Iordan Chimet  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Iordan Chimet (November 18, 1924May 23, 2006) was a Romanian poet, children's writer and essayist, whose work was inspired by Surrealism and Onirism. He is also known as a memoirist, theater, art and film critic, book publisher and translator. he had a vivid interest in topics related to fantasy, including mythology, magic, alchemy and demonology—part of his work as a literary critic involved tracing the influences these had on popular culture and naïve art, as well as in science fiction and other areas of paraliterature.

Chimet, who was an opponent of totalitarianism in general and of the Communist regime in particular, was persecuted by the latter as a dissident, and lived much of his life in obscurity. His experience as an employee of the cooperative society Centrocoop also made him one of the first professional copywriters in his country.

The poems, fantasy works and fairy tales he authored, although largely ignored locally upon being published, have since drawn acclaim for their accomplished style, and are considered by many unique in Romanian literature. They explored the themes of innocence and melancholy, and have themselves been seen as a venue for a discreet advocacy of disobedience. Chimet was also the author of critical essays on Latin American studies and Western or popular culture, and a publisher of anthologies on some of the major themes in Romanian society. In addition, he collected and published material on the life and legacy of playwright Mihail Sebastian, as well as on the history of the Romanian avant-garde.

Iordan Chimet had a lifelong friendship with Gheorghe Ursu, a dissident who was killed by the Securitate secret police in 1985, and with science fiction author Camil Baciu. He was also a friend of the German writer Michael Ende and the Greek poet Odysseas Elytis, with whom he kept in touch in spite of the difficulties posed by their living on different sides of the Iron Curtain.


Published works

Children's literature

  • Lamento pentru peştişorul Baltazar, 1968
  • Cîte-o gîză, cîte-o floare, cîte-un fluture mai mare, 1970
  • Închide ochii şi vei vedea Oraşul, 1970, definitive edition, 1979


  • Western. Filmele Vestului îndepărtat, 1966
  • Comedia burlescă, 1967
  • Teatrul de păpuşi în România (with Letiţia Gîtză, Valentin Silvestru), 1968
  • Eroi, fantome, şoricei, 1970
  • Baladă pentru vechiul drum, 1976
  • America latină. Sugestii pentru o galerie sentimentală, 1984
  • A Trilingual Exercise in Translation (originally in English; with Ioana Belcea), 1995
  • Cele două Europe, cele două Românii, 2004


  • ExiL, poetry, 1948
  • Cele 12 luni ale visului. O antologie a inocenţei, anthology, 1972
  • Grafica americană: un portret al Americii, album, 1976
  • Dreptul la memorie, anthology, 1992
  • Cică nişte cronicari, duceau lipsă de şalvari, anthology, 1999
  • Împreună cu Elli în Imaginaria (with Michael Ende), memoir, 1999
  • Dosar Mihail Sebastian, biography, 2001
  • Scrisori printre gratii (with Odysseas Elytis, Michael Ende, Maria Marian), memoir, 2004
  • Cartea prietenilor mei (with Vasile Igna), memoir, 2005

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