From Magic to Myth
Mircea Eliade’s life1 can be divided into two major parts from the temporal point of view: the Romanian part, 1907–1944, and the extra-Romanian one, the “exile” years 1944–1986. Most of the former period was spent in Romania—with the exception of three years in India—and then in London and Lisbon between late 1940 and late 1944. During this period most of what he wrote, quite precociously—literature, journalistic and scholarly—was done in Romanian and intended for a Romanian audience, though he aspired to a much more international audience. It is a vast literature, which started in the prodigious high school years, and it includes several novels, hundreds of feuilletons printed in daily newspapers, monographs, and collections of studies. A few of his writings in this period were done in other languages; especially noteworthy was his book on Yoga, based on his Ph.D. thesis submitted in 1933 at the University of Bucharest, which was translated and published in French in 1936, and some feuilletons in Italian and Portuguese. Eliade was then a famous and prolific Romanian author of several novels and innumerable journalistic feuilletons, and an emerging and promising scholar of religion, but he was also thought of quite widely as the leader of the 1927 generation, namely, of the young Romanians who were destined, according to their self-perception, to create a vibrant ← 1 | 2 → and vital new Romanian culture, related to the new geographical-political situation generated by the emergence of...
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