|About the Book|
Born in Bucharest, Topîrceanu began his schooling in the city, and then moved to the hilly countryside of the Argeş county, in the Șuici commune, where he formed his taste for themes taken from nature. After completing secondary studies, he attended the University of Bucharest Law School, and then its Faculty of Letters, without ever finishing either. This was largely due to a hectic lifestyle punctuated by numerous affairs and heavy alcohol use.He began publishing short verses to increasing critical acclaim. In 1926, he was awarded the National Poetry Prize.He died of liver cancer in Iaşi.His three main volumes of poetry, Balade vesele şi triste (Ballads, Merry and Sad), Parodii originale (Original Parodies) and Migdale amare (Bitter Almonds), are a compelling mixture of humor and delicate lyricism. Topîrceanus favorite device is to switch, without warning, from biting sarcasm to genuine sentiment and vice versa, often with beguiling ease. In his own words he aimed to: through jest, render tears all too clear.Topîrceanus most celebrated pieces, such as Balada unui greier mic (The Ballad of a Tiny Cricket) and Rapsodii de toamnă (Fall Rhapsodies) can be enjoyed for their flowing verse, on an infantile level, as well as appreciated for carefully constructed metaphors, incisive humor and contemplative ambiance. Other, more muscular and less lyrical pieces such as Acceleratul (The Bullet Train) and Cioara (The Crow), display his command of the Romanian language, with cascading similes and emphatic rhythmsTopîrceanu wrote many satirical pieces, almost all first published as articles. His prose works were collected in several volumes: Memories from the Battle of Turtucaia (Bucharest, 1918), In their claw... Memories from Bulgaria and Light Sketches (Jassy, 1920), Letters with No Address, Humorous and Pessimistic Prose (Bucharest, 1930), Pirin-Planina, Tragic and Comic Episodes from Captivity (Bucharest, 1936). He also left an unfinished novella, Minunile Sfântului Sisoe (Venerable Sisoes Miraculous Works) published posthumously in 1938.