József, Attila

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József, Attila

(ä`tĭlä yō`zhĕf), 1905–37, Hungarian poet. Born in Budapest of a poor family, József had to support himself from the age of seven with menial jobs; he was never able to earn a living from his writing. He was dismissed from the Univ. of Szeged for publishing a poem that was considered blasphemous. After two years abroad he returned to Budapest, where he joined the illegal Communist Party. After suffering periodic struggles with schizophrenia, he committed suicide. His poetry, known abroad only after his death, deals with proletarian life, based largely on his personal experiences.

József, Attila

 

Born Apr. 11, 1905, in Budapest; died Dec. 3, 1937, in the village of Balatonszarszo. Hungarian poet; became a member of the Hungarian Communist Party in 1930.

József was the son of a worker. He studied at the universities of Szeged and Vienna and at the Sorbonne. Imitation of E. Ady, G. Juhász, and W. Whitman is noticeable in his first collection, Beggar of Beauty (1922). However, in his collections It Is Not I Who Shouts (1924) and No Father or Mother (1929), despite the well-known influence of expressionism and surrealism, he was already asserting his own defiantly grotesque, but at times sincere, lyric manner. József’s poetry, in which an intense drama-tism appears, reflects the unfortunate condition of working people and their will for revolutionary struggle (the collections Root Out the Stumps and Don’t Whine, 1931; Night on the Outskirts, 1932; and Bear’s Dance, 1934). In his last collection, Very Painful (1936), bitter protest is interwoven with depression and despair.

WORKS

Összes versci. [Budapest] 1966.
Összes művei, vols. 1–4. Budapest, 1952–67.
Irodalom es szocializmus. [Budapest] 1967.
In Russian translation:
Stikhotvoreniia. Moscow, 1958.
Stikhi. Moscow [1962].

REFERENCES

Shargina, L. ‘Attila Iozhef.” In the collection Pisateli stran narodnoi demokratii. Moscow, 1959.
Rossiianov, O. “Poeticheskii obraz u Attily Iozhefa.” In the collection Poeziia sotsializma. Moscow, 1969.
Szabolcsi, M. Fiatal életek indulója. Budapest, 1963.
Forgács, L. József Attila esztétikója. Budapest, 1965.
Tötök, G. A lira: Logika. Budapest, 1968.
Balogh, L. József Attila, 2nd ed. Budapest, 1970.

O. K. ROSSIIANOV