I can be contacted through my agent,
Chris Parris-Lamb of The Gernert Company:
clamb[replace with at]thegernertco.com
You can email me at:
dragoman.gy[replace with at]gmail.com
You can leave a message in the comments. I’ll try to reply…
I can’t reply because I can’t understand the message. But I understood–and loved–your Paris Review story “Jump.”
Thank you very much. This is my first publication in the US and it feels good to hear it works for an American reader. (Your family name suggests some Hungarian or Central-European ancestry, but I might be wrong there).
I too am curious about this Central-European ancestry, because for years I assumed the family name had something to do with the Paiute Indian–of which I am about one quarter. But recent online searches–and your comment–lead me to think otherwise. Someone once told me that “sey” meant, in one language or another, perhaps Old English, “sea.” I immediately thought of “dirty sea,” because of the root “sep,” which I associated with “septic.” I hope this is not the case.
But, again, your story–a treasure. And I’m currently reading your essay on Beckett’s Watt. I plan to buy the new editions of his novels this month, had actually planned to do so, until I read the opening lines of your story, couldn’t put it down, so Beckett waits until next week.
Thanks for responding. I know you must be busy.
If you likes the story you should check out my other story Africa posted on the page. That is another chapter of the same book told from the same perspective. (Jump is a story chapter from my second novel The White King.)
Sepsey is a well known Hungarian family name. At the moment I am in Berlin so I am unable to look up any genealogical information but if you want I can look at some relevant works once back in Hungary. Do you have any information about the given name of your grandfather or great grandfather? If it is really a Hungarian origin some typical Hungarian names are bound to crop up.
That would be terrific. I’ll have to do a little research to find out more about my grandfathers, great and greater, and let you know once you get back to Hungary. Thanks so much.
By the way, “Africa” is wonderful.
Probably you are using Gengo. Can you tell me how you did the flags?
Sorry for the late answer, I was in Poland for a book tour.
To answer your question, I did the flags with some css hacking. Get my modified andrea09 theme from here:
and look at the comments in the syle.css file for instructions.
If it is unclear or you need more help, drop me an email.
I hope you will have the Romanian version on your web page…You already have Slovakian, Polish..hmmm…I wonder why not Romanian, and I believe you know some..are you a Hungarian nationalist??? I met so many of them…they are not any better than the Romanian ones, and probably you know it. I would like to read your book, I hope it will be on Romanian market soon by Polirom. Take care. Boldog Karacsonyi!
Dear Kind Heart,
Of course I will have a Romanian version of the site, if you look at the welcome page you can see a Romanian flag, which will lead you to a page where I apologize for this in Romanian. The problem is I do not have any material in Romanian yet. But I guess this will change when the Romanian publication gets nearer, and then the Romanian site will go up instantly. As for nationalism, I don’t think it leads anywhere, I have always been a liberal, had many Romanian friends in my childhood, and I found a few new ones when I visited Bucharest, Iasi and Chisinau this summer. (I have never been across the Carpathians before, it was a wonderful experience.)
Si sigur ca mai vorbesc Romaneste, nam mai vorbit de mult dar vara aste mi-a revenit limba si mam apucat sa citesc din nou, cartilelui Filip Florian mi-au facut o mare placere, si cind o sa am putin timp liber o sa continiu cu cartile lui Florin Lazarescu si Stefan Agopian. Toate cele bune, si Cracun Fericit.
I’ve just read the English version of the White King, which accidentally fell into my hand and, although I was a bit skeptical in the beginning about the premise of the book–I was also born in Romania and am 34–I must confess that I found it irresistible. I live in America and find many of my childhood experiences untranslatable in the local context, so I found such delight (and enless amusement) in reading entire pages aloud to my American wife with the feeling that I could so much better convey to her what it meant to live during those times. Great book, good translation too. A quick question: have you seen “The way I spent the end of the world?” (Cum mi-am petrecut sfirsitul lumii)? Similar point of view, funny story, from a guy our age born in Romania. Do you think we found a way to finally relate our experiences to the others and is humor the best way to do it?
Thanks for dropping by. I am glad you liked The White King. Sometimes fiction makes explaining things a lot easier, I often find that the absurdity of certain situations can only be convincingly described in the context of a short story. So I am glad the book helped you explain some of your stories to others.
I have seen Cum am petrecut sfirsitul lumii, and liked it a lot. Humor definitely helps in making others understand, laughter has a real liberating power, as I have learnt from my mother, who could laugh even in the face of the most difficult hardships.
All the best:
Ne-am bucurat sa va cunoastem personal,dupa ce am citit cu sufletul la gura “der weisse König”
Sper sa ne revedem,ori la Köln ori la Budapesta sau poate in Israel,
Toate bune Gaby si Gyuri Galeczki
Draga Gaby si Gyuri
Si eu mam bucurat foarte mult ca v-am inilnit. Sint foaarte fericit ca cartea v-atins atit de mult, si sper ca o sa ne mai inilnim.
I am curious as to why you did not translate The White King yourself.
Do you live in Hungary? I could not find this info anywhere on your site.
I’m reviewing your book and would like to know the answers to these questions, if you don’t mind.
Yes I live in Hungary, in Budapest. I have been living here since 1988, when my family moved to Hungary from my hometown, Marosvásárhely,in Transylvania, the Western part of Romania, where I was born as a member of the Hungarian minority living there.
As for the translation, I translate a lot from English to Hungarian, and I fear that doing it the other way round is beyond my skills (especially in case of a novel). Literary translators usually use their mother tongue as a to-language, it is very unusual to translate literature to a language which is not your mother tongue. The issue is of course complicated, there are many writers who have found a way to translate or recreate their own work into another language like
Beckett, Nobakov or Isaac Bashevis Singer. I worked closely with Paul Olchváry, the translator, and I tried to help him as much as possible, but translation is an exceptionally difficult job, and it demands complete mastery of the languge you are translating to.
I hope I have answered you questions.
I was impressed when I’d read ‘The White King’.
I am making an essay for school aubout books about Communism,
and this was the best I’ve read. And it’s one of the best books ever made. :p
I loved ‘The White King’ and passed it on to lots of friends and colleagues, this book is such a beautiful insight into the time the place and masculinity in Romania/Hungary 🙂 You know what is strange? I think about the main character in the book as growing up and moving to Hungary and then being the writer character (well, apart from God :)) in Esterhazy’s ‘The Book of Hrabal’ 🙂 Maybe one day he goes out for a beer one day an gets talking at the pub with Rawi Hage and Fauldy Gyorgy together! Your work opens a lot of space for letting us remember how things are made and lost in childhood, koszi szepen! And I wait for the next book :).
Dear mr Dragoman,
I have just read the italian version of the White King and I liked it very much. I was really struck by the cruelty of teachers. For working reasons, I’m in touch with many Romanian teachers , many of them teaching during the comunist regime, and I cannot believe that the reality was so horrible
I am German born, grew up in Australia, and just moved to Hungary with my Hungarian partner, her parents victims of 56.
I will be looking for your book, White King, in local stores.
Congratulations on your great achievements.
i like your book”the white king”so much,i am so curious,the boy as leading character in a novel from your life story,or just a character？
Congrats and at the same time thanks for “the white king”, a brilliant work!!!
Thanks a lot, glad you enjoyed the book.