writer, poet, translator
He was born into a Jewish family that changed religions just before the birth of Frigyes. He lost his mother at an early age so his father was forced to raise him and his five siblings alone. He was a published writer by the the age of fifteen, and his unique humour already apparent in his works. At the university he majored not only in Mathematics-Physics but also in Faculty of Arts and Medical school. Even though he never received any degrees, he always had a great interest in science. It is probably a little known fact that he was the first proponent of the concept of six degrees of separation, in his 1929 short story Láncszemek (Chains).
In 1906, he started working at ‘Az újság’, where he met Dezső Kosztolányi and that marked the beginning of their legendary friendship. In the following years many of his works were published, the most important parody volume that brought him national fame was ‘Így írtok ti’ (The way you write). In 1914, he married actress Etel Judik, who died of Spanish flu four years after their wedding. Gábor Karinthy, poet was his son from his first marriage. He married again in 1920, and Aranka Böhm, his second wife was the mother of Ferenc Karinthy, writer. In 1936 he was diagnosed with brain tumors. He was treated in Stockholm, where he had surgery. He writes about his illness in his famous book: ‘Utazás a koponyám körül’ (Journey Around My Skull). He died of a stroke in 1938.
1111 Budapest, Bartók B. út 36.
The Hadik Café was legendary among the 1920’s coffee houses of Budapest. Many of the famous writers of that era lived in the neighborhood, and they liked to spend their free time in the Hadik. The Café was named after a barrack nearby. The owner, Adolf Kaiser gave the cafe its name. Karinthy and Kosztolányi had their own table there, and Zsigmond Móricz often stopped by the café as well. (Even though the Hadik Café had a rather negative reputation…) Although the building was bombed during the war, since September, 2010 it can be visited again, and its old splendor can once again be seen by the public. The Hadik-House is home to two restaurants and some cultural establishments: the classical Hadik Café, which commemorates the great predecessors with its old-fashioned style and bourgeois coffee house manners; and the other part of the building is Szatyor Bar and Gallery, an interpretation of the bohemian world of turn of the century Budapest in a progressive, modern way.