1931 first stories published
1957 Hajnali háztetők (et. Rooftops at Dawn) Short novel, later made
into a successful film.
1959 Iskola a határon (et. 1966 School at the Frontier) A novel about
childhood and adolescence, about the frontier that boys cross when they
enter boarding school. "Each year seven new pupils are admitted
to a military academy where they come under the domination of two noncoms
who drill and supervise them, one a harmlessly shouting, the other a
viciously snarling, brute. Worse, they are subjected to the senseless
and cruel bullying of a group of older boys. The attempts of the new
boys to behave with decency and to preserve their individual dignity
intact meet with disaster. With extraordinary finesse, the author describes
their reactions to the psychological shock, ranging from protective
impassivity to paralyzing self-consciousness." (From the jacket
of the English publisher) The book enjoys a cult-like status in Hungarian
literature. Péter Esterházy writes: "Morning and night he [Esterházy]
was copying, as if he were engaged in prayer, Ottlik's School on the
Frontier on a single sheet of white paper... When he started on the
last page his heart began to pound as if it were in a cage, really,
and wanted to jump out. He was overcome by trepidation. His hands were
shaking and after every sentence he had to put his pen down. He was
terrified by the thought that just before the finishing line he'd ruin
it, three month's work down the drain." (from A Little Hungarian
1969 Minden megvan (et. Nothing's Lost) Short stories. Revised, enlarged
edition in 1991.
1980 Próza (et. Prose) A volume of miscellaneous writings about the
writer's and the translator's craft, about the possibilities and the
role of the modern novel; reviews, essays on former Hungarian authors;
as well as personal memories and interviews. "For me writing is
a slow and painful process, even the shortest review or essay takes
a bitter effort. For this, of course, you need a precious inbuilt instrument
that very silently but stubbornly resents something you have written."
1989 A Valencia-rejtély. Hajónapló. (et. The Valencia Enigma, 1991 Logbook)
1993 Buda. Novel. "In a word, Buda is to some extent a nostalgic
retrospection, an attempt 'á la recherche du temps perdu.' Its diachronic
and not particularly cohesive structure brings it closer to the literature
of postmodernism." (George Gömöri)
FOREIGN LANGUAGE PUBLICATIONS
School at the Frontier. Tr. Kathleen Szasz, N.Y., Harcourt,
Brace & World, 1966.
German: tr. Charlotte Ujlaky. Frankfurt a. M.: Fischer, 1963.; tr. Ita
Berlin: Volk u. Welt, 1973.
French: tr. Ladislas Gara, Georges Kassai, Georges Spitzer, Paris: Ed.
du Seuil, 1964.
Serbo-Croatian: tr. Ivo Meden,
Zagreb: Zora, 1967.
Polish: tr. by Tadeusz Olszanski,
Warsaw: PIW, 1973, and 1980.
Czech: tr. Mila Zadrazilova, Prague: Odeon, 1974.
Spanish: tr by Fernando Caralt. Barcelona- Buenos Aires-Mexico D.F.:
Slovakian: tr. Karol Wlachovsky,
Bratislava: Tatran, 1976.
Swedish: tr. Calman de Pándy,
Stockholm: ANE/ Geber, 1976.
Russian: tr. V.A. Szmirnov,
Moscow: Hudoz. Lit. 1983.
Rumanian: tr. by Lia Meltzer,
Bucharest: Univers, 1988.
Italian: Rome: e/o, 1992.
Slovenian: Ljubljana: Cankarjeva zalozba, 1995.
Logbook, in: A Hungarian Quartet, Four Contemporary Short Novels. tr.
by Ferenc Takács, Budapest: Corvina, 1991.
Nothing's Lost. Short story, in Nothing's Lost: Twenty-five
Hungarian Short Stories,
Budapest: Corvina, 1988.
Serbian: Krovovi u svitanju: tr. Aleksandar Tisma, Novi Sad: Matica