Mihaly Vorosmarty (December 01, 1800 - November 19, 1855)
Born: 1st December, 1800
Died: 19th November, 1855
Nationality: Hungarian writer
Region: Hungary, Pest
Notable works: "Csongor es Tunde", "Zalan futasa"

Mihaly Vorosmarty Facts

Biography

Mihaly Vorosmarty, (born Dec. 1, 1800, Nyek, Hung.--died Nov. 19, 1855, Pest), poet and dramatist who helped make the literature of Hungary truly Hungarian during the era (1825-49) of social reforms. By ridding Hungarian literature of overwhelming classical and German influence, he made it national not only in language but in spirit.

Born into an impoverished noble family, Vorosmarty soon had to provide for himself. From the age of 15 as a schoolboy, and later while studying law, he supported himself by private tutoring. In 1825 he published an epic poem, Zalan futasa ("The Flight of Zalan"), describing the conquest of Hungary by Arpad. The epic has great artistic merit, but its resounding success was partly caused by the general patriotic upsurge of the period, which clamoured for a work describing the glorious past of the Hungarian nation.

In 1828 Vorosmarty became the full-time editor of a well-known magazine, the Tudomanyos Gyujtemeny, and he was the first Hungarian man of letters to make a living--a modest one--from literature. In 1830 he became the first member of the newly founded Hungarian Academy and produced a truly great work, Csongor es Tunde, a symbolic fairy-tale play that is reminiscent of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. He married late, in 1843, and his wife, Laura Csajaghy, inspired some beautiful poems, among which "A merengohoz" (1843; "To a Day-Dreamer") is outstanding. Having achieved fame, reasonable material comfort, and a happy marriage, Vorosmarty was in a position to look forward to a contented old age when the War of Independence (1848-49) shattered his life. An ardent partisan of Lajos Kossuth, he embraced the national cause and became a member of Parliament. During the repression that followed, Vorosmarty had to go into hiding and lived with his three children in great misery. His personal misfortune and the tribulation of his country affected his mind, and, though he was still able to produce some splendid poems, such as "Ven cigany" (1854; "The Old Gypsy"), he was unable to continue his former activity.

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