Gergely Péterfy: The bullet that killed Pushkin
– Hungary

Gergely Péterfy was born in 1966. He graduated from ELTE in Budapest when he was 27 years old, earning degrees in Latin and Classical Greek. From 1994 to 2011 he taught at the Faculty of Arts of the University of Miskolc. His dissertation on the friendship between Ferenc Kazinczy, a leading figure of the Hungarian language reform movement, and a black Freemason Angelo Soliman later became an inspiration for the novel Kitömött barbár (The Stuffed Barbarian, 2014). Péterfy’s latest novel titled A golyó, amely megölte Puskint (The Bullet That Killed Pushkin) was published in 2019. The narrator of this unique Pushkinesque work is Karl, a man who has loved Olga, a woman 20 years his senior, since his early childhood. The key character in the novel, however, is Péter, an urban intellectual and Olga’s mother, who is forced to leave the city following the Communist takeover in 1945 and live in a fictional municipality called Hercules’ Castle situated in the Danube’s bend. He finds assurance and balance in the worlds of science, art and religion, far from the barbaric noise of the world. While Péter is able to protect his value system, albeit at the price of many privations and lies, the next generation is less successful: Olga seeks an escape in alcohol while Karl hides in the virtual world of computer games.