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.
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."
"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
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
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
All texts translated by © Gustav