János Térey


János Térey was born in Debrecen in 1970, and graduated in Hungarian Literature and Linguistics from Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest in 1996. In 1997–98 he worked as editor for Cosmopolitan, ever since he has been a freelance writer. He has twelve volumes to date, most of them poetry, with one volume of fiction and, lately, several verse novels and dramatic poems. Térey is arguably the most prolific and dynamic creative artist in Hungarian literature today. His energy and drive have repeatedly proved able to bring up to date and breathe new life into poetic genres that were forgotten and believed dead. Read more on the author here




PROTOCOL (Novel in verse, Magveto, 2010, 403 pages)
This four-hundred-page novel written in blank verse just like Paradise Lost tells the modern-day story of the diplomat Ágoston Mátrai, evoking the successes and failures in his career and his love life as well as his business travels around the globe, from Brussels and Jerusalem to New York. An outstanding portrait of contemporary Hungary and it’s „executive class”, it is also a poetic meditation on ambition and the fragility of human relationships. Read more


TABLE MUSIC (Play in verse, Magveto, 2008, 193 pages)
Set in the White Box, an exclusive high-end restaurant in the Buda hills overlooking the streets of Budapest where the memorable 2006 street riots just broke out, this post-tchekovian chamber play explores the complex relations of the rich and beautiful regulars of the place, gathered in the restaurant to enjoy the fine wine and the exquisite foods, but also to play their little games of deception, gossip and cruelty. Read more


NIBELUNG PARK (Dramatic poem, Magveto, 2004, 443 pages)
In this outstanding mythological extravaganza, Térey rewrites the Wagnerian cycle of the Ring into a riveting tale of lust, ambition an cruelty in the context of our present-day consumer society and merciless capitalism. With it’s lush and witty poetical language both evoking Shakespeare and Tarantino at the same time, this tour de force is one of the towering achievements of Hungarian literature. Read more


(Mystery play, Magveto, 2009, 150 pages)
Set in the near-future Debrecen quite like the contemporary one but with a newly opened metro line and choosing a Hungarian state representative for a protagonist, this modernised mystery play evokes the past and the Calvinist traditions of one of the most important rural cities of Hungary through the journey of Jeremiás, who comes to his home town just for a brief visit, but faces the ghosts of his past and the emptiness of his life during the process.


PAULUS (Novel in verse, Palatinus, 2001, 315 pages)
This complex narrative poem written in Onegin stanzas weaves together the stories of the biblical Apostle Paul and his conversion, the story of the Nazi general Friedrich Paulus, leader of the disastrous assault on Stalingrad in 1942, and the story of Paulus, a Hungarian hacker in contemporary Budapest. Hailed as one of the first masterpieces of the younger generation of poets in Hungary at the time of it’s publication, this modern-day Divine Comedy gives a unique vision on the nature of history and the workings of personal destiny.


POETRY (Eight collections between 1991 and 2006)
With his unique voice mixing old pathos and the new, ice-cold irony of modern times, János Térey is one of the most important contemporary poets in Hungary. Ranging from free verse to more traditional, rhyming forms handled with unarming virtuosity, these poems tell the story of the war-ridden continent of Old Europe, but also unveil the cruel power-relations of everyday life in a rich and powerful poetic language.

Rights are available for complete volumes or selected works.



• Selection of poems in English
• Selection of poems in Italian
• Excerpt from Table Music in English
• Complete text of Table Music in German
• Excerpt from Nibelung Park in English
• Complete text of Nibelung Park III. (Hagen) in French
• Complete text of Nibelung Park III. (Hagen) in German

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