Sandor Szathmari


Sandor Szathmari was pre-eminent among the creators of prose in Esperanto and is revered particularly for his novel Vojagho al Kazohinio (Voyage to Kazohinia).

Born in Hungary in 1897, he learned Esperanto in 1912 and first began to write in the language in 1932, as a sideline to his career as a mechanical engineer. Between 1937 and 1942 he presided over the business management of the Hungarian Esperanto Association. In 1939 he finished work on Vojaĝo al Kazohinio. However its publication was delayed by the outbreak of war in Europe and it didn't appear in Esperanto until 1958, by which time three Hungarian editions had stolen its thunder. His short stories were published widely in the 50s and 60s, in the revues: Belarto, Monda Kulturo, La Nica Literatura Revuo, Monda Kulturo and Hungara Vivo.

He also contributed articles on literary themes and the international language movement, to i.a. Sennacieca Revuo, la Praktiko, Sennaciulo, Hungara vivo, Monda Kulturo and Esperanto. His study on poet and dramatist Gyulya Baghy, formed the preface to Ora duopo (Golden duo).

Szathmari's short-story collections are: Mashinmondo (Machine-world) which appeared in 1964 under the Stafeto banner, Kain kaj Abel (Cain and Abel) which was published posthumously in 1977, and Perfekta civitano (Perfect citizen), which gathered all his short stories into one volume in 1988. He was also one of the authors represented in 33 rakontoj, la Esperanto Novelarto (33 stories, Esperanto Prose) and its revised, expanded edition - Trezoro (Treasure), which were published in 1964 and 1989 respectively.

In Vojagho al Kazohinio Szathmari satirically sketches the problems of a society which has overcome every psychological alienation but which has lost its human nature. In the midst of that society however there remains a group of "old" humans, which the society has segregated to prevent its own destruction. These "old" humans symbolise today's humanity. They accept ridiculous and abnormal taboos while the unemotional unalienated majority symbolise the result of science serving its own ends rather than those of humanity.

Sandor Szathmari died in 1974. He also wrote and published in his native Hungarian.

William Auld
Gyulya Baghy
Marjorie Boulton
Kalman Kalocsay
Yevgheny Mikhalsky
Sandor Szathmari
versio en Esperanto
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