The Hatchet (novel)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Hatchet
Author Mihail Sadoveanu
Original title Baltagul
Country Romania
Language Romanian
Genre Crime novel
Publication date
1930
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Preceded by Mioriţa


The Hatchet (orig. Romanian: Baltagul) is a 1930 crime novel written by Mihail Sadoveanu. The main character of the novel is the wife of a shepard living in the Moldavian village of Măgura Tarcăului, Vitoria Lipan, which has a premonition that her husband, Nechifor, on a trip to buy a new flock in the town of Dorna, has died. Her premonitions are dismissed by the village's priest and by the prefect of the county, but for Vitoria the archaic symbols and superstitions of the paysant world are more trustworthy then the books of the priests or the science of the government's officials. She calls home her son Gheorghiţă, who was also on business in Jijia, a village in Wallachia, where he waited for news from his father to pay some debts, and together they embark on a mythical journey at the end of which they find Nechifor's dead body and take their revenge on the bandits who killed him. The determined and energetic Vitoria Lipan is a unique female character in the Romanian traditionalist novel. The Hatchet is considered Sadoveanu's greatest work and a creative adaptation of many themes from a famous Romanian piece of folklore, the ballad Mioriţa.