Tibor Babiczky

Hungary

Tibor Babiczky was born in 1980 in Székesfehérvár and currently lives in Budapest. He studied at the Reformed Church School of Pápa and at the Faculty of Humanities of Pázmány Péter Catholic University. He has worked as a media analyst, journalist for the daily newspaper Magyar Nemzet, host of the Hungarian public service radio, and editor of Libri, one of the largest Hungarian book publishers. He has been working at the Digital Literature Academy since last year. His first volume was published in 1999 and his most recent in 2018. He has written a total of six volumes of poetry and one novel. During his career, he has published in the most important Hungarian literary magazines and periodicals, including Holmi, Élet és Irodalom, Vigilia, Beszélő, Mozgó Világ, Hévíz and Tempevölgy. So far, he has appeared five times in the anthology Szép Versek, presenting the best of Hungarian poetry. His poems have previously been published in English, French, Czech, Slovak, Polish, Croatian and Greek translations. He is a Prima Primissima Junior Prize winner, has also been awarded the Litera Prize and won a literary scholarship from the International Visegrad Fund. In addition to poetry, he also writes lyrics and has collaborated with many well-known Hungarian musicians.

 

English translation © László Mózner 2021

 

“Not to be shaken, not to get sensitive”

 

A selection of reviews of the volumes of Tibor Babiczky

 

“A capable poet. That is, he has by and large mastered the technical part of writing poetry, shaping euphonic melodies with good rhymes, an easy hand, and catchy cadence. The inspirations are not difficult to reveal in his first volume (Péter Kántor, István Kemény, Lajos Parti Nagy, sometimes Szabolcs Várady), but these are just range-poles and almost natural concomitants of the entrance into the profession. The reviewer interpreted him primarily as a songwriter, who for the time being writes small real-life situations in a sensual voice, with apt analogies, always paying attention to the roundness of sound and the accuracy of melody.”

(About the volume ‘Lélegzetvétel’. Author: Zoltán András Bán. Source: Magyar Narancs, 07.06.2007) 

 

“When the reviewer approaches Tibor Babiczky's volume, cracking it open, so to say, the first two-page prose, which does receive strong emphasis in the case of a volume of poetry, cannot escape his attention: this is where Babiczky brings out Irish mythology, insofar as he brings into play figures who are “too bad for heaven and too good for hell”. In another approach, they are the “gods of the earth”, as the author quotes Yeats. There is no doubt that Babiczky devotes a significant role to this anacrusis, de facto positioning the world of ‘A jóemberek’. At the same time, upon reading the volume, it arises that we can speak of a contradictory editorial tone, since the stylistic-morphological solutions of ‘A jóemberek’ are multi-layered, that is, the ambition, bringing consciously chosen epical connotations to this lyric, points into a definite direction, while the form principle does not frame or hold the book together in unity; its particularity is manifested in diversity.” 

(About the volume ‘A jóemberek’. Author: Lajos Jánossy. Source: www.litera.hu 26.10.2011) 

 

“Tibor Babiczky’s new volume is mature poetry. Not to be shaken, not to get sensitive, but to look back through an adult's eyes on the journey taken and to look ahead is indeed a virile task. Yet the poems in the volume shake and sensitize the reader. The timeless experience of the passage of time comes to life: it is a bucolic urban lyric in which sad men no longer complain, but rather try to read their fate from the score of the stars, which is always the same: rebellion, fall, and acceptance. Shepherds, sailors, and wise men from the East set out in this pure and powerful poetry.” 

(Flap text of the volume ‘A Kivilágított ég’. Source: Magvető Kiadó)

 

Babiczky, has never been never a pronounced joculator, to put it mildly. His volumes seem to be trying to describe the same nightmare more and more accurately. “Hard as the breath of pearl fishermen,” we read from him three or four volumes and about a decade ago, and since then, the Babiczky-text has not changed markedly, neither in ‘A jóemberek’, also containing ballads and evoking Poe, nor in ‘Magas tenger’, a collection of crime stories narrated in a voice raspy from whiskey. If one reads Babiczky’s poems, or even his prose, one has to accept one thing: they are by no means a laughing matter. It is a bit like when reading or watching Batman. If someone doesn’t know what to do with, or doesn’t want to do anything with this seriousness, it immediately unravels: Babiczky is not for them, and then the whole undertaking becomes preposterous. Similarly, ‘Félbehagyott költemények’ does not really know frivolity or, for that matter, sunlight, and is even more laconic than usual. Fortunately (similarly to Batman), Babiczky is most of the time able to make us forget how unbearable this darkness, this fear, this shortness of breath, this death and destruction is. “The luminaires fill with darkness and retch up the night.” From this point of view, we should not mind that the volume is short. Even so, it is as dense an experience as an average hanging at dawn. 

(About the volume ‘Félbehagyott költemények’. Author: András Toroczkay. Source: www.revizoronline.com 2018. 10. 09.)

Edited by Ferenc Czinki

 

English translation © László Mózner 2021