Author's page

Biography

1918 born in Nagyvárad (today Oradea, Romania)
1940 graduates from Pázmány Péter University, Budapest
1940-42 editorial secretary for the Nouvelle Revue de Hongrie in Geneva
1942 on scholarship in Geneva
1944-46 remains in Geneva, re-establishes and edits the periodical that is meanwhile banned in Hungary
1945-1948 director of the Hungarian Reference Library, Geneva
1948 returns to Hungary
1949-57 teaches history of drama at Theatre and Cinema College, Budapest
1955-57 script editor for the National Theatre
1974-88 lectures at the University of Florence
1982-86 leader of the Hungarian Writers' Association
1987-present university professor at the Theatre and Cinema College, Budapest
1991-present managing president, then (1994) president of the Hungarian PEN Club
1992 founding member of the Széchenyi Academy of Art
1993-present honorary president of the Hungarian Theatre Society
2001-present member of the Hungarian Academy of Art
He dies the 8th Mai 2011.


His prizes include:
1955, 1965, 1975 Attila József Prize, 1979 The Art Foundation's Prize, 1988 Tibor Déry Award, 1994 Kossuth Prize, 1996 Cívis Prize, 1996 Book of the Year Prize, 1997 Ernő Szép Award

My Endless Days, Diary
1996

In this diary-novel, fragmentary notes follow their own logic, independent of chronology or any strict schematization. “Hubay’s diary,” writes historian Lóránt Czigány, “is an intellectual diary par excellence, although primarily and especially, as one might expect it to be, it is the journal of a playwright. Not only because the playwright claims his rights in every clause, but mostly because a whole section of the book (From the Diary of a Playwright) ... deals with the worries of the workshop, its doubts and suspicions, its struggle with the tragic.” The author is most concerned with the question of existence, the final meaning of things, with Hungarian literature, and within it, the literature of memories, letters and diaries, at times contesting, at other times only commenting on the ideas of his predecessors, never assuming the gesture of an ultimate judgment. He seems to feel an aversion to rigid ideas and general agreement drummed into people’s heads, and similarly to all empty phrases; he strives to articulate his own thoughts as scrupulously as he can.

Broken-Gold Age
1997

This book, consisting of selections chosen by the author, is comprised of autobiographical episodes, contemplations, speeches and part of an interview (about István Balogh and his circle), together with selected scenes from thirteen plays. “Hubay, as [his] whole oeuvre proves, knows everything about the human soul and the murderous mechanism of power, the final worthlessness of the most beautiful ideas, the noblest struggles. His heroes fail one by one. Sophocles, Berlioz, Bornemissza, Freud, Nizhinsky, all of them. There is no way out, the immediate meaning of things is not identical with the meaning of existence, as such a thing is nowhere to be found. The falsest of all would be an acid self-solace claiming that ‘after all, at least we tried.’ Redemption has failed, it cannot be successful, mankind is not capable of it, God we cannot understand. ... Hubay writes a world tragedy from the outset, in whose catharsis viewer and reader can be purified,” -Gábor Kiszely

Outside Myself. At my Age. Collected Plays I-II.
2004

Miklós Hubay has written nearly five hundred works for the stage; as a poeta ductus he is familiar with both classic and modern theatre and is similarly well-versed in drama theory. In his Milan lecture, “The Credibility of Human Action on the Modern Stage”, he articulates his own belief, seeking the possibilities of an acting hero. His attitude as a playwright is characterised by the double attraction to the old and the new, the traditional and the modern: by the modernizing of the traditional and by the archaising of modern themes. In his first plays he depicted the empty lifestyle and moral decay of the historical middle class (Without Heroes) and the ineptitude of country peasantry (A Hungarian Summer). His Knife-Throwers stages the disappointment of a generation that had started full of optimism for the changes following World War II. Another drama is built around a true story, as around some mythical centre (I Carry Fire), and examines the crisis of young intellectuals in the sudden double suicide of a talented actor coming from a peasant background and his urban doctor wife. But in general, Hubay is interested in the causes behind the balking of a whole generation. Since the 1970s, Miklós Hubay has found a relevant way of expression in the genre of the parabola; these plays give an antique setting to contemporary political topics. To his greatest successes belong the opera libretto C’est la guerre (the music was composed by Emil Petrovics), which was staged in the Opera House in Nice, as well as the Hungarian musical Three Nights of One Love, for which the poet István Vas wrote the poems and György Ránki composed the music. The musical, first performed in 1961, relates the story and love of the young poet Miklós Radnóti, killed in during World War II; the tragedy is, however, seasoned with music and is full of irony, nostalgia and grotesque elements.

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