Concourse at the centre
“Everything starts with an encounter,” writes Béla Tábor. The 20th century Hungarian history of ideas features several encounters between outstanding thinkers that gave rise to new and significant spiritual trends. Such were two practically simultaneous encounters in the early thirties: the first was that of Lajos Szabó and Béla Tábor at the anti-Bolshevik left, in the so-called opposition, an illegal revolutionary socialist movement equally opposed to bolshevism and capitalism; the second was that of Károly Kerényi and Béla Hamvas in the Sziget-kör [Island Circle], an anti-fascist right-wing society. The 20th century Hungarian history of ideas records two significant encounters between more than two people – original thinkers of related yet different positions. The first took place before World War 1, around the first important Hungarian journal of philosophy, Szellem [Spirit] on the one hand, and the Vasárnapi Kör [Sunday Circle] society on the other, among Lajos Fülep (1), György Lukács and Béla Zalai2 (surrounded by such excellent and later world-renowned disciples as Károly Mannheim, Arnold Hauser or Károly Tolnay). The second encounter took place after World War 2 – bringing the still operational Other Budapest School (3) to the height of its career – during the so-called “Thursday conversations” among Lajos Szabó (4), Béla Tábor and Béla Hamvas (with the participation of Katalin Kemény and Stefánia Mándy, and later with the involvement of some youth, the later situaionist Attila Kotányi as well as Endre Bíró and György Kunszt).
The personal-biographic prehistory of this latter encounter dates back to the thirties. In the autumn of 1930, Béla Tábor was taken by his friend, the excellent Georgist social researcher Andor Szirtes, to a lecture held by Lajos Szabó at the Jaurès Circle, which was operating under the unofficial aegis of the Social Democratic Party. Some 2-300 young people – Korschist oppositionists, leftist students, Trotskyists and communists alike – were trying to follow the then Marxist thinker's argumentation on matters of religious history. When the lecture ended, Béla Tábor asked to talk from the back, and summed up the lecture in the following words: "If I'm not mistaken, according to the lecturer religion is revolution and the Church is counterrevolution." Lajos Szabó jerked up his head and vividly called back over the stuffed room: "That is exactly what I wanted to say!" This is how their life-long close friendship and work relationship of nearly a quarter of a century began. From 1932 they started to criticise direct political practice as well as the theoretical framework of Marxism, deeming them too limited. Also, they showed increasing interest in depth psychology. They contacted Zoltán Békefi (5), one of its best Hungarian Marxist advocates, who had been banned from the Munka Kör [Work Circle] – founded and headed by Lajos Kassák – in 1930 together with Lajos Szabó, Pál Justus (6) and others, and who had soon parted with the illegal communist party by their influence. In the ten years that were to follow, Lajos Szabó, Béla Tábor and Békefi formed a close intellectual work team. In the early thirties, it only took Szabó and Tábor a few years to cover the distance the Western-European elite covered – from Marxism to Freudism to Nietzsche to existentialism – between ‘68 and ‘98. By the mid-thirties they had taken a direction that completely diverged from the Marxist movement. Through reading the Old- and New Testament, Jenő Henrik Schmitt's gnosis, Greek and Indian tradition, classical German philosophy, as well as digesting Nietzsche's and Kierkegaard's existentialism, they reached the Biblicism of the dialogical thinkers – Franz Rosenzweig, Martin Buber and Ferdinand Ebner. By Lajos Szabó's proposal Béla Tábor and Lajos Szabó cooperated in writing and publishing the book Vádirat a szellem ellen [The Indictment of Spirit] in 1936, originally timing it for the Budapest conference of the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. The book is a dialogical-existentialist assessment and criticism of the most important mid-century spiritual trends, from positivism through psychoanalysis to sociologism. Szabó published his theocentric logic entitled A hit logikája [The Logic of Faith] in 1937. Béla Tábor's (7) book A zsidóság két útja [The Two Paths of Jewry] came out in early August 1939, following the first Hungarian anti-Jewish laws, with the purpose of the intellectual mobilization of the Hungarian Jewry (8).
Also in the 30's, Lajos Szabó encountered BélaHamvas (9), who was then librarian at Fővárosi Könyvtár [Metropolitan Library]. Week by week Szabó loaned bulky German volumes of philosophy, theology, history, economics, psychology, natural science and the like, bringing them back with a dense web of signs and notes on their margins. (Actually, it is these marginal notes formed the basis of his later developed calligraphies.) After a while Béla Hamvas inquired in surprise why he was reading so much so intensely. After making clear that it was not "scribbling all over" the books that interested him, Lajos Szabó responded in a single phrase: "self control." Following this vivid intellectual exchange ensued between the two. Some years later Hamvas wrote a review for the journal Válasz [Answer] of the book Vádirat a szellem ellen. (The review was rejected on the grounds that such young authors cannot be treated so praisefully.)
Béla Tábor and Hamvas had not known each other before the war, but when Hamvas, serving as officer at the Eastern front, heard that their corps were stationed close, he sent a postcard to Béla Tábor expressing his hope that they would meet very soon.
The triadic encounter finally took place in autumn 1945, after the marriage of Béla Tábor and Stefánia Mándy (10), already in their flat on Haris köz. The goal of the intellectual work team was – as Lajos Szabó said in his opening speech to the debate – to "include in the entirety of their behaviour such peripheral instances of life and existence, whose unified apprehension and mutual productiveness" was unprecedented in the spiritual life of the period.
The opening speech to the debate was Lajos Szabó's text Biblia és romantika [The Bible and Romanticism]. Obviously not without a purpose, for Biblia és romantika – its introduction discussing research as "a fundamental momentum of human life", as well as its media and collective goals – defines the crucial difference between biblical and romantic research that similarly "have begun beating universal paths" by asserting that romantic creators are "characterised by not-affirming-one-another", and "no-knowledge-of-one-another", while "biblical characters... affirm one another and their common path... across time and space". The intellectual research collective to be founded was of course exactly a fellowship of such anti-romantic and biblical thinkers, affirmative towards one another.
The address then points out that in those days it was not enough to affirm only the churches and dogmas that referred to the Bible, because "the formulation of the dogmas" had been done "in the basic terminology" of bygone days, whose language had undergone inflation by then. The living centre of live religion, "equivalent to the whole of ethics" is conscience, "the basic function of the spirit", "the most personal instance of the person", in which "person and word are still one". Lajos Szabó then formulates two standards of conscience: The first being "Have I done everything for the enlightenment of everyone else and especially myself?", The second being the requisite "Lead or follow!", which holds for both daily life and the life of the spirit. The hierarchical evaluation of reality in its entirety, from spiritual tradition and mathematical axioms through natural science and experimental production to large industry depends on the restoration of the hierarchy of values concerning the spirit. This is what Lajos Szabó calls "industrial axiomatics". "The spirit never demands, but yields, and never tires... it keeps growing..., the only efficient way to fight its power and growth is isolation", but since the spirit is "life redoubled", this is also the "incessant suicide of life". Writing this in 1941, Lajos Szabó may have thought of the World War. The spirit is "from time to time helpless" against "disasters", but that "generates a new inner suffering", by which "[the spirit] creates the suffering non-isolated recipient within itself." This is the historical possibility that he saw in the "Hungarian centre of a Central Europe in the wider sense", that "collides the renewed intellectual traditions of East and West". Reading this aloud in 1945, the author must have had the work team in mind that was just being born.
Béla Hamvas and Béla Tábor each responded to Lajos Szabó's opening speech with several longer, partly written supplementary papers. Hamvas's response was extraordinarily positive and concurrent, specifying idolatry and Mammon as the common enemies. Founding on Lajos Szabó's definition of Mammon ("exploitation-violence-deception"), he poses the question "whether [Szabó’s] paper can be traced back to the fundamental Mammon-God antagonism." Obviously referring to issues of industrial axiomatics, economics and even socialism, he posits that "the task at hand is not to exclude certain fields of knowledge, but to cultivate each field hieratically." When asserting that "the creation of the true community lies in realizing the circle of I-You-Many, which rules out Mine-Yours", he reflects on the actual situation. The reason this discussion gives rise to a community is that it is a "trialogue". "God's face: One - I, Two - You, Three - the Army", and the "prerequisite of true hieratic collective existence is the Union of the Three... the Army drawing up. This is what is happening here" says Hamvas, referring of course not to infantry divisions, but the "Army of the Lord" present in the apocalyptic sections of the Bible.
Béla Tábor's read his supplementary paper in December 1945. His point of departure are the first two sentences of Lajos Szabó's introduction. From these and from Hamvas's earlier written "personal interpositions" concretizing his own existential condition, especially his words referring to the "exclusiveness of the solution that comes from within and above", Szabó unfolds the topology of the spirit, and "attempts to ascertain" "the correlation between their practices of action." As compared to Hamvas's "personal practice of action" that "comes from within and above", Lajos Szabó calls his own practice, which departs from the "internal level of socialism", "an attempt at a solution from the intersection of the internal and the external". He additionally criticizes the "German idealism’s solution from within" and "the characteristically civic and mammonistic superstitiousness of determination from without", while giving a detailed analysis of Fascism as the most anti-intellectual and anti-humanistic "attempt at a bottom-up solution". This is how he reaches "what brought them together" then and there: "solution from the centre", that is, "taking the centre, the intersection of intersections, as their centre".
In his supplementary paper Béla Tábor clearly differentiates in all three cases the "plane of departure" of "their practices of action" from the "basic position" they reached. He emphasises that although they are a triad, he can only talk about two personal practices of action, since his is identical to Lajos Szabó's. He also says that although they are all "transfering the energies of the methods of the point of departure to [their] present plane of action" and he and Lajos Szabó have both "come from Socialism", they carry "an energy of existential demands that springs from beyond". The reason he could make this assertion was that their "plane of departure" was Marxist opposition and "opposition considered a Marxian differentiation of theory and ideology its basic methodological principle already at its point of departure; that is, in its esoterical Marxist phase. (...) In Marx, theory signifies the quest for truth while ideology means 'false consciousness', that is, a 'consciousness' which, instead of being in quest of the truth, keeps serving power interests (in Marx: 'class interests’). The spiritual opposition (that was consequently represented by only the two of us with Lajos Szabó) considered it its (intellectual) task to break the theoretical core out of the ideological shell in every spiritual manifestation (this is why the scope of his spiritual sensitivity kept growing ever wider). However, the opposition applied this criterion to the assessment of Marxism as well; all the more so because the latter became increasingly identified with its esoterical, 'vulgarized', popularized self-interpretation." (11)
Naturally, the views of the members within the centre community differed in several respects. They sorted out common and different points during more spontaneous discussions, in addition to which longer written contributions were made throughout the debate. Apparently we have a complete shorthand record of the conference of 7 February 1946 (12), throughout which the different positions clashed in an open and vivid, yet far from offensive debate between Hamvas on the one hand, and Lajos Szabó and Béla Tábor on the other. After the clarification of positions – as Béla Tábor put it, applying an idea of Lajos Szabó’s to the actual situation – "superficial contradictions became relativized". "What counted as fundamental contradiction on a specific level of the debate, becomes superficial on a deeper level... Now this deeper superficial contradiction has to be traced back to a fundamental contradiction." Thus authentic debates took place on the common grounds of fundamental concord, or, in Béla Hamvas's words, of "testimony in favour of the omnipresent community of tradition"; or again, in Béla Tábor's words, of "solution from the centre". In fact, the goal of these debates was to trace back the superficial points at issue arising from the "difference of initial positions" to more fundamental contradictions. This amounted to a realistic attempt to lay the foundations of a universal spiritual community that rose above all denominations. A few years later Hamvas in his Szarepta [Sarepta], subscribing to Béla Tábor's "more cautious phrasing", also uses the term praeecclesia to name this community. (Lajos Szabó – who had by the mid-thirties radically dissociated the notion of church from the clergy and rehabilitated it, defining it as "the timeless Rainbow Alliance of creators in the light of the enunciation" – disputed this term, saying "I agree with the momentum leading up to it, but the Church already exists: one can associate to it, but it can no more be founded.”)
The foundation of this community of course did not take place in vacuum, but was embedded in a series of events that comprise the history of ideas as well as history in the profane sense. In 1945, following the several-month siege of Budapest, the terror of Hungarian national socialists, deportations and persecutions, several years of war, frontline and forced-labour service, as well as the preceding two years of the reactionary Horthy-era, practically every member of the progressive intelligentsia felt suddenly relieved of an unbearable or at least grave pressure, and saw a wide range of opportunities emerging. This sentiment was shared by Hamvas, who was anything but leftist, and who had by the early forties become one of the intellectual leaders of the more sensitive part of Christian middle-class youth (those that had no Nazi affinities). It was also shared by the leftist Lajos Fülep, who denounced bolshevism, and by Lajos Szabó and Béla Tábor, who had for many years been strongly opposed to bolshevism and who, once oppositionist Marxists, knew the true nature of the Soviet system. Hamvas went so far as to say, in a written "personal commentary" on 31 January 1946, that "last March and February, after the siege, for all of mankind Budapest turned into a platform of collective 'ascension into Heaven', a gateway for entering God's kingdom". "Soon", however, – he writes – "this opportunity passed"; nevertheless, "the texture of time is still not solid, but perforated and fractured, always offering an opportunity for breakout." This intellectual and spiritual state, characteristic of Hamvas in 1945, made him temporarily receptive of assimilating the issues of "existential socialism" and economics (as an overtone of which the uncomprehending commentaries of extreme right-wing media in recent years have been retrospectively – and groundlessly – classifying Hamvas, who they otherwise esteem, entirely leftist.)
In any case, in an environment of incredibly intense intellectual activity generated by the ecstasy of a fresh start, for the next 2-3 years Haris köz became the regular scene of gatherings, lectures and debates involving 20-50 people. Lectures were held by Lajos Fülep, Árpád Mezei (13), Antal Molnár (14) Béla Fekete Nagy (15) and naturally Lajos Szabó, Béla Hamvas, and perhaps Béla Tábor. The European School (16), whose members included Hamvas, Stefánia Mándy and Lajos Szabó, was formed in Haris köz. The rest of its gatherings were held elswhere, but Ernő Kállai (17), Mezei, József Jakovits (18), Endre Bálint (19), Júlia Vajda (20), Ilka Gedő (21) and other artists kept frequenting Haris köz for the debates, or just for a light conversation.
This is where Lajos Szabó started his seminars for some youth in the autumn of 1946. The written record of these seminars has since been published in book form. At the same time, the "Thursday conversations" as such practically came to an end in a few months, which was obviously due in part to the fact that the debates – mainly between Lajos Szabó and Hamvas – aggravated. In the autumn of 1946 Hamvas summarized his position contrary to Lajos Szabó's "critical remarks" in a long letter. Meanwhile, for about a year onwards he still took an active part in the seminars that now included young people as well, and where Béla Tábor and Stefánia Mándy were also present occasionally.
The "Thursdays" comprised the esoterical core of this entire spiritual activity. In Béla Tábor's – theological – expression, they endowed it with a dimension of salvation history. In his "personal interposition" cited above, Hamvas writes: "The main question is: which stage of salvation history are we in?" He is convinced that "we live in the beginnings of a new world cycle", "Whitsun-time", "which, for the time being, makes it possible to exit the cycle." "I feel that the triadic common effort is such an eschatological resolution which, breaking through the wall of salvation history... prepares the path towards salvation (towards ascension) for humanity". As regards the eschatological situation, Béla Tábor describes the diverging spiritual positions in the course of the discussion that took place a week later, on 7 February, as such: "Béla Hamvas's position is post-eschatological; the Bible's and romanticism's position, as well as mine: pre-eschatological. Both (...) are closely connected to the line of the eschaton, but while the former reaches back towards history from over the line, the latter reaches over from the hither side." Lajos Szabó's standpoint – writes Béla Tábor – "departs from the immaturity of the eschatological situation". "On the contrary, Béla Hamvas deems the eschatological situation mature". Béla Tábor evokes a historical analogy at this point: "following World War 1 it was a key issue of socialist movements whether what they were experiencing was the final crisis of capitalism or not. The Third International then gave an affirmative response to the question on its own level, deeming the eschatological situation of the society mature when it was not, which resulted in a series of mistakes. The determination of the distance from the end is therefore an essential prerequisite of all historical action. The question is whether such regression from the final stage is, as Béla Hamvas presumed in February 1945, possible in a mature eschatological situation?" It was the result of this train of thought that Béla Tábor then experimentally named their "historical program" the "creation of pre-ecclesia (in accordance with John the Baptist's position)"
The collective salvation historical work was, however, conducted in a far too profane historical context. When this context turned into a renewed dictatorship after about two years of restricted yet vivid freedom and democracy, the work team had to dissolve. The ideological attacks of György Lukács and others against Hamvas and the European School were followed by more severe retorsions. Béla Hamvas was fired from the Metropolitan Library in 1948, and soon he was compelled to work as stock-keeper at constructions in the country for years. Béla Tábor quit his workplace, the Prime Minister's Office, as early as 1947, aware that together with Lajos Szabó – both oppositionist, anti-Bolshevik Marxists and associates of Pál Justus – his position was likely to become extremely insecure. Any gathering that was of a wider scope than a systematical and private conversation was out of the question. Thus no more opportunities remained to settle the accumulated points at issue. Lajos Szabó emigrated West with Attila Kotányi in December 1956. He and Hamvas exchanged a few letters, but that could not replace personal encounters. Hamvas stayed friends with the Tábors. They met rarely while he lived in the country, but that did not stop him from regularly showing his manuscripts.
Béla Hamvas tried to reflect on the tension between him and who was "for him the most exciting figure in the circle" in an essay on Lajos Szabó, included in his manuscript volume Patmosz [Patmos]. Nevertheless, these writings are much too psychologically determined, otherwise he would not have written about Lajos Szabó that he had "not one finished essay." Then again, Szabó is the only Hungarian artist to whom he dedicated a separate essay in the two volumes of Patmosz. What is more important, and tells more about the role of the "Thursdays" in Béla Hamvas's spiritual career: as an influence of Lajos Szabó (who termed his way of thinking Christian), formerly traditionalist Hamvas (who had valued the spiritual tradition of the East higher than Christianity), came to think of Christianity in the last two decades of his life as the culmination of tradition, and he adopted Béla Tábor's "salvation history" and Lajos Szabó's "basic position" as his key phrases. In addition to the cathartic experience of the war and the devastation of his home, books and manuscripts due to militant action, the third decisive point of departure for his final creative period was this work team. The best evidence for this is his already cited work Szarepta from 1951-54, which is practically a commentary of the "Thursday conversations". "The atmosphere of our ceaseless trialogues reassured me that if I succeeded, I would rise to a higher state" – writes Hamvas on the very first page. Re-reading the records he feels that they had "just met for the second time", and apart from these texts "everything except holy scriptures leaves a sense of incompleteness" in him.
Lajos Szabó and Béla Tábor on the one hand, and Béla Hamvas on the other, had arrived from different directions in 1945, and progressed in partly different directions after 1948. Nevertheless, in a deeper and – borrowing the title of Hamvas's famous book – "invisible story", they have always formed one community. In Hamvas's words: the community of those for whom glory was more important that success. Béla Tábor, shaken by Lajos Fülep's death, said that during his whole life he had known three people for whom "the grandness of life was most important of all": Lajos Fülep, Béla Hamvas and Lajos Szabó.
Other works of and information on members of the Dialogical Budapest School in German and English:
EIKON, Die spekulativen grafischen Bildschriften von Lajos Szabó (mit seinen theoretischen Schriften, ungarisch-deutsch), hrsg. von Attila Kotányi, Ernst Museum, Budapest, 1997
Béla Tábor: Nachwort zur zweiten Ausgabe der Zwei Wegen des Judentums (übersetzt von Madeleine Merán)
L. Surányi: Descartes, Bolyai, Lobatschewskij und die Zurückführung der Geometrie zu ihrer subjektiven Wurzel in: Jenseits von Kunst, hrsg. P. Weibel, Passagen Verlag é.n. 614-617.
Lajos Vajda, 10 Bilder, mit einem Geleitwort von Stefánia Mándy (ungarisch-deutsch) Corvina, Budapest, 1971.
Béla Tábor: Epilogue to the second edition of The Two Paths of Jewry (translated by Pál Hegedüs and Jessica Sacks)
The study is a revised version of the text published in the 2002 Nov-Dec. issue of the journal 2000.
(15 November 2007)
Translated by: Dániel Sipos
1 Lajos Fülep (1885-1970): Hungarian art theoretician, art historian. Living in Florence in the early 20 th century he made friends with G. Papini, G. Amendola and their circle. He was tutor and master of Charles De Tolnay.
2 Béla Zalai (1882-1915): Hungarian philosopher. His principal work: Allgemeine Theorie der Systeme. Budapest, MTA Filozófiai Intézete, 1982.
3 Budapest School in philosophy stands for the Marxist circle of György Lukács and his disciples in the second half of the 20 th century. There exists, however, an Other Budapest School from the 1930's, the members of which believe in the primacy of the spirit and dialogue, and reject all kinds of institutionalism. This dialogical Budapest School has operated illegally for more than fifty years; its members were prohibited from publishing during both the national socialist and Bolschevik regimes. They opposed bolshevism decades before and much more radically than Lukács's circle; their way of thinking by far transcended the horizon of Marxism. The dialogical Budapest School equally considers rationalism and irrationalism the decomposition products of the unified spirit. They deem rationalism too restricted a framework for the substantial exploration of true spiritual problems. Latin "ratio" only covers a section of the semantic field of the Greek "logos". The remaining section is what was translated into Latin as "verbum": live oration, the personal word. Logos, incorporating verbum and ratio, is the field where the quest for truth takes place. Truth is a personal, dialogical relation, and not an objective one. In this sense the dialogical Budapest School is logocentric, reformulating eternal basic questions in the linguistic-intellectual environment of the demythologizing spirit of the age: the same questions that were raised by the Bible, Plotinos, speculative gnosis and mysticism, classical German philosophy, Kierkegaard and the dialogical thinkers.
In detail: http://home.fazekas.hu/~lsuranyi/BPDISKANG.htm
4 Lajos Szabó (1902–1967) ,founder of the dialogical Budapest School, started as a Marxist. In the twenties he studied at the Institut für Sozialforschung in Frankfurt and under Karl Korsch in Berlin. Arriving home he became one of the intellectual leaders of the anti-Bolshevik Marxist opposition in Budapest. In 1944 he was deported to Auschwitz. The material of his lectures held between 1945-48 was published in 1997: Szemináriumi előadások. Budapest, Typotex, 1997. During the Stalinist era strong ties developed among members of the underground Budapest School and the likewise banned avant-garde artists. Szabó himself became a calligrapher. In 1956 he left for Western Europe with some of his disciples. He lived in Brussels and later in Düsseldorf. He had exhibitions among others at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, in Paris, Dusseldorf and Dortmund. Many of his drawings he signed with AO, his alias in the movement, which stands for Anti-Organization. Collected philosophical writings: Tény és titok. Veszprém, medio, 1999. In German: EIKON, Die spekulativen grafischen Bildschriften von Lajos Szabó. ed. by Attila Kotányi, Ernst Museum, Budapest, 1997.
5 Zoltán Békefi died young in forced-labour service during the first years of the war.
6 Pál Justus (1905-1965), oppositionist and later Social Democratic theoretician and politician; he was a brilliant and extraordinarily educated mind. Member of Parliament after 1945; one of the leaders of the Social Democratic Party. In 1949 he was sentenced for life as prime culprit in the Rajk-trial, Hungary's major show trial. While in prison he translated all of Shakespeare's Sonnets from memory into Hungarian, which he later published. He was released in 1955, after which he was editor at Corvina Publishing House.
7 Béla Tábor (1907–1992) was later taken to forced-labour service as a Jew at the eastern front, after which he also survived the German concentration camps. After 1947 he worked as literary translator in Budapest. During the Soviet occupation he held seminars in his flat. His disciples included writers, painters, art historians, architects and scholars alike, with whom he conducted intense personal and theoretical discussions. He considered this his other most important intellectual activity besides his own continuous intellectual work. In the meantime he ceaselessly worked on his pneumatology: his theory of personality, logos and symbols. After the fall of the dictatorship, his earlier books were published, with his fore- or afterword. A posthumous selection of his writings previously unpublished in book form: Személyiség és logosz. Bevezetés és kommentárok a valóság ostörténetéhez. Budapest, Balassi, 2003.
8 In English cf. Béla Tábor: Epilogue to the second edition of The Two Paths of Jewry (translated by Pál Hegedüs and Jessica Sacks)
9 Béla Hamvas (1897-1968): Hungarian philosopher, essayist and prose writer. He had several books published between 1944 and 1983. English biography and writings from and about him: http://www.hamvasbela.org/
10 Stefánia Mándy (1918-2001): Hungarian poet, art historian.
11 Béla Tábor: Szocializmus, gnózis és oppozíció. In: Béla Tábor: Személyiség és logosz, Budapest, Balassi, 2003, 248. p.
12 Published: "Csütörtöki beszélgetések". Trialógus 1946. Új Forrás. Tatabánya. 1993/10. 43-50. pp
13 Árpád Mezei (1902-1998) art theoretician, psychologist. Books co-authored with Marcel Jean in French: Maldoror. Paris, 1947, Genese de la pensée moderne. Paris, 1950; Histoire de la peinture surrealiste. Paris, 1959. The latter counts as a standard work on the subject. From the seventies he lived in the United States. His co-authored work with T. A. Philllips: The Complete Art Critic. Toronto, 1973.
14 Antal Molnár (1890-1983) Hungarian music aesthetician.
15 Béla Fekete Nagy (1905-1983) Hungarian painter.
16 The European School (1945-48) was the most important 20th century assembly of progressive Hungarian artists and art theoreticians.
17 Ernő Kállai (1890-1954); the most important modern Hungarian art critique. He lived and published in Berlin from 1920-35. His book from this period: Neue Malerei in Ungarn. Leipzig, 1926. He was editor of the journals Bauhaus and Jahrbuch der jungen Kunst; also worked at the paper Weltbühne. From 1935 he worked in Budapest. Here he was the principal theoretician of Elvont Művészek Csoportja [Circle of Alternative Artists] and the European School. In 1948, after the Bolschevik regime came into power, he was removed his position as teacher at the Budapest Academy of Arts and Crafts.
18 József Jakovits (1909-1994) was the most prominent figure of Hungarian surrealist sculpture. In want of exhibition and work opportunities he relocated to the United States in 1966, where he drew Hebrew calligraphies. He returned to live in his homeland in the last years of his life.
19 Endre Bálint (1914-1986); Hungarian painter. In 1958 Éd. Labergerie published the Jerusalem Bible with his more than 1000 illustrations. In 1966 Desclée de Brouwer published Stefánia Mándy's French language book Balint introducing his art, richly illustrated with his works.
20 Júlia Vajda (1913-1982) Hungarian painter.
21 Ilka Gedő (1921-1985) Hungarian painter