essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences

Lajos Kassák (Érsekújvár, 1887 – Budapest, 1967), was a poet, writer, painter and graphic artist, the central figure of Hungarian avant-garde, and influential promoter of avant-garde literary trends. As a metal worker, he was active in the trade union and social democratic movement in Budapest. He started publishing poems in 1908, but he focused attention to himself in 1912 with free verse poems, published in the journal "Renaissance".

His early works were influenced by Walt Whitman. Since 1912 until 1919 he published several collections of poems, short stories and one-act plays. He started the magazine "A Tett" (1915-1916), which gathered a group of young poets and artists. The magazine was prohibited because of its antimilitarism and internationalism, but Kassák restarted it naming it "MA" that was published in Budapest from 1916 to 1919 and in Vienna from 1920 to 1925. The Viennese stage of "MA" was characterized by the collapse of a homogeneous group of activists, Sandor Barta setting off in 1922, when he enhanced his relation with Dadaism and proletkult and started the magazines "Akasztott Ember" and "Ék".

Lajos Kassák had an important influence on the Yugoslav Hungarian literature. In literary and visual arts practice and theory, Kassák supported the activist variant of expressionism, based on the tradition of Kurt Hiller, Dadaism and the specific manifestations of Constructivism (Bildgedichte, Bildarchitektur – Picture Poem, The Architecture of Painting). The magazine "MA" was extremely respected and well known by "Zenit". Zenitists wrote sympathetically about Kassák's magazine and actions, finding that there was much in common between the "MA" and "Zenit", between activist and zenistic creativity: "Today, Hungarian activist poets and artists, the most modern and most similar to us, and their magazine „MA“". The Zenitist journal published Kassák's numerous poems (one translated by B. Tokin), and regarding the Kassák's effort (correspondence of B. Tokin and Lj. Micić), announced that they were going to publish his "novel of the Hungarian Bolshevik revolution", Lomače pjevaju (Singing Bonfires). The publishing of Kassák's programme text Arhitektura slike (The Architecture of Painting) in 1922 concurred with the "Zenit" constructivist phase, as well as was the reproduction of his linocut that visually illustrated ideas presented in this text.

Vida Golubović