The page of Németh László, English biography

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Németh László


Born April 18, 1901 in Nagybánya. Novelist, dramatist, essayist. Father a geography and history teacher. Family lived in Szolnok briefly, then moved to Budapest. Attended Budapest schools and began to write short stories and poetry. Studied philosophy at University of Budapest for half year beginning in fall of 1919, then entered medical school, obtaining degree in 1923; also training in dentistry. Practiced dentistry for a time and then became school physician, which he remained until 1942. Awarded Nyugat Prize for "Horváthné meghal," a short story, in 1925; other writings appeared in Nyugat, Napkelet, and Protestáns Szemle. Visited Paris. Radical views separated him from conservative connections. He quarreled with Mihály Babits (q.v.) in 1932 and broke relationship with Nyugat. In 1932 he founded Tanú, which he wrote entirely himself until it ceased in 1936. Through Tanú became ideologue of populist writers. Director of literary section of Rádió for short time 1934-1935. Writings appeared in Válasz, Kelet Népe, Tükör, Híd, and Magyar Csillag. Private tutor in school in Hódmezővásárhely 1945-1950. Silent for political reasons 1949-1953, period in which he turned to translating. Since 1950 has lived on earnings from writings. Received Attila József Prize for translations of Tolstoy and Zakrutykin in 1952. Original works began to appear again in 1954. Supported socialism in 1956 Revolution. Awarded Kossuth Prize for Égető Eszter and Galilei in 1957. Visited Soviet Union in 1959. One of the most important prose writers in 20th-century Hungarian literature. Began as writer of studies and treatises, then turned to novels and plays. Independent populist writer. Novels are strongly realistic and use techniques of West European realistic novel. Plays generally influenced by Ibsen, strongly intellectual. Social dramas influenced development of drama between two World Wars. Subject matter that of peasant and village life. Much psychological analysis of crises forced on individual by society. Especially noted for sensitive treatment of problems of women. His translations are also important: Goncsarov, Gorky, Ibsen, Jirásek, Kleist, Lessing, Pushkin, Shakespeare, A. Tolstoy, L. Tolstoy, Wilder, and Zakrutykin. A minőség forradalma has been translated into German; Bűn and Gyász into Czech; Égető Eszter into Bulgarian, French, German, and Serbian; Galilei into Russian; Iszony into Czech, Finnish, French, German, Norwegian, Serbian, and Spanish; Kocsik szeptemberben into Italian; and some of his short stories into English, French, and German.

Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla
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