Duda, Virgil

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DUDA, VIRGIL (Rubin Leibovici ; 1939– ), Romanian writer. A lawyer by profession, Duda chose a literary career in the mid-1960s, working also as a producer at the Bucharest Film Studio. After a first volume of short stories, he published several novels demonstrating his remarkable talent for psychological analysis: Catedrala ("The Cathedral," 1969), Anchetatorul apatic ("The Apathetic Interrogator," 1971), and Măştile ("The Masks," 1979). The following novels, published during the 1980s, made his reputation as one of the more important Romanian prose writers: Războiul amintirilor ("The War of Remembrances," 1981), which received the prize of the Writers Association); Hărţuiala ("The Harassment," 1984); and Oglinda salvată ("The Saved Mirror," 1986). Autobiographical elements going back to his life as a teenager in the Moldavian town of Bârlad became more obvious in these works. Settling in Israel in 1988, he continued his literary activity, publishing (in Romania) novels with a preponderance of Jewish themes, including the impact of the Holocaust and the Communist period: România, sfârşit de decembrie ("Romania, End of December," 1991), Alvis şi destinul ("Alvis and the Destiny," 1993), A trăi în păcat ("To Live in Sin," 1996), Viaţă cu efect întârziat ("Life with Belated Effect," 1998), and Şase femei ("Six Women," 2002). A volume of essays, Evreul ca simbol ("The Jew as a Symbol," 2004) includes many subtle reflections on Jewish intellectuals and writers (Franz Kafka, Isaac Babel, Benjamin Fondane, Mihail Sebastian). Duda's brother, Lucian Raicu, is a well-known Romanian literary critic.


A. Mirodan, Dicţionar neconvenţional al scriitorilor evrei de limbă românăii (1997), 180–89; Dicţionarul general al literaturii române, 2 (2004), 768–70.

[Leon Volovici (2nd ed.)]