OUR EPONYM: GALGÓCZI ERZSÉBET, writer
Ménfõ, 27 August 1930 - Gyõr, 20 May 1989.
Galgóczi Erzsébet was born as the seventh child of a well-to-do farmer family. She finished her primary school studies in her village, after which she attended the Girls’ Middle School of Nádorváros between 1941 and 1945.
She graduated from the Hungarian Royal Teachers’ Training College of Gyõr in 1949. After that her parents did not permit her to enrol in the College of Theatre, Film and Television, so that she continued her studies at the Faculty of Humanities of the Eötvös Loránd University, but she quit it after six weeks.
She worked as an iron turner at the Hungarian Motor Vehicle Parts and Accessories Manufacturing Factory from 1 December 1949 onwards. In 1950, she was awarded the first place for her short story titled "Életünk a legboldogabb nékünk" (Our life is the most precious for us) at a competition called "Felszabadulás" (Liberation) organized by the People’s Alliance of the Hungarian Youth.
She was a student majoring in film script writing at the College of Theatre, Film and Television between 1950 and 1955, and after her sophomore year, she specialized in dramaturgy.
She was admitted to the Hungarian Writers’ Association and the Art Foundation of the People’s Republic of Hungary in 1951. Her first anthology of short stories titled "Egy kosár hazai" (A basket of home-made stuff) was published in 1953. After college, she worked as a journalist for "Mûvelt Nép" (Educated People).
She became a freelance writer in 1959. She completed primarily interviews and pieces of sociography during this period.
She was awarded the József Attila Prize in 1962, which she later received two times again in 1969 and 1976. A film adaptation based on her novelette titled "Félúton" (Halfway) was débuted, and four years later her first television play was broadcast.
Her theatrical play titled "A fõügyész felesége" (The Attorney General’s Wife), which was her very first theatrical première, was set on stage in Kecskemét in 1970. She was considered as a successful writer in the 1970s; she visited foreign countries many times and held presentations.
The memorable theatrical première of her theatrical play titled "Kinek a törvénye" (Whose law is it anyway?) took place on 18 February 1977.
She was awarded the Kossuth Prize for her realistic prose writing work in 1978. She portrayed the political and moral conflicts that took place in the Hungarian society in her interviews, radio plays, films, and in the genre of television drama by the means of sociography. Her opuses have been translated into thirty languages since 1953, and many films, television and radio plays were adapted from her creations. A film based on her novelette titled "Egymásra nézve" (Gazing at each other) débuted at the Festival de Cannes in 1982.
The peak of her career was represented by her documentary novel titled "Vidravas" (Otteriron) that was published in 1984 and kicked up a fuss in the Hungarian literary and public life. She became one of the most read writers because of her candour and unvarnished problem orientation. She deceased in 1989 after a short period of disease. Her tomb is located in Gyõr-Ménfõcsanak, the village where she was born. A memorial room to honour her has been set up at the Bezerédj Palace in Ménfõcsanak, where a street was also named after her in 2003.
Our library was named after her on 1 October 2003.
Her selected anthology
Novels: Félúton [Halfway] (Bp., 1961); Pókháló [Spider’s web] (Bp., 1972); A közös bûn [Common sin] (Bp., 1976); Törvényen kívül és belül [Outlaws and privileged] (Bp., 1980); Ez a hét még nehéz lesz… [This week will be hard to boot…] (Six novelettes, Bp., 1981); Vidravas [Otteriron] (Bp., 1984)
Short stories: Ott is csak hó van [It’s snowing there too] (Bp., 1961); Öt lépcsõ felfelé [Five stairs upwards] (Bp., 1965); Fiú a kastélyból [The boy from the castle] (Bp., 1968); Inkább fájjon [Let it rather ache] (also television plays, Bp., 1969); Kinek a törvénye? [Whose law is this anyway?] (Bp., 1971); Bizonyíték nincs [No evidence] (Bp., 1975); A vesztes nem te vagy [The loser is not you] (Bp., 1976); Közel a kés [The knife is near] (Bp., 1978); Cogito (selected short stories, Bp., 1981); Kettõs ünnep [Double celebration] (selected short stories, Bp., 1989). –
Interviews and pieces of sociography: Kegyetlen sugarak [Cruel rays] (Bp., 1966); Nádtetõs szocializmus [Socialism under a thatched roof] (Bp., 1970); A törvény szövedéke [Intricacy of the laws] (Bp., 1988); Ami a Vidravasból kimaradt [What has been left out of Otteriron] (Preface by Zsuzsa Vathy; Kortárs, 1990. no. 8-9.)
Theatrical plays: A fõügyész felesége [The attorney general’s wife] (collection, Bp., 1974).
Radio plays: Úszó jégtábla [Drift ice] (collection, Bp., 1978)
Film scripts: Magyar karrier [The Hungarian career] (collection, Bp., 1986); Emlékkönyv [Album] (Bp., 1993)
Full presentation of her oeuvre:
Galgóczi Erzsébet. 1930-1989. Bibliográfia. [Bibliography.] Gyõr, Ménfõcsanaki Petõfi ÁMK, 2001
GYŐRI ÉLETRAJZI LEXIKON [THE BIOGRAPHICAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF GYÕR]
HUNLIT –the multilingual literary database of the Hungarian Book Foundation
MAGYAR ÉLETRAJZI LEXIKON [HUNGARIAN BIOGRAPHICAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA] 1000-1990
A MAGYAR IRODALOM TÖRTÉNETE [THE HISTORY OF HUNGARIAN LITERATURE] 1945-1975./Galgóczi Erzsébet
MUSEUM.HU – Galgóczi Erzsébet Memorial Room
NAVA – excerpts - Estére mindig leszáll a köd [The fog always comes at nights]
NAVA – excerpts - Hungarians changing the centuries - Galgóczi Erzsébet
PETŐFI IRODALMI MÚZEUM :