Constantin Abăluţă [ Romania ]
Constantin Abăluţă was born in the Romanian capital of Bucharest in 1938, where he grew up and graduated in architecture at the renowned »Ion Mincu« Institute. Quite soon, however, literature became his passion. He wrote his first literary texts while still at university, publishing his works in various journals. After passing his diploma exam, he worked as an architect, but eventually decided to dedicate his life exclusively to the art of writing. He became an independent and professional writer in 1969.
Poetry was the main focus of his literary work from day one. His debut in 1968 was the collection of poems »Piatra« (1968; tr: The Stone). Since then he has written 35 more books, including the successful and highly praised titles »Intrusul« (2005; tr: The Intruder), and »Statuia care vomita« (2005; tr: The Vomiting Statue) and »Iov în ascensor« (2009; tr: Job in the Elevator). Some were also published in French translation, including »Les chambres, les parois« (2002; tr: The Rooms, the Walls). Abăluţă’s work is characterised by a great variety of styles. His poetry covers a broad range of genres, from short Japanese Haikus to long epic poems. In terms of content, his very first texts show the poet’s love for the absurd and include references to the masters of literature: Jean Genet, Eugène Ionesco and, in particular, Samuel Beckett. His poems often begin with seemingly banal descriptions − he once called himself the »poet of triteness« − which then take a turn towards absurdity. Yet, below the banal and absurd surface there is a harsh reality full of deprivation, which the poet takes under critical scrutiny. Abăluţă has also written prose, including a collection of short stories »Camera cu mașini de scris« (1997; tr: The Room of the Typewriter), as well as »Calmania, patria mea« (2004; tr: Fatherland Stay Calm) and other theatre plays. Here, too, the author presents scenes from everyday life and unpretentious affairs which end in absurd situations. In addition to his literary oeuvre, Abăluţă has built a reputation as a critic and translator of Boris Vian, Dylan Thomas, Samuel Beckett, Frank O’Hara and other writers in the English and French languages.
Constantin Abăluţă is one of the most important authors of Romania. He has received several literary awards, including three times the Prize of the Romanian Writers’ Association (twice) and the famous Prix de Poètes Francophone of the French Association of Writers and Artists S.P.A.F. He is the deputy chairman of the Romanian section of the International P.E.N. Abăluţă lives and works in Bucharest.
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