The Dezső Kosztolányi Monument

Kosztolányi was born in Szabadka, Austria-Hungary (today Subotica, Serbia) in 1885. The city serves as a model for the fictional town of Sárszeg, in which he set his novella Skylark as well as The Golden Kite. He is the child of Árpád Kosztolányi (1859-1926), physics and chemistry professor and headmaster of a school and Eulália Brenner (1866-1948) who was of French origin. He started high school in Szabadka but because of a conflict with his teacher he got expelled, and so he graduated as a private student in Szeged. Kosztolányi moved to Budapest in 1903 where studied at the University of Budapest, where he met the poets Mihály Babits and Gyula Juhász, and later for a short time in Vienna before quitting and becoming a journalist - a profession he continued for the rest of his life. In 1908, he replaced the poet Endre Ady, who had left for Paris, as a reporter for a Budapest daily. In 1910, his first volume of poems The Complaints of a Poor Little Child brought nationwide success and marked the beginning of a prolific period in which he published a book nearly every year. In 1936, he died from cancer of the palate.