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Aderca, Felix

ADERCA, FELIX

ADERCA, FELIX (Froim Zeilig ; 1891–1962), Romanian novelist and journalist. Born in Puiesti (near Vaslui) and educated in Craiova, Aderca made his literary debut with volumes of poetry. The titles of the first two reflect his early preoccupation with feeling and harmony: Motive ṣi simfonii ("Motifs and Symphonies," 1910) and Fragmente ṣi romanţe ("Fragments and Romances," 1912). Then came the cold, cerebral period of Reverii sculptate ("Sculptured Reveries," 1912) and Prin lentilenegre ("Through Black Lenses," 1912), finally emerging into the sensuality of Stihuri venerice ("Erotic Poems," 1915). Eroticism was to become the keynote of Aderca's first novels. Moartea unei republici roṣii ("The Death of a Red Republic," 1924) gave expression to his deep humanitarianism and pacificism. The reconstruction of the tragic atmosphere in Romania in World War i in 1916 represents not only Aderca's outstanding work but is regarded as one of the best war books ever written. Two of his novels are distinctly Kafkaesque in form: Aventurile domnului Ionel Lăcustă Termidor ("The Adventures of Mr. Ionel Lacusta Termidor," 1932) and Revolte. The latter, written in 1938 but only published in 1945, is a series of sketches lampooning legal procedures.

Ebullient and argumentative, Aderca was a prolific journalist. His interviews with men of ideas, collected in Mărturia unei generatii ("Testimony of a Generation," 1929), introduced a new genre into Romanian literature. In his youth, Aderca contributed to various Romanian Jewish publications (Ha-Tikvah, Lumea evree, and Adam) and showed some attachment to Judaism and Zionism. He also published hundreds of articles about antisemitism. Aderca translated into Romanian books dealing with Jewish themes, among them the trilogy of Sholem Asch. Aderca believed in the idea of symbiosis between his Judaism and the Romanian language and culture. Persecuted during the Holocaust period (1938–44), he worked as a librarian in the Jewish community of Bucharest. He was unpopular with the Communist regime after World War ii and from 1947 was allowed to publish virtually nothing but instructional literature for young people. One of his last works was a monograph on Constantin Dobrogeanu-Gherea (1948), the Russian-Jewish refugee literary critic and sociologist who promoted socialist theories in Romania. Some of Aderca's literary works were republished in the "liberalization" period (after 1965), but most of them were republished only after the collapse of the Communist regime in Romania (1989). Fragments of his works were translated into Hebrew in Israel.

bibliography:

G. Calinescu, Istoria literaturii romane (1941), 705–8; T. Teodorescu-Braniste, Oameni ṣi Cărţi (1923), 71; E. Lovinescu, Evoluţia Poeziei Lirice (1927), 366–8; C. Baltazar, Scriitor ṣi Om (1946), 11–14. add. bibliography: A. Mirodan, Dictionar neconventional, 1 (1986), 25–35, 438–9; M. Aderca, F. Aderca si problema evreiasca (1999).

[Dora Litani-Littman /

Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2nd ed.)]

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