Last update:

Author's page

( 1937 - 2009 )


1937 born in Torda, Transylvania (Turda, Romania)
1960-61 editor of the State Publishing House
1962-69 co-editor of the children's magazine, Napsugár
1981 on the editorial board of the literary journal, Utunk
1989 editor of the literary magazines, Helikon and Korunk
20. April 2009 he dies

His prizes include:
1971, 1983 Prize of the Romanian Writer's Union, 1974 Prize of the Romanian Academy, 1984 Prize of the Európa Publishing House, 1988 Graves Prize, 1991 József Attila Prize, 1992 Látó Prize, 1993 Déry Prize, 1994 Berzsenyi Prize, 1995 Tiszatáj Prize, Bethlen Gábor Prize, Ady Endre Prize, 1996 Salvatore Quasimodo Prize, 1997 The Great Cross of the Order of the Hungarian Republic, 1998 Kossuth Prize

(...let the world get known

... hogy kitudódjék a világ (...let the world get known), 1980 Besides Domokos Szilágyi, Aladár Lászlóffy was the most promising and important member of the Sixties generation known as Forrás (Source). As a young poet he had to struggle, and successfully endured the political dogmatism of the Fifties. This collection of poems comprises his oeuvre up to the Eighties and shows the integrity of his interests. He has always been interested in history because he knows that a poet can never isolate himself; rather, he is responsible for the dead and the living alike, to provide an example for future generations. Don’t say I talk to myself. I am standing silently behind myself ... my voice reaches the border, spreading and spreading beyond my borders, filling the Baroque halls behind me, Renaissance houses, corridors, everything left behind. The poet’s attention comprises the whole world: from Flemish painting to love to a solitary blackbird; yet his most characteristic texts are those about historic characters and events.

Imaginary Excavation

A képzeletbeli ásatás (Imaginary Excavation) 1986 Lászlóffy stated, “How crowded were the few decades from which the witnesses still live, if only touching each other’s fingertips....Before starting a new history, I must take a look around at the things already completed.” The novel therefore organizes an excavation of the past through an examination of the narrator’s family, the six Szabados sons, a large family kept together by the person of the great-grandmother. The setting is an imaginary Transylvanian town, Porond. The family’s history winds through wars and personal disasters, until “progress” condemns the family house to demolition. The great family saga is a memory of a lost age.


Átkopogások, 2002 Aladár Lászlóffy and Domokos Szilágyi in Romania, together with the almost parallel attempts of Dezső Tandori in Hungary, began to doubt history and the individual and language imperturbability of the age, and developed for themselves a characteristic, highly intellectual voice. Lászlóffy’s poetry is largely based on classical tradition, but is at the same time affiliated with the best traditions of the neo-avant-garde. This volume of selected poems (selected and edited by Gyöngyi Lászlóffy and György Gálfalvy) bears the enigmatic title Knockings Beyond. In his poetry, Lászlóffy often considers the relation of man to history, both personal and impersonal: how does the individual, locked in his own fate, nevertheless make himself noticed? The poet comes away with no illusions: War monuments. Here we lost. Here we won. Victory-boulevards, victory-junctions and victory-highways with their victory-under and victory-overpasses … Back, when we drove by one or another monument, it used to pique our curiosity what was inscribed on it, how badly we had been beaten and why. …” (“Highway accidents”, translated by Paul Sohar) “Lászlóffy’s poetry is characterized by a sober intellectualism and a way of handling poetry as a pretext to discuss contemporary affairs sub rosa. His work evinces the intention to examine the totality of the human experience.” -Ádám Makkai, translator

Download contents in PDF!