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The page of Tóth Árpád, English biography

Image of Tóth Árpád
Tóth Árpád


Born April 14, 1886 in Arad; died November 7, 1928 in Budapest. Poet, translator, critic. Father a sculptor. Affected by father's hopes and difficult financial circumstances of family. Family moved to Debrecen in 1889. Attended gymnasium in Debrecen in 1904 and then entered University of Budapest in 1905 to study Hungarian and German. Beginning in 1907, his poems appeared in A Hét, Vasárnapi Újság, and Debrecen dailies and from 1908 on in Nyugat. Without support from home and with low income from poems, he was forced to return to Debrecen and despite several attempts, never obtained teaching certificate. Father's health and family's security ruined by rejection and actual destruction of Freedom Statue by the city as poor work of art. Became dramatic critic for Debreceni Független Újság without pay in fall 1909. Joined staff of Debreceni Nagy Újság with pay in 1911, and obtained income from criticism and poems being published in Nyugat. In 1913 went to Budapest when Debreceni Nagy Újság ceased publication. Became tutor to well-to-do family and received some income from writings. Lived under difficult circumstances. Suffered from consumption, worsening condition forced him to seek health at Svedlér Sanitorium in the Tátra Mountains. Thereafter he often spent months in mountains with help from friends. Became assistant editor of Esztendő. Married in 1917. Became secretary of Vörösmarty Academy during period of Revolutionary Government. Could not obtain position after failure of Revolution. Circumstances were so desperate he considered suicide. Joined editorial staff of Az Est in 1921, and circumstances improved, though he remained poor the rest of his life. Made few contributions to Nyugat after 1922. Consumption continued to worsen despite frequent rest periods.
Important as a lyric poet in the first quarter of the 20th century and for his development of views and literary principles of Nyugat School. Themes centered on pain and human tragedy in man's vain expectations of love and happiness. Deeply affected by sense of evanescence of life. Poems characterized by attitude of resignation. Made special use of Alexandrine often by adding an extra syllable in middle and/or at end of line. Noted for skill in structuring images. Critical writings important to illuminating literary developments of his times. One of the best translators of the period; his translations include works of Milton, Wilde, Shelley, Keats, Baudelaire, Flaubert, Gautier, Maupassant, and Chekhov, all accompanied by critical studies. Also translated Aucassin and Nicolette.
An edition of his poems is available in Czech, and some of his poems have been translated into Bulgarian, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Rumanian, Russian, Slovakian, and Swedish.

source :: Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla
Literature ::
Translation ::