Debrecen and literature


The Méliusz Library owns multiple museum’s worth Csokonai-volumes, including the collection called Ódák két könyvben, which was issued in 1809. The Csokonai album edited by Kulini Nagy Benő is not only a book summarizing the poet’s lifework, but also an important collactable item of the era.  The album was issued in 1861, Debrecen. 

The name of Csokonai Vitéz Mihály (1773-1805) is synonymous with Debrecen. The most famous poet of the Age of Enlightenment studied poetry in the esteemed College, where the ideology of knowledge acquisition and the carefree playfulness of the rococo defined his artistic evolution. Later, mostly his theoretic (Az estve, Konstancinápoly) and love poems established Csokonai’s reputation. The latter was a refined combination of melody and elegy as part of the Lilla-cycle and became a manifestation of Hungarian poetry in world literature. He was not only a literary prodigy, but a real genre experimenter: the comic epos Dorottya and the comedy Az özvegy Karnyóné proves that. His short life ended in his hometown, as after a couple of years of teaching he returned to Debrecen to publish his lifework. Due to his early death, he only became the greatest poet in Hungarian literature later.