The great, immortal poet of Transylvania has been largely unfairly treated by an ungrateful posterity, with his expansive body of work only rarely subject to examinations in the context of the history of Hungarian literature. András Ferenc Kovács, an outstanding poet who lives in the city of Târgu Mureș (Marosvásárhely), will present on a topic that has long been close to his heart, with a look at the hidden values of this great poetic career, with a selection that will fill many gaps and promises to be a genuine intellectual adventure - a thrilling immersion in the unmistakable tone of Jékely's rich poetic world.
The son of Hungarian poet Lajos Áprily was born in Aiud (Nagyenyed), in 1913. In Jékely's poetry, Nagyenyed, was the living preservation of the past of Transylvania, and after Trianon it became a centre of Hungarian artistry. The family moved to Cluj-Napoca (Kolozsvár) in 1926, and in the house of his parents he encountered the greats of Transylvanian literature on a daily basis, including Aladár Kuncz, Károly Kós, Áron Tamási, Sándor Makkai, Sándor Reményik and Jenő Dsida. In the summer of 1929..., with his son's future in mind Áprily moved the family to Budapest. Jékely was accepted to study at Eötvös József College. Though he felt increasingly at home in the Hungarian literary scene, his ties to Transylvania remained. By 1935 he was a well-known poet, and in 1939 he received the Baumgarten Prize. When, in the autumn of 1940 the Second Vienna Award saw Northern Transylvania become part of Hungary, he returned to Cluj-Napoca. Though he soon found his place in the Hungarian literary life in Transylvania, he also retained his relationship with the mother country too, and in 1946 returned to Hungary itself. Along with the greats of Hungarian literature, he would soon be reduced to silence and excluded from the Hungarian Writers' Union. Though he lived from his translations, in the meantime he enriched his body of work of poetry and prose with no hope of publication. In 1957, he once again became a published author with Tilalmas kert (Forbidden Garden), which provided an account of his 25-year poetry career. There followed a series of collections and selected works, with the Csillagtoronyban (In the Observatory) in 1969, Az idősárkányhoz (To the Time Dragon) in 1975, and Évtizedek hatalma (The Power of Decades) in 1979. He also published novels and essays. Zoltán Jékely died in 1982 and was awarded the Kossuth Prize posthumously in 1990.
Presented by: Müpa Budapest
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