The page of Radnóti Miklós, English biography
BiographyBorn May 5, 1909 in Budapest; died November 6-10(?), 1944 in Abda. Poet, translator. Mother died giving him birth. Orphan when twelve. Raised by mother's younger brother. Poems first appeared in youth periodicals 1926-1927. Completed studies at business school in 1927. Studied textile manufacturing in Liberec, Czechoslovakia, 1927-1928. Clerk in private office 1928-1929. Also completed gymnasium in 1929. Entered University of Szeged in fall 1930 to study Hungarian and French. Became acquainted with Sándor Sík (q.v.) and affiliated himself with Szegedi Fiatalok Művészeti Kollégiuma. Publication of Újmódi pásztorok éneke in spring 1931 resulted in its confiscation and eight-day sentence, which was lifted upon appeal. Spent few weeks in Paris in summer 1931, where he formed relations with French Communist party. On return to Hungary participated in the activities of illegal Hungarian Communist party. Obtained doctorate in philosophy in 1934. Married Fanni Gyarmati in fall of same year. Participated in literary life of Budapest 19351936 and became acquainted with Attila József (q.v.). Obtained teaching certificate in fall 1936 but was unable to secure position. Earnings derived from occasional publications and tutoring, and received help from uncle. Contributed to Gondolat in 1936. Awarded grant by Baumgarten Foundation in 1937. Spent several weeks with wife in Paris in summer 1937. Visited France for few weeks in 1939. Served in forced labor camp in Transylvania in 1940. Participated in anti-fascist demonstration at Petőfi statue in Budapest on March 15, 1942. Summoned for forced labor in May 1944 and sent to Bor, Yugoslavia; then sent to concentration camp in Heidenau, where he worked in copper mine and on road construction. Shot with 22 others near Győr and buried in mass grave. Body, with last poems, was not recovered until 1947.
Lyric poet who confronted his own life in relation to his tragic times. Poems show development through numerous modern poetic influences and political concepts. Achieved their distinctive characteristics during World War II when he was confronted by death. Viewed his own situation and experiences as symbol of the unhappy condition of humanity. Eclogues considered to be highpoint of his creativity. His translations, also important and an influence on his literary development, include the works of La Fontaine, Huizinga, Montherlant, Cervantes, and a collection of African Negro folk tales. ¶ Some of his poems have been translated into Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Polish, Rumanian, and Russian
source :: Hungarian Authors. A Bibliographical Handbook by Albert Tezla