Nicolae Filimon

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Filimon, Nicolae


Born Sept. 6, 1819, in Bucharest; died there Mar. 19, 1865. Rumanian writer and music critic.

The son of a priest, Filimon was a minor church functionary and an archives official. His first romantic short stories “Mateo Cipriani” (1860) and “Friederich Staaps” (1860), largely schematic, communicate a love of freedom and opposition to the clergy. The short story “The Misadventure of an Official, or Provincial Philistines” (1861) marks Filimon’s transition to realism. His novel Upstarts, Old and New (1863; Russian translation, 1954), a sharply satirical depiction of the disintegration of feudal relations and the emergence of capitalist relations, was a milestone in the development of Rumanian realistic literature. Filimon spoke out in support of folk music in columns and articles on music, such as “The Lăutari and Their Works” (1864). [The lăutari were lute players.]


Opere [vols. 1–2]. [Bucharest, 1957.]


Călinescu, G. Nicolae Filimon. Bucharest, 1959.
Cosma, V. Nicolae Filimon, critic muzical şi folclorist. Bucharest, 1966. (Contains bibliography.)


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Nicolae Filimon clearly confessed his propensity to study 'human faces,' even to the prejudice of 'the sense of nature':
In 1861 Nicolae Filimon draws his first physiology: that of the servant--Nenorocirile unui slujnicar sau Gentilomii de mahala (Misfortunes of a Servant or Suburban Gentlemen).
When describing his character, Nicolae Filimon uses Balzac's technique of objective and impersonal presentation, which, however, he will abandon several times:
From the very first paragraph Nicolae Filimon makes a complete portrait (physical, moral) followed by portrait sketches, collective portraits, evolving portraits or anti-portraits.
Nicolae Filimon has a mystical fatalistic idea about society: "an invisible wheel moves the good and bad luck of a person," which turns the novel rather into a parable (6) of self-seeking than into a realistic description of it.