Between the two World Wars, novelists were divided into three groups—the Horthy regime defenders; the Populists, who sought improvement of the peasants' lot; and the Communists. The most eminent Populist was László Németh. After World War II, Hungarian literature fell under Soviet influence, and the Communist party exercised rigid control over writing and publishing. Writers who adhered to the Soviet doctrine of socialist realism included the poet György Somlyó and the prose writers Géza Hegedűs and József Darvas. Diverging from this doctrine were the poets László Mécs, who was published only outside Hungary, and Gyorgy Faludy, who was imprisoned for three years before fleeing the country, and the novelist Tibor Déry, who was also imprisoned for his nonconformity. The revolt of Oct., 1956, whose participants included a number of prominent writers, was followed by a gradual easing of censorship; with the collapse of the Communist regime, censorship ended.
See histories by F. Riedl (tr. 1906, repr. 1968), T. Kloniczay and H. H. Remak (1982), and L. Czigány (1984); J. Reményi, Hungarian Writers and Literature (1965); L. Degh, ed., Folktales of Hungary (tr. 1965); M. Vajda, ed., Modern Hungarian Poetry (1977); T. Kloniczay, ed., Old Hungarian Literary Reader (tr. 1985).
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