Nichita Stanescu: Redefining the Limits of the New Romanian Poetry


bastião / literary elements

One of the most acclaimed figures in 20th century Romanian Literature, Nichita Stanescu’s poetry is cherished in his home country. Constantin Preda looks at how his work became increasingly philosophical, engaging with existentialism and the metaphysical, whilst remaining a personal record of Stanescu’s struggles.

Nichita Stanescu Nichita Stanescu An artistic revolution was fomenting in late December 1965, when Nichita Stanescu was living in the suburbs of Bucharest in a cold room whose floor was the frozen ground itself. His sole possessions at the time were hardback copies of The Book of Job and The Epic of Gilgamesh, a collection of Rilke’s poems and a manuscript of about 300 pages containing his own poetic work. After braving the cold and the hunger for a few weeks, during two days and two nights of feverish inspiration, Stanescu dictated, to his lover Gabriela Melinescu, nine out of the eleven poems that would be later…

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