Roland Orcsik

Hungary

Roland Orcsik was  born in Becse (Serbia, ex-Yugoslavia) in 1975. Since ’92 he lives in Szeged (Hungary). He works at the University of Szeged in the Institute of Slavonic Studies. Orcsik is one of the editors of Hungarian literary monthly "Tiszatáj”. He writes poetry, criticism, and translates from a number of Ex-Yugoslavian languages into Hungarian. His research focuses on Hungarian and Ex-Yugoslav literary contacts. So far he has published four volumes of poetry, and his book Mahler downloaded is translated into Serbian. His first novel was published in 2016 under the title Phantomcommando (the Romanian translation came out in October 2018, the Serbian in 2019). He received prestigious literary prizes for his works which are translated in Czech, English, French, Croatian, German, Greek, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Serbian languages. He plays on his „anti-instruments” in the psychedelic prostitute punk band named Lajka.


Hungarian poet, writer, translator, musician and literary scholar Roland Orcsik was born in Becse (Serbia, then Yugoslavia) in 1975. Since the beginning of the nineties and the outbreak of the Yugoslav wars he lives in Szeged (Hungary), not far from the places of his childhood and youth. He works at the University of Szeged in the Institute of Slavonic Studies. Orcsik is one of the editors of Hungarian literary monthly Tiszatáj. His research focuses on Hungarian and Ex-Yugoslav literary connections, and he has published a number of books and texts in translation from Serbo-Croatian and other post-Yugoslav languages into Hungarian. So far he has published four volumes of poetry, the one titled Mahler downloaded being translated into Serbian. His first novel was published in 2016 under the title Phantomcommando (the Romanian translation came out in October 2018, the Serbian in 2019). He received prestigious literary prizes for his works which are translated to Czech, English, French, Croatian, German, Greek, Romanian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Serbian language. He plays on his „anti-instruments” in the psychedelic-prostitute-punk band named Lajka. In collaboration with the Czech band Autopsia, he has recently published a multilingual, experimental voice-composition / sound poetry piece titled Black Friday

 

            Orcsik is a very well read poet in tune with the great heritage of the central European avant-garde and second modernism, as well as the most recent poetical streams from both side of the border. At the same time his verses emanate the renegade spirit of punk, industrial and noise “anti-music” and underground. By no means is his poetical and esthetical horizon determined only by the noted cultural circle, but is for sure well rooted in the mud of the Pannonian plain. The words of a critic Csaba Károlyi (on the novel Phantomcommando), precisely set the outlines of the framing reality – the reality which, of course, often exists solely as a piece of art. “We are in an unnamed little town. Among Hungarian and Serbian people; it is obviously Vojvodina. Some circumstances point at that there is an ongoing war but there is no direct sign of it in the town. There is no military, no police, no shootings, no military operations; what is really frightful is that nothing ever happens. Streets are deserted, there is silence, people shut up in their homes, they wait and do not know what is going on. Some of them were enrolled, some deserted, those who stayed at home are scared. Supplies of electricity, gas and water are interrupted, there is less and less food. In the most grotesque scene a family happily consumes shit. People are getting ever smellier and each of them develops an individual odor. It is interesting and original that the story does not concentrate on national conflicts based on historical precedents.” 

 

            Orcsik’s poems consequentially end up as complex post-modern patchworks, full of references, quotes, interdisciplinary insights and echoes from the Great Supermarket of the western culture. „Ghost of meter”, inner rhyme and winks to the traditional forms go hand in hand with the colloquial expression and the street slang, smoothly and stichless; Blixa Bargeld of the Einstürzende Neubauten shares a page with Mozart’s The magic flute, Gustav Mahler’s Ljubljana months merge with the opus of Ljubljana-based industrial music group Laibach, famous Hungarian painters and the streets of Szeged and Budapest move towards the Kasabian bridges of Bosnian Mostar, only to flow back to the imperial squares of Vienna. As a distant priest, or a commissar, there’s a figure of a twist-of-the-century Hungarian writer, doctor and a morphinist from Vojvodina, a beautiful suicide Geza Csath lurking from the low bushes of the notorious Hungarian Puszta. No wonder Orcsik is involved in a prize named upon Csath, where the awarded poet goes back home with a raw pig half. 

Because, that’s how this poetry is – bloody, unconditional; raw in the very best, finally very refined sense of the word.