Sándor Márai

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Sándor Márai (detail of his statue in Košice, Slovakia)

Sándor Márai (originally Sándor Károly Henrik Grosschmied de Mára) (April 11, 1900February 22, 1989) was a Hungarian writer and journalist.

He was born in Kassa (now named Košice in Slovakia) in Austria-Hungary to an old Saxon family. In his early years, Márai travelled and lived in different cities: Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris and briefly considered writing in German. Finally, he chose his mother language, Hungarian, to write in. He settled in Budapest (1928). In the 1930s, he gained prominence with a precise and clear realist style. He was the first person to write reviews of the work of Kafka. He wrote very enthusiastically about the Vienna Awards, but was critical of the Nazis, and the Communist regime that seized power after World War II.

After living for some time in Italy, Márai settled in the city of San Diego, California, in the United States. He continued to write in his native language, but was not published in English until the mid-1990s. After his wife died, he retreated more and more into isolation. Márai committed suicide by a gunshot to his head in San Diego in 1989.

Largely forgotten outside of Hungary, his work (consisting of poems, novels, and diaries) has only been recently "rediscovered" and republished in English and German, and is now considered to be part of the European Twentieth Century literary canon.

[edit] Works of Sándor Márai translated to English

  • Embers (1942), Hungarian title: A gyertyák csonkig égnek
  • Casanova in Bolzano (1940), Hungarian title: Vendégjáték Bolzanóban
  • Memoir of Hungary, 1944-1948 (1971), Hungarian title: Föld, föld…!
  • Conversations in Bolzano

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