Cover of Gândirea, 1938
|First issue||May 1, 1921|
Founded by Cezar Petrescu and D. I. Cucu in the city of Cluj, and first issued on May 1, 1921 as a literary supplement for the Cluj-based Voinţa, it was originally a modernist and expressionist-influenced journal. During its early existence, it attracted criticism from the traditional cultural establishment for allegedly allowing influences from Germanic Europe to permeate Romanian culture. Gândirea moved to Bucharest in October 1922, and, in 1926, its leadership was joined by the nationalist thinker Nichifor Crainic; he became its director and ideological guide in 1928, gradually moving it toward a mystical Orthodox focus — itself occasionally referred to as Gândirism. With just two interruptions in publication (1925 and 1933–34), Gândirea became one of the most important cultural magazines of the Romanian interwar period.
A proponent of home-grown traditionalist ideas, it eventually found itself in opposition to Sburătorul, the modernist magazine headed by literary critic Eugen Lovinescu, as well as to the journal Viaţa Românească, which stood for the left-wing and agrarian current known as Poporanism. In its later years, Gândirea routinely hosted fascist-inspired and antisemitic articles, largely reflecting Crainic's own political views. By then, numerous disputes were taking place between Crainic's supporters and former Gândirea collaborators such as literary critic Tudor Vianu and poet Tudor Arghezi. Additional debates were carried between Crainic and the centrist political figures Nicolae Iorga and Constantin Rădulescu-Motru over the nature of nationalism and religion in Romania. The magazine often identified its secularist adversaries with materialism, and occasionally accused modernist figures in Romanian literature of writing pornography.
Gândirea was briefly closed down over suspicions that it was supporting the fascist Iron Guard, and, between 1938 and 1944, endorsed the successive dictatorial regimes of the National Renaissance Front, the National Legionary State, and Conducător Ion Antonescu. During World War II, it expressed support for Antonescu's antisemitic policies, which Crainic claimed to have inspired. Together with all other publications Crainic was heading, Gândirea ceased to be published in 1944, as Romania ended its alliance with the Axis Powers.
Several circles were formed around Gândirea, bringing together a large part of the period's Romanian intellectuals: Ion Barbu, Vasile Băncilă, Lucian Blaga, Dan Botta, Alexandru Busuioceanu, Mateiu Caragiale, Vasile Ciocâlteu, Oscar Walter Cisek, Anastase Demian, Radu Gyr, N. I. Herescu, Vintilă Horia, Adrian Maniu, Gib Mihăescu, Tiberiu Moşoiu, Ştefan I. Neniţescu, Ovidiu Papadima, Victor Papilian, Ioan Petrovici, Ion Pillat, V. I. Popa, Dragoş Protopopescu, Ion Marin Sadoveanu, Ion Sân-Giorgiu, Zaharia Stancu, Dumitru Stăniloae, Paul Sterian, Francisc Şirato, Al. O. Teodoreanu, Ionel Teodoreanu, Sandu Tudor, Tudor Vianu, Pan M. Vizirescu, Vasile Voiculescu, G. M. Zamfirescu.
Many other intellectuals and artists had their work published in Gândirea, and some of them were only temporarily associated with the journal. They include Tudor Arghezi, George Călinescu, Şerban Cioculescu, Petre Pandrea, Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, Marcel Janco, Ion Vinea, and Mircea Vulcănescu.
For much of the 1920s, the magazine was a venue for modernist criticism, and involved in theoretical debates over the influence of German- and Austrian-influenced Expressionism on early 20th century culture. Gândirea's early years coincided with the aftermath of World War I and the establishment of Greater Romania, making the magazine one of several newly established Romanian-language periodicals in the formerly Austro-Hungarian region of Transylvania. It has thus been argued that, before moving to Bucharest, the magazine was also involved in promoting a unitary Romanian culture inside the newly acquired province, but this appears to have been one of its secondary goals.
Without producing its own an artistic program, Gândirea counted among the few Romanian publications to praise Expressionist culture (its editors often extended the term to non-Expressionists such as Constantin Brâncuși, Max Reinhardt, Alexander Archipenko, and Dmitry Merezhkovsky). This focus on emotion and expression was especially present in essays contributed by Adrian Maniu and Ion Sân-Giorgiu, as well as in Ion Marin Sadoveanu's chronicles about the impact of Gothic traditions on early 20th century literature. The Expressionist trend, accompanied by Gândirea's frequent and sympathetic reviews of Futurism and Dada, caused Crainic (who was only a correspondent at the time), to express his distaste.
Despite hosting a large number of essays on art criticism, and in contrast to the style of avant-garde journals such as Contimporanul, Gândirea rarely featured Expressionist graphics. Notably, in 1924, the editors chose to illustrate an issue with a print by the proto-Expressionist Edvard Munch, commented upon by Tudor Vianu. Nevertheless, later in the same year, painter Francisc Şirato used Gândirea as a means to popularize his essays on Visual Arts in Romania, in which he publicized his break with Expressionist influences and his newfound interest in Romanian specificity in local art and folklore. In parallel, Oskar Walter Cisek's art chronicle (published between 1923 and 1929), gave, overall, equal exposure to all existing modernist trends.
Literature produced by the first of several Gândirea circles received criticism from several traditionalist circles for being one of "sick modernists". Notably, the historian and politician Nicolae Iorga, one of the major cultural figures of his time, cited fears that Romania was becoming "Germanized". He argued that, aside from Crainic's poetry it published, the magazine was copying Germanic ideals originating with the art groups of Munich and Vienna ("[Gândirea is] the window copy of modernist jargon muttered by Munich only to be responded through other parrotings, insane or charlatanesque, by Vienna").
By that moment, however, the magazine was itself fusing Expressionist influences with traditionalist aesthetic goals, to the point where it had become, according to Lucian Blaga, "a bouquet of centrifugal tendencies". During the 1920s, Gândirea hosted polemical articles by the traditionalists and traditionalist-inspired Iorga, Crainic, Cezar Petrescu, and Pamfil Şeicaru. Writing much later, Crainic expressed his opinion that the two visions were only apparently contradictory:
"Expressionism in painting is a German fatality. But from [Germany] it has migrated towards us as well. [...] Have the poetry of Blaga and Adrian Maniu, the theater of Blaga, Maniu, lost their ethnic (and therefore traditional) specificity for having borrowed the expressionist style from wherever?"
Reviewing the emphasis of traditionalism subsequently present in Gândirea's pages, the critic Ovid Crohmălniceanu argued that it was no less an evidence of a new kind of literature. Although the main proponent of traditionalism, Crainic himself remained open to some modernist influences, and translated the innovative works of Rainer Maria Rilke into Romanian.
From the late 1920s and over much of its existence, Crainic's press engaged in polemics with modernists of the Eugen Lovinescu school, which at times turned into accusations that Lovinescu was "a petty poser" and "a falsifier of Romanian culture". Crainic and his traditionalist followers rejected Lovinescu's views on local "synchronism" with Western culture. Their attitude in regard to the latter has drawn comparisons with Protochronist messages in Communist Romania, both claiming the superiority and primacy of Romanian culture over its Western counterparts. Although Crainic publicized his thoughts on the matter mainly through his other periodical, Sfarmă-Piatră, Gândirea notably hosted a 1926 article in which he likened the fight against Lovinescu's influence to "a second independence [of Romania]".
During the 1930s, Gândirea was at the center of virulent polemics involving, on one side, former contributors such as Tudor Arghezi and Tudor Vianu, and, on the other, those younger journalists who recognized Crainic as their mentor. Initially, this took the form of a Gândirist critique of both Modernism and the socialist-inspired current known as Poporanism: in a 1930 article for Gândirea, Crainic notably indicated his distaste for "the irremediable materialism" he believed to be professed by the rival Viaţa Românească.
Following this, Vianu, whose political options contrasted with the new trend, chose to discontinue his contributions and joined the staff at Viaţa Românească; although Lucian Blaga shared some views with Crainic, he too decided to distance himself from the magazine as early as 1930 (writing to Vianu that he did not consider himself a "disciple of our common friend Nichifor's Orthodoxy").
"[...] set apart a person from our generation from a thousand others — [these] are nothing other than absolutely necessary conditions which make possible the true spiritual life. [...] This is what our precursors cannot comprehend, [being] a sad generation liquidating a culture that was not theirs and through this was not even cultural."
The Viaţa Românească columnist George Călinescu was skeptical of Crainic's politics, and noted his alternation between various nationalist camps. Commenting on Gândirea's choice to support Carol II at the time when he replaced his son Mihai I as king (1930), he likened Crainic to Judas Iscariot:
"[Crainic is] a person incapable of any privation, seeker of pieces of silver and worldly pleasures, great seeker of noisy shindings where pistols are being fired, a cajoler and a careerist, outrageously dedicating Gândirea today to HRM Mihai, tomorrow to HRM Carol II, the day after tomorrow to the great apostle of the nation Nicolae Iorga, at any moment when the homage could be tied to the pursuit of a personal interest."
At the time, Gândirism owed inspiration to Russian émigré authors, both Orthodox traditionalists such as Nikolai Berdyaev and several advocates of the nationalist and mystical Eurasianist trend (Nikolai Trubetzkoy, Pyotr Savitsky, Pyotr Alexeyev, and Ivan Ilyin). Around 1934, Crainic reflected upon the connection his magazine had with other traditionalist cultural institutions, and concluded that his group was fulfilling the legacy of the more secular but equally traditionalist magazine Sămănătorul ("Over the land that we have learned to love from Sămănătorul we see arching itself the azure tarpaulin of the Orthodox Church. We see this substance of this Church blending in with the ethnic substance.")
More than a decade later, Călinescu argued that an enduring trait of Gândirism (to which he referred as Orthodoxism) had been a manifest belief in miracles. He believed to have noticed this in the works of Gândirea contributors such as Mircea Vulcănescu (in his homage to the deceased painter Sabin Popp, whom he allegedly regarded as "a saint"), Vasile Ciocâlteu ("who asks from God, in one of his poems, the favor to hold hot coals in his hands") and the Athonite pilgrim Sandu Tudor (who believed in "the workings of a mysterious miracle" as explanations for various events).
In his later columns for Gândirea, Crainic focused on explaining his ideal of ethnocracy in connection with the magazine's overall goals. This involved the denunciation of "foreign elements" and "minority islands", with a specific focus on the Jewish-Romanian community ("Jews make use of an indolent hospitality in order to deprive our kin of its ancient patrimony") and its alleged connections with the political establishment ("In statements, in speeches and in acts of government our democrats have always declared themselves on the side of intruders and the allogeneous"). According to Călinescu, Crainic, unlike the regime in Nazi Germany, was not condoning racism as much as religious antisemitism:
"For reasons of churchly policy, the race factor is averted and [Crainic] takes a stand against [racism in Nazi Germany] and those nationalists who advocate the elimination of Christianized Jews and deny them baptism. 'The Church is open to all'. Although it is not said outright, it is understood that a baptized Jew becomes a Romanian, Nation and Religion being correlated notions. [...] Gândirea has thus received plenty of rallied, that is to say Orthodoxized, Jews."
In parallel, around 1931, the magazine's approach to philosophy was criticized by the Personalist thinker Constantin Rădulescu-Motru, who deemed it "belletristic"; the traditionalist philosopher Mircea Vulcănescu, although himself only occasionally associated with Gândirea, defended Crainic's influence in front of the pragmatic conservative Junimist tradition arguably represented by Rădulescu-Motru inside the University of Bucharest. Writing in 1937, Crainic celebrated Gândirea's role in making nationalism and Orthodoxy priorities in Romania's intellectual and political life:
"The term 'ethnic' with its meaning of 'ethnic specificity' imprinted in all sorts of expressions of the people, as a mark of its original properties, has been spread for 16 years by the journal Gândirea. The same thing applies to the terms of autochthonism, traditionalism, Orthodoxy, spirituality and many more which became the shared values of our current nationalist language."
A scandal erupted in 1934, when the magazine was closed down over Crainic's implication in the trial of Premier Ion G. Duca's assassins, all of them members of the fascist Iron Guard (a movement to which Crainic was close at the time). Instigation of the killing was attributed to, among others, Crainic, who faced trial; Gândirea, like Calendarul (his other major journal), was closed down by the authorities. The editor was eventually acquitted, but Calendarul was never allowed to resume print. Instead, Crainic focused his energy on issuing Sfarmă-Piatră.
Following its reemergence, Gândirea was again involved in a debate with Rădulescu-Motru. Among others, the latter contended that the Gândirist focus on Orthodoxy clashed with the traditional openness Romanian nationalism (which he referred to as Romanianism) had towards modernization, equating Crainic's thought with "xenophobia" and "nationalist patter". In response, Crainic accused Rădulescu-Motru of displaying "a Masonic aversion towards Orthodoxy", and of not having grasped the sense of spirituality (to the statement "Romanianism is a spirituality coming to justify a realist order", he replied "Any man knows that the word spirituality has a strictly religious meaning"). Later, he defined Rădulescu-Motru's thought as "militant philosophical atheism", and, in a Gândirea article of 1937, referred to him as a "philosophic simpleton [găgăuţ]".
As early as April 1933, Crainic wrote articles welcoming Adolf Hitler's rise to power in Germany, and began support for corporatist goals. Four years later, he authored a Gândirea article in which he praised Benito Mussolini and Italian fascism as the most adequate authoritarian alternative to positivism, materialism, capitalism and socialism alike:
"[Fascism is] a spiritual political concept [whose] manifestations, torn away from the tight circle of positivism and freed from the suffocating prison of materialism, fall into order on the ghostly marrow of history, prolonging themselves into the recess of past centuries and into the anticipations of the coming century. [...] A man bears there, under his vast dome-like forehead, our European century: Benito Mussolini. [...] The State created by Mussolini is the exemplary State. [...] Fascism is no longer capitalism, no longer socialism, but an authoritarian adjustment of every factor in production, geared into a social organism where nothing is left to chance. [...] More than any other country, Romania needs such a moral transformation in the depths of its soul [...] the spirit of a new Rome will suggest the shape of history destined to be created by a nationalist Romania."
This coincided with friendly relations between Crainic and the Italian Comitati d'azione per l'universalità di Roma (CAUR, the "Fascist International"), first evidenced in 1933-1934, at a time when Mussolini was undecided over the local political movement which was to attract his support. CAUR was planning to advance Crainic money to start a new publication, entirely dedicated to support for the Italian model, but the design was abandoned when Ugo Sola, the Italian ambassador in Bucharest, advised against it (Sola had been refused by the Iron Guard when approaching them with a similar proposal). As CAUR ended its all its relations with the Guard (who opted instead in favor of Nazi backing), it kept its contacts with Crainic and other less revolutionary-minded Romanian politicians — Mihail Manoilescu, Alexandru Averescu, Nicolae Iorga, Alexandru Vaida-Voevod, Octavian Goga and A. C. Cuza. In 1935, Crainic, who had been a vice president of Cuza's National-Christian Defense League, joined the fascist National Christian Party, but split with it after his ethnocratic ideal was dismissed by older party politicians (1937).
Writing in 1938 for his Porunca Vremii, Crainic argued:
"There exists authority based on love. The latter is Mussolini's authority over his people. It bursts out of the characteristic forces of the creative personality, like fire provoked by exploding bombs. Mussolini does not terrorize, for Mussolini does not kill. Mussolini attracts. [...] All his system is based on the fervent and unanimous adherence of his people."
After Emil Cioran published his The Transfiguration of Romania in 1937, Crainic reacted to the book's pro-totalitarian but overtly skeptic message, calling it "a bloody, merciless, massacre of today's Romania, without even [the fear] of matricide and sacrilege". To Cioran's support for modernization on a model which owed inspiration to both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, as well as to his criticism of Romanian traditions, Crainic replied by urging young people in general not to abandon "faith in our kin's rising century".
In early 1938, Nicolae Iorga, who had by then come into open conflict with the Iron Guard, voiced criticism of Cuvântul (a paper associated with the latter political movement), arguing that, despite an emphasis on traditionalism and localism, its ideological guidelines took direct inspiration from the foreign models of Nazism and Italian fascism. The dispute, involving, on the other side, Nae Ionescu, drew echoes in Gândirea — also challenged by Vulcănescu's argument that Gândirea had failed in their attempt to identify with Orthodoxy, Crainic polemized that Gândirism was in fact opposed to all forms of leftist and rightist internationalism (the "internationalist currents dominating our age"). At the time, publications headed by Ionescu and Crainic, despite maintaining separate visions on several core issues, showed equal support for a number of ideas (up to a certain point, Crainic was a direct influence on Ionescu). Iorga and Crainic had come to clash over Crainic's emphasis on religion (in front of Iorga's secularism), his political choices, as well as the few links Crainic still maintained with modernism.
Similar criticism of Crainic's political influence on Gândirea was voiced, in retrospect, by Pamfil Şeicaru (himself connected with the Iron Guard for part of his life). Şeicaru believed that the magazine aimed to adapt the influential ideas of Roman Catholic political activism (the Catholic Action) to an Orthodox environment: "[Crainic's] Orthodoxism was meant to facilitate the establishment of a party similar to the Democatholic ones". He also argued that
"A political-Orthodox movement crystallized inside a party is destined to be a vain attempt, no matter how much talent N. Crainic may have. And a political ambition is not enough in creating a large-scale social movement. Hence the deviation of Gândirea magazine from its initial impulse."
The magazine's articles featured accusations that Tudor Arghezi's group, together with others writers, was condoning "pornography", and Gândirea sided with Iorga's similar views on Arghezi's work. In this context, Crainic and his collaborators included antisemitic texts in Gândirea's columns. At the time, through the voice of Crainic, the magazine hailed Nazi Germany for having "immediately thrown over the border all Judaic pornographers and even those German writers infected with Judaism", and Fascist Italy for "immediately sanctioning a scabrous short story writer".
Eventually, Crainic rallied with King Carol II's National Renaissance Front (FRN) and the authoritarian cabinet of Ion Gigurtu, inspiring the drafting antisemitic legislation, and being appointed to the leadership of the Propaganda Ministry. Despite the violent conflict between Carol and the Iron Guard, he continued to be ambivalent towards the latter, especially after the FRN was confronted with the Soviet occupation of Bessarabia and the Second Vienna Award; Crainic allowed its activists to broadcast their anthem on public radio, carrying on as minister during the World War II Iron Guard government (the National Legionary State).
In 1941, celebrating twenty years of existence, Gândirea hosted Crainic's thoughts on the "Jewish Question" and the new authoritarian and antisemitic regime of Ion Antonescu, which it had come to support:
"Throughout this time [...], Judaism was our most bitter enemy. Not an adversary, but an enemy [...]. Today, Judaism is vanquished. A splendid act of justice has suppressed [the left-wing publications] Adevărul, Dimineaţa and Lupta. The rest, it was only in 1940 that I could carry out when, as Minister of Propaganda, I extirpated all Jewish daily and weekly publications in Romania. The holy right of speaking in the name of Romanianism belongs now to Romanians exclusively. [...] There shall be no more artistic and cultural ideals where Judaism could dissimulate itself."
Following the recovery of Bessarabia during Operation Barbarossa, Gândirea joined the group of magazines that were blaming the territory's original loss on the Bessarabian Jewish community, while Crainic identified past and present Soviet policies with Judeo-Bolshevism.
The magazine ceased publication in 1944, after the August 23 Coup overthrew Antonescu and the Soviet Red Army entered Romania (see Soviet occupation of Romania). In May 1945, Crainic was tried in absentia by a Communist Party-dominated People's Tribunal, as part of the "fascist journalists' group" (alongside Pamfil Şeicaru, Stelian Popescu, Grigore Manoilescu, and Radu Gyr). He was charged with instigating racial hatred, endorsing the war against the Soviet Union, and helping to keep secret the war crimes of the Antonescu regime. Found guilty, Crainic was sentenced to life imprisonment and hard labor (captured in 1947, he was to serve 15 years in the prisons of Communist Romania).
In a poll of 102 Romanian literary critics conducted in 2001 by the literary magazine Observator Cultural, the novel Craii de Curtea-Veche, written by Mateiu Caragiale and published in Gândirea in 1926-1927, was chosen "best Romanian novel of the twentieth century".
Cezar Petrescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈt͡ʃezar peˈtresku]; December 1, 1892, Cotnari, Iaşi County–March 9, 1961) was a Romanian journalist, novelist and children's writer.
He was inspired by the works of Honoré de Balzac, attempting to write a Romanian novel cycle that would mirror Balzac's La Comédie humaine. He was also under the influence of the Sămănătorul critique of Romanian society.
As a journalist, Cezar Petrescu made himself known as one of the editors of the magazine Gândirea, alongside Nichifor Crainic and Lucian Blaga. For a long time, he was a member of the National Peasants' Party, and wrote extensively for its press, especially for Aurora.
His major work consists of novels such as Întunecare ("Darkening"; 1928), Calea Victoriei (the name of a Bucharest avenue; 1930), Dumenica orbului ("The Blind Man's Sunday"; 1934), and Noi vrem pământ ("We Demand Land"; 1938).
Notwithstanding his prolific output as a novelist, Petrescu is mostly remembered for his children's book Fram, ursul polar ("Fram, the polar bear"—the circus animal character was named after Fram, the ship used by Fridtjof Nansen on his expeditions).
He is buried in Bellu cemetery, in Bucharest.Donar Munteanu
Donar Munteanu (born Dimitrie Munteanu; June 26, 1886 – 1972) was a Romanian poet, representing the provincial wing of Romanian Symbolism, Convorbiri Critice circle and, later, the Gândirea literary movement. Generally considered a good, but not great, author, from his thirties and into old age he belonged to the devotional school of Orthodox Church writers, producing mostly sonnets. Professionally, he was active as a magistrate and prison inspector, a career which allowed him to visit the country and to participate in the literary life of Bessarabia. He withdrew from public life following the establishment of Romanian communist regime, and remained largely forgotten.Dragoș Protopopescu
Dragoș Protopopescu (1892, Călăraşi – 1948) was a Romanian writer, poet, critic and philosopher. He was professor at the University of Chernivtsi.
Politically Protopopescu supported the fascist and antisemitic organization known as the Iron Guard, and he published the newspaper Buna Vestire, which was aligned with the Guard. He also actively contributed to other Romanian newspapers such as Flacăra, Vieaţa Nouă, Cuget Românesc, Cuvântul, Gândirea, Lumea Nouă, Cuvântul Studențesc, Vremea and Porunca Vremii.
Protopopescu was the director of the National Theater in Chernivtsi (1926-1927), and also a press attaché at the Romanian Legation in London (1928-1930).Protopopescu was arrested and imprisoned in spring 1938 during the crackdown on the Iron Guard by King Carol II's dictatorship. In 1948 he was arrested again by the communist authorities. He tried to commit suicide by cutting his veins. He was sent to a hospital and then arrested again. He made a new and successful attempt at suicide: leaning over an elevator shaft, he was decapitated by the cabin.
A holder of a PhD in English studies (with a thesis about William Congreve) from the Paris University, he was for a while dean of the School of English Language and Literature, Department of Letters, University of Bucharest.Ion Buzdugan
Ion Alion Buzdugan (Romanian Cyrillic and Russian: Ион Буздуган, born Ivan Alexandrovici Buzdâga; March 9, 1887 – January 29, 1967) was a Bessarabian-Romanian poet, folklorist, and politician. A young schoolteacher in the Russian Empire by 1908, he wrote poetry and collected folklore emphasizing Bessarabia's links with Romania, and associated with various founding figures of the Romanian nationalist movement, beginning with Ion Pelivan. Buzdugan was a far-left figure during the February Revolution, but eventually rallied with the National Moldavian Party in opposition to the socialists and the Bolsheviks. He vehemently supported the union of Bessarabia with Romania during the existence of an independent Moldavian Democratic Republic, and, as a member of its legislature (Sfatul Țării), worked to bring it about. Threatened by the Bolsheviks, he fled to Romania and returned with the expeditionary corps headed by General Ernest Broșteanu, being one of the delegates who voted for the union, and one of dignitaries who signed its proclamation.
In interwar Greater Romania, Buzdugan received mixed reviews as a neo-traditionalist poet, while also serving terms as a Bălți County representative in the Assembly of Deputies. There, he advocated decentralization and a system of zemstva, but opposed Bessarabian autonomy, while also becoming noted for his hawkish stance against the Soviet Union, his radicalized nationalism, and his antisemitic outbursts. He was successively a member of the Bessarabian Peasants' Party, the Peasants' Party, the National Peasants' Party, the Peasants' Party–Lupu, and the Democratic Nationalists. For a while, he was employed as a civil administrator, before delving in fascist politics with the Romanian Front.
His political activity made him a target of repression under the Romanian communist regime, but he avoided arrest by going into hiding during the late 1940s and early '50s. Protected by the literary critic Perpessicius, he later reemerged, but, until the time of his death, was only allowed to publish pseudonymous translations from Russian literature, culminating with a posthumous rendition of Eugene Onegin. Since the 1990s, his poetic work has been recovered and reassessed in both Romania and Moldova.Ion Pillat
Ion Pillat (March 31, 1891 in Bucharest – April 17, 1945 in Bucharest) was a distinguished Romanian poet. He is best known for his volume Pe Argeș în sus (Upstream on the Argeș) and Poeme într-un vers (One-line poems).
His maternal grandfather was Ion Brătianu. He studied at the University of Paris from 1910 to 1914, returning to Bucharest after obtaining a law degree.Ion Sân-Giorgiu
Ion Sân-Giorgiu (also known as Sîn-Giorgiu, Sângiorgiu or Sîngiorgiu; 1893–1950) was a Romanian modernist poet, dramatist, essayist, literary and art critic, also known as a journalist, academic, and fascist politician. He was notably the author of works on the Sturm und Drang phenomenon and the influence of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. During his early years, he was influenced by Expressionism and contributed to the literary magazine Gândirea; he progressively moved towards support for the Iron Guard (the Legionary Movement), edited the far right journal Chemarea Vremii, and spent his last years as a member of Horia Sima's government in exile.Ion Theodorescu-Sion
Ion Theodorescu-Sion (Romanian pronunciation: [iˈon te.odoˈresku siˈon]; also known as Ioan Theodorescu-Sion or Teodorescu-Sion; January 2, 1882 – March 31, 1939) was a Romanian painter and draftsman, known for his contributions to modern art and especially for his traditionalist, primitivist, handicraft-inspired and Christian painting. Trained in academic art, initially an Impressionist, he dabbled in various modern styles in the years before World War I. Theodorescu-Sion's palette was interchangeably post-Impressionist, Divisionist, Realist, Symbolist, Synthetist, Fauve or Cubist, but his creation had one major ideological focus: depicting peasant life in its natural setting. In time, Sion contributed to the generational goal of creating a specifically Romanian modern art, located at the intersection of folk tradition, primitivist tendencies borrowed from the West, and 20th-century agrarian politics.
Initially scandalized by Theodorescu-Sion's experiments, public opinion accepted his tamer style of the mid to late 1910s. Sion was commissioned as a war artist, after which his standing increased. His paintings alternated the monumental depictions of harsh environments, and their inhabitants, with luminous Balcic seascapes and nostalgic records of suburban life. Their search for visual concreteness was a standard for the Anti-Impressionist emancipation of the Romanian artistic scene in the interwar period.
By the mid-1920s, Sion's style became a visual component of the Neo-Traditionalist, "Romanianist" and neo-Byzantine current formed around Gândirea literary magazine. In the years before his death, the emergent avant-garde was voicing criticism of his new stylistic and ideological choices. Sion's oscillation between modernity and parochialism, his flirtation with authoritarian politics, and the eventual decline of his work endure as topics of controversy.Lucian Blaga
Lucian Blaga (Romanian: [lut͡ʃiˈan ˈblaɡa] (listen); 9 May 1895 – 6 May 1961) was a Romanian philosopher, poet, playwright and novelist.N. Crevedia
N. Crevedia (born Niculae Ion Cârstea; December 7, 1902 – November 5, 1978) was a Romanian journalist, poet and novelist, father of the writer-politician Eugen Barbu. Of Muntenian peasant roots, which shaped his commitment to agrarian and then far-right politics, as well as his dialectal poetry and humorous prose, he preferred bohemian life to an academic career. As a writer at Gândirea, Crevedia became a follower of Nichifor Crainic, and worked with him on various other press venues, from Calendarul to Sfarmă-Piatră. Turning to fascism, he sympathized with the Iron Guard, and, in the late 1930s, contributed to the press campaigns vilifying ideological enemies, while also putting out novels, reportage pieces, and anthologies. His affair with the Iron Guard muse Marta Rădulescu was at the center of a literary scandal, and was fictionalized by Crevedia in one of his novels.
Fluent in Bulgarian, Crevedia became press attaché in the Kingdom of Bulgaria under the National Legionary State, serving to 1946. He was sidelined by the Romanian communist regime in the late 1940s and early '50s, when he was employed as a minor clerk. With his mentor Crainic, Crevedia contributed to the propaganda review Glasul Patriei. He was more fully recovered under national communism in the 1960s, and lived to see the communist ascendancy of his son Barbu. His rural-themed poetry, much of it echoing Tudor Arghezi, Ion Minulescu and Sergei Yesenin, was reprinted in various installments to 1977. It is regarded by critics as a minor but picturesque contribution to modern Romanian literature.Nichifor Crainic
Nichifor Crainic (Romanian pronunciation: [niˈcifor ˈkrajnik]; pseudonym of Ion Dobre [iˈon ˈdobre]; 22 December 1889, Bulbucata, Giurgiu County – 20 August 1972, Mogoșoaia) was a Romanian writer, editor, philosopher, poet and theologian famed for his traditionalist activities. Crainic was also a professor of theology at the Bucharest Theological Seminary and the Chișinău Faculty of Theology. He was an important racist ideologue, and a far-right politician. He was one of the main Romanian fascist and antisemite ideologues.Crainic was a contributor of poetry to the modernist magazine Gândirea. After become disenfranchised with the publication progressive views, rather than disassociate with the magazine he became increasingly intertwined in leadership positions in order to de-modernize it. At the end of a series of intellectual sparing within the publication itself, Crainic managed to wrest control of the magazine and institute a sea-change in editorial character supporting mystical Orthodoxy.
He developed an ideology given the name Gândirism (from gând – "thought"), a nationalist and neo-Orthodox Christian social and cultural trend. He edited the Gândirea magazine, and collaborated with numerous other publications such as Ramuri, România Nouă, Cuvântul, and Sfarmă-Piatră. He was also the editor in chief of the newspaper Calendarul.
Nichifor Crainic became a leading pro-Fascist figure in the political turmoil of the late 1930s, openly praising Mussolini and Hitler. He was an ideologue of antisemitism, although his prejudice was a defense of the Gospels rather than a vision of racial hierarchies. His beliefs were a major influence on the Iron Guard legionary movement, although Crainic viewed himself as a supporter of the legionnaires' rival King Carol II. In a 1938 essay, he theoretised the "ethnocratic state" as applied to Romania:
Our state has been a monarchy throughout its history. Monarchy is what gives this state its continuity. The crown of Romanian kings symbolises the greatness of the people and the permanence of Romanian awareness. ... The ethnocratic state differs profoundly from the democratic state. The democratic state relies on population figures, without distinction of race or religion. The basis of the ethnocratic state is the Romanian soil and the Romanian kin. ... Today, people of other races and creeds live on Romanian soil. These have arrived here through the means of invading (as the Hungarians have), through colonisation (as the Germans have), or through skillful infiltrations (as Jews have). ... The Jews are a permanent danger for any nation-state.
A fulfilment of ethnocracy was to be achieved through the means of a monarch-led corporatist system:
Once popularised and accepted by the entire nation, carried out by government teams hand-picked from professional elites and controlled by Parliament, [a plan to redress Romania] will be overseen by His Majesty the King. ... The corporatist regime culminates in the kingly authority.
Crainic advocated creation of a Romanian spirit that was “antisemitic in theory and antisemitic in practice.” He applied his theological and rhetorical skills to breaking the Judeo-Christian relationship by arguing that the Old Testament was not Jewish, that Jesus had not been Jewish, and that the Talmud, which he saw as the incarnation of modern Jewry, was, first and foremost, a weapon to combat the Christian Gospel and to destroy Christians.
In 1940 he was elected a member of the Romanian Academy. He studied theology at the Seminary in Bucharest, and received his Ph.D. diploma from the University of Vienna.
He was appointed Minister of Propaganda for the Ion Antonescu regime.
After the Soviet army defeated the Germans and occupied Romania, Crainic went into hiding. A trial was conducted in his absence and he was found guilty of crimes against the people. He was eventually caught and imprisoned by the authorities of Communist Romania in 1947, and spent 15 years in Văcăreşti and Aiud prisons. He was expelled from the Academy by the Communist regime.
Between 1962 and 1968 he was the editor of the Communist propaganda magazine Glasul Patriei ("The Voice of the Motherland")—a magazine published in Romania by the Romanian Communist regime but sold only abroad, which they used as a tool to try to influence the Romanian intellectual émigrés to be patriotic and not work against the Communist Romania.
Described by the historian Zigu Ornea as “always adaptable” (249), Nichifor Crainic (1889–1972) joined and left a number of these groups while repeatedly attempting to establish himself as an ideologue who could draw the various ultra-nationalist parties together into a united front. ... Crainic occupied senior positions within right-wing regimes between 1940 and 1944, and after he was released from prison in the 1960s the Romanian Communist Party used his talents and reputation as an informer and a “reformed” ultra-nationalist to add credibility to its regime.Oscar Walter Cisek
Oscar Walter Cisek ([tsízek] or [tšisek]; 6 December 1897 - 30 May 1966) was a Romanian writer, diplomat, and art critic, who authored short stories, novels, poems and essays in both German and Romanian.Ovidiu Papadima
Ovidiu Papadima (June 23, 1909, Sinoe, Constanţa County – May 26, 1996, Bucharest) was a Romanian literary critic, folklorist, and essayist.
He studied at the Alexandru Papiu Ilarian High School in Târgu Mureş, graduating at the top of his class in 1928.
He made his debut at age 23 in the literary magazine Gândirea, together with Tudor Vianu. He also wrote for Revista Fundaţiilor Regale. From 1937 to 1941, he held an Alexander von Humboldt fellowship, sponsored by the Foreign Office of Nazi Germany. He was on the Faculty at the University of Bucharest between 1941 and 1949.
After the establishment of the communist regime, Papadima was arrested in 1952 for "counterrevolutionary activities" and for his writings from the interbellic period (especially at Gândirea). He was imprisoned at Calea Rahovei, Ghencea, Craiova, Poarta Albă (at the notorious Danube-Black Sea Canal), Gherla prison, and Jilava. Physically exhausted after this experience (his weight dropped to only 44 kg), he was released on October 7, 1955. Prevented from publishing for several years, he was politically rehabilitated in 1971.
He had two sons, Ştefan (1953–2018, a mathematician) and Liviu (b. 1957, also a literary critic).Rached Ghannouchi
Rached Ghannouchi (Arabic: راشد الغنوشي Rāshid al-Ghannūshī; born 22 June 1941), also spelled Rachid al-Ghannouchi or Rached el-Ghannouchi, is a Tunisian politician and thinker, co-founder of the Ennahdha Party and serving as its "intellectual leader". He was born Rashad Khriji (راشد الخريجي).Ghannouchi was named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2012 and Foreign Policy's Top 100 Global Thinkers and was awarded the Chatham House Prize in 2012 (alongside Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki) by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, for "the successful compromises each achieved during Tunisia's democratic transition". In 2016 he received the Jamnalal Bajaj Award for "promoting Gandhian values outside India".Radu Gyr
Radu Gyr (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈradu ˈd͡ʒir]; pen name of Radu Ștefan Demetrescu [ˈradu ʃteˈfan demeˈtresku]; March 2, 1905, Câmpulung-Muscel – 29 April 1975, Bucharest) was a Romanian poet, essayist, playwright and journalist.Relationship between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Iron Guard
The relationship between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Iron Guard was one of ambivalence: while the Romanian Orthodox Church supported much of the fascist organization's ideology, it did not outright support the movement. Nevertheless, many individual Orthodox clerics supported the Iron Guard and spread their propaganda.
The Orthodox Church promoted its own version of nationalism which highlighted the role of Orthodoxy in preserving the Romanian identity. Starting with the 1920s, Orthodoxy became entangled with fascist politics and antisemitism: the most popular Orthodox theologian at the time, Nichifor Crainic, advocated in his magazine Gândirea a mix of Orthodoxy and nationalism, while philosopher Nae Ionescu argued that Orthodoxy is inseparable from the Romanian identity.Sfarmă-Piatră
Sfarmă-Piatră (literally "Stone-Crusher" or "Rock-Breaker", named after one of the Uriași characters in Romanian folklore; Romanian pronunciation: [ˌsfarmə ˈpjatrə]) was an antisemitic daily, monthly and later weekly newspaper, published in Romania during the late 1930s and early 1940s. One in a series of publications founded by Nichifor Crainic (better known as the head of Gândirea magazine), with support from Universul editor-in-chief Stelian Popescu, it attempted to regroup the various fascist and pro-fascist movements around Crainic's "ethnocratic" principle. The editorial staff comprised a group of far right intellectuals; alongside the editor-in-chief Alexandru Gregorian, they included Ovidiu Papadima, Vintilă Horia, Dan Botta, Dragoș Protopopescu, Toma Vlădescu, and Pan M. Vizirescu. It notably hosted contributions by writers Ioan Alexandru Brătescu-Voinești, Radu Gyr and Ștefan Baciu.
Noted for its contemptuous style of journalism and its recourse to violent language, Sfarmă-Piatră launched press campaigns against various figures who advocated left-wing or centrist positions, as well as against prominent members of the Jewish-Romanian community. Among the targets of its attacks were mainstream politicians such as Constantin Argetoianu and Constantin Stere, and the well-known writers Tudor Arghezi, Eugen Lovinescu and Mihail Sadoveanu. The publication was involved in a lengthy conflict with left-wing newspapers such as Adevărul and Dimineața, as well as with two rival voices on the far right—the National Christian Party (PNC) of Octavian Goga and A. C. Cuza, and Mihail Manoilescu's Buna Vestire.
Initially adverse to King Carol II and attempting a rapprochement with the fascist Iron Guard, it came to support Carol's National Renaissance Front after 1938. During World War II, it switched its position, offering backing to the Guard's National Legionary regime and finally to that of Conducător Ion Antonescu. The 1941 edition of Sfarmă-Piatră is remembered for welcoming Operation Barbarossa and the Iași pogrom, and for circulating antisemitic canards. The paper was ultimately shut down after Antonescu's fall in 1944, and its staff either went into hiding or was prosecuted for various political crimes.Tudor Vianu
Tudor Vianu (Romanian: [ˈtudor viˈanu]; January 8, 1898 – May 21, 1964) 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. He was married to Elena Vianu, herself a literary critic, and was the father of Ion Vianu, a well-known psychiatrist, writer and essayist.Vintilă Horia
Vintilă Horia (Romanian pronunciation: [vinˈtilə ˈhori.a]; December 18, 1915 – April 4, 1992) was a Romanian writer, winner of the Goncourt Prize, and convicted war criminal.Ștefan I. Nenițescu
Ștefan I. Nenițescu (October 8, 1897–October 1979) was a Romanian poet and aesthetician.
Born in Bucharest, his parents were the poet Ioan S. Nenițescu and his wife Elena (née Ștefan). He attended Sapienza University of Rome from 1920, as well as the literature and philosophy department of Bucharest University. At first an assistant professor of aesthetics, he later became an associate professor at Bucharest. He served as press secretary and later economic adviser to the Romanian legation in The Hague.Nenițescu's first publication was a 1915 article about William Shakespeare that appeared in Noua revistă română. His first book of poetry, Denii (1919), was followed by Vrajă (1923) and Ode italice (1925). His single volume of theatre was Trei mistere (1922). From 1924, he wrote for Gândirea, and was a founding member of Romania's PEN Club. He also contributed poetry and art criticism to Convorbiri Literare, Ideea europeană, Vremea, Universul literar, Viața Românească, Adevărul and Arta plastică. In 1925, Nenițescu published a treatise, Istoria artei ca filosofie a istoriei. He translated from Benedetto Croce (Aesthetic, 1922) and Niccolò Machiavelli (The Mandrake, 1926).Initially, Nenițescu's poetry was discursive and religious, in line with the Gândirist current. His verse became progressively more hermetic, as can be seen in the anthology volume Ani (1973). Including texts published in the 1940s and '50s, it reveals the intellectualized lyric verse of an eminently classical nature.