The page of Pap Károly, English biography

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Pap Károly
(1897–1945)

Biography

Born September 24, 1897 in Sopron; died January 1945 in Bergen-Belsen. Short-story writer, novelist. Family name: Pollák. Father a literary historian and rabbi. Completed schooling in Sopron. Volunteered for army service in World War I. Welcomed Revolution of 1918-1919. Served in Vörös Hadsereg and became commander of city of Murakeresztúr. Imprisoned in Szombathely for activities after fall of Revolutionary Government. Family broke relations with him. Emigrated to Vienna in 1923. On return to Hungary supported himself with occasional jobs; was traveling actor for a time; also clerk. Settled in Budapest in 1925. Began to write short stories at urging of Lajos Mikes and Ernő Osvát, and gained first notice when he won Nyugat Prize in 1926. Writings appeared in Nyugat and Az Est Publications. Nominated for Baumgarten Prize in 1930 but name was removed from list because of his record as a revolutionary. Identified himself increasingly with Jewish people and their problems in 1930's. Silent during World War II; worked on novel of Christ. Bátséba produced in 1940 and "Mózes" (still not published) in1944. Became inmate of forced labor camp; transported to Buchenwald as No. 72.713 on November 2, 1944. Circumstances of his death are not clear to date.
Contributed to development of modern Hungarian prose fiction. His stories, often considered to be better than his novels, are tightly structured, poetic, simple in style. Writings are characterized by conflict between vision and reality, between longing for community and desire for solitude and by fate and desires and beliefs of humanity. Themes relate to problems of Jewish people. Concerned with basic ethical questions.
Some of his stories have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese.


source :: Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla
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