstürmer träumt. Meine Weltgeschichte des Fußballs" (When a Forward Dreams. My World History of Football), which was published in 2006.

Publications in German Translation
Das traurigste Orchester der Welt. Translated from the Hungarian by Agnes Relle. Rowohlt Berlin, Berlin 1995
Die Legende von den Tränengauklern. Translated from the Hungarian by Heinrich Eisterer. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2001
Die Hundejäger von Loyang. Chinesische Geschichten. Translated from the Hungarian by Heinrich Eisterer. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2003
Eine Frau besorgen. Kriegsgeschichten. Translated from the Hungarian by Heinrich Eisterer, Terézia Mora and Agnes Relle. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2003
Wenn ein Mittelstürmer träumt. Meine Weltgeschichte des Fußballs. Translated from the Hungarian by Laszlo Kornitzer. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2006
Herr Stern. Translated from the Hungarian by Heinrich Eisterer. Suhrkamp, Frankfurt am Main 2006
Publications in English Translation
Seven Voices: A Sampler of New Hungarian Writing. Hungarian Book Foundation 1999
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