Tibor Déry

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Tibor Déry (18 October 1894 in Budapest – 18 August 1977 in Budapest)[1] was a Hungarian writer. In his early years he was a supporter of communism, but after being excluded from the ranks of the Hungarian Communist Party in 1953 he started writing satire on the communist regime in Hungary.

Georg Lukács praised Dery as being 'the greatest depicter of human beings of our time'.


In 1919,[2] Déry became an active party member in the liberal republic under Mihály Károlyi. Less than a year later however, Béla Kun and his Communist Party rose to power, proclaiming the Hungarian Soviet Republic and exiling Déry. He only returned to Hungary in 1935,[2] having lived in Austria, France and Germany in the meantime. Nevertheless, during the right wing Horthy regime he was imprisoned several times, once because he translated André Gide's Retour de L'U.R.S.S.. In this period, he wrote what is often considered his greatest novel, The Unfinished Sentence, a 1200-page epic story about the life of the young aristocrat Lorinc Parcen-Nagy who gets into contact with the working classes in Budapest during a period of strike.

In 1953, Déry was expelled from the Communist Party[2] during a 'cleansing' of Hungarian literature. In 1956 he was a spokesman during the Uprising, alongside György Lukács and Gyula Háy. In the same year, he wrote Niki: The Story of a Dog, a fable about the arbitrary restrictions on human life in Stalinist Hungary. Because of his part in the uprising, he was sentenced to prison[1] for 9 years, but released in 1960.[2] He died in 1977.

He translated Rudyard Kipling's Naulahka and Lord of the Flies by William Golding into Hungarian.


  1. ^ a b Britannica Encyclopedia
  2. ^ a b c d NY Books