József, Attila (äˈtĭlä yōˈzhĕf) [key], 1905–37, Hungarian poet. Born in Budapest of a poor family, József had to support himself from the age of seven with menial jobs; he was never able to earn a living from his writing. He was dismissed from the Univ. of Szeged for publishing a poem that was considered blasphemous. After two years abroad he returned to Budapest, where he joined the illegal Communist Party. After suffering periodic struggles with schizophrenia, he committed suicide. His poetry, known abroad only after his death, deals with proletarian life, based largely on his personal experiences.
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