Janos Pilinszky Born 100 Years Ago
János Pilinszky (Budapest, 27 November 1921 – Budapest, 27 May 1981) was one of the most influential Hungarian poets of the 20th century, who was awarded the Baumgarten, József Attila and Kossuth Prizes. He was part of the fourth or “new moon” generation of the literary journal Nyugat, and the periodical that succeeded it, Újhold (meaning “new moon”), of which he was an editor between 1946 and 1948. From 1957 until his death, he was a contributor to the Catholic weekly Új Ember.
His poetry explores the shocking events of 20th-century history, the suffering of human existence and the possibility of the redemption of sins in a unique way. His personal faith is inseparable from the theme and tone of his oeuvre, whereby he created anew a living connection between the sacred and the profane. His achievements enriched the history of Hungarian literature with works that merit a place among the highest attainments of world literature.
The commemorative stamp features a portrait of János Pilinszky and the line “The sun is visible from every rooftop” from his poem Fragment from a Golden Age (Aranykori töredék) can be read on the accompanying first day cover. The logo of the centenary is featured in the special postmark as well as on the stamp and the first day cover.