Béla Pomogáts, Széchenyi Prize-winning writer, literary historian, literary critic, former president of the Hungarian Writers’ Association, doctor of literary studies, has died at the age of 89 – Magyar Nemzet wrote in its online edition on Monday.
Béla Pomogáts was born on October 22nd, 1934 in Budapest. He graduated from Piarista High School in 1953. He recalled his school years countless times as the defining period of his life. He was proud of his role in the ’56 revolution, he also wrote about the tortures of the internment camp. In 1958, he obtained a Hungarian liberal arts degree in Budapest. He took part in the 1956 revolution, was interned in 1959, and was released in 1960.
From 1961 he taught, from 1965 he worked at the Institute of Literary Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, from 1974 he was the editor of Literatúra, and from 1990 he was its editor-in-chief. He was also a member of the editorial board of Vigilia, Valóság, Nyelvünk és Kultúránk and Régíó. He is a founding member of the Historical Justice Committee, vice-chairman in 1991 and 1992, vice-chairman of the Transylvanian Association from 1989 to 1993, and spokesperson of the Democratic Charter between 1993 and 1995.
Béla Pomogáts was the president of the Hungarian Writers’ Association between 1995 and 2001, the Illyés Public Foundation between 2002 and 2007, and from 1990 he also worked as the editor-in-chief of Literatúra. Mainly he was dealing with the literature of the 20th century, but several of his works were also published on Hungarian literature beyond the border. He edited the writings of Aladár Kuncz, József Nyírő, Jenő Dsida and András Sütő. He is the holder of many awards. He received a József Attila Award in 1991, Széchenyi Award in 2003 for his researches, monographs, and cultural-literary public activities on 19th-century Hungarian literature, and Hungarian literature beyond the border. In June 2004, he became an honorary citizen of Marosvásárhely, and in 2005, a permanent member of the Hungarian Writers’ Association. In 2023, he received the Miklós Radnóti Anti-Racist Award.