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Nichita Stanescu

Nichita Stanescu

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Nichita Stănescu (March 31, 1933, Ploieşti
Ploiești is the county seat of Prahova County and lies in the historical region of Wallachia in Romania. The city is located north of Bucharest....

—December 13, 1983, Bucharest
Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial centre of Romania. It is the largest city in Romania, located in the southeast of the country, at , and lies on the banks of the Dâmbovița River....

) was a Romania
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

n poet and essayist. He is the most acclaimed contemporary Romanian language
Romanian language
Romanian Romanian Romanian (or Daco-Romanian; obsolete spellings Rumanian, Roumanian; self-designation: română, limba română ("the Romanian language") or românește (lit. "in Romanian") is a Romance language spoken by around 24 to 28 million people, primarily in Romania and Moldova...

 poet, loved by the public and generally held in esteem by literary critics.


Stănescu's father was Nicolae H. Stănescu (1908-1982). His mother, Tatiana Cereaciuchin, was Russian
The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

 (originally from Voronezh
Voronezh is a city in southwestern Russia, the administrative center of Voronezh Oblast. It is located on both sides of the Voronezh River, away from where it flows into the Don. It is an operating center of the Southeastern Railway , as well as the center of the Don Highway...

, she had fled Russia and married in 1931). Stănescu commented on his mother's origins on several occasions ("[I was given life] by a Romanian peasant and a Russian woman"). Nichita Stănescu finished high school in Ploieşti, then went on to study Romanian language and literature in Bucharest, graduating in 1957. He made his literary debut in the Tribuna literary magazine.

Stănescu married Magdalena Petrescu in 1952, but the couple separated a year later. In 1962 he married Doina Ciurea. In 1982 he married Todoriţa "Dora" Tărîţa.

For much of his career, Stănescu was a contributor to and editor of Gazeta Literară, România Literară and Luceafărul.

His editorial debut was the poetry book Sensul iubirii
Sensul iubirii
Sensul iubirii is a 1960 poetry collection by Romanian writer Nichita Stănescu. It is a collection of love poems which explore the meaning of love. The title of the collection refers to this also....

("The Aim of Love"), which appeared under the Luceafărul selection, in 1960. The last volume of poetry published in his lifetime was Noduri şi semne ("Knots and Signs"), published in 1982. He died of hepatitis
Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The name is from the Greek hepar , the root being hepat- , meaning liver, and suffix -itis, meaning "inflammation"...


Nichita Stănescu received numerous poetry awards, of which the most important was the Herder Prize
Herder Prize
The Herder Prize, established in 1963 and named for Johann Gottfried von Herder, was a prestigious international prize dedicated to the promotion of scientific, art and literature relations, and presented to scholars and artists from Central and Southeastern Europe whose life and work have improved...

 (1975) as well as a Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...


Unfortunately, he died relatively young, leaving behind some of the most important poetry in post-war Romanian literature, such as:
  • O viziune a sentimentelor - "A Vision of Feelings"
  • Dreptul la timp - "The Right to Time"
  • 11 Elegii - "11 Elegies"
  • Necuvintele - "The Unwords"
  • Un pământ numit România - "A Land Called Romania"
  • Epica Magna
  • Opere imperfecte - "Imperfect Works"
  • Noduri şi semne - "Knots and Marks"

After the fall of the Iron Curtain
Iron Curtain
The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989...

, he was elected post-mortem member of the Romanian Academy
Romanian Academy
The Romanian Academy is a cultural forum founded in Bucharest, Romania, in 1866. It covers the scientific, artistic and literary domains. The academy has 181 acting members who are elected for life....



  • "The only real things which we take with us in the end are our own feelings, our loves, our hates and adversities. I ask myself: at the end of life, what will we leave outside? I suppose we can leave some feelings, less of hate, some of passion, but... especially of love."

  • An animal comes
and eats a boulder.
Then a barking dog comes,
which eats a rock.
Then a sort of nothing comes,
which eats sand

Then I come and I eat this echo.
Echo of what?
Echo of “don't know what”

  • "Sentimental story"

Then we met more often."
I stood at one side of the hour,"
you at the other,"
like two handles of an amphora."
Only the words flew between us,"
back and forth."
You could almost see their swirling,"
and suddenly,"
I would lower a knee,"
and touch my elbow to the ground"
to look at the grass, bent"
by the falling of some word,"
as though by the paw of a lion in flight."
The words spun between us,"
back and forth,"
and the more I loved you, the more"
they continued, this whirl almost seen,"
the structure of matter, the beginnings of things."


  • 1960 - Sensul iubirii ("The Aim of Love")
  • 1964 - O viziune a sentimentelor ("A Vision of Feelings")
  • 1965 - Dreptul la timp ("The Right to Time")
  • 1966 - 11 elegii ("11 Elegies")
  • 1967 -
    • Roşu vertical ("Vertical Red"),
    • Alfa,
    • Oul şi sfera ("The Egg and the Sphere")
  • 1968 - Laus Ptolemaei
  • 1969 -
    • Necuvintele ("The Unwords"),
    • Un pământ numit România ("A Land Called Romania")
  • 1970 - În dulcele stil classic ("In Sweet Classical Style")
  • 1972 -
    • Cartea de recitire ("The Re-reading Book")
    • Belgradul în cinci prieteni ("Five Friends in Belgrade")
    • Măreţia frigului ("The Greatness of Cold")
  • 1978 - Epica Magna
  • 1979 - Opere imperfecte ("Imperfect Works")
  • 1980 - Carte de citire, carte de iubire ("Book for Reading, Book for Loving")
  • 1982 - Oase plângând ("Crying Bones")
  • 1982 - Noduri şi semne ("Knots and Marks")
  • 1982 - Respirări ("Breaths")

Posthumous volumes

  • 1984 - Album memorial ("Memorial Album")
  • 1985 - Antimetafizica - Nichita Stănescu însoţit de Aurelian Titu Dumitrescu ("Antimetaphysics - Nichita Stănescu accompanied by Aurelian Titu Dumitrescu")
  • 1985 - Nichita Stănescu - Frumos ca umbra unei idei ("Nichita Stănescu - Beautiful as the Shadow of an Idea")
  • 1993 - Cântece la drumul mare, 1955-1960 ("Songs on the Open Road, 1955-1960")
  • 1993 - Tânjiri spre firesc ("Longings toward the Usual")
  • 1995 - Cărţile sibiline ("The Sibylline Books")
  • 1998 - Fel de scriere ("A Kind of Writing")
  • Noua frontieră a sufletului uman ("The New Frontier of the Human Spirit")
  • Scrisori, Nichita Stănescu|Scrisori ("Letters")

Further reading

  • Eugen Simion, Scriitori români de azi, vol. I, Bucharest, Editura Cartea Românească, 1978
  • Ion Pop, Nichita Stănescu – spaţiul şi măştile poeziei, Bucharest, Editura Albatros, 1980
  • Alex. Ştefănescu, Introducere în opera lui Nichita Stănescu, Bucharest, Editura Minerva, 1986
  • Daniel Dimitriu, Nichita Stănescu – geneza poemului, Iaşi, Editura Universităţii „Al. Ioan Cuza”, 1997
  • Doina Uricariu, Nichita Stănescu – lirismul paradoxal, Bucharest, Editura Du Style, 1998
  • Corin Braga, Nichita Stănescu – orizontul imaginar, Cluj, Editura Dacia, 2002
  • Mircea Bârsilă, Introducere în poetica lui Nichita Stănescu, Piteşti, Editura Paralela 45, 2006

External links