Dimitrie Stelaru

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Dimitrie Stelaru (pen name of Dumitru Petrescu; March 8, 1917 – November 28, 1971) was a Romanian poet.

Born in Segarcea-Vale, Teleorman County, his parents were Dumitru Petrescu, a boot-maker and later a farmer who was killed on the front in World War I, and his wife Pașca (née Preotu). When he was seven, his mother married bricklayer Florea Stoicea, and the family moved to Turnu Măgurele. He was at odds with his stepfather, who wished to guide the boy toward practical trades, in spite of his clear inclinations. After attending primary school and three grades of high school in Turnu Măgurele, in 1931 he was transferred to the Biblical Institute for Christian Education in Stupinii Prejmerului, Brașov County, an institution run by the Seventh-day Adventists and also attended by his sister. The school's austere, vegetarian and dogmatic regimen did not agree with him, and he escaped in 1935 or 1936; his trace was lost. His published debut was the 1935 poetry book Melancolie, mainly containing religious verses and signed with the pen name D. Orfanul; another pen name he used was D. Petrescu-Orfanul. For a long time, it was believed his debut took place with poems in the Bucharest-based Adventist magazine Semnele timpului in 1936, but this assertion was later disproved. There followed the Mihail Eminescu-influenced poetry collections Blestem, Cerșetorul, Abracadabra (1937) and Preamărirea durerii (1938). Alexandru Piru adds three books, but their publication cannot be verified: Cetatea de marmură (1939; in a 1969 interview, Stelaru stated the title was Trepte de marmură), Vagabondul (1941) and Trecere (1942).[1]

He adopted the pen name Dimitrie Stelaru in 1938, upon the suggestion of Eugen Jebeleanu. He wrote for Universul literar, Albatros, Gândul nostru and Adevărul literar și artistic, and later for Gazeta literară, Luceafărul, Tribuna and Steaua. He sporadically attended the Sburătorul literary circle. Noaptea geniului (1942) and Ora fantastică (1944; with a laudatory preface by Eugen Lovinescu) are representative works, encompassing all the lyrical motifs of his mature years. His 1968 autobiographical novel Zeii prind șoareci partly sheds light on his bohemian lifestyle in sordid environs. His odd jobs included: occasional porter at Bucharest North railway station, porter and dockworker at Constanța and Brăila, day laborer at Sighișoara. After his book Cetățile albe appeared in 1946, Stelaru underwent the fate of several in his literary generation, including Geo Dumitrescu and Constant Tonegaru. He declined to publish adult literature under the nascent communist regime with its socialist realist ethos until 1963, when Oameni și flăcări appeared. In the interim, he wrote short dramatic poems which at the time were classified as children's literature (Gelu, 1956; Șarpele Marao. Vrăjitoarele, 1957). The 1967 Mare incognitum, which he conceived as a definitive edition, includes a selection from his previous books as well as many new poems. In a second anthology, Coloane (1970), he offered a thematic unity by disregarding the chronological date of publication. Stelaru's work is uneven and difficult to classify by a single standard; his poetry is one of damnation and bohemian existence. Drawing freely from Edgar Allan Poe and especially Paul Verlaine, its is heavily marked by expressionism.[1]


  1. ^ a b Aurel Sasu (ed.), Dicționarul biografic al literaturii române, vol. II, p. 620. Pitești: Editura Paralela 45, 2004. ISBN 973-697-758-7