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Garabet Ibrăileanu

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Garabet Ibrăileanu

Portrait of Garabet Ibrăileanu, by Ștefan Dimitrescu

Garabet Ibrăileanu (Romanian pronunciation: ; May 23, 1871 – March 11, 1936) was a Romanian-Armenian literary critic and theorist, writer, translator, sociologist, Iaşi University professor (1908-1934), and, together with Paul Bujor and Constantin Stere, for long main editor of the Viața Românească literary magazine between 1906 and 1930. He published many of his works under the pen name Cezar Vraja.

Biography

Ibrăileanu was born into a family of Tudor Arghezi.

In his first major essay (1908), Spiritul critic în cultura românească (roughly: "Selective Attitudes in Romanian Culture"), Ibrăileanu analysed the trends in Romanian literature from cca. 1840 to cca. 1880, trying to establish what had been the characteristics of original works. This is the first draft of his theory of selection, through which he determined the relationship between social context and artists' subjectivism (using it to explain why original artists had been ignored in favor of conformist ones of lesser talent). His thesis found its first major critic in modernist figure Eugen Lovinescu.

He expanded the idea in works of literary criticism that are still influential: in 1909 - Scriitori şi curente ("Writers and Trends"); in 1912 - Opera literară a d-lui Vlahuţă ("Mr. Vlahuţă's Literary Works"), a doctorate thesis that featured one of Ibrăileanu's most quoted chapters, Literatura şi societatea ("Literature and Society"); in 1930 - Studii literare ("Literary Studies"), containing his other major writing, Creaţie şi analiză ("Creation and Analysis"). He also authored a volume of aphorisms (1930), and a novel - Adela (1933).

Ibrăileanu died in Bucharest. Denied admission to the Romanian Academy throughout his life, Garabet Ibrăileanu received posthumous membership in 1948.

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