Mircea Cărtărescu

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Mircea Cărtărescu
Cărtărescu at the West University of Timișoara, 2017
Cărtărescu at the West University of Timișoara, 2017
Born (1956-06-01) 1 June 1956 (age 63)
Bucharest, Romania
OccupationNovelist, poet, short-story writer, essayist, journalist, professor
Period1978 – present
Literary movement80s Generation, Blue Jeans Generation, Postmodernism

Mircea Cărtărescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈmirt͡ʃe̯a kərtəˈresku]; born 1 June 1956) is a Romanian novelist, poet, short-story writer, literary critic and essayist.[1]


He is a graduate of Cantemir Vodă National College. During his school years, he was a member of literary groups led by Nicolae Manolescu and Ovid S. Crohmălniceanu. His first poetry was written in 1978.

Later, he studied at the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Letters, Department of Romanian Language and Literature. He graduated in 1980 with a thesis that later became his book on poetry The Chimaeric Dream. That same year, some of his works were published by Cartea Românească.

Between 1980 and 1989 he worked as a Romanian language teacher, then worked at the Writers' Union of Romania and as an editor at Caiete Critice magazine. In 1991 he became a lecturer at the Chair of Romanian Literary History, part of the University of Bucharest Faculty of Letters. As of 2010, he is an associate professor there.[2] Between 1994–1995 he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Amsterdam and currently holds the same position at the University of Stuttgart. In 2012, he received the International Literature Award for his novel The Body.

He is married to the poet, Ioana Nicolaie [ro]. His works have been translated into most European languages.


His debut as a writer was in 1978 in România Literară magazine.


  • Faruri, vitrine, fotografii..., ("Headlights, shop windows, photographs...") Cartea Românească, 1980 – Writers Union Prize, 1980
  • Poeme de amor ("Love Poems"), Cartea Românească, 1982.
  • Totul ("Everything"), Cartea Românească, 1984.
  • Levantul (The Levant), Cartea Românească, 1990 – Writers Union Prize, 1990, republished by Humanitas in 1998.
  • Dragostea ("Love"), Humanitas, 1994.
  • 50 de sonete de Mircea Cărtărescu cu cincizeci de desene de Tudor Jebeleanu ("50 Sonnets by Mircea Cărtărescu With Fifty Drawings by Tudor Jebeleanu"), Brumar, 2003


  • Desant '83 (volum colectiv/collection), Cartea Românească, 1983.
  • Visul ("The Dream"), Cartea Românească, 1989 – Romanian Academy Prize, 1989; translated into French and Spanish; Latin Union Prize nominee.
    • Le rêve, Climats, 1992, ISBN 2-907563-55-6 – nominated for the Medicis prize (Best foreign book).
  • Nostalgia ("Nostalgia"), full edition of "Visul", Humanitas, 1993.
  • Travesti, Humanitas, 1994 – Writers Union Prize 1994; ASPRO Prize 1994; translated into French, Dutch and Spanish
  • Orbitor (Blinding), vol. 1, Aripa stângă (Volume 1, "The Left Wing"), Humanitas, 1996
  • Jurnal ("Diary"), Humanitas, 2001, ISBN 973-50-0095-4
  • Orbitor (Blinding), vol. 2, Corpul (Volume 2, "The Body"), Humanitas, 2002
  • Enciclopedia zmeilor (The Encyclopedia of Dragons), Humanitas, 2002
  • De ce iubim femeile (Why We Love Women), Humanitas, 2004, ISBN 973-50-0869-6
  • Jurnal II, 1997–2003, ("Diary II, 1997–2003"), Humanitas, 2005, ISBN 973-50-0986-2
  • Orbitor (Blinding), vol. 3, Aripa dreaptă (Volume 3, "The Right Wing"), Humanitas, 2007
  • Frumoasele străine (Beautiful Strangers), Humanitas, 2010
  • Solenoid, Humanitas, 2015


  • Visul chimeric (subteranele poeziei eminesciene) ("Chimerical Dream – The Underground of Eminescu's Poetry"), Litera, 1991
  • Postmodernismul românesc ("Romanian postmodernism"), Ph.D. thesis, Humanitas, 1999
  • Pururi tânăr, înfăşurat în pixeli ("Forever young, wrapped up in pixels"), Humanitas, 2003
  • Baroane! ("You Baron!"), Humanitas, 2005


  • Parfumul aspru al ficţiunii ("The Rough Fragrance of Fiction"), Humanitas, 2003

Awards and honours[edit]

  • 1980: Romanian Writers' Union Prize
  • 1989: Romanian Academy's Prize
  • 1990: Romanian Writer's Unions Prize, Flacăra magazine Prize, Ateneu magazine Prize, Tomis magazine Prize, Cuvântul magazine Prize
  • 1992: Le Rêve nominee for: Prix Mèdicis, Prix Union Latine, Le meilleur livre étranger
  • 1994: Romanian Writer's Union Prize, ASPRO Prize, Moldavian Writers' Union Prize
  • 1996: ASPRO Prize, Flacăra magazine Prize, Ateneu magazine Prize, Tomis magazine Prize, Cuvântul magazine Prize
  • 1997: Flacăra magazine Prize, Ateneu magazine Prize, Tomis magazine Prize, Cuvântul magazine Prize
  • 1999: Orbitor's French translation nominee for Prix Union Latine
  • 2000: Romanian Writers Association Prize
  • 2002: ASPRO Prize, AER Prize
  • 2006: Grand Officer of the Cultural Merit Order (Ordinul "Meritul cultural" în grad de mare ofiţer), awarded by Romanian Presidency
  • 2011: Vilenica Prize
  • 2012: International literatur prize „Haus der Kulturen der Welt 2012”, Berlin [3]
  • 2013: Spycher – Literary Prize Leuk, Switzerland[4]
  • 2013: Grand Prix of the Novi Sad International Poetry Festival[5]
  • 2014: Best Translated Book Award, shortlisted for Blinding, translated from the Romanian into English by Sean Cotter [6]
  • 2014: Premio Euskadi de Plata to the Best Book of 2014 for Las Bellas Extranjeras (Frumoasele străine), translated from the Romanian into Spanish by Marian Ochoa de Eribe (Editorial Impedimenta)
  • 2015: Leipzig Book Award for European Understanding for Blinding [7]
  • 2015: Austrian State Prize for European Literature [8]
  • 2016: Premio Gregor von Rezzori for Blinding [9]
  • 2018: Thomas Mann Prize [10]
  • 2018: Prix Formentor[11]

Presence in anthologies[edit]

Testament – Anthology of Modern Romanian Verse (1850–2015) second edition – bilingual version English/Romanian. Daniel Ionita – editor and principal translator, with Eva Foster, Daniel Reynaud and Rochelle Bews. Minerva Publishing House. Bucharest 2015. ISBN 978-973-21-1006-5


  1. ^ Leşcu, Christine (26 August 2017). "Poet Claudiu Komartin". Radio Romania International. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-17. Retrieved 2010-06-13. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Mircea Cărtărescu premiat la Berlin" (in Romanian). Retrieved June 2012. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  4. ^ "Mircea Cărtărescu a câștigat Spycher – Literaturpreis Leuk în Elveția" (in Romanian). Gândul. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)
  5. ^ "Premiu elveţian pentru Mircea Cărtărescu" (in Romanian). Retrieved November 2014. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Chad W. Post (April 14, 2014). "2014 Best Translated Book Awards: Fiction Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  7. ^ (www.dw.com), Deutsche Welle. "Cartarescu wins Leipzig Book Award for 'universal' novel | Books | DW.COM | 11.03.2015". DW.COM. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  8. ^ "Mircea Cartarescu won the Austrian State Prize for European Literature | Nine O`Clock". www.nineoclock.ro. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  9. ^ "2016 Winner". Festival degli Scrittori - Premio Gregor von Rezzori. Retrieved 2016-10-01.
  10. ^ https://www.digi24.ro/magazin/timp-liber/cultura/mircea-cartarescu-a-primit-premiul-thomas-mann-pentru-literatura-reactia-scriitorului-877765
  11. ^ "Romanian writer Mircea Cărtărescu receives Formentor de las Letras prize". Romania Insider. April 10, 2018. Retrieved April 13, 2018.

External links[edit]