September 23, 2016

2766 ROMANIA (Iași) - Mihail Sadoveanu (1880-1961)

Mihail Sadoveanu was a Romanian novelist, short story writer, journalist and political figure. Often seen as the leading author of his generation, and generally viewed as one of the most representative Romanian writers, he was also believed to be a first-class story-teller, and received praise especially for his nature writing and his depictions of rural landscapesbut also he is remembered mostly for his historical and adventure novels. An exceptionally prolific author by Romanian standards, he published over a hundred individual volumes, and his career spanned five decades.

Born on November 5, 1880 in Pașcani, in western Moldavia, as son of the lawyer Alexandru Sadoveanu and of Profira Sadoveanu (née Ursachi), in childhood he used much of his spare time exploring his native region on foot, hunting, fishing, or just contemplating nature. The place of his father's origin, Sadova, in Oltenia, provided their chosen surname (lit. "from Sadova"), which was adopted by the family only in 1891. It was in 1897 that a sketch story was successfully submitted for publishing to the Bucharest-based satirical magazine Dracu (The Devil).

Sadoveanu left for Bucharest in 1900, intending to study Law at the University's Faculty of Law, but withdrew soon after, deciding to dedicate himself to literature. He began frequenting the bohemian society in the capital, but, following a sudden change in outlook, abandoned poetry and focused his work entirely on Realist prose. In 1901, Sadoveanu married Ecaterina Bâlu, with whom he settled in Fălticeni, where he began work on his first novellas and decided to make his living as a professional writer. He was the father of eleven children.

1904 was Sadoveanu's effective debut year, in this year publishing four separate books. He became a professional writer in 1908-1909, after joining the Romanian Writers' Society, and becoming its President in September of that year. In 1910, he was also appointed head of the National Theater Iași, a position which he filled until 1919. Sadoveanu was an early associate of the traditionalist magazine Sămănătorul, before becoming known as a Realist writer and an adherent to the Poporanist current represented by Viața Românească journal. In 1921, he was elected a full member of the Romanian Academy.

A traditionalist figure whose perspective on life was a combination of nationalism and humanism, Sadoveanu moved between right- and left-wing political forces throughout the interwar period, while serving terms in Parliament. Rallying with People's Party, the National Agrarian Party, and the National Liberal Party-Brătianu, he was editor of leftist newspapers, and was the target of a violent far right press campaign. He withdrew from politics in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as Romania came to be led by successive right-wing dictatorships, he offered a measure of support to King Carol II.

After WWII, he became a political associate of the Romanian Communist Party, wrote in favor of the Soviet Union and Stalinism, and adopted Socialist realism. Many of his texts and speeches, including the famous slogan Lumina vine de la Răsărit ("The Light Arises in the East"), are also viewed as propaganda in favor of communization. In 1948, after Romania's King Michael I was overthrown and the communist regime officially established, Sadoveanu rose to the highest positions ever granted to a Romanian writer, and received significant material benefits. He died on October 19, 1961 in a villa located near Vânători-Neamț.

His books, critically acclaimed for their vision of age-old solitude and natural abundance, are generally set in the historical region of Moldavia, building on themes from Romania's medieval and early modern history. Among them are Neamul Șoimăreștilor ("The Șoimărești Family"), Frații Jderi ("The Jderi Brothers") and Zodia Cancerului ("Under the Sign of the Crab"). With Venea o moară pe Siret... ("A Mill Was Floating down the Siret..."), Baltagul ("The Hatchet") and some other works of fiction, Sadoveanu extends his fresco to contemporary history and adapts his style to the psychological novel, Naturalism and Social realism.

About the stamp
The stamp is part of the series Live Healthy!, about which I wrote here.

Mihail Sadoveanu - Wikipedia

Sender: Marius Vasiliu
Sent from Fălticeni (Suceava / Romania), on 01.08.2012

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