Published Works

Critical Views

Texts References

One of the greatest Romanian writers, Mircea Eliade was also a great cultural personality. His works, starching out over six decades, consists of short stories, novels, plays, memoirs, works of mythology, folklore, ethnology, sociology, anthropology, studies of history of religions. In spite of this diversity, all of Mircea Eliade's works are based on or have something to do with his theory of the camouflaging of the sacred in the profane. This has also something to do with the problem of Time, Eliade being almost obsessed in his works with finding a solution from escaping Time.

"Anything that happens in life can be the subject of a novel. And in life not only love, marriages or adulteries happen, but also misfortunes, enthusiasms, philosophies, deaths of souls, fantastic adventures. Anything alive can turn into epic. Anything that has been lived, or could be lived."

Mircea Eliade

"Alike Camil Petrescu, Mircea Eliade does not believe in the superstition of the beautiful writing. If before literature was the equivalent of style, Eliade is not preoccupied with the lexical imperfections. He is fascinated by the man inside the writer. He writes cerebral novels, the characters of which live some decisive experiences. The writer is tortured by questions, from which we have the numerous parentheses and hesitation, this reflecting his total sincerity. The answers count less than the interrogations, as any kind of conclusion means something final, petrified, and does not express the dilemmas of a self knowledge that wants to go deep down to the roots of the self. Authenticity means originality, that is what we could say about this existentialist literature which praises the action, similar to creation"

         Translated from Glodeanu, Gheorghe (1998). Poetica romanului românesc interbelic. Bucuresti: Libra

"Mircea Eliade is the most integral embodiment of gideism in Romanian literature. In André Gide's opinion, the sense of art being knowledge (he understands the instruction of essence through mythology), the more intense an artist lives, the more 'problems' he rises the greater he is. But these are not mere understandable sentences, but experience, lived events. And, as the ethic is the fundamental aspect of human destiny, the problem must be a moral experience."

        Translated from Călinescu, George (1982). Istoria literaturii române de la origini până în prezent. Bucuresti: Minerva

"Mircea Eliade, living among the great myths more than others, believes that literature can be re-born only by assimilating these myths. He feels that modern literature has become empty of meanings, has lost its spiritual dimension. The solution is returning to myths, but not through a literature about myths, abstracted from common life. Identifying the presence of the transcendent in the human experience is the modern writer's primary mission. And, once again, under another form: the writer has to observe the camouflaging of mysteries in the events of the immediate reality.[...]

A possibility for literature's rebirth through a new mythology is offered by the fantastic literature. For him, the fantastic is an experience in a reality seen as historical. It is not about escaping in atemporality but a complete involvement in history. Life is a sum of myths, archetypes that cannot be seen."

Translated from Simion, Eugen (1985). Sfidarea retoricii. Bucuresti: Cartea Românească

All texts translated by © Gustav Demeter