1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Garay, János

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

GARAY, JÁNOS (1812–1853), Hungarian poet and author, was born on the 10th of October 1812, at Szegszárd, in the county of Tolna. From 1823 to 1828 he studied at Fünfkirchen, and subsequently, in 1829, at the university of Pest. In 1834 he brought out an heroic poem, in hexameters, under the title Csatár. After this he issued in quick succession various historical dramas, among which the most successful were Arbócz, Országh Ilona and Báthori Erzsébet,—the first two published at Pest in 1837 and the last in 1840. Garay was an energetic journalist, and in 1838 he removed to Pressburg, where he edited the political journal Hirnök (Herald). He returned to Pest in 1839 , when he was elected a corresponding member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In 1842 he was admitted into the Kisfaludy Society, of which he became second secretary. Garay enriched Hungarian literature with numerous lyrical poems, ballads and tales. The first collection of his poems was published at Pest in 1843; and his prose tales appeared in 1845, under the title of Tollrajzok (Sketches with the Pen). His historical ballads and legends, styled Arpádok (Pest, 1847, 2nd ed. 1848), showed him to be a master in the art of ballad-writing. Some of his lyrical poems also are excellent, as, for example, Balatoni Kagylók (Shells from the Balaton Lake) (Pest, 1848). His legend Bosnyák Zsófia (Pest, 1847), and his poetical romance Frangepán Kristófné (Christopher Frangepan’s Wife) (Pest, 1846), gained the prize of the Kisfaludy Society. His last and most famous work was an historical poem in twelve cantos, with the title Szent László (Saint Ladislaus) (Eger, 1852, 2nd ed., Pest, 1853, 3rd ed. 1863). Garay was professor of Hungarian language and literature to the university of Pest in 1848–1849. After about four years’ illness he died on the 5th of November 1853, in great want. A collective edition of his poems was published at Pest the year after his death by F. Ney (2nd ed. 1860), and several of his poems were translated by Kertbeny.

See Garay János Összes költeményei (2nd ed., Pest, 1860); and Dichtungen von Johann Garay (2nd ed., Vienna, 1856).