Zend, Robert

robert zend photo

  Hungarian-Canadian poet and radio producer Robert Zend was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1929. Zend majored in Hungarian and classical literature and received a Bachelor of Arts from Péter Pázmány Science University in 1953. Zend immigrated to Canada in 1956 and commenced working for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in1958. During his time at the CBC, Zend held a number of increasingly important positions including Film Librarian (1958-1966), film editor (1966-1969), and writer and radio producer for the CBC-Radio Arts and specifically for the program “Ideas” (1969-1977).
  Throughout his career, Zend continued to pursue his academic and literary interests, receiving a Masters of Arts in Italian and Comparative literature from the University of Toronto in 1969 and writing, translating and publishing several works of poetry and prose. Works published by Zend include From Zero to One, My Friend Jeronimo, Arbormundi, Beyond Labels, Oāb I, The Three Roberts Premiere Performance, The Three Roberts On Love, and The Three Roberts On Childhood. Works written by Zend but unpublished include: Madouce, How Do You Doodle, Nicolette, and Key to the Cube. Works translated by Zend include: Gilgamesh, The Tragedy of Man, and Pattern Without End. Zend received numerous Ontario Arts Council Awards to help support his creative activities during the period between 1975 and 1985.
  Zend died in Toronto on June 27, 1985.


Biographical information was gleaned from a timeline of Zend’s life included with the collection.


Accession No.
Dates of creation
1950 - 1985
Physical description

15.25 m of textual records

168 photographs
· 126 prints (37 col., 89 b&w)
· 4 contact sheets (4 b&w)
· 38 slides (col.)

648 audio recordings
· 279 ¼ in. tape 2500 ft. tapes (no duration given)
· 179 ¼ in. tape 1200 ft. tapes (no duration given)
· 1 ¼ in. tape 600 ft. tapes (no duration given)
· 189 audio cassettes (no duration given.)

33 cinefilms
· 3 reels of 35 mm elements and trailers (500 ft)
· 30 reels of 16mm elements and trailers (9300 ft)

graphic materials
· 10 cm. drawings

9 books
1 television show credit roll: “The Mystery Maker” (30 cm x 300 cm)

Scope and content

  This fonds includes a collection of personal and professional papers relating to Zend’s career and life in Canada. It includes holograph and typed manuscripts with revisions, notes and artwork for his poems, notes and scripts for CBC radio programmes that he produced and papers and financial records related to Zend’s business activities. The fonds also includes audio visual records related both to Zend’s career at  the CBC and his creative endeavors.
The fonds is divided into 6 series: CBC Programmes, Literary and Art Manuscripts, Business Activities, Biographical Papers, Printed Materials, and Audio Visual Materials.

The first series, CBC Programmes, includes research notes, scripts, memos, correspondence, and contracts related to various CBC programmes.

The second series, Literary and Art Manuscripts, includes literary and art manuscripts, notebooks, drafts, printed research materials, drawings, collages, photographs, and correspondence.

The third series, Business Activities, includes correspondence, financials, permits and film scripts related to Zend’s various business activities

The fourth series, Biographical Papers, includes notebooks, diaries, scrapbooks, and correspondence, and textual records related to Zend’s personal matters.

The fifth series, Printed Materials, includes various printed works, research materials, and a collection of Zend’s printed appearances in journals and anthologies.

The sixth series, Audio Visual Materials, includes 33 reels of cinefilms and 648 audio tapes. Included are film elements related to editing work performed by Zend and audio records of interviews conducted by Zend for research purposes.

This fonds includes textual material relating to the following organizations:

  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
  • Elan Design
  • Tamarack Films
  • Toronto Tükör
  • Toronto Mirror
  • Zend Productions

This fonds includes textual material relating to the following literary projects and publications

  • Madouce (manuscript, 1965-68)
  • How Do You Doodle (manuscript, 1969)
  • The Tamarack Review (magazine, 1969)
  • Performing Arts in Canada (magazine, 1970)
  • Bric a Brac (manuscript, 1971)
  • Volvox (magazine, 1971)
  • Exile (journal, 1972-74, 1977-78)
  • From Zero to One (book, 1973)
  • Anthology of Canadian Hungarian Authors (book, 1974)
  • The Look of Books (printed research materials, 1974)
  • The Sound of Time (book, 1974)
  • Assassination Quartet (book, 1976)
  • Gilgamesh (unpublished manuscript, 1976)
  • Nicolette (unpublished manuscript, 1976)
  • A Critical (Ninth) Assembling (book, 1979)
  • Precisely Six Seven Eight Nine (book, 1979)
  • To Say the Least (book, 1979)
  • The Tragedy of Man (unpublished translation, 1979)
  • Ariel and Caliban (book, 1980)
  • Canadian Fiction Magazine (magazine, 1980)
  • Key to the Cube (unpublished manuscript, 1981)
  • My Friend Jerònimo (book, 1981)
  • Arbormundi (book, 1982)
  • Beyond Labels (book, 1982)
  • Lords of Winter and of Love (book, 1983)
  • Oāb (book, 1983, 1985)
  • Canadian Poets from A to Z (book, 1984)
  • Shoes & Shit – Stories for Pedestrians (book, 1984)
  • The Three Roberts (book, 1984)
  • Rampike (magazine, 1985-86)
  • Cinema Canada (printed research materials)
  • Pinch (printed research materials)
  • Take One (printed research materials)

This fonds includes audio visual material relating to the following programmes and projects

  • Ideas (radio program, 1969-77)
  • Split Affair (short film, 1979)
  • Stroke (film, 1969)
  • Before the Battle
  • The Mystery Maker (television program)
Rights and access

A) 6 boxes containing Zend’s private correspondence have Access Restrictions

B) Material is subject to copyright restrictions; please consult an archivist.

English / Hungarian