La Medeleni

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Cover of the 1936 edition (as La Medeleni), published by Editura Românescă; cover art by Eugen Taru
Author Ionel Teodoreanu
Original title Poet and Writer
Illustrator grimbo
Country [USA]
Language Romanian
Genre Romance
Publisher Editura Românească
Media type print

La Medeleni (English: At the Medeleni) is a trio of novels written by Ionel Teodoreanu.[1] The books were set in the village of Medeleni, in Iași County, Romania.[2] The trilogy includes: The Fickle Border (Romanian: Hotarul Nestatornic) published in 1925, Roads (Romanian: Drumuri) published in 1926, and Between the Winds (Romanian: Între Vânturi) published in 1927.[2][3] Teodoreanu’s inspiration for the novels came from a mansion on the bank of the river Prut where friends from the literary world would gather.[4] On May 21 2016, the mansion became a museum in memoriam of Ionel Teodoreanu.[5][6]


At the Medeleni is a novel about an idealised childhood and adolescence, designed in an Edenic patriarchal setting.[7] The plot is centred around two siblings, Daniel and Olguţa (Romanian: [Olgu[t͡s]a]) Deleanu, and their step sister, Monica. According to her father, Olguţa is an "angelic devil, a mixture of purity and inclinations towards little malice."[8][note 1] She is constantly shaking, does not accept contradiction, and tries to subordinate everything that surrounds her.[9]

Daniel tends to be calm but can often lose his patience and becomes nervous because of his sister, Olguţa. He often dreams about saving Monica but is awakened by his sister from time to time.

Monica ensures the balance between the siblings, who are in a continuous argument. She is gentle, generous and always jumps in to help others.[9] Monica is in love with Daniel throughout the novel. Daniel realizes at the end that he is in love with Monica as well. They get married and enjoy a happy life.

Olguţa falls in love with Vania, an older man. She plans to marry him and go to America, but she discovers that she has cancer. In the end, she commits suicide. After the death of Olguţa, the Deleanu family sells the estate.[2]


Miron Radu Paraschivescu claimed that Olguța is one of the most successful characters in Teodoreanu's literary works.[10][note 2]

In 1995, a group of experts from Aix-Marseille University reviewed the trilogy and highlighted that Teodoreanu was traditionally considered by Romanians as the novelist of childhood. They remarked that At the Medeleni is a good illustration of life in Romania in the 1920s.[11][12] At the Medeleni attains the ineffability of sensation and opens with a writing style torn between suffering and voluptuousness, a vertiginous perspective evoking baroque aesthetics.[13][10][14]

According to the Romanian newspaper Jurnalul Național, "At the Medeleni is the book that sealed the literary reputation of the novelist, who, at the age of 30, was already nationally renowned. After his At the Medeleni series, his books became popular items on bookstore shelves[...]".[7]

Critics and theorists, like George Călinescu, mentioned that the novel "has a lasting value," Camil Petrescu said that the work presents "affective aspects" of children through a series of life incidents, and, in turn, Garabet Ibrăileanu established that the main character, Olguța, is "the most striking type[...] and the most successful girl model in our literature."[15]


Selected published novels[edit]

  • Bal mascat ("Masquerade Ball")
  • Fata din Zlataust ("The Girl of Zlataust")
  • Turnul Milenei ("Milena's Tower")
  • Iarbă ("Grass")


  • În casa bunicilor ("My Grandparents' House")
  • Masa umbrelor ("Table of Shadows")


  1. ^ The Jurnalul National newspaper republishes old books on a regular basis
  2. ^ apud op. cit.


  1. ^ Anghel, Carmen. "Fragment din manuscrisul "La Medeleni" al lui Ionel Todoreanu" [(tr.n.a.) Fragment of Ionel Todoreanu's manuscript "La Medeleni"]. Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Paleologu, Alexandru (2016). Despre lucrurile cu adevarat importante [(tr.n.a.) About Things That Really Matter] (in Romanian). Bucharest: Cartea Romaneasca. ISBN 9789734620609. 
  3. ^ Mitu, Rodica (6 January 2015). "Ionel Teodoreanu, autorul îndrăgitei trilogii "La Medeleni"" [(tr.n.a.) Ionel Teodoreanu, author of the much loved-trilogy "La Medeleni"]. ZIUA de Constanta (in Romanian). Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  4. ^ Andronescu, Monica (23 June 2017). "Ionel Teodoreanu, scriitorul care se refugia vara la Agapia". Ziarul Metropolis (in Romanian). Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  5. ^ Cârlea, Dan (5 April 2016). ""La Medeleni" devine punct muzeal" ["At the Medeleni" becomes a museum]. Ziarul Lumina (in Romanian). Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  6. ^ Marinescu, Katy (3 April 2016). "MNLR Iaşi va inaugura "La Medeleni", un punct muzeal dedicat scriitorului Ionel Teodoreanu". Mediafax (in Romanian). Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Margineanu, Clara (22 December 2009). "Întâia mirare, întâia iubire, la Medeleni..." Jurnalul Național. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  8. ^ Ionel, Teodoreanu (2009). La Medeleni (Reprinted from the original (1968) ed.). București: Jurnalul National. p. 129. ISBN 9789736757181. 
  9. ^ a b "Ionel Teodoreanu - o viață pe "Ulița copilăriei" și "La Medeleni"" [(tr.n.a.)Ionel Teodoreanu - A life on the "Childhood's Road" and "La Medeleni"]. Istorie pe scurt. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Vlabie, Diana (2011). "Ionel Teodoreanu, prozatorul-poet al copilăriei şi adolescenţei" [(tr.n.a.) Ionel Teodoreanu, the prose writer of childhood and adolescence]. Revista Limba Română (in Romanian). XXI (11-12). 
  11. ^ Ibrăileanu, Garabet (2013). Critică literară. United States: ALTpublica. ISBN 978-1-62441-026-0. 
  12. ^ Bârna, Vlaicu (2016). Între Capșa și Corso. Bucharest: Polirom. ISBN 9789734645664. 
  13. ^ "L'art romanesque de Ionel Teodoreanu dans La Medeleni (1925-1927)". Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  14. ^ "1933, anul în care s-au scris cele mai frumoase romane de iubire" [(tr.n.a.) 1933, the year when the most beautiful romance novels were written]. Evenimentul Zilei (in Romanian). 10 January 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  15. ^ Ionescu B., Ion (3 July 2013). "Ionel Teodoreanu – medelenismul sau agonia unei lumi sufletești" [Ionel Teodoreanu - Medelenism or the agony of a worldly soul]. Ziarul Naţiunea (in Romanian). VII. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 

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