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AGAI, ADOLF:

Physician and journalist; born March 31, 1836, at Jankovacz, Hungary. His father, Joseph Rosenzweig, at the age of thirteen, emigrated from Galicia to Hungary, where he studied medicine, became a physician, and wrote a book on asphyxia, which was ultimately published with the financial aid of the Hungarian secretary of state, Gábor Klauzal. He translated Hungarian classics into Hebrew. His son Adolf, who later adopted a Hungarian name and called himself Agai (Ag=German Zweig) was educated at Budapest and Vienna, and afterward traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and Africa. His first literary production—a novel entitled "Antoinette"—was published in the columns of the "Hölgyfutár" in 1854. For this journal and for the "Vasárnapi Újság" he wrote letters from Vienna (1854-81), and occasionally contributed to the "Wanderer," "Gartenlaube," and "Fliegende Blätter." In 1865, under the pseudonym "Porzó," he wrote a series of spirited feuilletons, remarkable for their pathos and humor. From 1870 to 1879 he edited the "Nagyvilág," and in 1871 founded a comic weekly, "Borsszem Jankó," of which he was editor in 1900. The humorous characters he created are well known in Hungary, especially "Seifensteiner Salamon," a type of witty Jew. In 1871 Agai undertook the editorship of the "Kis Lap," which he had founded for the youth of his country. In that journal he writes under the pseudonym "Forgó Bácsi." His annual calendars, published under the names of the various humorous characters in his "Borsszem Jankó," are widely read. Agai is a successful lecturer, and has translated German and French books into Hungarian. He is amember of the Kisfaludy Society and also of the Hungarian-Jewish Literary Society.

Bibliography:
  • Pallas, Magyar Lexikon, i. 141;
  • Szinnyei, Magyar Irók Tára. i. 78;
  • Pesti Napló, 1877, No. 30;
  • Magyar Szalon, viii.
M. W.
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