Sándor Márai

Was one of the greatest Hungarian writers, and the author of numerous novels, essays, newspaper columns, theatre plays and miniatures; he harshly criticised both the Fascist and Communist dictatorships. He was a specialist on Kafka’s work and the first translator of his writings into Hungarian. Born in Košice, after his secondary school graduation he moved to Budapest, where he worked as an editor in Budapesti Napló. In 1919, fearing political repressions, he moved to Germany and started studying journalism; he contributed to Frankfurter Zeitung and various Hungarian papers, for which he wrote columns and short stories. In 1928, after two years living in Paris, he settled in Budapest. In 1948 he left Hungary for good and spent almost half of his life in exile. His path took him through Switzerland and Italy to America. And it was there, in San Diego, that, unable to come to terms with the death of his wife and son, he committed suicide on February 22nd 1989. His novels The Rebels (1930, English edition 2007), Az Idegenek (Alien, 1931), Egy polgar vallomasai (Confessions of a Patrician, 1934), Esther’s Inheritance (1939, English edition 2008) and miniatures Ég és föld (Heaven and Earth, 1942) and Fuves Konyv (The Book of Herbs, 1943). Since 1943 until his death he also wrote diaries (Napló), forming an important part of his intellectual legacy.

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