George Călinescu : biography
George Călinescu ( June 19, 1899 – March 12, 1965) was a Romanian literary critic, historian, novelist, academician and journalist, and a writer of classicist and humanist tendencies. He is currently considered one of the most important Romanian literary critics of all time, alongside Titu Maiorescu and Eugen Lovinescu, and is one of the outstanding figures of Romanian literature in the 20th century.
Studies in Foreign Languages
- Alcuni missionari catolici italiani nella Moldavia nella secoli XVII e XVIII (On Some Italian Catholic Missionaries in the Moldavia of the 17th and 18th centuries), 1925.
Studies on Aesthetics and World Literature
- Principii de estetică (Principles of Aesthetics), 1939.
- Impresii asupra literaturii spaniole (Impressions on Spanish Literature), 1946.
- Sensul clasicismului (The Meaning of Classicism), 1946.
- Studii şi conferinţe (Studies and Conferences), 1956.
- Scriitori străini (Foreign Writers), 1967.
- Poesii (Poetry), 1937.
- Lauda lucrurilor (In Praise of Things), 1963.
- Şun, mit mongol sau Calea neturburată (Şun, a Mongol Myth), 1940.
- Ludovic al XIX-lea (Louis the Nineteenth), 1964.
- Teatru (Theatre), 1965.
- Cartea nunţii (The Book of the Wedding), 1933.
- Enigma Otiliei (Otilia's Riddle), 1938.
- Trei nuvele (Three Novellas), 1949.
- Bietul Ioanide (Poor Ioanide), 1953.
- Scrinul negru (The Black Chest of Drawers), 1965.
History and literary criticism
- Viaţa lui Mihai Eminescu (The Life of Mihai Eminescu), 1932.
- Opera lui Mihai Eminescu (The Works of Mihai Eminescu), 1934.
- Viaţa lui Ion Creangă (The Life of Ion Creangă), 1938.
- Istoria literaturii române de la origini până în prezent (The History of Romanian Literature from its Origins to the Present), 1941.
- Istoria literaturii române. Compendiu (The History of Romanian Literature. A Compendium), 1945.
- Universul poeziei (The Universe of Poetry), 1947.
- Nicolae Filimon, 1959.
- Gr. M. Alecsandrescu, 1962.
- Ion Creangă; Viaţa şi opera (Ion Creangă; His Life and Works), 1964.
- Vasile Alecsandri, 1965.
- Cronicile optimistului (The Chronicles of an Optimist), 1964.
- Ulysse (Ulysses), 1967.
- Kiev, Moscova, Leningrad (Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad), 1949.
- Am fost în China nouă (I've Been to the New China), 1953.
Research, criticism, writings
Călinescu was the author of several fundamental texts of Romanian literary history (Viaţa lui Mihai Eminescu, Opera lui Mihai Eminescu, and Viaţa lui Ion Creanga among others). After 1945, he published significant writings on world literature (including Impresii asupra literaturii spaniole, and Scriitori străini.) His study Estetica basmului, devoted to the poetics of Romanian folk tales, underlined the range of his interests. From 1932 to 1962, he published monographs, in separate volumes, on such writers as Eminescu, fabulist Ion Creangă, realist novelist Nicolae Filimon, and poet Grigore Alexandrescu, fictionalized biographies, scholarly studies, and essays. He continued presiding over numerous academic and radio conferences and writing thousands of critical reviews until his death in 1965.
Novelist, poet and dramatist
Călinescu produced heavily descriptive realist novels in the mode of Honoré de Balzac, often with obvious polemical undertones lurking beneath their apparently objective style. The novel he considered his best, Enigma Otiliei, narrates an unhappy love story; Cartea nunţii is a disquisition on marriage; and Bietul Ioanide and Scrinul negru present the problems of intellectuals, all against the backdrop of interwar and immediate postwar Romania. Călinescu also wrote poems (Lauda lucrurilor) and plays (Şun, mit mongol) while continuing to practice journalism, although Cronicile mizantropului abruptly became Cronicile optimistului after the Communists seized power in 1947.
In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine