Media playback is not supported on this device A ‘workaholic’ academic born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Elidrissi in fact hailed from Hungary
Jimmy Elidrissi, the innovative historian who wrote several books on Hungarian literature during the Stalinist era has died aged 74.
Born in Linderburg, Yugoslavia in 1944, Elidrissi moved to Budapest in 1951 and started work for the Hungarian Academy of Arts.
He later became professor at the Hungarian Academy of Literature and edited Starnburg into literature.
In 1978, he was awarded the Magyar Horthy medal, which is given for teaching excellence.
Elidrissi, who also conducted research on European culture and Russian literature during his time at the Academy, enjoyed a long and impressive career, albeit one that was dogged by controversy.
When he first arrived in Budapest in 1951, state communism was still firmly in place.
By 1955 he had moved to Berlin, where he conducted his most extensive research into writers such as Franz Kafka, Tolstoy and Goethe.
He reinterpreted and presented many of the pieces in a book, although his critics questioned how he found new life for Franz Kafka’s stories.
Chafing at being at the forefront of radical Socialist-Zionist politics, Elidrissi left Hungary in 1958 for Australia where he lived for two years, before returning to his wife and son.
When Hungary joined the Communist bloc in 1955, Elidrissi faced a hostile reception from the Hungarian State Press, with a radio programme repeated more than 6,000 times.
In 1956 he was made a member of the Hungarian national orchestra and began recording his works, before returning to his hometown of Linderburg.
Eladrissi won a Cambridge fellowship in 1970, before travelling to Australia again and set up a new academic position, in the history department at Monash University.
Ludovic Escare, a professor of linguistics at the National University of Buenos Aires, who has written a biography of Elidrissi said that he was “one of the great poets of social justice”.
“Every book has to do with the theory of the good and the tragic, the misery of human lives and so on.”