Mihai Eminescu, born Mihail Eminovici; (15 January 1850 – 15 June 1889) was a romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet.
Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul (“The Time”).
His poetry was first published when he was 16 and he went to Vienna to study when he was 19.
Notable works include Luceafărul (The Vesper/The Evening Star/The Lucifer/The Daystar), Odă în metru antic (Ode in Ancient Meter), and the five Letters (Epistles/Satires).
In his poems he frequently used metaphysical, mythological and historical subjects. In general his work was influenced by the German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.
Eminescu was only 20 when Titu Maiorescu, the top literary critic in 1870 Romania dubbed him “a real poet” and Eminescu’s notability as a poet grew continually thanks to the way he managed to enrich the literary language with words and phrases from all Romanian regions, from old texts, and with new words that he coined from his wide philosophical readings
Nicolae Iorga, the Romanian historian, considers Eminescu the godfather of the modern Romanian language. He is unanimously celebrated as the greatest and most representative Romanian poet.
The most realistic psychological analysis of Eminescu was written by I. L. Caragiale, who, after the poet’s death published three short care articles on this subject.
Caragiale stated that Eminescu’s characteristic feature was the fact that “he had an excessively unique nature”. Eminescu’s life was a continuous oscillation between introvert and extrovert attitudes.
The poet’s Manuscripts, containing 46 volumes and approximately 14,000 pages, were offered by Titu Maiorescu as a gift to the Romanian Academy during the meeting that was held on 25 January 1902.
Doina (the name is a traditional type of Romanian song)
Lacul (The Lake)
Luceafărul (The Vesper)
Floare albastră (Blue Flower)
Seara pe deal (Evening on the Hill)
Epigonii (Epigones), 1884
Scrisori (Letters or “Epistles-Satires”)
Și dacă (And if…)
Odă în metru antic (Ode (in Ancient Meter)
Mai am un singur dor (I Have Yet One Desire)
La Steaua (At Star)
Făt-Frumos din lacrimă (The Tear Drop Prince)
Geniu pustiu (Empty Genius)
Sărmanul Dionis (Wretched Dionis)
Link of english translated poems: http://www.romanianvoice.com/poezii/poeti_tr/eminescu_eng.php
- Ion Creanga
Ion Creanga was a Moldavian-born Romanian writer, raconteur and schoolteacher. A main figure in 19th century Romanian literature, he is best known for his “Childhood Memories” volume, his novellas and short stories, and his many anecdotes.
He was born in Humulești in March 1, 1837 in a former village which has since been incorporated into Târgu Neamț city and after an idyllic period, which is recounted in the first section of his Childhood Memories, Ion Creangă was sent to primary school where he became noted for his rebellious attitude and appetite for truancy. His childhood period was the main inspiration for his later “Childhood Memories” volumes.
After a short period as a priest, teacher, the autumn of 1875 is also often described as his actual debut in fiction prose, with “The Mother with Three Daughters-in-Law”. In all, Convorbiri Literare would publish 15 works of fiction and the four existing parts of his Childhood Memories before Creangă’s death. During his literary consecration he became a friend with Mihai Eminescu who later would be named as the Romanian national poet.
His literature activity is probably one of the most creative in Romanian history, many of his tales remain up to date symbols of everyone’s childhood.
Some of his works:
– The Mother-in-law and her three daughters-in-law
– The Story of the Pig
– The Goat and Her Three Cubs
– Harap-Alb’s Story
– The Old Woman’s Daughter and the Old Man’s Daughter
– Memories of my Boyhood
and many more.
Link Childhood Memories: http://www.tkinter.smig.net/romania/Creanga/index.htm
- Ioan Luca Caragiale
Ion Luca Caragiale was a great Romanian playwright, short story writer, poet, theater manager, political commentator and journalist. He is considered one of the greatest Romanian playwrights and writers, a leading representative of local humor, and a main representative of Junimea, an influential literary society with which he parted during the second half of his life.
Caragiale’s work, spanning four decades, covers the ground between Neoclassicism, Realism, and Naturalism, building on an original synthesis of foreign and local influences. His plays constituted an important venue for criticism of late 19th-century Romanian society, while in later works of fiction Caragiale adopted the fantasy genre or turned to historical fiction.
Caragiale oscillated between the liberal current and conservatism. Most of his satirical works target the liberal republicans and the National Liberals.
He made his literary debut in 1873, at the age of 21 and according to Tudor Vianu, Caragiale’s writings signify “the highest expression” of Romanian theater, mirroring and complimenting the contribution Mihai Eminescu had to Romanian-language poetry.
His role in the Romanian context was likened to those of Honoré de Balzac in France, Charles Dickens in the United Kingdom, and Nikolai Gogol in the Russian Empire.
Caragiale was an enduring influence on both Romanian humor and the views Romanians take of themselves. His comedies and various stories have produced a series of catchphrases, many of which are still present in both cultural reference.
O noapte furtunoasa [A Stormy Night] (drama)
Conul Leonida fata cu reactiunea [Mr. Leonida and the Reactionaries] (drama)
O scrisoare pierduta [The Lost Letter] (drama)
D’ale Carnavalului [Carnival Scenes] (drama)
Pacat (short stories)
Note si schite (short stories)
Sketches and Stories (short stories and sketches)
- Mihail Sadoveanu
Mihail Sadoveanu; occasionally referred to as Mihai Sadoveanu; (November 5, 1880 – October 19, 1961) was a Romanian novelist, short story writer, journalist and political figure. He was one of the most prolific Romanian-language writers, he is remembered mostly for his historical and adventure novels, as well as for his nature writing.
His books, critically acclaimed for their vision of age-old solitude and natural abundance, are generally set in the historical region of Moldavia, building on themes from Romania’s medieval and early modern history. Among them are Neamul Şoimăreştilor (“The Şoimăreşti Family”), Fraţii Jderi (“The Jderi Brothers”) and Zodia Cancerului (“Under the Sign of the Crab”). With Venea o moară pe Siret… (“A Mill Was Floating down the Siret…”), Baltagul (“The Hatchet”) and some other works of fiction, Sadoveanu extends his fresco to contemporary history and adapts his style to the psychological novel, Naturalism and Social realism.
A founding member of the Romanian Writers’ Society and later President of the Romanian Writers’ Union, Sadoveanu was also a member of the Romanian Academy since 1921 and a recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize for 1961.
Often seen as the leading author of his generation, and generally viewed as one of the most representative Romanian writers, Mihail Sadoveanu was also believed to be a first-class story-teller, and received praise especially for his nature writing and his depictions of rural landscapes. An exceptionally prolific author by Romanian standards, he published over a hundred individual volumes.
Each year, Iaşi commemorates the writer through a cultural festival known as the “Mihail Sadoveanu Days”.
-Venea o moară pe Siret…
– Drumuri basarabene
– Ţara de dincolo de negură
- Emil Cioran
Emil M. Cioran (8 April 1911 – 20 June 1995) was a Romanian philosopher and essayist, who published works in both Romanian and French.
Cioran was born in Rășinari, Sibiu County and after studying humanities at the Gheorghe Lazăr High School in Sibiu (Hermannstadt), Cioran, aged 17, started to study philosophy at the University of Bucharest. Upon his entrance into the University, he met Eugène Ionesco and Mircea Eliade, the three of them becoming lifelong friends.
His first studies revolved around Immanuel Kant, Arthur Schopenhauer, and especially Friedrich Nietzsche. He became an agnostic, taking as an axiom “the inconvenience of existence”. During his studies at the University he was also influenced by the works of Georg Simmel, Ludwig Klages and Martin Heidegger, but also by the Russian philosopher Lev Shestov, who added the belief that life is arbitrary to Cioran’s central system of thought. He then graduated with a thesis on Henri Bergson (however, Cioran later rejected Bergson, claiming the latter did not comprehend the tragedy of life).
Professing a lack of interest in conventional philosophy in his early youth, Cioran dismissed abstract speculation in favor of personal reflection and passionate lyricism. “I’ve invented nothing; I’ve simply been the secretary of my sensations”, he later said.
His works often depict an atmosphere of torment, a state that Cioran himself experienced, and came to be dominated by lyricism and, often, the expression of intense and even violent feeling. The books he wrote in Romanian especially display this latter characteristic.
Cioran’s works encompass many other themes as well: original sin, the tragic sense of history, the end of civilization, the refusal of consolation through faith, the obsession with the absolute, life as an expression of man’s metaphysical exile, etc. He was a thinker passionate about history; widely reading the writers that were associated with the period of “decadent”.
Cioran became most famous while writing not in Romanian but French, a language with which he had struggled since his youth. During Cioran’s lifetime, Saint-John Perse called him “the greatest French writer to honor our language since the death of Paul Valéry.
– Pe culmile disperării (literally On the Summits of Despair; translated “On the Heights of Despair”)
– Cartea amăgirilor (“The Book of Delusions”)
– Schimbarea la față a României (“The Transfiguration of Romania”)
– Lacrimi și Sfinți (“Tears and Saints”)
– Îndreptar pătimaș (“The Passionate Handbook”)
– Histoire et utopie
– La tentation d’exister
and many more.
Sample Link in English: http://www.nietzschecircle.com/Cioran_Hyp_May_10.pdf
- Vasile Alecsandri
Vasile Alecsandri, born at 21 July 1821 in Bacau (Romania) was a Romanian poet, playwright, politician and a diplomat. He was a very active militant of the Romanian heritage collecting Romanian folk songs all over the country and was one on of the principal animators of the 19th century movement for Romanian cultural identity and union of Moldavia and Wallachia.
His education background goes from an elite boarding school for boys in Iasi (as a young boy) and different studies in Paris, dabbled between chemistry, medicine and law. His attempt to choose one of this studies for his future failed, he soon abandoned all in favor of what he called his “lifelong passion”, literature.
As a public figure in the cultural life of Romania, Vasile Alecsandri was noted as a member of the directorate of the National Theater from Iasi and many publications.
He debuted in literature in 1840 with the romantic novel “Buchetiera de la Florenta”, but he is best known as one of the pioneers of pastels in Romanian literature. Alecsandri’s pastels evoke so-called domestic nature, the idyllic and patriarchal lifestyle. Descriptive elements don’t appear here incidentally, they are basic purpose of this poetry. Nature is no longer, as in other romantic poetry, a getaway, but the natural landscape objectively described.
Some of his works:
– Chirita in provintie (1852), Chirita in voiagiu (1864) and Chirita in balcon (1874)
– Poezii populare (Folk poetry), Poezii populare II (Folk poetry II )
– Buchetiera de la Florenta, O plimbare la munti (A walk in the mountains), Borse, Balta-Alba etc.
– Cetatea Neamtului (Neamt Castle), Despot Voda, Ovidiu etc
In 1860 he settled in Mirceşti for what would be the rest of his life and between 1862 and 1875, Alecsandri wrote 40 lyrical poems, in 1879, his “Despot-Vodă” drama received the award of the Romanian Academy and in 1881 he wrote Trăiască Regele (Long Live the King), which became the national anthem of the Kingdom of Romania until the abolition of monarchy in 1947.
Long suffering from cancer, Alecsandri died in 1890 at his estate in Mirceşti.
- Ioan Slavici
Ioan Slavici born in January 18, 1848 – August 17, 1925 was a Transylvanian-born Romanian writer and journalist. He made his debut in Convorbiri literare (“Literary Conversations”) (1871), with the comedy Fata de birău (“The Mayor’s Daughter”). Alongside Eminescu he founded the Young Romania Social and Literary Academic Society and organized, in 1871, the Putna Celebration of the Romanian Students from Romania and from abroad.
At the end of 1874, he settled in Bucharest, where he became secretary of the Hurmuzachi Collection Committee, then he became a professor, and then an editor of the newspaper Timpul (“The Time”). Alongside I. L. Caragiale and G. Coşbuc, he edited the Vatra (“The Heath”) review.
His first book, “Nuvele din popor”, a collection of short stories, was published in 1881. It included Moara cu noroc (The Lucky Mill) and Budulea Taichii, two of Slavici’s most well-known and crafted works.
In 1888 he moved to Bucharest and, in 1894, he began publishing the first parts of his most famous novel, “Mara”, which was published as a single volume 12 years later. This is also the period of his activities as editor of Vatra magazine, alongside George Coşbuc and Ion Luca Caragiale.
His close friendship with many of the great Romanian writers inspired him to write some very appreciated works.
– Moara cu noroc.
– Doi feti cu stea in frunte
– Din batrani
– Din doua lumi.
- Liviu Rebreanu
Liviu Rebreanu (November 27, 1885 – September 1, 1944) was a Romanian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and journalist.
Born in Târlișua (currently Bistrița-Năsăud County), Transylvania, he was the second of thirteen children born to Vasile Rebreanu, a schoolteacher, and Ludovica Diuganu, descendants of peasants.
Liviu Rebreanu went to primary school in Maieru (where he was taught by his father), and then in Năsăud and Bistrița, to military school at Sopron and then to the Ludovica Military Academy in Budapest.
His first published in 1912 with a volume of novellas gathered under the title “Frământări” (“Troublings”). During World War I Rebreanu was a reporter for Adevărul, and he continued publishing short stories: Golanii (“The Hooligans”) and Mărturisire (Confession) in 1916 and Răfuială (“Resentfullness”) in 1919.
In 1920 Rebreanu published his novel “Ion”, the first modern Romanian novel, in which he depicted the struggles over land ownership in rural Transylvania. For Ion, Rebreanu received a Romanian Academy award – he became a full member of the institution in 1939.
Between 1928 and 1930 he was chairman of the National Theatre of Bucharest, and from 1940 to 1944 he was President of the Romanian Writers’ Society.
In 1944, aged 59, he died of a lung disease in his country house in Valea Mare-Podgoria, Argeș County.
Catastrofa (“The Catastrophe”)
Norocul (“The Fate”)
Cuibul visurilor (“Nest of Dreams”)
Ițic Ștrul dezertor (“Iţic Ştrul as a Deserter”)
Răscoala (“The Revolt”)
Pădurea spânzuraților (“Forest of the Hanged”)