Frigyes Karinthy (1887-1938) was born in Budapest to a poor but cultivated family. He published his first story, an imitation of Jules Verne, at the age of fifteen, and after briefly studying science and medicine at the University of Budapest, began work as a journalist while frequenting Budapest’s burgeoning café society, eventually becoming an influential member of the circle associated with the pro-Western literary magazine Nyugat
. That’s How You Write
, a collection of parodies of well-known writers that was one of five books that Karinthy published in 1912, established him as a popular comic writer. Karinthy wrote numerous novels, short stories, poems, and theatrical pieces and translated Gulliver’s Travels
. He also hoped to assemble a modern encyclopedia modeled on that of Diderot. His triumphant recovery from the illness described in A Journey Round My Skull
was followed the next year by his death, while vacationing at a popular resort, of a stroke.