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Végel László

László Végel prose writer and playwright, essayist, critic, Novi Sad Born in 1941 in Srbobran (Vojvodina), went to school and now lives in Novi Sad. He has been the editor of the literary supplement of the daily newspaper Magyar Szo for many years, editor of the Editorial board of Drama at TV Novi Sad, which he left during the purges of unsuitable journalists in 1991. He spent the most tragic decade in recent history as the coordinator of the Novi Sad office of the Open Society Foundation, where he supported independent media, numerous publishing and other projects not in accordance with the image of the society turned against the world. He started his literary career in 1965 by publishing critical texts in the cult journal Uj Symposion. Since then he has been intensely present in the literature of Hungarians in Vojvodina, but also former Yugoslavia, then Serbia. He has published in all the significant literary magazines in the country. After the social changes in 1989 he has been publishing books in Hungary, as well as articles in the more significant Hungarian journals. In 2005 a small monograph was published in Budapest about Vegel’s opus, Vegel-Symposium, with selected critiques of Laslo Vegel’s works by Hungarian, Serbian, Croatian and Slovenian critics. The editor of the book, Zoltan Virag, concludes that the literary work of Laszlo Vegel is significant because it synthesises traditions and narrative impulses of the Hungarian literature and literary discourses of the former Yugoslavia. In that sense, Vegel equally belongs to Hungarian literature, and he is one of the few minority writers who entered the bloodstream of Serbian literature. As Aleksandar Tišma wrote, Vegel is a prose writer of modern, urban vocation and, therefore, Peter Esterhazy considers, a forerunner of the modern Hungarian prose. Vegel is a significant playwright as well. His plays have been performed in theatres of the former Yugoslavia, set by more significant directors such as Dušan Jovanović, Ljubiša Ristić, Ljubiša Georgijevski. Novels: Memoirs of a Pimp (1967), A Passion Course (1969), Double Exposition (1984), The Novi Sad trilogy – Memoirs of a Pimp, Double Exposition, Eckhart’s Ring (1993), The Great Central-Eastern-European Feast Enters a Picaresque Novel (1996), Exterritorium (2000), Parenesis (2003). Novella: We are Swearing, and Our Eyes are Full of Tears (collection, 1969). Essays: The Challenge of a Poem (1975), Renounciation and Survival (1986), Abraham’s Knife (theatre essays, studies 1987), Life on the Edge (1992), Wittgenstein’s Weaver (diary essays, 1994), Homeless Essays (2002), Writing time, meanwhile (diary notes, 2003). Dramas: Judita and Other Dramas (2005) – Drivers, Judita, Across the Seven Seas,, Medea… Prizes: Mladost, Ady Endre, Free Press, Déry Tibor, Jelenkor, Gold medal for the overall literary work, presented to him by the President of Hungary (2000), Book of the Year in Hungary (Exterritorium, diary during the bombing, 2001), Milán Füst for prose by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (2003), regional Pulitzer prize for Hungary (2005), “Kossuth” Prize, the highest Hungarian prize for art (2009). Vegel was a member of the Sterijino Pozorje jury in 1990 and 1991, the selector for the plays from Vojvodina.