The page of Nagy Lajos, English biography
[English] [Hungarian]Born February 5, 1883 in Apostag-Tabányitelek; died October 28, 1954 in Budapest. Novelist, short-story writer, publicist. Illegitimate child; mother Júlia Nagy, once servant in Pest, earned living by taking in boarders. Raised by maternal grandparents until six. Then lived in Budapest with mother and completed schooling. Began study of law but did not obtain degree. Worked in various law offices and served as District Administrator in Abaujszántó for time in 1906. Beginning in 1904 served frequently as tutor to Jankovich-Bésán family. From 1912 on generally lived on earnings from writings. Neuresthenic condition exempted him from military service in World War I. Edited Bolond Istók in 1918 and then Borsszem Jankó. Publicist writings supported Revolutionary Government of 1918-1919, and he served as literary adviser to Szellemi Termékek Országos Tanácsa. No action taken against him after failure of Revolutionary Government, but unrepentant attitude made it difficult for him to obtain positions. Major contributor to Nyugat beginning in 1922 and editor of its Arcadia column for a time. Opposed resurgent nationalism and anti-semitism in early 1920's. In mid-1920's he strengthened relations with such Communists as Sándor Gergely, László Gereblyés, and Aladár Tamás. Became acquainted with Attila József (q.v.), who looked upon Nagy as fatherly friend throughout life. His writings began to appear increasingly in 100 % and Forrás. Edited Együtt 1927-1928. Married Boris Szegedi in 1932. Awarded Baumgarten Prize in 1932, 1935, and 1938. Attended Writers' Conference in Moscow with Gyula Illyés (q.v.) in 1934. Affiliated himself with populist writers in 1935 for a time. Three numbers of his periodical, Nagy Lajos Különvéleménye, appeared in 1939. During World War II he opened a small bookstore, worked on autobiography, and contributed to Magyar Csillag. After 1945 he joined Communist party and contributed to numerous periodicals, including Szabad Nép. Went to Switzerland for health in 1947. Awarded Kossuth Prize in 1948. Numerous works published, but neglected during last years of life. ¶ One of the most important writers of prose fiction between two World Wars. Now being viewed mainly as realistic writer with socialistic outlook who has influenced authors of generation after 1945. Used Freudianism in writings for a time. Effective satirist. ¶ Some of his short stories have been translated into Bulgarian, English, French, German, Polish, Rumanian, and Serbian.
Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla