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Tudor Arghezi

Tudor Arghezi

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Tudor Arghezi (ˈtudor arˈɡezi; May 21, 1880 — July 14, 1967) 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 writer, best known for his contribution to poetry and children's literature
Children's literature
Children's literature is for readers and listeners up to about age twelve; it is often defined in four different ways: books written by children, books written for children, books chosen by children, or books chosen for children. It is often illustrated. The term is used in senses which sometimes...

. Born Ion N. Theodorescu in 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....

 (where he also died), he explained that his pen name
Pen name
A pen name, nom de plume, or literary double, is a pseudonym adopted by an author. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise his or her gender, to distance an author from some or all of his or her works, to protect the author from retribution for his or her...

 was related to Argesis, the Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 name for the Argeş River
Arges River
Argeș is a river of Southern Romania. It starts at the junction of headwaters Buda and Capra in the Făgăraș Mountains, in the Southern Carpathians and flows into the Danube at Oltenița.The main city on the Argeş is Piteşti...


Early life

Along with Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet. Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul , the official newspaper of the Conservative Party...

, Mateiu Caragiale
Mateiu Caragiale
Mateiu Ion Caragiale was a Romanian poet and prose writer, best known for his novel Craii de Curtea-Veche, which portrays the milieu of boyar descendants before and after World War I. Caragiale's style, associated with Symbolism, the Decadent movement of the fin de siècle, and early modernism, was...

, and Lucian Blaga
Lucian Blaga
-Biography:Lucian Blaga was a commanding personality of the Romanian culture of the interbellum period. He was a philosopher and writer higly acclaimed for his originality, a university professor and a diplomat. He was born on May 9, 1895 in Lancrăm, near Alba Iulia, Romania, his father being an...

, Tudor Arghezi is one of the most important writers in twentieth-century Romanian literature. Born while the "national poet," Eminescu, was still alive, Arghezi had a very long literary career notwithstanding his late debut.

His first volume of poetry was published when Arghezi was forty-seven, an unusually ripe age for a newcomer. What could have been a simple exception or eccentricity on the map of Romanian literature, however, became a solid presence as Arghezi remained productive until the end of his life, writing prolifically and in several genres. When political reality changed and Romania experienced the beginning of communist rule, Arghezi's output—unlike that of fellow writers who were banned because they belonged to the "bourgeois" Romania—increased, and almost miraculously he maintained his literary authority, largely because of his aesthetic flexibility.

Tudor Arghezi is the pseudonym of Ion N. Theodorescu, born on 21 May 1880 in Bucharest to Rozalia Arghesi and Nicolae Theodorescu.

He graduated from Saint Sava High School
Saint Sava National College
The Saint Sava National College is the oldest and one of the most prestigious high schools in Bucharest, Romania....

 in October 1891, started working to pay for his studies, and made his debut in 1896, publishing verses in Alexandru Macedonski
Alexandru Macedonski
Alexandru Macedonski was a Wallachian-born Romanian poet, novelist, dramatist and literary critic, known especially for having promoted French Symbolism in his native country, and for leading the Romanian Symbolist movement during its early decades...

's magazine Liga Ortodoxă under the name Ion Theo. Soon after, Macedonski, the herald of Romanian Symbolism
Symbolist movement in Romania
The Symbolist movement in Romania, active during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, marked the development of Romanian culture in both literature and visual arts...

, publicized his praise for the young poet:
"This young man, at an age when I was still prattling verses, with an audacity that knows no boundaries, but as of yet crowned by the most glittering success, parts with the entire old versification
Versification may be*the art of making verses, see poetry*the theory of the phonetic structure of verse, see meter *the rendition of a prose work into verse, especially of classical works during the Middle Ages, see medieval poetry...

 technique, with all banalities in images in ideas that have for long been judged, here and elsewhere, as a summit of poetry and art."

He began stating his admiration for Symbolism
Symbolism (arts)
Symbolism was a late nineteenth-century art movement of French, Russian and Belgian origin in poetry and other arts. In literature, the style had its beginnings with the publication Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire...

 and other trends pertaining to it (such as the Vienna Secession
Vienna Secession
The Vienna Secession was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus. This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects...

) in his articles of the time, while polemicizing with Junimea
Junimea was a Romanian literary society founded in Iaşi in 1863, through the initiative of several foreign-educated personalities led by Titu Maiorescu, Petre P. Carp, Vasile Pogor, Theodor Rosetti and Iacob Negruzzi...

s George Panu over the latter's critique of modernist literature
Modernist literature
Modernist literature is sub-genre of Modernism, a predominantly European movement beginning in the early 20th century that was characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional aesthetic forms...

. In 1904, he and Vasile Demetrius published their own magazine,
Linia Dreaptă, which ceased to exist after only five issues. Arghezi, Gala Galaction
Gala Galaction
Gala Galaction was a Romanian Orthodox clergyman and theologian, writer, journalist, left-wing activist, as well as a political figure of the People's Republic of Romania...

, and Demetrius maintained a close friendship, as witnessed by the latter's daughter, the actress and novelist Lucia Demetrius.

After a four year-long stint as an Orthodox
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. It is in full communion with other Eastern Orthodox churches, and is ranked seventh in order of precedence. The Primate of the church has the title of Patriarch...

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

 at Cernica
Cernica is a commune in the southeast part of Ilfov County, Romania, with a population of 9,425 as of 2002. It is composed of five villages: Bălăceanca, Căldăraru, Cernica, Poşta and Tânganu, several villages on the bank of lake Cernica...

 Monastery, he traveled abroad in 1905. He visited Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 and then moved to Fribourg
Fribourg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district of Sarine. It is located on both sides of the river Saane/Sarine, on the Swiss plateau, and is an important economic, administrative and educational center on the cultural border between German and French Switzerland...

, where he wrote poetry and attended courses at the local University
University of Fribourg
The University of Fribourg is a university in the city of Fribourg, Switzerland.The roots of the University can be traced back to 1582, when the notable Jesuit Peter Canisius founded the Collège Saint-Michel in the City of Fribourg. In 1763, an Academy of law was founded by the state of Frobourg...

; dissatisfied with the Roman Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 focus encouraged by the latter, he moved to Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, where he was employed in a jeweler's workshop. During the Romanian Peasants' Revolt
1907 Romanian Peasants' Revolt
The 1907 Romanian Peasants' Revolt took place in March 1907 in Moldavia and it quickly spread, reaching Wallachia. The main cause was the discontent of the peasants about the inequity of land ownership, which was in the hands of just a few large landowners....

 of 1907, the poet, known for his left-wing discourse and vocal criticism of the violent repression of the peasant movement, was kept under surveillance by Swiss
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 authorities; a local newspaper claimed that Arghezi's mail had been tampered with, causing a scandal that led to the resignation of several officials. News he gathered of the revolt itself left a lasting impression on Arghezi: much later, he was to dedicate an entire volume to the events (his 1907-Peizaje, "Landscapes of 1907", which he described as "dealing with [...] the contrast between a nation and an abusive, solitary, class
Social class
Social classes are economic or cultural arrangements of groups in society. Class is an essential object of analysis for sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists and social historians. In the social sciences, social class is often discussed in terms of 'social stratification'...


Early 1910s

He returned to Romania in 1910, and published works in
Viaţa Românească
Viata Româneasca
Viaţa Românească, originally Viaţa Romînească , is a monthly literary magazine published in Romania...

, Teatru, Rampa, and N. D. Cocea
N. D. Cocea
N. D. Cocea was a Romanian journalist, novelist, critic and left-wing political activist, known as a major but controversial figure in the field of political satire...

Facla and Viaţa Socială, as well as editing the magazine Cronica in collaboration with Galaction; his output was prolific, and a flurry of lyrics, political pamphlet
A pamphlet is an unbound booklet . It may consist of a single sheet of paper that is printed on both sides and folded in half, in thirds, or in fourths , or it may consist of a few pages that are folded in half and saddle stapled at the crease to make a simple book...

s and polemical articles gained him a good measure of notoriety among the theatrical, political and literary circles of the day. Cocea contributed to his early fame by publishing one of Arghezi's first influential poems,
Rugă de seară ("Evening Prayer").

During the period, Arghezi also became a prominent art critic, and engaged in the defense of Ştefan Luchian
Stefan Luchian
Ștefan Luchian or Lukian was a Romanian painter, famous for his landscapes and still life works.-Early life:He was born in Ștefănești, a village of Botoșani County, as the son of Major Dumitru Luchian and of Elena Chiriacescu. The Luchian family moved to Bucharest in 1873 and his mother desired...

, a painter who was suffering from multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease in which the fatty myelin sheaths around the axons of the brain and spinal cord are damaged, leading to demyelination and scarring as well as a broad spectrum of signs and symptoms...

 and was facing charges of fraud
In criminal law, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation...

 (based on the suspicion that he could no longer paint, and had allowed his name to be signed to other people's works).

He became a regular presence at the Bucharest Kübler Café, where a Bohemian
Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people, with few permanent ties, involving musical, artistic or literary pursuits...

 circle of artists and intellectuals was being formed — it included the writers Ion Minulescu
Ion Minulescu
Ion Minulescu was a Romanian avant-garde poet, novelist, short story writer, journalist, literary critic, and playwright. Often publishing his works under the pseudonyms I. M. Nirvan and Koh-i-Noor , he journeyed to Paris, where he was heavily influenced by the growing Symbolist movement and...

, Liviu Rebreanu
Liviu Rebreanu
Liviu Rebreanu was a Romanian novelist, playwright, short story writer, and journalist.- Life :Born in Târlișua , Transylvania, then part of Austria-Hungary, he was the second of thirteen children born to Vasile Rebreanu, a schoolteacher, and Ludovica Diuganu, descendants of peasants...

, Eugen Lovinescu
Eugen Lovinescu
Eugen Lovinescu was a Romanian modernist literary historian, literary critic, academic, and novelist, who in 1919 established the Sburătorul literary club. He was the father of Monica Lovinescu, and the uncle of Horia Lovinescu, Vasile Lovinescu, and Anton Holban...

, Victor Eftimiu
Victor Eftimiu
Victor Eftimiu was an Albanian-Romanian poet, playwright, and a contributor to Sburătorul, a Romanian literary magazine. His works have been performed in the State Jewish Theater of Romania....

, Mihail Sorbul and Corneliu Moldovanu, as well as the painters Iosif Iser
Iosif Iser
Iosif Iser was a Romanian painter and graphic artist.Born to a Jewish family, he was initially inspired by Expressionism, creating drawings with thick, unmodulated, lines and steep angles...

, Alexandru Satmari, Jean Alexandru Steriadi
Jean Alexandru Steriadi
Jean Alexandru Steriadi was a Romanian painter and drawing artist. He made portraits and compositions based on a strong, expressive drawing; then he evoluated towards impressionistic influenced landscapes in which the subtle harmony is combined with a refined sense of picturesque...

, the composer Alfons Castaldi, and the art collector Krikor Zambaccian. According to Zambaccian, Arghezi was more rarely seen at Bucharest's other major literary venue, Casa Capşa
Casa Capsa
Casa Capşa is a historic restaurant in Bucharest, Romania, first established in 1852. At various times it has also included a hotel; most recently, it reopened as a 61-room hotel 17 June 2003....

. By that time, he was also an associate of the controversial political figure and art patron Alexandru Bogdan-Piteşti
Alexandru Bogdan-Pitesti
Alexandru Bogdan-Piteşti was a Romanian Symbolist poet, essayist, and art and literary critic, who was also known as a journalist and left-wing political agitator. A wealthy landowner, he invested his fortune in patronage and art collecting, becoming one of the main local promoters of modern art,...

, and, with Galaction, Cocea, Minulescu, Adrian Maniu and various visual artists, he regularly attended a circle hosted by Bogdan-Piteşti on Ştirbey-Vodă, nearby the Cişmigiu Gardens
Cismigiu Gardens
The Cişmigiu Gardens are a public park near the center of Bucharest, Romania, spanning areas on all sides of an artificial lake. The gardens' creation was an important moment in the history of Bucharest. They form the oldest and, at 17 hectares, the largest park in city's central area...

. He authored a small poem in honor of Bogdan-Piteşti.

After the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Arghezi wrote against the political camp led by the National Liberals
National Liberal Party (Romania)
The National Liberal Party , abbreviated to PNL, is a centre-right liberal party in Romania. It is the third-largest party in the Romanian Parliament, with 53 seats in the Chamber of Deputies and 22 in the Senate: behind the centre-right Democratic Liberal Party and the centre-left Social...

 and the group around Take Ionescu
Take Ionescu
Take or Tache Ionescu was a Romanian centrist politician, journalist, lawyer and diplomat, who also enjoyed reputation as a short story author. Starting his political career as a radical member of the National Liberal Party , he joined the Conservative Party in 1891, and became noted as a social...

, both of whom aimed to have Romania enter the conflict on the side of the Entente
Allies of World War I
The Entente Powers were the countries at war with the Central Powers during World War I. The members of the Triple Entente were the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire; Italy entered the war on their side in 1915...

 (as an attempt the conquer Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

 from Austria-Hungary
Austria-Hungary , more formally known as the Kingdoms and Lands Represented in the Imperial Council and the Lands of the Holy Hungarian Crown of Saint Stephen, was a constitutional monarchic union between the crowns of the Austrian Empire and the Kingdom of Hungary in...

); instead, he was a supporter of Bessarabia
Bessarabia is a historical term for the geographic region in Eastern Europe bounded by the Dniester River on the east and the Prut River on the west....

's union with the Romanian Old Kingdom
Romanian Old Kingdom
The Romanian Old Kingdom is a colloquial term referring to the territory covered by the first independent Romanian nation state, which was composed of the Danubian Principalities—Wallachia and Moldavia...

, and resented the implicit alliance with Imperial Russia. In 1915, he wrote:
"A barbaric war. Once upon a time, we had pledged our duty to fight against the arming of civilized states. With every newborn baby, the quantity of explosive matter destined to suppress him was also being created. As progress and «rational outlook» were being viewed as calamities, arms and ammunitions factories were increasing the shell storages, were fabricating the artillery used in extermination."

German occupation and Văcăreşti prison

Eventually, he collaborated with the German
German Empire
The German Empire refers to Germany during the "Second Reich" period from the unification of Germany and proclamation of Wilhelm I as German Emperor on 18 January 1871, to 1918, when it became a federal republic after defeat in World War I and the abdication of the Emperor, Wilhelm II.The German...

 authorities who had occupied most of Romania in late 1916 (see Romanian Campaign
Romanian Campaign (World War I)
The Romanian Campaign was part of the Balkan theatre of World War I, with Romania and Russia allied against the armies of the Central Powers. Fighting took place from August 1916 to December 1917, across most of present-day Romania, including Transylvania, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian...

), and wrote articles for the German-backed Gazeta Bucureştilor; he was one among the diverse grouping of intellectual
An intellectual is a person who uses intelligence and critical or analytical reasoning in either a professional or a personal capacity.- Terminology and endeavours :"Intellectual" can denote four types of persons:...

s to do so — it also included Bogdan-Piteşti, Galaction, Constantin Stere
Constantin Stere
Constantin G. Stere or Constantin Sterea was a Romanian writer, jurist, politician, ideologue of the Poporanist trend, and, in March 1906, co-founder Constantin G. Stere or Constantin Sterea (Romanian; , Konstantin Yegorovich Stere or Константин Георгиевич Стере, Konstantin Georgiyevich Stere;...

, Dumitru D. Pătrăşcanu, Alexandru Marghiloman
Alexandru Marghiloman
Alexandru Marghiloman was a Romanian conservative statesman who served for a short time in 1918 as Prime Minister of Romania, and had a decisive role during World War I.-Early career:...

, Ioan Slavici
Ioan Slavici
Ioan Slavici was a Transylvanian-born Romanian writer and journalist. He made his debut in Convorbiri literare , with the comedy Fata de birău...

, Grigore Antipa
Grigore Antipa
Grigore Antipa was a Romanian Darwinist biologist who studied the fauna of the Danube Delta and the Black Sea. Between 1892 and 1944 he was the director of the Bucharest Natural History Museum, which now bears his name....

, and Simion Mehedinţi
Simion Mehedinti
Simion Mehedinţi was a Romanian geographer and member of the Romanian Academy. A figure of importance in the Junimea literary club, he was for a while editor of its magazine, Convorbiri Literare....


Arrested along with eleven other newspapermen and writers, among them Slavici, he was accused of "collaboration with the enemy" for his anti-Entente activities. According to Arghezi himself, the Royal Commissioner charged with investigation had initially kept the group secluded in a Bucharest hotel, arguing that they were an ongoing danger to Allied forces in Bucharest.

Sentenced and imprisoned in the Văcăreşti facility, Arghezi pleaded his cause in letters and petitions addressed to a "Mr. General", who has been tentatively identified with Premier Artur Văitoianu
Artur Vaitoianu
Artur or Arthur Văitoianu was a Romanian general who served as a Prime Minister of Romania for about two months in 1919...

, asking for a conditional release after his illegitimate son with Constanţa Zissu, who had been born in 1905, left home and went missing. Despite their political rivalry, Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga was a Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright. Co-founder of the Democratic Nationalist Party , he served as a member of Parliament, President of the Deputies' Assembly and Senate, cabinet minister and briefly as Prime Minister...

, who had given his full backing to the Entente during the war, repeatedly called on authorities to pardon Arghezi free; his plea was eventually granted, and Arghezi was released in late 1919. Expressing his thanks to Iorga for his intervention, he nonetheless continued to oppose him on several issues, and the polemic, turned sarcastic, was to prolong itself over the next two decades.

Interwar literature

In 1927, he published his first volume of collected poems, titled Cuvinte Potrivite ("Fitting Words" or "Suitable Words"), which made the Poporanist
The word “poporanism” is derived from “popor”, meaning “people” in the Romanian language. The ideology of Romanian Populism and poporanism are interchangeable. Founded by Constantin Stere in the early 1890s, populism is distinguished by its opposition to socialism, promotion of voting rights for...

Viaţa Româneascăs Mihai Ralea hail Arghezi as "our greatest poet since Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu
Mihai Eminescu was a Romantic poet, novelist and journalist, often regarded as the most famous and influential Romanian poet. Eminescu was an active member of the Junimea literary society and he worked as an editor for the newspaper Timpul , the official newspaper of the Conservative Party...

" (while likening his "mixture of the sublime and the awkward" to "nihilism
Nihilism is the philosophical doctrine suggesting the negation of one or more putatively meaningful aspects of life. Most commonly, nihilism is presented in the form of existential nihilism which argues that life is without objective meaning, purpose, or intrinsic value...

"). The avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 magazine Integral celebrated Arghezi with a special issue in 1925 - in it, Benjamin Fondane
Benjamin Fondane
Benjamin Fondane or Benjamin Fundoianu was a Romanian and French poet, critic and existentialist philosopher, also noted for his work in film and theater. Known from his Romanian youth as a Symbolist poet and columnist, he alternated Neoromantic and Expressionist themes with echoes from Tudor...

 wrote: "Arghezi is against all things: in his poetry, against eloquence
Eloquence is fluent, forcible, elegant or persuasive speaking. It is primarily the power of expressing strong emotions in striking and appropriate language, thereby producing conviction or persuasion...

, in favour of reinstating modesty, decency [...] [i]n his prose, against cowardice in expression, in favour of violence and indecency".

Arghezi was in charge of the satirical
Political satire
Political satire is a significant part of satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics; it has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly...

 newspaper Bilete de Papagal
Bilete de Papagal
Bilete de Papagal was a Romanian left-wing publication edited by Tudor Arghezi, begun as a daily newspaper and soon after issued as a weekly satirical and literary magazine...

and published his first prose effort, Icoane de Lemn ("Wooden Icons"), in 1928. In 1932, he published Flori de Mucigai ("Flowers of Mildew") and Poarta Neagră ("The Black Gate") - collections of poetry inspired by the years he spent in detention (in itself, a theme never before used in Romanian poetry) and influenced by the works of Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire was a French poet who produced notable work as an essayist, art critic, and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe. His most famous work, Les Fleurs du mal expresses the changing nature of beauty in modern, industrializing Paris during the nineteenth century...

 and other Symbolists. He also began writing the works that made him most familiar to the public, his poems and short prose for children. Among the more famous are Cartea cu Jucării ("The Toy-Laden Book"), Cântec de Adormit Mitzura ("A Song to Get Mitzura to Sleep"), Buruieni ("Weeds") and, the most popular of all, Zdreanţă ("Rag"), about a lovable mutt
Mixed-breed dog
A mixed-breed dog, also known as a mutt or mongrel, is a dog whose ancestry is generally unknown and that has characteristics of two or more types of breeds. A mixed-breed may be a cross-breed dog, a random-bred dog, or a descendant of feral or pariah dog populations...


In 1933-1934, he completed two satirical pieces, the dystopia
A dystopia is the idea of a society in a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian, as characterized in books like Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four...

n novel Tablete din Ţara de Kuty, povestiri swiftiene ("Tablets from the Land of Kuty. Swiftian
Jonathan Swift
Jonathan Swift was an Irish satirist, essayist, political pamphleteer , poet and cleric who became Dean of St...

 Stories") and Cimitirul Buna-Vestire ("Buna-Vestire Cemetery" - a large-scale pamphlet described as an "apparent novel" by George Călinescu
George Calinescu
George Călinescu was a Romanian literary critic, historian, novelist, academician and journalist, and a writer of classicist and humanist tendencies...

), as well as a long novel on the topic of maternal love and filial devotion, Ochii Maicii Domnului ("Our Lord's Mother's Eyes").

He routinely visited art shows throughout the 1920s (accompanied by Vasile and Lucia Demetrius), helping to establish the artistic reputation of painters such as Oscar Han
Oscar Han
Oscar Han was a Romanian sculptor and writer. A student of Dimitrie Paciurea at the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, he was a member of the Group of Four together with painters Nicolae Tonitza, Francisc Şirato and Ştefan Dimitrescu...

, Nicolae Dărăscu
Nicolae Darascu
Nicolae Dărăscu was a Romanian painter. He was influenced by Impressionism and Neo-impressionism.-Biography:...

, Camil Ressu
Camil Ressu
Camil Ressu was a Romanian painter and academic, one of the most significant art figures of Romania.-Early life and career:Born in Galaţi, Ressu originated from an Aromanian family that migrated to Romania from Macedonia at the start of the 19th century. His father, Constantin Ressu, who was a...

, Francisc Şirato
Francisc Sirato
Francisc Şirato was a Romanian painter, graphic artist, art critic, and designer.-External links:*...

, and Nicolae Vermont
Nicolae Vermont
Nicolae Vermont was a Romanian realist painter, graphic artist and muralist. He was noted for his wide range of subjects and his interest in social issues, and was an associate of the post-Impressionists Ştefan Luchian and Constantin Artachino, as well as a friend of the controversial art...

. He also authored the preface to Nicolae Tonitza
Nicolae Tonitza
Nicolae Tonitza was a Romanian painter, engraver, lithographer, journalist and art critic. Drawing inspiration from Post-impressionism and Expressionism, he had a major role in introducing modernist guidelines to local art.-Biography:...

's first art catalog, and welcomed Arta Română, the modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

 group established by Tonitza and Gheorghe Petraşcu
Gheorghe Petrascu
Gheorghe Petraşcu was a Romanian painter. He won numerous prizes throughout his lifetime and had his paintings exhibited posthumously at the Paris International Exhibition and the Venice Biennale. He was the brother of N. Petraşcu, a literary critic and novelist.-External links:**...

 in 1920. By the mid-1930s, Arghezi contributed the art chronicle to the newspaper Mişcarea - mouthpiece of the National Liberal Party-Brătianu
National Liberal Party-Bratianu
The National Liberal Party-Brătianu was a right-wing political party in Romania, formed as a splinter group from the main liberal faction, the National Liberals. For its symbol, PNL-Brătianu chose three vertical bars, placed at equal distance from each other...


Interwar polemic

In 1934, his lyrical works were virulently attacked by Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga
Nicolae Iorga was a Romanian historian, politician, literary critic, memoirist, poet and playwright. Co-founder of the Democratic Nationalist Party , he served as a member of Parliament, President of the Deputies' Assembly and Senate, cabinet minister and briefly as Prime Minister...

, who saw them as "comprising all of the most repulsive in concept and all of the most trivial in shape"; such accusations against Arghezi and the group of writers around him became commonplace in the Iron Guard
Iron Guard
The Iron Guard is the name most commonly given to a far-right movement and political party in Romania in the period from 1927 into the early part of World War II. The Iron Guard was ultra-nationalist, fascist, anti-communist, and promoted the Orthodox Christian faith...

's press - writing in Sfarmă-Piatră
Sfarmă-Piatră was an antisemitic daily, monthly and later weekly newspaper, published in Romania during the late 1930s and early 1940s...

, Vintilă Horia
Vintila Horia
Vintilă Horia was a Romanian writer.-Biography:Born in Segarcea, he graduated from the Saint Sava National College, then studied Law, and then Letters, including terms at universities in Italy and Austria...

 accused Arghezi of "a willing adhesion to pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

" and of "betrayal". The latter statement centered on Arghezi's earlier collaboration with Gândirea
Gândirea , known during its early years as Gândirea Literară - Artistică - Socială , was a Romanian literary, political and art magazine.- Overview :Founded by Cezar Petrescu and D. I...

- the newspaper published by Nichifor Crainic
Nichifor Crainic
Nichifor Crainic was a Romanian writer, editor, philosopher, poet and theologian famed for his traditionalist and antisemitic activities...

, an intellectual figure on the far right
Far right
Far-right, extreme right, hard right, radical right, and ultra-right are terms used to discuss the qualitative or quantitative position a group or person occupies within right-wing politics. Far-right politics may involve anti-immigration and anti-integration stances towards groups that are...

 who shared Arghezi's initial religious traditionalism. Gândirea and its affiliated magazines alleged that the influence of Crainic's thought (Gândirism), had played a major part in Arghezi's early works, while attacking his Jewish editors with anti-Semitic
Antisemitism is suspicion of, hatred toward, or discrimination against Jews for reasons connected to their Jewish heritage. According to a 2005 U.S...

 slurs (and implying that his works would have decreased in quality because of their influence). To these, Argezi replied with a dose of irony: "[...] I have never ever read Gândirea, not even when I was contributing articles to it".

Shortly before his death, Arghezi reflected upon his status in the interwar period
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

, rendering a dramatic picture:
"[...] for a while, all the cultural institutions were associated against my writing: the University
University of Bucharest
The University of Bucharest , in Romania, is a university founded in 1864 by decree of Prince Alexander John Cuza to convert the former Saint Sava Academy into the current University of Bucharest.-Presentation:...

, the 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 poets, the press, the police
Romanian Police
The Romanian Police is the national police force and main civil law enforcement agency in Romania. It is subordinated to the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform.-Duties:The Romanian Police are responsible for:...

, the courts, the censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

, the Gendarmerie
Jandarmeria Româna
Jandarmeria Română is the military branch of the two Romanian police forces .The gendarmerie is subordinated to the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reform and does not have responsibility for policing the Romanian Armed Forces...

 and even the closest colleagues."

His political attitudes at the time were more complex, and he continued collaboration with left-wing magazines such as Dimineaţa and Adevărul
Adevărul is a Romanian daily newspaper, based in Bucharest. Founded in 1871 and reestablished in 1888, it was the main left-wing press venue to be published during the Romanian Kingdom's existence, adopting an independent pro-democratic position, advocating land reform and universal suffrage...

while expressing staunchly monarchist
Monarchism is the advocacy of the establishment, preservation, or restoration of a monarchy as a form of government in a nation. A monarchist is an individual who supports this form of government out of principle, independent from the person, the Monarch.In this system, the Monarch may be the...

 views and support for King
King of Romania
King of the Romanians , rather than King of Romania , was the official title of the ruler of the Kingdom of Romania from 1881 until 1947, when Romania was proclaimed a republic....

 Carol II
Carol II of Romania
Carol II reigned as King of Romania from 8 June 1930 until 6 September 1940. Eldest son of Ferdinand, King of Romania, and his wife, Queen Marie, a daughter of Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, the second eldest son of Queen Victoria...

. According to some views, Arghezi developed a sympathy for the Iron Guard towards the end of the 1930 (his poem Făt-Frumos
Făt-Frumos is a knight hero in Romanian folklore, usually present in fairy tales....

was contended to be a homage to the movement's leader, Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu
Corneliu Zelea Codreanu was a Romanian politician of the far right, the founder and charismatic leader of the Iron Guard or The Legion of the Archangel Michael , an ultra-nationalist and violently antisemitic organization active throughout most of the interwar period...

, assassinated in late 1938). This perspective, notably favored by essayist Alex Mihai Stoenescu
Alex Mihai Stoenescu
Alex Mihai Stoenescu is a Romanian historian, writer, journalist and politician.-Biography:According to his own admission, Stoenescu collaborated with the Securitate in 1984, while he worked as an engineer at a factory in Băneasa...

, was disputed by the literary critic Ion Simuţ, who argued that evidence to support it was sporadic and contradictory.

World War II

In 1939, Arghezi became suddenly and severely ill, being incapacitated by sciatica
Sciatica is a set of symptoms including pain that may be caused by general compression or irritation of one of five spinal nerve roots that give rise to each sciatic nerve, or by compression or irritation of the left or right or both sciatic nerves. The pain is felt in the lower back, buttock, or...

. The extreme pain and mysterious causes became topics of major interest, and it was rumored that his was an unprecedented disease. Upon examination (made difficult by Arghezi's iatrophobia), some of Romania's top physicians, including Nicolae Gh. Lupu, George Emil Palade
George Emil Palade
George Emil Palade was a Romanian cell biologist. Described as "the most influential cell biologist ever", in 1974 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, together with Albert Claude and Christian de Duve. The prize was granted for his innovations in electron microscopy and...

, and Constantin Ion Parhon
Constantin Ion Parhon
Constantin Ion Parhon was a Romanian neuropsychiatrist, endocrinologist and politician. He was the President of the Provisional Presidium of the People's Republic of Romania from its proclamation on December 30, 1947 to April 13, 1948, and Chairman of the Presidium of the Great National Assembly...

, decided that Arghezi's sciatic nerve
Sciatic nerve
The sciatic nerve is a large nerve fiber in humans and other animals. It begins in the lower back and runs through the buttock and down the lower limb...

 was being pressed on by an unknown body. Dimitrie Bagdasar identified the cause as a cancerous tumor, and Arghezi underwent radiation therapy
Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy , radiation oncology, or radiotherapy , sometimes abbreviated to XRT or DXT, is the medical use of ionizing radiation, generally as part of cancer treatment to control malignant cells.Radiation therapy is commonly applied to the cancerous tumor because of its ability to control...

 — the verdict and suffering caused the poet to maintain a growing animosity towards Bagdasar, which he later expressed in writing. After a period of deterioration, he regained his health unexpectedly.

During World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 the newspaper Informaţia Zilei took up the publishing of comments by Arghezi, as a column named after his former magazine, Bilete de Papagal. In 1943, it published virulent satires of the Romanian government, its military leader - Ion Antonescu
Ion Antonescu
Ion Victor Antonescu was a Romanian soldier, authoritarian politician and convicted war criminal. The Prime Minister and Conducător during most of World War II, he presided over two successive wartime dictatorships...

, and Romania's allegiance to Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany
Nazi Germany , also known as the Third Reich , but officially called German Reich from 1933 to 1943 and Greater German Reich from 26 June 1943 onward, is the name commonly used to refer to the state of Germany from 1933 to 1945, when it was a totalitarian dictatorship ruled by...

 (see Romania during World War II
Romania during World War II
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the rapidly changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval, undermined this stance. Fascist political forces such as the Iron...

). On September 30, 1943, Arghezi caused an outrage and a minor political scandal, after getting the paper to publish his most radical attack, one aimed at the German ambassador Manfred Freiherr von Killinger
Manfred Freiherr von Killinger
Manfred Freiherr von Killinger was a German naval officer, Freikorps leader, military writer and Nazi politician. A veteran of World War I and member of the Marinebrigade Ehrhardt during the German Revolution, he took part in the violent intervention against the Bavarian Soviet Republic...

 - Baroane ("Baron!" or "Thou Baron"). The piece centered on accusations of political and economic domination:
"A flower blossomed in my garden, one like a plumped-up red bird, with a golden kernel. You blemished it. You set your paws on it and now it has dried up. My corn has shot into ears as big as Barbary Dove
Barbary Dove
The Ringneck Dove, Ring Dove, or Barbary Dove, Streptopelia risoria, is a domestic member of the dove family .Although the Ringneck Dove is normally assigned its own systematic name, as Streptopelia risoria, considerable doubt exists as to its appropriate classification...

s and you tore them away. You took the fruits out of my orchard by the cartload and gone you were with them. You placed your nib with its tens of thousands of nostrils on the cliffs of my water sources and you quaffed them from their depths and you drained them. Morass and slobber is what you leave behind in the mountains and yellow drought
A drought is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply. Generally, this occurs when a region receives consistently below average precipitation. It can have a substantial impact on the ecosystem and agriculture of the affected region...

 in the flatlands — and out of all the birds with singing tongues you leave me with bevies of rooks
Rook (bird)
The Rook is a member of the Corvidae family in the passerine order of birds. Named by Carl Linnaeus in 1758, the species name frugilegus is Latin for "food-gathering"....


The authorities confiscated all issues, and the author was imprisoned without trial in a penitentiary camp near Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu
Târgu Jiu is the capital of Gorj County, Oltenia, Romania. It is situated on the Southern Sub-Carpathians, on the banks of the river Jiu. Eight villages are administered by the city: Bârseşti, Drăgoeni, Iezureni, Polata, Preajba Mare, Româneşti, Slobozia and Ursaţi.-History:The city takes its name...

. He was freed in 1944, only days after the King Michael Coup, which resulted in the fall of the Antonescu regime.

Arghezi and the Communist regime

A controversial intellectual, Arghezi had a fluctuating relationship with the newly-established Communist regime
Communist Romania
Communist Romania was the period in Romanian history when that country was a Soviet-aligned communist state in the Eastern Bloc, with the dominant role of Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its successive constitutions...

. Although he was awarded several literary prizes under during the period of Soviet
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

-induced transition to a people's republic
People's Republic
People's Republic is a title that has often been used by Marxist-Leninist governments to describe their state. The motivation for using this term lies in the claim that Marxist-Leninists govern in accordance with the interests of the vast majority of the people, and, as such, a Marxist-Leninist...

, he became a harsh critic of censorship
thumb|[[Book burning]] following the [[1973 Chilean coup d'état|1973 coup]] that installed the [[Military government of Chile |Pinochet regime]] in Chile...

 and agitprop
Agitprop is derived from agitation and propaganda, and describes stage plays, pamphlets, motion pictures and other art forms with an explicitly political message....

-like state control in media, and was targeted as a decadent
Decadence can refer to a personal trait, or to the state of a society . Used to describe a person's lifestyle. Concise Oxford Dictionary: "a luxurious self-indulgence"...

 poet very soon after the communist-dominated republican institutions took power (1948). A series of articles written by Sorin Toma (son of the Stalinist
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 literary figure Alexandru Toma
Alexandru Toma
Alexandru Toma was a Romanian poet, journalist and translator, known for his communist views and his role in introducing Socialist Realism and Stalinism to Romanian literature...

) in the Romanian Communist Party
Romanian Communist Party
The Romanian Communist Party was a communist political party in Romania. Successor to the Bolshevik wing of the Socialist Party of Romania, it gave ideological endorsement to communist revolution and the disestablishment of Greater Romania. The PCR was a minor and illegal grouping for much of the...

's official voice, Scînteia
Scînteia was the name of two newspapers edited by Communist groups at different intervals in Romanian history...

, described his works as having their origin in Arghezi's "violent insanity", called his style "a pathological phenomenon", and depicted the author as "the main poet of Romanian bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

"; the articles were headlined Poezia Putrefacţiei sau Putrefacţia Poeziei ("The Poetry of Decay or the Decay of Poetry", in reference to Karl Marx
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

's The Misery of Philosophy
The Poverty of Philosophy
Misère de la philosophie, German title Das Elend der Philosophie, English title The Poverty of Philosophy, is a book by Karl Marx published in Paris and Brussels in 1847, where he lived in exile in 1843-1849...

- the title of which in turn mocked Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
Pierre-Joseph Proudhon was a French politician, mutualist philosopher and socialist. He was a member of the French Parliament, and he was the first person to call himself an "anarchist". He is considered among the most influential theorists and organisers of anarchism...

's Philosophy of Misery).

The writer had to retreat from public life, spending most of these years at the house he owned in Văcăreşti
Vacaresti, Bucharest
Văcăreşti is a neighbourhood in south-eastern Bucharest, located near Dâmboviţa River and the Văcăreşti Lake. Nearby neighbourhoods include Vitan, Olteniţei and Berceni. Originally a village, it was included in Bucharest as it expanded...

, Bucharest, the one he called Mărţişor
Mărțișor is a traditional celebration of the beginning of spring, on March 1. It is a tradition in Romania, Moldova, and all territories inhabited by Romanians and Aromanians...

(the name it still goes by today); his main source of income was provided by selling the yields of cherries the surrounding plot returned.

However, as Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej
Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej was the Communist leader of Romania from 1948 until his death in 1965.-Early life:Gheorghe was the son of a poor worker, Tănase Gheorghiu, and his wife Ana. Gheorghiu-Dej joined the Communist Party of Romania in 1930...

 consolidated his power over the state and Party post-1952, Arghezi was discovered as an asset to the new, more "national" tone of the regime — as several other censored cultural figures, he was paid a visit by Miron Constantinescu
Miron Constantinescu
Miron Constantinescu was a Romanian communist politician, a leading member of the Romanian Communist Party , as well as a Marxist sociologist, historian, academic, and journalist...

, the Communist activist overseeing the rehabilitation
Rehabilitation (Soviet)
Rehabilitation in the context of the former Soviet Union, and the Post-Soviet states, was the restoration of a person who was criminally prosecuted without due basis, to the state of acquittal...


Once exonerated, he started being awarded numerous titles and prizes. Arghezi was elected a 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....

 in 1955, and celebrated as national poet on his 80th and 85th birthdays. Although never turned-Socialist Realist
Socialist realism
Socialist realism is a style of realistic art which was developed in the Soviet Union and became a dominant style in other communist countries. Socialist realism is a teleologically-oriented style having its purpose the furtherance of the goals of socialism and communism...

, he adapted his themes to the requirements - such as he did in Cântare Omului ("Ode to Mankind") and 1907. In 1965, Arghezi also won recognition abroad, being the recipient of 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...


Arghezi's mysterious illness resurfaced with the same symptoms in 1955, and he was rapidly interned in the care of Ion Făgărăşanu. He was diagnosed with a chronic infection that had originated in surgery he had undergone in 1934, provoking an abscess
An abscess is a collection of pus that has accumulated in a cavity formed by the tissue in which the pus resides due to an infectious process or other foreign materials...

 in the area around his lumbar
In tetrapod anatomy, lumbar is an adjective that means of or pertaining to the abdominal segment of the torso, between the diaphragm and the sacrum ...

 vertebrae; he was released soon completing a treatment which included streptomycin
Streptomycin is an antibiotic drug, the first of a class of drugs called aminoglycosides to be discovered, and was the first antibiotic remedy for tuberculosis. It is derived from the actinobacterium Streptomyces griseus. Streptomycin is a bactericidal antibiotic. Streptomycin cannot be given...


He died and was buried in the garden of his house next to his wife Paraschiva in 1967 (she had died the previous year), with tremendous pomp and funeral festivities orchestrated by Communist Party officials. His home is currently a museum managed by his daughter, Mitzura.

Arghezi's work

Arghezi is perhaps the most striking figure of Romanian interwar
Interwar period
Interwar period can refer to any period between two wars. The Interbellum is understood to be the period between the end of the Great War or First World War and the beginning of the Second World War in Europe....

 literature, and one of the major poets of the 20th century. The freshness of his vocabulary represents a most original synthesis between the traditional styles and modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

. He has left behind a vast oeuvre, which includes poetry, novels, essays, journalism, translations and letters.

The impact of his writings on Romanian poetic language was revolutionary, through his creation of unusual lyrical structures
Lyrics are a set of words that make up a song. The writer of lyrics is a lyricist or lyrist. The meaning of lyrics can either be explicit or implicit. Some lyrics are abstract, almost unintelligible, and, in such cases, their explication emphasizes form, articulation, meter, and symmetry of...

, new sub-genres in prose
Prose is the most typical form of written language, applying ordinary grammatical structure and natural flow of speech rather than rhythmic structure...

 - such as the poetic novel, the "tablet" (tableta) and the "ticket" (biletul). He excelled at powerful and concise formulations, the shock value of which he exploited to startle lazy or conformist thinking, and his writings abound in paradox
Similar to Circular reasoning, A paradox is a seemingly true statement or group of statements that lead to a contradiction or a situation which seems to defy logic or intuition...

es, as well as metaphysical
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 or religious arguments. Evidencing the satirical genre's leading role throughout Arghezi's literary career, George Călinescu
George Calinescu
George Călinescu was a Romanian literary critic, historian, novelist, academician and journalist, and a writer of classicist and humanist tendencies...

 argued that it had become a contributing factor to much of his poetry and prose fiction.

Arghezi re-established an aesthetic of the grotesque
The word grotesque comes from the same Latin root as "Grotto", meaning a small cave or hollow. The original meaning was restricted to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art rediscovered and then copied in Rome at the end of the 15th century...

, and experimented at length with prosody. In much of his poetry (notably in his Flori de mucigai and Hore), Arghezi also built upon a tradition of slang
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's language or dialect but are considered more acceptable when used socially. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo...

 and argot
An Argot is a secret language used by various groups—including, but not limited to, thieves and other criminals—to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations. The term argot is also used to refer to the informal specialized vocabulary from a particular field of study, hobby, job,...

 usage, creating an atmosphere which, according to Călinescu, recalled the universe of Anton Pann
Anton Pann
Anton Pann , was an Ottoman-born Wallachian composer, musicologist, and Romanian-language poet, also noted for his activities as a printer, translator, and schoolteacher...

, as well as those of Salvatore Di Giacomo
Salvatore Di Giacomo
Salvatore Di Giacomo was a Neapolitan poet, songwriter and playwright.Di Giacomo is credited as being one of those responsible for renewing Neapolitan dialect poetry at the beginning of the 20th century...

 and Cesare Pescarella. He introduced a vocabulary of intentional ugliness and decay, with the manifest goal of extending the limits of poetic language, the major theme in his Cuvinte Potrivite; nevertheless, the other half of Arghezi's poetic universe was that of family life, childhood, and small familiar spaces, rendered in minutely detailed poems. In an era when the idea of the impossibility of communication was fashionable, he stood against his contemporaries through his strong belief in the power of the written word to communicate ideas and feelings — he was described by Tudor Vianu
Tudor Vianu
Tudor Vianu was a Romanian literary critic, art critic, poet, philosopher, academic, and translator. Known for his left-wing and anti-fascist convictions, he had a major role on the reception and development of Modernism in Romanian literature and art...

 as "a fighting poet, subject to attacks as well as returning them".

Despite his association with the Communist regime, Arghezi is widely acknowledged as a major literary figure. His work has traditionally been a staple of Romanian literature textbooks for decades.

In cultural reference

Aside from various sketches Arghezi had drawn of himself, his portrait was drawn by various artists he met or befriended. Around 1910, he was included in group portraits by Ary Murnu and Camil Ressu
Camil Ressu
Camil Ressu was a Romanian painter and academic, one of the most significant art figures of Romania.-Early life and career:Born in Galaţi, Ressu originated from an Aromanian family that migrated to Romania from Macedonia at the start of the 19th century. His father, Constantin Ressu, who was a...

, both of which depicted the literary society formed around the Kübler Café in Bucharest. An abstract
Abstract art
Abstract art uses a visual language of form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world. Western art had been, from the Renaissance up to the middle of the 19th century, underpinned by the logic of perspective and an...

 depiction of Arghezi, showing him as a figure with a hunter case
Pocket watch
A pocket watch is a watch that is made to be carried in a pocket, as opposed to a wristwatch, which is strapped to the wrist. They were the most common type of watch from their development in the 16th century until wristwatches became popular after World War I during which a transitional design,...

-shaped head, and sitting on an electric chair
Electric chair
Execution by electrocution, usually performed using an electric chair, is an execution method originating in the United States in which the condemned person is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes placed on the body...

, was published by M. H. Maxy
M. H. Maxy
M. H. Maxy was a Romanian Cubist painter.Maxy was of German-Jewish descent. He studied first in Bucharest under Camil Ressu and Iosif Iser, then in Berlin under Arthur Segal.-External links:*...

. Shortly before they died, Arghezi and his wife were the subject of an oil painting by Corneliu Baba
Corneliu Baba
Corneliu Baba was a Romanian painter, primarily a portraitist, but also known as a genre painter and an illustrator of books.-Early life:Having first studied under his father, the academic painter Gheorghe Baba, Baba studied briefly at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Bucharest, but did not receive a...


Tudor Arghezi was several times portrayed in Romanian film
Cinema of Romania
The cinema of Romania is the art of motion-picture making within the nation of Romania or by Romanian filmmakers abroad.As upon much of the world's early cinema, the ravages of time have left their mark upon Romanian film prints. Tens of titles have been destroyed or lost for good...

: in 1958, Grigore Vasiliu Birlic
Grigore Vasiliu Birlic
Grigore Vasiliu Birlic was one of the greatest Romanian actors, with a rich history in theatre, television and film. He was best known for comedy roles....

 played a major part in Arghezi's Doi Vecini (a character loosely based on the author); an eponymous film based on the life of Ştefan Luchian
Stefan Luchian
Ștefan Luchian or Lukian was a Romanian painter, famous for his landscapes and still life works.-Early life:He was born in Ștefănești, a village of Botoșani County, as the son of Major Dumitru Luchian and of Elena Chiriacescu. The Luchian family moved to Bucharest in 1873 and his mother desired...

 was released in 1981, starring Florin Călinescu
Florin Călinescu
Florin Călinescu is a Romanian actor, theatre director and television host.- References :...

 as Arghezi.

External links

Poems by Arghezi Romanian Poetry - Tudor Arghezi Essays by Arghezi, published in Jurnalul Naţional
Jurnalul National
Jurnalul Naţional is a Romanian newspaper, part of the Intact media group led by Dan Voiculescu, which also includes the popular TV station Antena 1....