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Eliade, Mircea

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

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(1907-1986) Romanian academic, in UK, Portugal and France from 1940, resident in the US from 1956, most famous as a philosopher of comparative religion [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below], though he was a prolific author of fiction, much of it fantastic, from the publication of his first, precocious tale, "Cum am găsit piatr filosofală" ["How I found the Philosopher's Stone"] (1921 Ziarul Stiintelor Populare si al Calatorilor), until the beginning of the 1980s; Domnișoara Christina (1936; trans Ana Cartianu as "Miss Christina" in Mystic Stories, coll dated 1992 but 1993) is a book-length Vampire tale; much early fiction, some of it fantastic, remained in manuscript until the twenty-first century. He himself argued that his use of various genres was "admirably suited" to his "central conception of 'camouflage' as a dialectical moment" in the structure of story and in the procreative uncovering of true story (i.e. myth) from what might called the Kipple of the visible world. (For further comments on "the dialectic of camouflage", see Equipoise.)

The closest approach to sf in Eliade's fiction (much of it untranslated) may be Le temps d'un centenaire (1981; trans Mac Linscott Rickett as "Youth Without Youth" in Youth Without Youth and Other Novellas coll 1988), whose aged Romanian protagonist is struck by lightning at Easter 1938, awakens rejuvenated (see Rejuvenation) and perhaps Immortal, only to be chivvied for the secret of eternal youth by occultist Nazis during World War Two; the tale was filmed as Youth Without Youth (2008) directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Though he cannot comfortably be thought of as an sf writer – his use of tropes like Invisibility is usually associated with occult epiphanies, like that which drives "Youth Without Youth" – he is of importance for his speculative insights, and in specific to the fantastic tradition in Romania. [JC]

Mircea Eliade

born Bucharest, Romania: 9 March 1907

died Chicago, Illinois: 22 April 1986


Selected fiction only: the original Romanian-language publications are scattered, and not all have been traced.

  • Isabel și apele diavolului ["Isabel and the Devil's Waters"] (Bucharest, Romania: Editura Națională Ciornea, 1930) [binding unknown/]
  • Lumina ce se stinge ["The Light That Fails"] (Bucharest, Romania: Editura Cartea Romănească, 1934) [first appeared 1931 Cuvntul: binding unknown/]
  • Domnișoara Christina ["Miss Christina"] (Bucharest, Romania: Cultura Națională Ciornea, 1936) [pb/P Grant]
  • Şarpele ["The Serpent"] (Bucharest, Romania: Editura Națională Ciornea, 1937) [coll: binding unknown/]
  • Secretul doctorului Honigberger (Bucharest, Romania: Editura Socec, 1940) [coll: pb/]
    • Two Tales of the Occult (New York: Herder and Herder, 1970) [coll: contains trans by William Ames Coates of the title story of the above as "The Secret of Dr Honigberger", plus "Nopți la Serampore" as "Nights at Serampore": hb/uncredited]
      • Two Strange Tales (Boston, Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, 1986) [vt of the above: hb/Joe Maloni]
    • Mystic Stories: The Sacred and the Profane (Boulder, Colorado: East European Monographs/Bucharest, Romania: Editura Minerva, 1993) [coll: dated 1992 but published 1993: despite Colorado imprint, book originates in Rumania: contains trans by Ana Cartianu of the title novella above as "Doctor Honigberger's Secret", plus Domnișoara Christina above as "Miss Christina", plus shorter works: hb/uncredited]
  • Forêt Interdite (Paris: Gallimard, 1955) [trans by Alain Guillermou of the Romanian manuscript: hb/]
    • Noaptea de Sânziene ["Night of Saint John"] (Paris: Ioan Cusa, 1971) [published in two volumes: original Romanian text of the above: hb/]
      • The Forbidden Forest (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 1978) [trans by Mac Linscott Ricketts and Mary Park Stevenson of the above: hb/Cae Esworthy]
  • Nuvele ["Stories"] (Madrid, Spain: Colecția Destin, 1963) [coll: binding unknown/]
    • Fantastic Tales (London: Dillon's, 1969) with Mihai Niculescu [anth: trans by Eric Tappe of two stories by Eliade from the above; plus one story by Niculescu: hb/nonpictorial]
  • Pe Strada Mântuleasa (Paris: Caitele Inorugului, 1968) [binding unknown/]
  • Tales of the Sacred and the Supernatural (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: The Westminster Press, 1981) [coll: trans by William Ames Coates of "La Tiganci" (1962 Destin) and by Mac Linscott Ricketts of "Les Trois Grâces" (written 1976): pb/Dorothy Alden Smith]
  • Die Pelerine ["The Cape"] (Frankfurt, Germany: Suhrkamp, 1976) [chap: German trans of Romanian manuscript: hb/]
  • "Tinerețe fǎrǎ de tinerețe" ["Youth Without Youth"] (1978-1979 Revista Scriitorilor Romȃni) [mag/]
  • Nouăsprezece trandafiri ["Nineteen Roses"] (Paris: Ethos, 1980) [binding unknown/]

nonfiction (highly selected)

about the author


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