Benjámin, László

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BENJÁMIN, LÁSZLÓ (1915–1986), Hungarian poet, born in Budapest. His first poems were published in the left-wing press and in such anthologies of working-class poetry as Tizenkét költő ("Twelve Poets," 1940). Benjámin's early poetry was based on the hopelessness preceding World War ii and, during and immediately after the war itself, on the class struggle. The collections of this period include A csillag nem jött fel ("The Star Did Not Come Forth," 1939), Betüöntók diadala ("The Victory of the Typecasters," 1946), and A teremtés után ("After the Creation," 1948). When the Hungarian Communist government was formed in 1949, Benjámin became one of its chief literary spokesmen. From 1953 his writing changed, and he turned to themes of self-criticism and personal confusion. This later poetry appears in Éveink múlása ("The Passing of our Years," 1954), Egyetlen élet ("Only During One Lifetime," 1956), and Ötödik évszak ("The Fifth Season," 1962).


Magyar Irodalmi Lexikon, 1 (1963), 136–7; Hét évszázad magyar versei, 3 (1966), 686–740.

[Itamar Yaos-Kest]