April 12, 2010 – On March 29th, 2010 the Hungarian Mint has issued a new commemorative coin in honor of the Hungarian poet, Dezsö Kosztolányi you would celebrate his 125th birthday in 2010.
Commemorative Coin in honor of Dezsö Kosztolányi. Fineness: 925 Ag; Diameter: 38,61 mm; Gross weight: 31,46 g.; Face Value: 5.000 HUF; Designer: István Holló.
Dezsö Kosztolányi was a poet, writer, literary translator, critic, essayist, and journalist. He was one of the outstanding early figures involved in the literary journal Nyugat, which was published between 1908 and 1941. His exceptional writing stood out as a dominant feature in the literary landscape of early 20th century Hungary.
Born in the town of Szabadka (present-day Subotica, Serbia), he was the only child of school-director Árpád Kosztolányi, a physics and chemistry professor, and Eulália Brenner. He completed secondary school in Szeged and began his university studies in Budapest in 1903. It was here that he became acquainted with other writers such as Mihály Babits, Gyula Juhász, and Milán Füst, and started a life-long friendship with Frigyes Karinthy. In 1904 he enrolled at university in Vienna. After returning to Hungary in 1905, he did not continue his studies, opting instead to take a position as a journalist for the newspaper Budapesti Napló in 1906. His first collection of poems, Négy fal között (Between Four Walls), was published in 1907.
He was a contributor to the publication Nyugat almost from the very beginning and from March 1908 he was one of the editors. In 1913 Kosztolányi married Ilona Harmos, who wrote under the pen name Ilona Görög. Their son, Ádám Kosztolányi, was born in 1915. In addition to his literary work, he participated in public life as well. He was the founder of the Freemason lodge “Világ” and the Vörösmarty Academy under the Hungarian Soviet Republic. Kosztolányi was a member of the Petöfi and Kisfaludy Societies, co-president of the La Fontaine Society and president of the Hungarian PEN Club. Diagnosed with cancer in 1933, he was operated on numerous times from 1934 onwards. He died on 3 November 1936 in Budapest, at the age of 51.
Dezsö Kosztolányi’s work in almost every genre was significant, and he exercised a great influence on many of his contemporaries. His life’s work has rendered him immortal, as one of the great figures of Hungarian literature.
The Magyar Nemzeti Bank pays homage to the memory of Dezsö Kosztolányi, marking the 125th anniversary of his birth with the issue of a silver commemorative coin. The coin was designed by the artist István Holló; the crumbling wall depicted on the front alludes to the particular mood which pervades Kosztolányi’s work, the sense of confinement which is already present in his first work “Négy fal között”, the idea of quiet disintegration, while the stones and bricks stand for his playful, exciting and linguistically spectacular style of writing.
If you want to read more about the Hungarian Mint, please use www.coins.hu. If you want to read a poem of Kosztolányi in English use http://www.brindin.com/pokoshaj.htm