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Author Information: Zsolt de Harsányi

 
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1887-1943

Zsolt de Harsanyi was born on January 27, 1887, in Upper Hungary in a village called Korompa; and it seems safe to say that his family has one of the oldest literary tradtions in the world, Harsanyi's ancestor's having been writers for 600 years. Among Harsanyi's forebears, the first great literary name is that of Stephen Harsanyi, who was born in 1630. An ardent follower of Luther, he was persecuted for his faith and sold to Naples as a galley slave. Harsanyi's grandfather translated Moliere, founded the first magazine in Hungary, and started the movement for a Society of Fine Arts, whose first president he later became. Harsanyi himself received a coveted student award at seventeen from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In the course of his amazingly productive writing career, Zsolt de Harsanyi has written hundereds of dramatic and literary articles; he is the author of about one hundred twenty one-act plays and of a number of full-length dramas and musical comedies. He has dramatized several classic Hungarian novels, of which the outstanding is Kalman Mikszath's The Old Scoundrel, and he is the best-known translator of English and American plays in his own country. Zsolt de Harsanyi's five important novels have all dealt with great figures from Hungary's past: Petofi, the great lyric poet; Imre Madach, the playwright; Nicholas Zrinyi, the poet warrior who struggled against the Turks and Hapsburgs; Michael Munkacsi, the painter; and finally Franz Liszt.

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