15 November 2015

Paris 2015: Panaït Istrati, 8e arrondissement

'Entre 1922 et 1930, dans cette maison,
l'écrivain roumain


a écrit ses oeuvres majeures de réputation
mondiale : Kyra Kyralina, Codine, Mikail,
Oncle Anghel, Les Haïdouks, Nerantsoula'

This plaque is at 24 rue de Colisée. Panaït Istrati (as he is written with the dieresis in French) was born in Brăila, Romania, but wrote in French. His mother worked as a laundress, and his smuggler father was killed by coast guards when he was a baby. Before becoming established as a writer Istrati was a pastry cook, a locksmith, a road worker, a dockworker, a mechanic, a sandwich-man, a domestic, a house painter, etc. He attempted suicide in Nice in 1921, and two years later his literary hero rescued him. Romain Rolland had Itrati's first book, Kyra Kyralina, published in Europa. Oncle Anghel (1925) was his big break, and he published twenty books in a decade before dying of tuberculosis in Bucharest.

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