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Sandor Kisfaludy

SANDOR KISFALUDY (ALEXANDER KISFALUDY) (1772-1844), Hungarian poet, elder brother of the preceding, was born at Zala on the 27th of September 1772, educated at Raab, and graduated in philosophy and jurisprudence at Pressburg. He early fell under the influence of Schiller and Klcist, and devoted himself to the resuscitation of the almost extinct Hungarian literature. Disgusted with his profession, the law, he entered the Life Guards (1793) and plunged into the gay life of Vienna, cultivating literature, learning French, German and Italian, painting, sketching, assiduously frequenting the theatre, and consorting on equal terms with all the literary celebrities of the Austrian capital. In 1796 he was transferred to the army in Italy for being concerned with some of his brother officers of the Vienna garrison in certain irregularities. When Milan was captured by Napoleon Kisfaludy was sent a prisoner of war to Vaucluse, where he studied Petrarch with enthusiasm and fell violently in love with Caroline D'Esclapon, a kindred spirit to whom he addressed his melancholy Himfy Lays, the first part of the subsequently famous sonnets. On returning to Austria he served with some distinction in the campaigns of 1798 and 1799 on the Rhine and in Switzerland; but tiring of a military life and disgusted at the slowness of his promotion, he quitted the army in September 1799, and married his old love Roza Szegedy at the beginning of 1800. The first five happy years of their life were passed at Kam in Vas county, but in 1805 they removed to Siimeg where Kisfaludy gave himself up entirely to literature.

At the beginning of the 19th century he had published a volume of erotics which made him famous, and his reputation was still .further increased by his Regek or Tales. During the troublous times of 1809, when the gentry of Zala county founded a confederation, the palatine appointed Kisfaludy one of his adjutants. Subsequently, by command, he wrote an account of the movement for presentation to King Francis, which was committed to the secret archives, and Kisfaludy was forbidden to communicate its contents. In 1820 the Marczebanya Institute crowned his Tales and the palatine presented him with a prize of 400 florins in the hall of the Pest county council. In 1822 he started the Aurora with his younger brother Karoly (see above). When the academy was founded in 1830 Kisfaludy was the first county member elected to it. In 1835 he resigned because he was obliged to share the honour of winning the academy's grand prize with Vorosmarty. After the death of his first wife (1832) he married a second time, but by neither of his wives had he any child. The remainder of his days were spent in his Tusculum among the vineyards of Siimeg and Somla. He died on the 28th of October 1844. Alexander Kisfaludy stands alone among the rising literary schools of his day. He was not even influenced by his friend the great critic Kazinczy, who gave the tone to the young classical writers of his day. Kisfaludy's art was self-taught, solitary and absolutely independent. If he imitated any one it was Petrarch; indeed his famous Himfy szcrelmei (" The Loves of Himfy"), as his collected sonnets are called, have won for him the title of " The Hungarian Petrarch." But the passion of Kisfaludy is far more sincere and real than ever Petrarch's was, and he completely Magyarized everything he borrowed. After finishing the sonnets Kisfaludy devoted himself to more objective writing, as in the incomparable Regek, which reproduce the scenery and the history of the delightful counties which surround Lake Balaton. He also contributed numerous tales and other pieces to Aurora. Far less successful were his plays, of which Hunyddi Jdnos (1816), by far the longest drama in the Hungarian language, need alone be mentioned.

The best critical edition of Sandor Kisfaludy's works is the fourth complete edition, by David Angyal, in eight volumes (Budapest, 1893). See Tamas Szana, The two Kisfaludys (Hung.) (Budapest, 1876); Imre Sandor, The Influence of the Italian on the Hungarian Literature (Hung.) (Budapest, 1878); Kalman Sumegi, Kisfaludy and his Tales (Hung.) (Budapest, 1877). (R. N. B.)

KlSH, or KAIS (the first form is Persian and the second Arabic), an island in the Persian Gulf. It is mentioned in the 12th century as being the residence of an Arab pirate from Oman, who exacted a tribute from the pearl fisheries of the gulf and had the title of "King of the Sea," and it rose to importance in the 13th century with the fall of Siraf as a transit station of the trade between India and the West. In the 14th century it was supplanted by Hormuz and lapsed into its former insignificance. The island is nearly 10 m. long and 5 m. broad, and contains a number of small villages, the largest, Mashi, with about 100 houses, being situated on its north-eastern corner in 26 34' N. and 54 2' E. The highest part of the island has an elevation of 1 20 ft. The inhabitants are Arabs, and nearly all pearl fishers, possessing many boats, which they take to the pearl banks on the Arabian coast. The water supply is scanty and there is little vegetation, but sufficient for sustaining some flocks of sheep and goats and some cattle. Near the centre of the north coast are the ruins of the old city, now known as Harira, with remains of a mosque, with octagonal columns, masonry, watercisterns (two 150 ft. long, 40 ft. broad, 24 ft. deep) and a fine underground canal, or aqueduct, half a mile long and cut in the solid rock 20 ft. below the surface. Fragments of glazed tiles and brown and blue pottery, of thin white and blue Chinese porcelain, of green celadon (some with white scroll-work or figures in relief), glass beads, bangles, etc., are abundant. Kish is the Kataia of Arrian; Chisi and Quis of Marco Polo; Quixi, Queis, Caez, Cais, etc., of Portuguese writers; and Khenn, or Kenn, of English.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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