Ferenc Kölcsey (1790 - 1838)
Ferenc Kölcsey (August 8, 1790, Sződemeter – August 24, 1838) was a Hungarian poet, literary critic, orator, and politician, noted for his support of the liberal current inside the Habsburg Empire. He wrote the national anthem of Hungary in 1823. Kölcsey was born in Sződemeter, Hungary (now Săuca, Romania). He was orphaned at an early age and handicapped by the loss of an eye to smallpox. At age fifteen, he made the acquaintance of Ferenc Kazinczy and adopted his linguistic reforms. In 1809 Kölcsey went to Pest and became a notary to the Royal board. He was disenchanted with the office, and, while present in the Cseke in Szatmár, he devoted his time to aesthetical study, poetry, criticism, and the defense of Kazinczy's theories. Kölcsey's early metrical pieces contributed to the Transylvanian Museum did not attract much attention, while his severe criticisms of Mihály Csokonai Vitéz, János Kis, and especially Dániel Berzsenyi, published in 1817, rendered him very unpopular. From 1821 to 1826 he published many separate poems of great beauty in the Aurora, Hebe, Aspasia, and other magazines of polite literature. He joined Pál Szemere in a new periodical, styled Élet és Literatúra (Life and Literature), which appeared from 1826 to 1829, in 4 vols., and gained for Kölcsey the highest reputation as a critical writer.
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