George Calinescu

George Calinescu

Early Life and Education

George Calinescu (Romanian: [‘dZeordZe k@li’nesku]; 19 June 1899 – 12 March 1965) was a Romanian literary critic, historian, and novelist renowned for compiling the most comprehensive history of Romanian literature. Additionally, he produced four novels, several plays, poems, as well as numerous essays.

His most influential work, Istoria literaturii romane de la origini pina in prezent, provides a history of Romanian literary canon from its creation until modern times (with some exceptions), including some postwar years. This extensive multivolume study is widely considered as the first comprehensive history of Romanian literature.

The book’s most noteworthy quality is not its contents, but rather Calinescu’s distinctive writing style, perfected over his decades as both a journalist and author. It perfectly balances the formality of an organized essay with charm and subtle irony.

Professional Career

George Calinescu (Romanian: [‘dZeordZe k@li’nesku]; June 1909 – March 12, 1965) was a Romanian literary critic, historian, novelist, academician and journalist who wrote with classicist and humanist leanings.

He was an acclaimed author, having presided over numerous academic and radio conferences and producing thousands of critical reviews. Additionally, he published significant studies and essays on world literature.

He is renowned for his works on Romanian literature, particularly Istoria literaturii romane de la origini pina in prezent (1941), widely considered the most comprehensive history of Romanian literature ever written. Additionally, he wrote numerous influential studies on poet Mihai Eminescu and other writers.

Achievements and Honors

George Calinescu was an esteemed literary critic, historian and novelist. Additionally, he served as professor of literature at the University of Bucharest and was a member of the Academy of Romanian Writers.

He began his career as a journalist, writing for political dailies and literary reviews. He had strong sympathies for Romanian nationalism and traditionalism, as well as close connections to playwright Ion Luca Caragiale.

He wrote for various satirical newspapers, such as Ardeiul and Mos Teaca. Furthermore, he founded and edited Furnica – a staple of Romanian humor for decades. His work was widely recognized by both international audiences, earning him awards at various festivals plus a Guggenheim Fellowship. Additionally, he was named to both National Endowment for the Humanities’ Fellow and Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow lists.

Personal Life

George Calinescu (1899-1965) was a Romanian literary critic, historian and novelist regarded as one of the most significant Romanian literary critics ever, alongside Titu Maiorescu and Eugen Lovinescu.

He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Bucharest and won a two-year scholarship to Rome. Additionally, he taught Italian to high schools in Timisoara and Bucharest.

He enjoyed great popularity during communist rule and was an honorary member of the Academy from 1949. Unfortunately, his political views got him into trouble and eventually led to his expulsion from China in 1965. Unfortunately, he succumbed to hepatic cirrhosis in 1966.

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