The page of Szabó Lőrinc, English biography

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Szabó Lőrinc
(1900–1957)
 

Biography

Born March 31, 1900 in Miskolc; died October 3, 1957 in Budapest. Poet, translator. Father a locomotive engineer. Attended gymnasium in Balassagyarmat and entered Reformed College in Debrecen, where he was already writing poetry. Drafted into military service in 1918 and passed examination for infantry officer. Fled from army in fall 1919 in Budapest and entered University. First pursued mechanical engineering and then philosophy but did not complete studies. Submitted poems to editors of Nyugat in November 1919; Mihály Babits (q.v.) took notice of him and formed close friendship with him. Became staff member of Az Est Publications in fall 1921 on recommendation of Lajos Mikes and Árpád Tóth (q.v.). Married daughter of Lajos Mikes in 1923. Poems appeared mainly in Pesti Napló and Új Idők; not again in Nyugat until 1929. Left Az Est periodicals in 1926. The following year he became editor of Pandora, which he edited with György Sárközi (q.v.). When Pandora ceased in October 1927 he returned to staff of Az Est Publications. Increased his journalistic activity and served as assistant editor of Magyarország in 1930. Awarded Baumgarten Prize in 1932, 1937, and 1944. Visited Germany, Dalmatia, and Egypt in 1930's. Principal contributor to Az Est Publications beginning in 1936. Served as soldier when Upper Northern Hungary and Transylvania returned to Hungary in 1940. Was official delegate to Weimar Congress of European Writers in 1942. After World War II he was often forced to defend himself against charges of rightist views and activities. Writings appeared only in Válasz, for which he also edited poetry section 1946-1949. In 1950's he spent much time in Tihany translating. Awarded Kossuth Prize for lifework in 1957.
His poems show broad range of experimentation with forms and literary principles but are basically representative of the Decadent School. Deeply concerned with struggle of individual in indifferent cosmos, expressing repugnance with what he finds in life around him. Strongly pessimistic in outlook. Prolific translator of Shakespeare, Coleridge, Omar Khayyám, Baudelaire, Molière, Verlaine, Villon, Goethe, Kleist, Tutchev, Pushkin, Mayakovsky, and I. A. Krilov. ¶ Some of his poems have been translated into English, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Slovakian.


source :: Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla
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