Gellu Naum

Gellu Naum ( born August 1, 1915 in Bucharest, Romania; † 29 September 2001) was one of the most important Romanian writer and one of the last major Surrealists in Europe.


Gellu Naum was the son of the poet Andrei Naum, who was killed at the battle in Mărăşeşti. In 1926 he started in high school Dimitrie Cantemir in Bucharest with the writing and wrote for a lost bet first verses. His debut as a writer was in the form of two published in Cuvantul poems.

Between 1933 and 1937 Gellu Naum studied philosophy at the University of Bucharest. In 1938 he went on the advice of his friend Victor Brauner to Paris, where he continued the study of philosophy at the Sorbonne. His doctoral thesis was Pierre Abélard. In France, he joined, animated by André Breton, the Surrealist circle one.

In 1939 he returned to Romania, where he was sent to the army. In 1944 he fell ill with the after-effects of the stay in the army.

In 1941 the Surrealist circles Romania, consisting of Gellu Naum, Gherasim Luca, Dolfi Trost, Virgil Teodorescu and Paul Păun arose. Their activity was particularly intense in the years 1945-1947. Breton commented: "The center of the world has moved to Bucharest ."

Beginning of 1948 the Surrealist group in Romania was banned and dissolved. Between 1950 and 1953 taught Naum philosophy at the Agronomic Institute, later he earned his living by translations predominantly French literature, including Denis Diderot, Stendhal, Victor Hugo and Jules Verne, but also from German (Franz Kafka ) and English ( Samuel Beckett ). His own lyrics - except for a few children's books - were not allowed to appear for twenty years.

In 1968 the publication ban was lifted and he published further their own books of poetry, such as Athanor (1968), My weary father (1972 ) Poeme Alese ( Selected Poems ) ( 1974). For health reasons, he retired to Comana, where he (married since 1946) with his wife Lyggia lived. It became the main character in his book, Zenobia, which appeared in 1985.

From 1990, he was frequently invited to Germany, France, Holland and Switzerland, there to read from his works. Gellu Naum was life close friend of the Romanian director David Esrig. His works have been translated into all major languages ​​and many awards, including in 1999 with the award of the city of Münster for European poetry.

Works ( in German )