Find more information about

at the Center for Jewish History:

NOTE: you will be redirected
to the Web site for the

Mugur, Florin

(Mugur Legrel; 1934–1991), journalist, editor, and writer. The son of a journalist with democratic anticommunist political leanings, Florin Mugur worked as a journalist and radio editor at the beginning of his career. While his father faced difficult times when the Communist regime came to power in Romania after World War II, Mugur made his literary debut at 19, sincerely believing in the potential of the new political regime and its leftist ideology (he had already started publishing poems at the age of 14). Under the impact of the 1956 anticommunist revolution in Hungary, he protested the Romanian regime; as a result, with other young writers, he was prevented from publishing until the mid-1960s.

A graduate of the University of Bucharest with a degree in literature, Mugur became an editor at the Cartea Românească Publishing House and taught at various institutions of higher learning, while continuing to write poetry and prose. His journalistic experience also helped him publish volumes of interviews with prominent postwar Romanian writers; among the titles he published were Convorbiri cu Marin Preda (Conversations with Marin Preda; 1973), Vârstele rațiunii. Convorbiri cu Paul Georgescu (The Ages of Reason: Conversations with Paul Georgescu; 1982), and Profesiunea de scriitor (The Writer’s Profession; 1979). Mugur was awarded the grand prize at the Poetry Festival at Sarajevo in 1968; in 1973 and 1977 he won the Prize of the Union of Romanian Writers.

After a period of early idealism and romanticism, Mugur came to artistic maturity, developing a well-defined literary personality with lucid and dramatic tones, and writing with irony and sarcasm. His work combines powerful imagery and a dramatic atmosphere with a restless human conscience grounded in literary confession, disguised under numerous lyrical masks. The most powerful of these images is inspired by an image from Romanian folklore, “Half-a-Man Riding Half-a-Limping-Rabbit,” which was transformed in his poetry into “Half-a-Man” (or “The Interrupted Man”) as a metaphor representing the poet/man assaulted by history. His published volumes include Mituri (Myths; 1967), Destine intermediare (Intermediary Destinies; 1968), and later Cartea numelor (The Book of Names; 1975), Piatra palidă (The Pale Stone; 1977), and Portretul unui necunoscut (The Portrait of a Stranger; 1980). Mugur also wrote poetry for children.

Mugur’s later works include Scrisori de la capătul zilelor (Letters from the End of My Life; 2001), a volume of his correspondence with friends after they fled Communist Romania in the late 1980s, depicting the intellectual life in Romania before and after the 1989 revolution. This last collection presents a dramatic intellectual portrait of the writer facing a chaotic, grotesque, and fractured reality.

Suggested Reading

Gheorghe Grigurcu, Existența poeziei (Bucharest, 1986), pp. 173–185; Mircea Iorgulescu, Rondul de noapte (Bucharest, 1974), pp. 56–65; Mircea Iorgulescu, “Martorul obosit,” in Scrisori de la capătul zilelor, by Florin Mugur, pp. 7–13 (Bucharest, 2002); Ion Bogdan Lefter, 5 poeți: Naum, Dimov, Ivănescu, Mugur, Foarță (Piteşti, Rom., 2003), pp. 105–119; Norman Manea, The Hooligan’s Return: A Memoir (New York, 2003), pp. 283–285; Marin Mincu, Eseu despre textul poetic II (Bucharest, 1986), pp. 198–202; Lucian Raicu, Practica scrisului şi experiența lecturii (Bucharest, 1978), pp. 318–321.