The Door, The Fawn, Katalin Street… all the titles may sound familiar. They were written by one of the greatest Hungarian writers, Magda Szabó, who not only was Hungary’s beloved authoress, but she also gained international success. On the occasion of her 100th birthday, Szeretlekmagyarország.hu has collected some interesting facts you may have not known.
Magda Szabó in numbers
She was a very productive and versatile author. She wrote 13 novels, 10 youth and children’s books, 10 plays and volumes of drama, and 3 books about poetry. 42 of her works have been translated and 11 of her works have been filmed. She won 22 Hungarian and international prizes.
Magda Szabó as a poet
She began her career as a poet. Her first poetry book was published in 1947 with the title Lamb, and the last one in 2005 including one of her most famous poems, Back Towards Man.
Magda Szabó and friends
After WWII, she moved to Budapest where she made friends with well-known writers and poets like Ágnes Nemes Nagy, János Pilinszky, Iván Mándy, Géza Ottlik and Sándor Weöres. Special friendship tied her to the writer Ágnes Nemes Nagy: they read each other’s works and they counted on the other’s opinion. By that time, Magda Szabó had become a widely recognized poet.
Magda Szabó and the Baumgartner Prize
Miss Szabó is the last and also the only winner of the Baumgartner Prize who could hold it only for half a day. She had been nominated before for the prize, so she could be very glad when her name appeared on the list of the winners in 1949. However, her happiness did not last long: the same day, she was told that the prize was going to be withdrawn, accordingly to the instructions of the Minister of Cultural Affairs. Thereafter she was not allowed to publish anything until 1958.
Magda Szabó and love
Miss Szabó’s and her husband’s love was legendary, pure, and lasted until death. The couple moved to a house in Júlia Street in Budapest, and later they bought a smaller flat, too. The lady used to get over to the flat every afternoon, waiting for her husband to knock on the door. When he entered, Miss Szabó invited him to have coffee with her and they always played that they had just got to known each other. After her husband died, the writer never got married again.
Magda Szabó and religion
Debrecen and Calvinist religion were main pillars of Miss Szabó’s work. Since 1945, she had been working for the Hungarian Ministry for Religion and Public Education until 1949. Her commitment to religion was reflected not only in her works but also in her activities: between 1985 and 1990 she was the Lay President of the Church District of the Reformed Church of the Transtibiscan Church district. In 1993, she became the honorary doctor of the Debrecen University of Reformed Theology of Debrecen.
Magda Szabó, the pretty woman
She was not only a gifted writer and poet but she had an attractive appearance, too. Her beauty was paired with a strong and confident character. In addition, she had nice pieces of clothes: beautiful lace dresses, jewelleries, fur, and high-heeled shoes. Miss Szabó had Tamás Náray to make clothes for her. The dress designer created a collection of clothes of 40 pieces for the 100th anniversary of the writer. He will also exhibit those from 13. April.
Magda Szabó and children
Children’s and youth stories represent a significant part of Miss Szabó’s work, and one of the most determining points in her life was when she was teaching in her younger ages, in Debrecen and Hódmezővásárhely, among others. She was a teacher of the Hungarian and Latin Language. Although, she was fond of them, she never had children.
Magda Szabó and her “sons”
Miss Szabó adored two Hungarian authors, János Háy and Péter Esterházy. She loved them as if they had been her sons. They mutually respected and loved one other, and they were even corresponding. When Miss Szabó died, she was reading a scientific paper, and on the table next to her, there was a volume of Esterházy’s book, too.
Magda Szabó died in 2007.
Facebook.com/Szabó Magda és művei
Source: Szeretlek Magyarország.hu
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