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Solomon, Dumitru

(1932–2003), playwright and critic. Dumitru (Dolfi) Solomon attended elementary school and high school in Bârlad, Romania. After graduating from Bucharest University (1955), he worked as an editor for Gazeta literară (1955–1962) and Luceafărul (Evening Star; 1962–1964). He made his mark in literary society with essays and critical studies, contributing to Romania’s major journals in the field. In 1964, he began a career in cinematography, first as a director at the Film Studios of Bucharest (until 1972), and then, until 1989, as a script reader and executive producer. At the same time, he was a prolific playwright and drama critic. After 1989, he served as editor in chief of the theatrical culture reviews Teatrul, azi (Theater Today) and Scena (Stage).

Solomon helped develop the postwar Romanian theater of ideas with rich cultural references. In order to maneuver within the ideological restrictions of the Communist regime, he employed allegorical techniques. This is particularly evident in his trilogy inspired by the life of the Greek philosophers: Socrate (1970), Diogene câinele (Diogenes the Dog; 1973) and Platon (1975). With other Romanian playwrights, he demonstrated that intensity of feelings was not the only relevant subject for plays; drama could also present confrontations of ideas or philosophical passions.

Solomon’s dramatic compositions range widely and include comedy of manners (Fata Morgana; 1973), satire (Scene din viața unui bădăran [Scenes from a Rude Man’s Life]; 1978), science-fiction comedy (Arma secretă a lui Arhimede [Archimedes’ Secret Weapon]; 1982), dramatic story (Erasmus sau Elogiul nebuniei [Erasmus or the Celebration of Madness]; 1983–1984), Pirandello-type drama (Între etaje [Between the Floors]; 1981), and animated parody (Repetabila scenă a balconului [The Repetitive Balcony Scene]; 1995). He emerged as a modern moralist, always ready to denounce attempts to jeopardize an individual’s spiritual and ethical integrity. His spontaneity and ingenuity, incisive thinking, and use of philosophical parables and satire are but a few qualities that earned him a prestigious place in the Romanian theater heritage in the last decades of the twentieth century.

Suggested Reading

Mircea Zaciu, Marian Papahagi, and Aurel Sasu, eds., Dicționarul scriitorilor români, vol. 4, pp. 289–291(Bucharest, 2002) .



Translated from Romanian by Anca Mircea