The page of Vas István, English biography
BiographyBorn September 24, 1910 in Budapest. Poet, translator. Completed studies at schools in Budapest. Attended Commercial College in Vienna and returned to Budapest in 1929. Writings first appeared in 1928 in Munka and then in Korunk, Pesti Hírlap, Nyugat, Válasz, and Magyar Csillag. Worked as a clerk for various companies 1929-1944. Served as chief accounting counsellor in Ministry of Interior in 1945. Since 1946 has served as literary adviser to various book publishers, to Európa Könyvkiadó since 1956. Visited Italy in 1947, England and Paris in 1959. Awarded Baumgarten Prize in 1948 (originally nominated in 1936); Attila József Prize for translations in 1951, for Hét tenger éneke in 1956, for Rapszódia egy őszi kertben in 1961; and Kossuth Prize for translations and original writings in 1962.
His poems show influence of Lajos Kassák and later Árpád Tóth, Mihály Babits, and Dezső Kosztolányi (qq.v.). Subject matter is that of love, private feelings, and opposition to fascism; sometimes he shows resignation and pessimism. Influenced by Marx and Freud. Among his translations: works of Villon, Shakespeare, Racine, Schiller, Molière, A. France, Apollinaire, Maeterlinck, Defoe, Thackeray, O'Neill, Somerset Maugham, Steinbeck, and Goethe.
Some of his poems have been translated into English, French, and Rumanian.
Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla