Feraru, Leon

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FERARU, LEON (originally Otto Enselberg ; 1887–1961), Romanian poet. Born in Braila, Feraru took his penname from his father's occupation as a blacksmith (Rom. fierar). As a schoolboy he was a Jewish socialist. Upon completing high school he began to study medicine in Bucharest, but had to leave because of antisemitic persecution. In 1907 he emigrated to France, where he studied literature in Montpellier, receiving a degree in 1913, when he emigrated to the United States. Before emigrating, Feraru published poems on social themes (among them the fate of the working woman) and articles in Romanian literary periodicals, among them Viata Romaneasca (Romanian Life) and the Jewish periodicals Lumea Israelita and Egalitatea. After emigrating to the U.S. he continued to compose Romanian verse on social themes, on the landscape of his native country, and on his Jewish family. He published two volumes of poems in Romanian, both in Bucharest, Maghernita veche si alte versuri din anii tineri ("The Old Hovel and Other Poems of My Youth," 1926) and Arabescuri ("Arabesques," 1937), being considered a universalist poet. Feraru taught Romanian language and literature at Canadian and American universities: Toronto; Columbia (1917–26); Long Island (1927–47). He also published scholarly studies in English, among them The Development of Romanian Poetry (1929) and edited the periodicals Romanian Literary News and The Romanian Review.


D. Safran, Completare la judaismul roman (1981), 74–9; A.B. Joffe, Bi-Sedot Zarim (1996), 160–2, 459; A. Mirodan, Dictionar neconventional, 2 (1997), 268–72.

[Lucian-Zeev Herscovici (2nd ed.)]