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Intellectual Testimony: Lóránt Kabdebó’s Research on Lőrinc Szabó and the Place of the Volume Valami történt (Something Happened) in his Academic Oeuvre

In my study I will briefly review the main stages of Lóránt Kabdebó’s research career, all of which were invariably dominated by his investigations of Lőrinc Szabó. I will then examine Kabdebó’s book Valami történt: Szabó Lőrinc átváltozásai (Something Happened: Transformations of Lőrinc Szabó; hereinafter: Something Happened)[1] and its contexts, focusing on the role it plays in Kabdebó’s decades-long work as a literary historian. The volume in question is a posthumous summary: it was published after Lóránt Kabdebó’s death, while he was still putting the finishing touches to the manuscript. It summarises the results of his research on Lőrinc Szabó and reveals many important details about the contemporary and posthumous history of the great Hungarian poet’s works, with a special focus on the decanonisation and re-canonisation operations and events that took place during the communist era.

Lóránt Kabdebó’s first monograph on Lőrinc Szabó was published in 1970, and his last one in 2022. In the half-century between these two dates, he produced numerous thematic volumes, collections of articles, interviews and countless studies and essays. He has published extensively on his favourite author and on other writers and poets; he has written and edited monographs, source books, collections, articles and scholarly works. The Hungarian Scientific Bibliography (Magyar Tudományos Művek Tára) lists a total of 431 publications associated with his name (this figure does not include most texts of public interest), of which at least one tenth are books. In terms of quantity, this is a considerable achievement. But, of course, just as literature is not measured in running metres, neither is literary history; it requires in-depth knowledge, a real understanding of literature. And one more thing. Commitment, even obsession, in the best sense. He was and remained confidently informed on so many subjects, in so many different fields, but his most essential, all-important, heartfelt concern was and remained Lőrinc Szabó. There is no doubt that Lóránt Kabdebó was the person who knew Lőrinc Szabó’s life and work most deeply in our country. And when he decided to scrutinize, show and publish things about the poet, he never failed to keep his promise. He was a true enthusiast, a fiery soul.

Three periods can be distinguished in Kabdebó’s research on Lőrinc Szabó. The first is the time of his professional arrival, the period of the large, comprehensive monographs. It is hard to imagine today, but there was a not-so-short period when Lőrinc Szabó’s image in literary history faded due to political prohibitions and the counter-interests of the canon, although his works were still very much present in the memories of his contemporaries. Kabdebó’s comprehensive monographs on Szabó’s work, Szabó Lőrinc lázadó évtizede (The Rebellious Decade of Lőrinc Szabó, 1970), Útkeresés és különbéke (Way-Seeking and Separate Peace, 1974) and Az összegzés ideje (The Time of Assessment, 1980), did much to combat silence and oblivion using the only substantial tool: the methodology of the humanities. Another important act was the publication in several volumes of the poet’s diaries, letters and articles, including the self-examining notes and self-effacing defence of a poet with a dubious ideological past.[2]All these books have had a significant impact on both the public and the profession; for example, László Cs. Szabó, István Sőtér and Miklós Tamás Gáspár all praised them as well as the research they were built on with the greatest enthusiasm.[3]

The period up to the supreme “change of regime” (rendszerváltás), i.e. the end of communism, can therefore be considered the first major era of Lóránt Kabdebó’s research on Lőrinc Szabó. The second period can be dated from the 1990s and early 2000s, when, together with Ernő Kulcsár Szabó and other colleagues, he heuristically conceptualised and then explored the historical poetics of the literary paradigm shift between the two world wars. In this model, the peculiarities of Szabó’s poetic approach to the subject (subiectum) and his use of language play a decisive role. It was at this time that Kabdebó published his poetic monograph on Szabó’s oeuvreentitled ”A magyar költészet az én nyelvemen beszél” (“Hungarian Poetry Speaks in my Language”, 1996), which focuses on the thesis of the “dialogical poetic paradigm”. According to him, the most important work of Szabó’s oeuvre is the 1932 volume Te meg a világ (You and the World), in which the poet develops a specific, self-apostrophizing poetic model giving “equal opportunity to the voices striving for self-fulfilment and those conscious of the impossibility of this”.[4] His related research is also reported in the studies of his volume entitled Vers és próza a modernség második hullámában (Verse and Prose in the Second Wave of Modernism, 1996).

The professional context surrounding this research pertains to the significant conferences jointly organised with Ernő Kulcsár Szabó.To begin with, the pioneeringsymposia in Pécs addressed the fundamental questions of modern poetry and prose.The initial couple of conference proceedings volumes have had a notable impact.[5]The Újraolvasó (Re-reading) series, co-organised and co-edited by Lóránt Kabdebó, continued this initiative in Miskolc and Budapest. The volumes he produced aimed to re-interpret the work of Lőrinc Szabó, Endre Ady, Lajos Kassák and Attila József.

During his third and final creative period, Kabdebó produced a significant amount of literary career profiles, essay volumes, and problem-oriented monographs. Additionally, his involvement as a source communicator and editor intensified further. At this point, he was already working in groups, research communities and circles of students, as can be seen from the series of Szabó Lőrinc Füzetek (Lőrinc Szabó Booklets), which he edited and which presents the poet’s life and work, from private libraries to illnesses and literary translations. His 2021 book, “Egy Költő Agya” (“The Brain of a Poet”), provides a career portrait of Lőrinc Szabó, alongside comparative analyses in both international and national contexts. In addition, he has produced regular career profiles of other writers such as Gábor Dayka and István Lakatos, in the form of book-length studies or series of essays, like those dedicated to Magda Szabó. He was also happy to write literary evaluations of several poetic works and even critiqued books. He was pleased to deliver lectures at any location he was invited to, from conferences and university venues to cultural events in cities for an educated audience. He always presented with zest and eagerness.

Lóránt Kabdebó’s identifiable features included his Kosztolányi necktie, his travelling hat from the Király Street hat shop (which still exists today in Pécs), and his distinctive voice. His mannerisms and voice inspired imitators with carnival tendencies. Kabdebó was more than an academic lecturer; he was also a performer, turning his podium talks and conference events into engaging performances, including the OTDK (National Scientific Students’ Associations Conference) events. In case his mobile phone were to ring, he would use it to broadcast the events in real-time, going back and forth between the venue and the remote location. He was dedicated to using personal language and emphasizing the importance of human expression. Not apart from this, he also utilized his networking abilities and academic accomplishments as an organizer within an institution.

Kabdebó was obsessed with philology, but he was never for a moment a Dryasdust. For him, literary knowledge was always linked to the need for personal acquaintance and encounter, and he had the talent to make good use of this in his academic work. As an employee of the Budapest Petőfi Literary Museum in the seventies and eighties, he conducted numerous interviews with outstanding writers (including a book-length conversation with Miklós Szentkuthy, which shocked and moved me in a good sense about thirty years ago), which are now irreplaceable, valuable sources. He managed to open up to the elusive Sándor Weöres as well as to the strict Ágnes Nagy Nemes.[6] He had an ingenious way of getting the artists of letter to talk – they were equally happy to tell him about their life events, historical experiences, their colleagues, readings and workshop activities.

“Intellectual testimony”, I put in the title, and indeed, the reader of Something Happened who is familiar with the researcher’s work will inevitably see this volume as a final message, a legacy, a figurative capstone. It is undoubtedly an intellectual summary of the research carried out on the subject, not only because of the reception situation of the volume, which turned out to be the last, but also because of the account that appears in several places as an inherent speech act. In the introductory chapter, “Új főszereplő a modernitás kánonjában: Szabó Lőrinc” (A New Protagonist in the Canon of Modernity: Lőrinc Szabó), the author himself reviews and takes stock of what, he writes, he has done since 1962 to explore and understand the poet’s work.[7] He sums up all this briefly and concisely, with the certainty and dignity of a factual record and testimony; the facts speak for themselves.

Indeed, it is a fact of literary and critical history that Kabdebó played a leading role in documenting Lőrinc Szabó’s career, publishing the corpus of his literary texts in a philologically accurate manner, and interpreting them in a way worthy of their value. He worked first at the Petőfi Literary Museum and later at the University of Pécs (then named after Janus Pannonius), where he was head of the Department of Literary History between 1989 and 1993, during a crucial and turbulent period. He then organized the Faculty of Humanities in Miskolc, which he headed for nine years. Here he also founded the Lőrinc Szabó Research Centre (part of the digitised collection of which is available to the public on the Internet) and, together with Károly Horányi, the website Szabó Lőrinc – Vers és valóság (Lőrinc Szabó – Verse and Reality; MTA Library Manuscript Repository). He encouraged, educated, and even appointed a number of young researchers and colleagues to work on the poet, many times more or less closely linked to the research projects he initiated. He sought and found contacts with all those whose literary outlook and intellectual credo included an important role for the interpretation of Lőrinc Szabó. Meanwhile, he also found time to cultivate communal memory, not only in the form of scholarly essays and publicist articles, but also in ways that worked through the power and ritual of community presence, such as the erection of memorial plaques from Brno to Opatija to Dubrovnik.[8]

The volume Something Happened belongs to Kabdebó’s third and very prolific creative period mentioned above, but it can also be seen as a stand-alone work in juxtaposition with his entire body of research. This is partly because of its posthumous status, and partly because its summary offers the reader a reflective perspective of finality. The author’s decision to refer regularly to his own texts, to comment on a phenomenon or a statement he has outlined, and sometimes to recall the personal context and the researcher’s own history of events, also contributes to this impression. He even singles out one of his earlier studies, which had only appeared in a journal in the 1980s, and includes it in his volume. He writes: “I think that in this book it [the text] can find its true place as the initiator of the programme, without changing the words”.[9] Such a reframing of the text, dedicated to the poem A tékozló fiú csalódása (The Disappointment of the Prodigal Son), contributes to the main thesis of the book, as indicated in the subtitle “The Transformations of Lőrinc Szabó”. Kabdebó examines in detail the motivic connections within and outside the oeuvre, as well as the biographical contexts. He finds that the role of the “prodigal” (in the meaning of “lost one” as well as “wastrel” and “munificent”) is played out in a variety of contexts in the poet’s work, from direct biblical allusions to paraphrases, from a personal relationship with Mihály Babits to the transformative evocation of his Fortissimo. (The Babits poem is dominated by the bitterly rebellious image of the deaf, the Szabó poem by the bitterly rebellious image of the blind God.) The underlying mood and experience of an elemental, pervasive loneliness behind and before all this is confirmed not only by biographical data but also by poems such as Tékozlófiú (Prodigal Son), Túlvilág (The Beyond), and certain pieces of Tücsökzene (Cricket Music). Kabdebó’s interpretation of the poemsis based not predominantly on primary biographical but on literary and cultural contexts. His textual analyses cover the Christian theological and intercultural religious-theoretical contexts of the subject, the philosophical, and the poetic transcendence of moral dilemmas.

The next, very extensive chapter of the book deals with the process in Szabó’s oeuvre in which the poem type reflecting the role of the self is replaced by a dialogic poetic model that stages the crisis of roles. Szabó’s gradual departure from the classical modern stylistic certainty of Endre Ady and Mihály Babits, and from the concepts of the subject based on the dignity of language and the belief in culture, was also due to his experience of the accelerated, hectic reality of post-war Budapest. The title, “A verskriminalizálódása Szabó Lőrinc pályakezdésében (1920–1930)” (The Criminalisation of Poetry in Lőrinc Szabó’s Early Career, 1920-1930), is also an indication of the poet’s growing interest in detective films and crime at the time. This interest also stemmed from his work, as Szabó’s job at the Est newspapers involved correcting, rearranging and stylising the daily “criminal news”, which had been compiled in one way or another by others, and then giving the finished material an attention-grabbing, “punchy report title”. For him, “the criminology of reality rounds out the film stories”. He then turned the news into poetry, creating “a poetry format for himself,” says Kabdebó.[10] The essay includes the full text of the poem A hasmetsző (The Ripper), as well as the poem Áradás, áradás! (Flood, Flood!) with which, according to Szabó’s recollection, the young poet won the shuddering praise of his future master, Mihály Babits.[11]A hasmetsző, by the way, can be compared to such contemporary experiments as Sándor Márai’s novel A mészáros (The Butcher) or Robert Musil’s Moosbrugger character in The Man Without Qualities; in all these works, the lust murder transcends the mere crime and acquires a significance that goes beyond itself, disrupting the moral and semiotic order of culture and affecting it as a whole.

The first-person plural Áradás, áradás! (Flood, flood!) brings the destructive instinct onto the stage in the form of a Caliban archetype and makes it suggestive with a flood of sound. Kabdebó places the “self-destructive power of the new history” and the new human condition at the centre of his thinking: “Man had to be saturated with terror and loss of role”. The young Lőrinc Szabó’s “vision of the world, creating a criminalised poetic form with its peculiar ironic formalism, at once conforming to external events and rebelling against them, exhibiting an afflicting duality”, which the essayist parallels with the contemporary poetry of Ezra Pound, William Butler Yeats and Stefan George, is a response to this.[12]The line thus opened leads from the poetic texts that remain in the legacy to Szabó’s canonised works, in which negation and rebellious action are also fundamental attitudes and forms.

The turmoil of the late twenties and early thirties is marked by the poems Vezér (The Leader, 1928) and A Párt válaszol (The Party Responds, 1931), which, contrary to popular belief, were not written after Hitler’s seizure of power, as the dates show. Kabdebó sees in them the justification of precisely that poetic and ars poetica process in which not necessarily the facts of reality, but also their possibilities, are brought into the lyric workshop, into the balancing power of poetry. He argues that the “terrible” nature of the imagined, possible leader and political party becomes truly comprehensible in texts understood within the dialogical poetic paradigm.[13]“In the 1920s, the poet Lőrinc Szabó poetically rethought the historical determination of the following decade,” concludes Kabdebó,[14] who also examines such additions to his oeuvre as a note on World War I graves in the pages of Az Est or the serialised translation of Remarque’s novel Return from the War in another daily, Magyarország. With careful philological meticulousness, Kabdebó demonstrates the close connection between the submerged prose texts and the better-known poems, some of which have been published in volumes. Surprisingly, he even relates some familiar lines and phrases from Attila József’s works to the adaptation of Remarque’s text. The chapter concludes by briefly reiterating and underlining the main theses of the monograph Hungarian Poetry Speaks in My Language on the period of You and the World. According to this, Szabó’s reflection on the exhaustion of role possibilities in a changed world and the vulnerability of the human being who has lost individuality leads to the juxtaposition of time horizons and the counterpoint dialogue between the rebel and the sceptical analyst, between the mental dispositions and the voices of the “actor” and the “spectator”, to use the monographer’s terminology.[15]

In the chapter “A ‘rettenetes’ megfogalmazása és feloldása” (The Formulation and Resolution of the “Terrible”), Kabdebó outlines the European literary parallels of the post-Great War world state as a permanent crisis (T. S. Eliot, Pound, Rilke, Benn, Cendrars, Yeats, Kavafis, Joseph Conrad) in order to place Szabó’s poetry in this context. The “terrible” is an intellectual and poetic reflection of conditions experienced and understood, from the image of decay to the degradation of roles to social and psychic helplessness. The dialogical logic of the lyric ranges from the competitive situation of the duality of the voice to the productive tension between poetic tradition and the “terrible”.The essayist invokes the opening lines of one of Lőrinc Szabó’s best-known works, Semmiért Egészen (Entirely for Nothing): “That it is terrible, I believe, / but it is true”.[16] He denies that this poem is merely an apotheosis of selfishness, arguing that the depiction of suffering and vulnerability is part of the ethical-aesthetic complex. In his view, “the subject of the poem is not really (or rather, not only) the male-female relationship. It is a model of human social adaptation. How man can live among men, in the midst of the conditions created by the immutable, ’terrible’ fate”.[17]

The monograph repeatedly discusses the relationship between Lőrinc Szabó and Attila József.[18] It is not only a personal relationship, although that is also important, as it turns out that József knew the poems of You and the World by heart, and that – according to Szabó’s memory – he corrected them as much as he corrected the attacked master’s texts in his (in)famous critical essay on Mihály Babits.[19] (Incidentally, Szabó did not recommend the publication of this work, as he believed that it contained untruths, but József decided otherwise). Even more interesting than the personal relationship between the two poets, however, is the relationship between the two poetries, about whose microphilology of influence, as well as their poetic and ideological similarities and differences, we learn a great deal. One of the two most significant differences comes from the difference in age. It is only five years, but it is enough for the younger József, less aware of the shock of war, to turn optimistically towards radical political-ideological solutions to the world crisis and individual misery, while Szabó, despite all his thought experiments, ultimately remains sceptical in this respect, and not independently of this, relativising his own early materialism, turns towards intercultural spiritualism. (Kabdebó discusses the latter in more detail in the chapter “Ars poetica vs. teológia Szabó Lőrinc pályáján” (Ars Poetica vs. Theology in the Career of Lőrinc Szabó). The other major difference is that Szabó, after rounding off his oeuvre into a seemingly closed whole, still had the time and energy to create his elaborate Tücsökzene (Cricket Music, 1947-1957) in which he retells his poetic work, interpreting and contextualising it from a higher level of reflection, as many of his contemporaries, including perhaps most enthusiastically János Pilinszky, have observed and marvelled at.[20]

The chapter titled “’A művészet“az élet nagy stimulánsa”’” (“Art is ’The Great Stimulant of Life’”) contains a summary of Szabó’s philosophical orientation, encompassing Schopenhauer, Nietzsche (and – potentially – Heidegger) as well as Eastern intellectual traditions. Additionally, the chapter presents a detailed analysis of the poem Sivatagban (In the Desert), written in 1933. From the grammatical observations to the Endre Ady (and potentially János Arany) parallels, I concur with every word of the interpretation. But I question whether the poem, recognized as an admirable endeavor to grapple with the themes of time and subjectivity, is not somewhat plagued by the rhetorical self-aggrandizement (as found in Ady’s work). As forIn the Desert, I personally detect a notably potent Romantic influence (in the finest traditions of the movement). The Sphinx’s enunciation in the endless desert (“One minute of your life is worth / more than the eternal world”)[21] and the circumstance itself both evoke and contrast with Shelley’s Ozymandiaswhile alluding to the Oedipus myth as a rite of passage.[22]The triumph at the Sphinx is symbolical, as the narrow but rich human time-scale surpasses the barren vastness of non-human time. Thepoem presents a paradox of spatial and temporal grandeur and smallness through an astute rhetorical figure, acumen, taken to its limits in the conclusion, where the lyrical self assumes the persona of the Sphinx (also likened to Szabó’s famous lyric protagonist, DsuangDszi): “I came home, have grown old, / I am nowas old as him, a terriblyancient man, / and I sit in the growing desert / that time blows around me”;[23] but the teachings (“signs”) he has written in the dust are eroded by the sands of time. The latter image evokes the figure of Jesus with astonishing ease (cf. John 8:6-8). At the same time, as is often the case with Ady, the poem’s hubris is moderated– or even justified – by the dramatic balladry that frames the upstage soliloquy.

Perhaps Babits’ poem Ősz és tavasz között (Between Autumn and Spring), written simultaneously, may be seen as a response. The text features evocative images such as “The year is already turning like an hourglass” and “What my bough has written in the dust / the muddy water of spring washes away”.[24] This poem, subtly archaic in style, presents a contrasting viewpoint. The speaker portrayed has a limited existence and a self-deprecating attitude, expressing a sense of impermanence. The most compelling aspect is the antithesis, answering virtually Szabó’s poem, in which transience is personified as scattered materiality, with the phrase “I am a flake, I melt with snow”.[25] It is regrettable that I cannot discuss these queries and other lingering uncertainties with Lóránt Kabdebó in person.

It is possible to challenge the statements presented in this volume, as the author’s argumentation and formulation sometimes implies meditations and expose personal preferences. There have already been discussions about the multifaceted creations of Lóránt Kabdebó; appropriately so, as this displays the true strength of his work. The most important and fruitful partnership occurs when the discussion partner develops Kabdebó’s perspectives, possibly even theoretically re-evaluating his main ideas. Such a dynamic is evident within the influential publication of another esteemed Szabó Lőrinc researcher, Zoltán Kulcsár-Szabó, who is also referenced in the reviewed volume.[26] The interaction of ideas between the two academics, which persists throughout their research and publications, is an authentic expert discourse, even a partnership, as denoted by statements in Something Happened.

Lóránt Kabdebó’s latest publication provides a comprehensive overview of his long-standing research career. The book features a combination of retrospective analysis, inherent reformulations, and critical appraisals. The recurring motifs, ideas, and intellectual hobbyhorses reveal the methodological practices of the scholar’s workshop. The book isimbued with a quasi-rhythmic formula stemming from multiple processes of restarting, reformulating, and rearranging. Themes, comparisons, historical-poetic theses, and philological elements are repeatedly taken up in different contexts to form a discourse-building network of proofs and refutations. The highly personal and sometimes playful tone penetrates all of this and is also conveyed to the reader. Lőrinc Szabó’s last loves (the mysterious Madame Scrivener and the enigmatic Archduchess) are subjects of investigation at times, creating a truly engaging experience for the reader. (“Káprázat – a Vita Nuova vonzásában” [Mirage – the Attraction of Vita Nuova].) Sometimes, the author reflects on his own past achievements and his life as a researcher and cultural organiser, as a memoirist who offers an individual perspective. He recalls various instances, such as arguing with Zoltán Latinovits at the Museum Garden, and László Ferenczi convincing János Pilinszky to publish his laudative essay on Szabó’s Cricket Music. Interestingly, it was published only in English in the 1963 P.E.N. bulletin and had to be translated back into Hungarian thirty years later. Kabdebó also documents that István Szerdahelyi, who would later become known for socialist aesthetics, was advised by his well-to-do lawyer father to study under Lőrinc Szabó. Szerdahelyi was appalled by the poet’s excessive productivity and workaholism. He also lacked the inspiration emanating from his master’s forehead.

These details are by no means incidental; if they are sometimes so, their account is always and entirely captivating. Its significance, however, lies in the fact that it forms part of a larger construct and is motivated by diverse forms of autobiographical testimony and researcher communication, which are nonetheless unified in a singular stream. This is how Lóránt Kabdebó’s book title Something Happened is fulfilled, referring not only to Lőrinc Szabó but also to the essayist himself. The book recounts real events such as decisive or incidental moments in the lives of the poet and researcher, and poetic or scientific discursive events. It is an engaging read.

János D. Mekis, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Literary Theory and Modern Literatures,
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
University of Pécs, Hungary


[1] Kabdebó Lóránt, Valami történt: Szabó Lőrinc átváltozásai (Budapest: Prae, 2022).

[2] Szabó Lőrinc, Bírákhoz és barátokhoz: Napló és védőbeszédek 1945-ből [To Judges and Friends: Diary and Defense Speeches from 1945] (Budapest: Magvető, 1990).

[3] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 9.

[4] Kabdebó Lóránt, “A Magyar költészet az én nyelvemen beszél”: A kései Nyugat-líra összegződése Szabó Lőrinc költészetében [“Hungarian Poetry Speaks in My Language”: The Poetry of Lőrinc Szabó Sums up Late NyugatLyricism] (originally: Argumentum, Budapest, 1996; online version: MEK 05488), https://mek.oszk.hu/05400/05488/#. Unless otherwise indicated, quotations are given in my own rough translation. J. D. M.

[5] Kabdebó Lóránt – Kulcsár Szabó Ernő (eds.), “de nemfelelnek, úgyfelelnek”: A Magyar líra a húszas–harmincas évek fordulóján [“But They do not Answer, so They Answer”: Hungarian Lyrics at the Turn of the Twenties and Thirties] (originally: Pécs: Janus Pannonius Egyetemi Kiadó, 1992; online version: MEK-05846), https://mek.oszk.hu/05800/05846; and Szintézis nélküli évek: Nyelv, elbeszélés és világkép a harmincas évek epikájában [Years Without Synthesis: Language, Narrative and Worldview in the Epic of the Thirties] (originally: Pécs: Janus Pannonius Egyetemi Kiadó, 1993; online version: MEK-05838), https://mek.oszk.hu/05800/05838.  

[6] See, for example, Kabdebó Lóránt, A műhely titkai [Secrets of the Workshop] (originally: Budapest: Kozmosz, 1984; online version: MEK-07319), https://mek.oszk.hu/07300/07319; and Kabdebó Lóránt, Sorsfordító pillanatok [Fateful Moments] (originally: Miskolc: Felső-Magyarország, 1993; online version: MEK-07170), https://mek.oszk.hu/07100/07170.

[7] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 7–11.

[8] See Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 8.

[9] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 13.

[10] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 40.

[11] See Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 34.

[12] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 48–49.

[13] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 55–60.

[14] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 65.

[15] See Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 90.

[16] “Hogy rettenetes, elhiszem, / de így igaz.” See also Lőrinc Szabó, Entirely and for Nothing, trans. Katalin N. Ullrich, Babelmatrix: Babel Web Anthology, https://www.magyarulbabelben.net/works/hu/Szab%C3%B3_L%C5%91rinc-1900/Semmi%C3%A9rteg%C3%A9szen/en/25617-Entirely_And_For_Nothing.

[17] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 118.

[18] Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 119–134.

[19] József Attila, Az istenek halnak, az ember él: Tárgyi kritikai tanulmány Babits Mihály verseskötetéről [The Gods Die, Man Lives: A Practical Critique of the Book of Poemsby Mihály Babits] (Budapest: Az író kiadása, 1930), reprinted in A költészet mint világhiány: Kiállítás a Petőfi Irodalmi Múzeumban József Attila halálának 55. évfordulójára (Budapest: Balassi, 1992).

[20] See Kabdebó, Valami történt…, 100.

[21] Prosetranslation of „Az örökkévaló világnál / többet ér egy perc életed.”

[22] Cf. Jan N. Bremmer, “Oedipus and the Greek Oedipus Complex”, in Interpretations of Greek Mythology, ed. Jan Bremmer, 41–59. (London: Routledge, 1988).

[23] Prosetranslation of „Hazajöttem, megöregedtem, / vén vagyok, mint ő, szörnyü vén, / s ülök a növő sivatagban, / melyet az idő fúj körém.”

[24] Prosetranslations of „Már az év, mint homokóra, fordul” and „Ami betüt ágam irt a porba, / a tavasz sárvize elsodorja”.

[25] Prosetranslation of „Pehely vagyok, olvadok a hóval”. For. Ősz és tavasz között seealso Mihály Babits, Between Autumn and Spring, trans. István Tótfalusi, Babelmatrix: Babel Web Anthology, https://www.babelmatrix.org/works/hu/Babits_Mih%C3%A1ly-1883/%C5%90sz_%C3%A9s_tavasz_k%C3%B6z%C3%B6tt/en/41208-Between_autumn_and_spring.

[26] Kulcsár-Szabó Zoltán, Tükör színjátéka agyadnak: Poétikai problémák Szabó Lőrinc költészetében [Mirror Play of your Brain: Poetic Problems in the Poetry of Lőrinc Szabó] (Budapest: Ráció, 2010), specifically pages 59–90.

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