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Ion CreangaIon Creanga
Ion Creanga (1837-1889), one of the outstanding Romanian classics, was
born in the village of Humulesti, in northern Moldavia, a mountainous
region inhabited by a population of ancient descent.
In 1895 he graduated from the Jasi seminary and took orders. He
soon found himself in difficulties with the church authorities for
frequenting the theatre and having his hair cut in the ordinary style, so
he gave up wearing the priest cloth and registered at a teacher at the
training school. But the clerical authorities interfered and he was
expelled from the teaching profession.
In 1975 he began to publish stories and tales in the "Convorbiri
literare" periodical. Between 1880-1882, the first three parts of
"Memories of my boyhood" appeared, while the last part was to be published
The charm of "Memories of my boyhood" stands in its picture of
of his native village, with its traditions and habits, its recording of
the Moldavian speech patterns in the 19th century. Family life, childish
happenings, methods of school teaching, church festivals, caroling on festive
days, country fairs, the beauty of the countryside, everything is brought
back with nostalgia, tempered by wisdom and humour.
Like Swift or Mark Twain, Creanga is more than a storyteller for
children or a simple humourist. His work is more a human and social
document of the ways of thinking and the life of a Romanian village in the
19th century. It may sound of restricted interest, owing to the local
peasant setting, as well as to the language in which it was written; it
carries, nevertheless, all the joy and pathos of a book of universal
significance. Creanga's "Memories..." symbolically picture the destiny of
every child walking the path towards maturity and experience. The work
inaugurates an original formula in the art of memoir writing, and represents
a monument of high spirits and verbal abundance.
A jovial verbal, a kind of lexical spree, generously flushes this rhapsody of