Other Literary Forms

(Critical Edition of Dramatic Literature)

As a writer, István Örkény is not easily categorized. In addition to dramatic works, he produced short stories, novels, and screenplays, several of which are adaptations of earlier works. Örkény’s Sötét galamb (dark pigeon) is a stage adaptation of his novel Glória (1957). Macskajáték (1966; catsplay, 1976) and Tóték (1964; the Toth family), two of Örkény’s most celebrated novels, were first conceived as film scenarios but were left unfinished when the original film projects were abandoned. The unused material was salvaged in the form of novels, which were subsequently adapted for the stage and finally recast as two critically acclaimed films: Macskajáték (1974) and Isten hozta, rnagy úr! (1969; welcome, dear major). The difficulty of categorizing Örkény is further demonstrated by his Egyperces novellák (1968; One-minute Stories, 1994). These writings are sketches imbued with wit and concentrated meaning. As the title of the collection suggests, these stories are highly condensed, bearing a relationship to the conventional-length short story analogous to that of the terse haiku to lyrical poetry.