Obituary

Neohelicon, Nov 2016

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Obituary

Neohelicon - With great regret we received the sad news of the death of Miha´ly Szegedy-Masza´k in Budapest at the age of 74. In 1998 he was editor of Neohelicon (with Gyo¨rgy Miha´ly Vajda, Miklo´s Szabolcsi, and Jo´zsef Pa´l). In that transitory year before the withdrawal of the founding editors he had a decisive impact on the journals& character. Miha´ly Szegedy-Masza´k was a towering figure of comparative literature studies. In the year of his editorship Neohelicon still professed as its main purpose to ‘‘promote the Project ‘A Comparative History of Literatures in European Languages& launched under the auspices of the International Comparative Literature Association.’’ Miha´ly Szegedy-Masza´k was a personification of the cooperation of Neohelicon and the prestigious project of ICLA. He was one of those who contributed immensely to the latter. He joined the association in 1972, and became a member of the Coordinating Committee (which is responsible for the program of A Comparative History of the Literatures in European Languages) in 1983. Between 1992 and 2001 he was the vice-president, between 2001 and 2006 the president of the Coordinating Committee. It means that he was involved in the activities of the book series for 23 years, during which period 16 volumes were published. (He also contributed to a volume (History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe, Vol. III) that appeared after his presidency.) During 1991–1997 he was member of the Executive Council, and 1997–2004 vicepresident of the ICLA. Since 2009 he has been the president of the Hungarian National Committee. Due to his astonishing erudition, unparalleled but by a very few, and his expertise in literary theory, comparative literature studies, translation studies, musicology, and the modern literary history of several nations, he could help our journal immensely as an editor. Both before and after that he was a frequent contributor, which represented, however, only a fracture of his tremendous scholarly output that includes 17 books. Miha´ly Szegedy-Masza´k was full member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Academia Europaea, professor emeritus of Indiana University, Bloomington and Eo¨tvo¨ s Lora´nd University, Budapest. He is greatly missed.


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Obituary, Neohelicon, 2016, 371-372, DOI: 10.1007/s11059-016-0349-6