The story of a boy who did not want to become a priest; the masterpiece of Romania’s greatest storyteller. Recollections from Childhood (original title in Romanian, Amintiri din copilărie) is a highly entertaining recount of the author’s idyllic childhood, disrupted by his parents’ ambitions to have him enter priesthood.
Mr. Stavrache unexpectedly becomes the owner of a fabulous, but ill-gotten fortune in this psychological thriller written by Romania’s greatest playwright, Ion Luca Caragiale.
Romanian Stories (Illustrated) is now available.
A collection of fifteen stories written by some of Romania’s best writers of the late 19th century, early 20th century period, translated by Lucy Byng, revised by Tiberian Press, illustrated by Francesca Ibba:
The Fairy of the Lake
The Easter Torch
(Ion Luca Caragiale)
At Manjoala’s Inn
(Ion Luca Caragiale)
Alexandru Lapushneanu, 1564–1569
The Dead Pool
Old Nichifor, the Impostor
(Ioan Alexandru Brătescu-Voinești)
Out in the World
The Bird of Ill Omen
(Ioan Alexandru Brătescu-Voinești)
(Barbu Ștefănescu Delavrancea)
The third book of the Comaneshteni Saga is now available.
As Romania enters the conflict between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire to gain its independence, all the men of the Comaneshteanu family go to war. Mihai Comaneshteanu is forced to choose between two competing love interests.
The author, Duiliu Zamfirescu, has been called “the Romanian Tolstoy.” The Comaneshteni Saga was Romanian literature’s first novel series, and one of the most beloved. It offers the readers a unique, authentic glimpse into the life of the peasants and aristocrats of 19th century Romania.
The men were advancing in silence, carefully. The light of the fire which cast a wide red tinge; the eaves of a nearby cabin; the hills and the valleys; the ghostly gleam of the lamp—all these made the soldiers feel like they had reached the otherworld. Some felt they were dreaming; others felt like shouting. All gripped their rifles resolutely.
A hundred paces away from the cabin, the dog that had barked rushed furiously at them. A gunshot rang through the valleys, and the dog, pierced by a bullet, leaped up and fell dead. Instantly, another shot rang out from the Turkish side.
Without order or plan, the soldiers charged the cabin. In front of it there were two wooden stalls: they were both pulverized, and the sentinel was slain, trampled underfoot. At once, the roof was set on fire. The reed quickly burst into flames, crackling.
At the sight of the flames, a tremendous roar broke out from sixty chests on the bank of the ancient river. It seemed a terrible need to shout had gripped all those men, who had been forced to keep quiet for so long.
The cabin’s door still did not open. A sergeant struck it with the gunstock, and the door became unhinged. He was slammed to the ground on the spot, and at the same time three men, like three tigers, dashed from the cabin, shooting aimlessly and running. Two were killed as they ran, while another, caught alive, was lifted up and taken to the burning roof, in order to be thrown into the fire.
Everything had happened extraordinarily fast.
The major put his hand on the chest of one of the soldiers who wanted to throw the Turk into the fire: “Get back!” He realized it was the man with the dizziness on the other bank.
“Get back!” the major shouted again. “To the boats! Lieutenant Comaneshteanu! Form for march, single file!”
The Turk was tied up tightly and lifted up.
“Not a word!” the major repeated. “Lieutenant Milescu! Lead the advance. Comaneshteanu, are all the men accounted for?”
“I believe so, Major.”
The soldiers lined up, and the column followed the lamp. Order and discipline reigned again; the mad fury of the charge against the Turkish sentinel had passed.
Just when they entered the boats again and headed back, Milescu seemed to come to his senses. While the commotion lasted, it was as if he had dreamed or died. He could not remember anything, what he had done, or what he had thought. Disparate images came to him, as if from a distant past: the fire, reflected in the Danube’s waters, or the crushed skull of the Turk in the stall. That’s how war is?”
Mihai Comaneshteanu, a refined young aristocrat, the scion of an illustrious family with impeccable reputation, returns from abroad. Has the childhood romance between him and Tincutza Murguletz survived the years of separation? Will she keep her promise to him, or will she favor the attentions of nouveau riche Tanase Scatiu and his rougher brand of masculinity?
The author, Duiliu Zamfirescu, has been called ‘the Romanian Tolstoy’. The Comaneshteni Saga was Romanian literature’s first novel series, and one of the most beloved. It offers the readers a unique, authentic glimpse into the life of the peasants and aristocrats of 19th century Romania.
When Scatiu saw his coach returning empty, he understood at once what had happened. Then, indeed, he seemed to completely lose his mind. Deathly pale, without saying a word, he grabbed the revolver, went outside, and shot Forgash, hitched as he was, firing six bullets into him.
“Take it, take it, take it, to teach you how to jump next time!” He then threw the revolver and leaped at Stoica. The latter thought Scatiu would kill him too, so he took off running toward the backyard fence, hoping to leap over it and run away. But Scatiu caught up with him, grabbed him by his hair, and dragged him through the yard, where he beat him like a thug. After catching his breath for a moment, he left them all in a crowd and went upstairs.
Stoica got up from the mud, without saying a word; he straightened his hair, out of which he pulled entire clumps yanked out by his master, and approached the horse. The animal had fallen under the harness in a pool of blood, stretching its head on the ground, and was nearing death. Its clear eyes looked at Stoica, life draining from them. Once in a while, it moaned from the bottom of its lungs, like a human being. Its flesh quivered, as if trembling from pain. At the sight of the dying horse, Stoica threw himself down on the ground, next to its face, and began to lament him in the Gypsy way:
“Horsey, you poor thing, your master burnt you, may God wilt the hand he shot you with!”
The other workers leaped to lift up the carcass, to unhitch the remaining horse and to put the coach back in its place, but it was not possible to make Stoica get up from Forgash’s face. Then Banica and the other workers lifted him up. They brought an old wagon, placed the killed horse in it, covered it with straw, and took it to the fields. They washed the stains of blood on the ground, and thus, everything seemed returned to the former order.
The Lucky Mill, by Ioan Slavici (original title in Romanian: Moara cu Noroc), is now available in paperback.
In the backwoods of Transylvania, the ambition of Lucky Mill’s new innkeeper runs headlong into the interests of the region’s most dangerous man. The fierce clash of wills threatens the fate of the inn, the innkeeper’s marriage, and the lives of innocents.
The Lucky Mill–a 19th century psychological thriller–is the most important work of the Romanian realist author Ioan Slavici.
As Romania enters the conflict between the Russian Empire and the Ottoman Empire to gain its independence, all the men of the Comaneshteanu family go to war…