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The page of Pilinszky János, English biography

Image of Pilinszky János
Pilinszky János


As a writer of metaphysical poetry, essay and drama, Pilinszky has deeply influenced postwar Hungarian poetry. His early experiences in the second World War prison camps where he spent several months had only strengthened his personal alienation and existential anguish, and resulted in uniquely intense poems. The tension between his heartfelt Catholicism and intellectual agony points towards his relatedness with both mysticism and the absurd. "Poetry for me is not a phenomenon beyond language, but rather one on the near side of language, or underneath language, in the same way that life remains underneath the wholeness of the universe. For me a poet is the kind of inhabitant of dungeons for whom the sheer sense of touch is more important than what he discovers by means of touching" (János Pilinszky)

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