Peltz, Isac

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PELTZ, ISAC (1899–1980), Romanian novelist. Born in Bucharest, Peltz first wrote essays, prose poems, sketches, and stories, which appeared in several volumes between 1916 and 1924. His prizewinning first novel, Viaţa cu haz şi fǎrǎ a numitului Stan ("The Humorous and Not-So Humorous Life of Stan," 1929) heralded the career of one of the most prolific and highly praised writers in Romanian literature. For the first time, Jewish ghetto life with all its color and its drama was given artistic form in Romanian literature. Peltz's novels told the full story of the Jewish slums. Painting immense frescoes of the people of the ghetto – artisans, tradesmen, peddlers, unsuccessful poets and writers, prostitutes, tramps, and beggars – he showed partiality for the poverty-stricken.

Outstanding among the novels of this type are Calea Vǎcǎreşti (1934) and Foc in Hanul cu Tei ("Fire at the Linden Inn," 1935), which were republished several times. A dramatic adaptation of the former was staged in 1942. Other pre-World War ii novels include Horoscop (1932) and Nopţile Domnişoarei Mili ("The Nights of Miss Mili," 1937). Peltz described the horrors of the Nazi period and the sufferings of the Jews in the novel Israel însîngerat ("Bleeding Israel," 1946). His postwar novel Maz şi lumea lui ("Max and his World," 1957), conforming to the norms of the Stalinist period, was a satire directed against the Romanian Jewish bourgeoisie. His other works include De-a viaţa şi de-a moartea ("Playing Life and Death," 1942), Inimi sbuciumat ("Anguished Souls," 1962), short stories, and Cum i-am cunoscut ("How I Knew Them," 1964).


G. Cǎlinescu, Istoria Literaturii Romîne… (1941), 708–10; E. Lovinescu, Memorii, vol. 3, 40–42; C. Baltazar, Scriitor şi Om (1946), 107–12; Şerbu, in: Viaţa Romîneascǎ (1957), no. 7; V. Rapeanu, Foc în Hanul cu Tei (1961), introd.; V. Ardeleanu, Calea Vǎcǎreşti (1966), introd.

[Abraham Feller]