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Molnár, Ferenc(fĕ`rĕnts môl`när), 1878–1952, Hungarian dramatist and novelist. He studied law in Budapest and Geneva and was for some time a journalist in Budapest. He was a prolific author of plays, novels, stories, sketches, dialogues, and war reports. His best-known works are the plays Liliom (1909, tr. 1921), which was made into the musical comedy Carousel; The Guardsman (1910, tr. 1924); and The Swan (1920, tr. 1922). His plays exhibit masterful technique, sophisticated dialogue, and a satirical edge that is tempered by genuine sentiment. Although technically of high caliber, his plays rely upon superficial theatrical special effects. Molnár emigrated to the United States during the Nazi regime; he wrote film scripts and was famed as a wit.
See his autobiography (1950).
Born Jan. 12, 1878, in Budapest; died Apr. 2, 1952, in New York. Hungarian author.
Molnár was born into a bourgeois family. He attended the University of Geneva and made his literary debut in 1896. During the fascist regime, Molnár emigrated to the United States. His short story collections The Hungry City (1901) and Coal Thieves (1918) and his novels The Secret of Aruvim Forest (1917) and Andor (1918) are full of compassion for the unfortunate. Molnár’s novella The Paul Street Boys (1907; Russian translation, 1958) is a lyrical reminiscence of his childhood. Molnár’s plays, which criticized aristocratic and bourgeois mores, were popular( The Devil, 1907; The Wolf, 1912; Play in the Castle, 1926; Olympia, 1928), as were the plays that depicted the everyday life of the urban “lower depths” and the poor( Liliom, 1910; Russian translation, 1960; Love in Heaven and on Earth, 1922; The Glass Slippers, 1924).
WORKSÖsszes munkdi, 20 vols. Budapest, 1928.
REFERENCESLukács, G. Új magyar kultúráért. Budapest, 1948.
Molnár, E. Testvérek voltunk. Budapest, 1958.
Kárpáti, A. Tegnaptól máig. Budapest, 1961.
Vécsei, I. Molnár Ferenc. Budapest, 1966.
L. A. LIPPAI