19th-Century Section

History of the Section

To research the 19th century, the classical period of Hungarian literature, a separate section was formed with József Szauder’s leadership as early as in the year of the establishment of the Institute. The Section, which was temporarily called the Section of Classical Hungarian Literature, included the researchers of the second half of the 18th century, too, until 1970. The leader of the Section, which usually consisted of 6–8 eight people, was Sándor Lukácsy from 1965 to 1988, and since then it has been lead by Péter Dávidházi.

At the beginning, the focal point of the Section’s work was the examination of Mihály Vörösmarty and Sándor Petőfi’s oeuvre and the dominant artistic trends of the literature of the 19th century. With Károly Horváth’s leadership, the critical edition of Vörösmarty’s complete works has started – out of the 19 volumes that were planned, 17 are published. The research on Petőfi was also proceeding in high gear mainly due to András Dienes, Sándor Fekete, József Kiss, Sándor Lukácsy and András Martinkó’s work. The 7th, final volume of the critical edition, launched by the Academy in 1951, was completed in the Institute (1964), then a more up-to-date, new critical edition of Petőfi’s poems was launched with József Kiss as editor. Following his death (1992), the work was taken over by Ferenc Kerényi who continued it until he died in 2008. The last volume, left unfinished that year, has been under preparation by a separate team, managed by Márton Szilágyi, since 2013.

However, the Section has reached its most important results in the fields of biographical, idea historical and stylistic researches, enriching the literature on Petőfi with monographs, dissertations and source editions. From those works that deal with the role and character of Classicism, Romanticism and Humanism, we have to highlight József Szauder’s writings. 

Projects of the Section

Series Edited by the Section

The source publishing series of the Section – titled The Sources of Hungarian Literary History Writing (A magyar irodalomtörténet-írás forrásai – Fontes) – was launched in 1960. It published the formerly unissued writings and correspondence of several significant writers of the century (Csokonai, Petőfi, Kölcsey, János Erdélyi, Mihály Tompa, Pál Gyulai) together with documents relating to them. Since 2014, the series editor has been Zsuzsa Török.   

The series titled Booklets on Literary History (Irodalomtörténeti Füzetek) has been edited by Gergely Fórizs since 2013.

The series called Library of Literary History (Irodalomtörténeti Könyvtár) has been edited by János Korompay H. since 2013.

The series titled Refreshing Tradition (Hagyományfrissítés), which publishes studies on Hungarian literary texts from the 19th century, has been edited by Gergely Fórizs.

Critical Editions, Scientific Source Editions

Since the 1970s, the Section, too, has been participating in the enterprise that aims at exploring the history of Hungarian criticism and literary science. The works on the long-missedcritical Kölcsey-edition started in 1991 under Zoltán Szabó G.’s leadership and with the help of computers. To complete János Arany’s critical edition, which had been launched in 1951 but unfortunately interrupted at its 16th volume in 1982, also became a task of the Section. Its series editor is János Korompay H.

The works on a new critical edition of Dániel Berzsenyi’s works have been going on since 2004. The first volume, edited by Gergely Fórizs, was issued in 2011. The series editor is Mihály Szajbély.

The scientific source edition of István Petelei’s completeshort stories was completed between 2003 and 2013. The first and second volume was published in 2007, the third and fourth volume came out in 2014 within the frameworks of the series Sources (Források) of the Csokonai Publishing House in Debrecen. The volumes were redacted by Zsuzsa Török.

In six volumes between 2004 and 2009, the edition of János Horváth’s oeuvre was published at the Osiris Publishing House, redactedby János Korompay H. and Klára Korompay.

Researches Supported by the HSRF

János Arany’s Critical Edition (Arany János kritikai kiadása; supervisor János Korompay H.)

Arts and Science in the Service of Nation Building in 19th-Century Hungary (Művészetek és tudomány a nemzetépítés szolgálatában a 19. századi Magyarországon; supervisor: Gábor Gyáni).

The First One Hundred Years of Hungarian Aesthetic Thinking: A Critical Edition of Source Texts 1750–1850 (A magyar esztétikai gondolkodás első száz éve: Forrásszövegek kritikai kiadása 1750–1850; supervisor: Gergely Fórizs).

The Literary History Manual of the Institute

The 19th-Century Section is working on the second volume of the literary history manual of the Institute. Our approach unites various aspects of genre history, institution historyand social history. Colleagues who take part in the work are: Sándor Hites (volume editor), Gergely Fórizs, József Kovács, Júlia Paraizs, Lilla Szalisznyó, Zsuzsa Török.

In the beginning of 2008, we could place János Horváth’s library in the former room of the 19th-Century Section on the first floor. Almost the complete library, which had been preserved by the family since the scientist’s death in 1961, was put into the János Horváth Room. Besides the volumes of fiction and literary history, the basic units of the library consist of books on poetry, the science of music, ethnography, the science of history, classical philology together with periodicals and individual printings. It includes many dedicated samplesand there are several autograph notes in the books and periodicals. Following a preliminary consultation, the collection can be used on the premisesby any professionals.

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