Entry updated 21 February 2022. Tagged: Author.
(1895-1993) Hungarian historian of science, in Europe until forced to flee by Nazi Germany, and mostly in Argentina from 1942, in Chile from 1961; his first name is given variously as Desiderio or Desiderius though in its original, Hungarian form it was almost certainly Dezső. His nonfiction speculative text, Zukunft und Ende der Welt: Ein Buch über die Geschicke von Menschheit und Erde (1932; trans Henry James Stenning as Creation's Doom 1934), assesses the various ways in which the world might evolve – insects are slated take over from Homo sapiens – and ultimately end (see Cosmology; End of the World; Evolution; Far Future). The book was especially influential on contemporary sf in the UK, due to its long perspectives and exalted pessimism (see Scientific Romance). It has been incorrectly listed in some bibliographies as a work of fiction, perhaps because of the dustjacket illustration, which pictures a giant insect juxtaposed with a tiny human figure. [JC]
born Sopron, Austro-Hungarian Empire [now Hungary]: 21 May 1895
died Buenos Aires, Argentina: 31 January 1993
- Zukunft und Ende der Welt: Ein Buch über die Geschicke von Menschheit und Erde ["Futurity and the End of the World: A Book about the Fate of Mankind and the Earth"] (Zurich, Switzerland: Amalthea-Veri, 1932) as Desiderio Papp [nonfiction: hb/]
- Creation's Doom (London: Jarrolds, 1934) as Desiderius Papp [nonfiction: trans by Henry James Stenning of the above: hb/uncredited]
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