Zsolt Lang
Rumania / Hungary
Zsolt Láng was born in Satu Mare, Rumania, in 1958. Today he lives in Targu Mures in Transylvania. As a member of the Hungarian minority in Rumania, Láng grew up bilingually and writes his prose, drama and essays in Hungarian. After studying engineering, he first worked as a teacher. He has been editor of the literary magazine Látó since 1990. In his debut novel "Perényi szabadulása" (1993; The Liberation of Perényi) he takes up an ancient Hungarian myth – the story of the Perényi family – and interprets it in a new way. In the novel "The Life of Stickman" (1994), Láng uses miniature-like chapters to spotlight various scenarios in which the protagonist becomes embroiled, only to emerge from them equally rapidly, rather taken aback and having learnt an ironic lesson. The character resembles the type of precocious, clumsy figures to be found in satirical literature by Christian Morgenstern, for example.

After numerous individual publications, Zsolt Láng has now been working on his trilogy "Bestiarium Transylvaniae" since 1997, giving all his earlier works a new context of meaning. These include the early collections of novellas as well as a volume of essays published in 1995; in this he raised social and current political themes to an abstract level, giving them a poetic density. Basing his work on the Romantic notion of universal poetry, in which the boundaries between individual genres and works dissolve, with his trilogy Láng sets out in search of total literary unity. The story of the first volume is set in 16th century Transylvania and based on the legend of the bestiaries, a collection of fear-inspiring birds. Láng tells the story of the love of two men for one woman – the Mephistophelian Baron Sapré and his counterpart Friar Peter. Linked to a chronicle on the seizure of Transylvania and of religious conflicts in that context, the story unfolds with all-embracing mystic expression.