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Mihail Sebastian (1907–1945)

Autor(a) de For Two Thousand Years

37 Works 654 Membros 26 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Includes the name: Mihail Sebastian

Disambiguation Notice:

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Obras de Mihail Sebastian

For Two Thousand Years (1934) 284 cópias
The Accident (1940) 78 cópias
Women (2004) 39 cópias
La ville aux acacias (1935) 7 cópias
The Star with No Name (2020) 3 cópias
Opere 3 cópias
Dagbok 1935-1944 (2019) 2 cópias
Teatru (2017) 2 cópias
Femmes (2022) 2 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Hechter, Iosif
Outros nomes
Mincu, Victor (pseudonym)
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de nascimento
Brăila, Romania
Local de falecimento
Bucharest, Romania
Locais de residência
Bucharest, Romania
University of Bucharest
essayist (mostrar todas 8)
literary critic
Pequena biografia
Mihail Sebastian was the pen name of Iosif Hechter, born to a Jewish family in Brăila, Romania. His parents were Mendel and Clara Hechter. He studied law and philosophy in Bucharest and Paris, and qualified as a lawyer, but was more drawn to the literary life. The 1920s-1930s were a time of an exciting new generation of Romanian writers and intellectuals. However,

as a Jew, Sebastian came to be regarded as an outsider, even by his friends. In 1934, he wrote a novel called De două mii de ani (For Two Thousand Years), and asked his friend Nae Ionescu to write the preface. Ionescu agreed, but inserted anti-Semitic remarks into it.
Sebastian's decision to publish anyway prompted a major controversy.
In response to criticism, Sebastian wrote Cum am devenit huligan (How I Became a Hooligan, 1935), which pointed out the absurdity of prejudice. A novelist, journalist, and literary critic, he was best-known in Romanian literature for his plays, such as Jocul de-a vacanța (Holiday Games, 1938) and Steaua fără nume (The Star With No Name, 1944) .

During this period, Sebastian kept a diary that recorded the mounting persecution he endured but also revealed his sense of humor and irony.

Because of anti-Semitic laws enacted in the early 1940s, he was banned from working as a journalist and his law license was revoked. His plays were banned. He used a second pseudonym, Victor Mincu, to try to get around the restrictions. He had to move into a tenement building, but he avoided deportation due to his connections in Romanian society. He survived the Holocaust, but on May 29, 1945, Sebastian
was accidentally hit by a Red Army truck and killed. His latest play, Ultima ora (Breaking News), was performed posthumously at the Bucharest National Theatre. His diary remained private for 50 years, until it was published by the Romanian publisher Humanitas in 1996. It appeared in English translation in the USA in 2000 under the title Journal, 1935-1944: The Fascist Years. In 2006, Sebastian was awarded the Geschwister-Scholl-Preis for the diary, which appeared in German as Voller Entsetzen, aber nicht verzweifelt – Tagebücher 1935-1944 (Full of Horror, But Not in Despair).
Aviso de desambiguação



A roman à clef set between the mid-1920s and mid-1930s, For Two Thousand Years recounts the struggles of an unnamed Jewish university student grappling with his own sense of identity and with growing antisemitism in Romania. This is a deeply queasy book to read in the current moment. There are things which Mihail Sebastian writes—about populism, about war, about Zionism, about antisemitism, about self-loathing—which would seem on the nose if they'd been written by someone post-1945. That this was published in 1934 makes Sebastian seem bleakly prescient.

For Two Thousand Years isn't an easy book to read, both because of the subject matter and because of Sebastian's writing style. While the unnamed character does grow and change a little over time (thankfully, because he's initially every annoying undergrad philosophy major you've ever met), this is far more a novel of ideas than it is of characters. Even though the characters are apparently based on real people whom Sebastian knew, they're mostly there to be mouthpieces for particular sets of ideas. How much this novel works for you will depend to a certain extent on your tolerance for reading dialogues where characters lob paragraph-length bits of ideology at one another.
… (mais)
siriaeve | outras 16 resenhas | May 28, 2024 |
One of the most beautiful and spiritually penetrating books I have read in a long, long time. I will follow this text as a manifesto.
blaueswild | Dec 29, 2023 |
Having enjoyed his novel, For Two Thousand Years, I had high expectations for his journal. I was not disappointed as he brings home the horror of those days in clear and sophisticated prose. The sorrow for his former friend who dies is papable, yet he is able to relate both the horror and the humanity that he encountered on a daily basis.
jwhenderson | outras 3 resenhas | Sep 14, 2022 |
How does one make sense of a world to which he does not belong? This brilliant narrative tells of the coming descent of European politics from the very personal view of a young man trying to make sense of this strange world and his own stranger self.
jwhenderson | outras 16 resenhas | Sep 12, 2022 |



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Associated Authors

Stephen Henighan Translator
John Banville Introduction
Chris Bentham Cover designer



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