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Ioana Pârvulescu

Portrait of Ioana Pârvulescu

Née à Braşov en 1960, Ioana Pârvulescu est sortie diplômée de la faculté des lettres de l'université de Bucarest en 1983 et s’est imposée comme figure particulière au sein des cercles littéraires. Depuis 1996, elle enseigne la littérature moderne dans cette même faculté. Sa thèse de 1999, intitulée Literary PrejudicesComfortable Options in Interpreting Romanian Literature (Prejudecăţi literare. Opţiuni comode in receptarea literaturii romane) lui a permis de décrocher un doctorat. Elle a assuré la coordination de la série Cartea de pe noptieră (Livre de chevet) aux éditions Humanitas et a été rédactrice au journal littéraire Romania literară. Elle a également traduit du français et de l’allemand plusieurs livres de Maurice Nadeau, Angelus Silesius et Rainer Maria Rilke. Elle est membre de l’Union des écrivains roumains et membre fondatrice de la Société de littérature comparée en Roumanie.

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Winning Book

Viaţa începe vineri (Life Begins on Friday)

La vie commence vendredi est un voyage unique et charmant dans l’univers incroyable d’une époque révolue, un univers dont plus de 100 ans nous séparent, mais très semblable au nôtre dans son essence. Un jeune homme est découvert inanimé dans les faubourgs de Bucarest. Personne ne sait qui il est et chacun a une théorie différente sur ce qui lui est arrivé. Les histoires des différents personnages se tissent, chacune étroitement mêlée à la suivante, et mettent en lumière ce qui deviendra le personnage le plus puissant et important de tous : la ville de Bucarest. Le roman se déroule au cours des 13 derniers jours de 1897, et se termine par un superbe portrait de l’avenir vu par les différents personnages. En fait, nous pourrions dire que c’est nous qui vivons dans leur avenir. Tout comme Dan Creţu, alias Dan Kretzu, le journaliste de l’époque actuelle projeté mystérieusement dans le passé, et ce juste assez longtemps pour nous offrir un merveilleux aperçu d’un monde lointain et presque oublié, mais toujours très présent dans nos cœurs.

Cover of Viaţa începe vineri

Publishing House


Piata Presei Libere nr. 1 Corp C, etaj 1, Sector 1, Bucharest, Roumanie

Phone No.: 
(+4021) 408 83 50
Humanitas Publishing House

Translation Deals

  • Albania: Botime Pegi (2017)
  • Bulgaria: Perseus (2016), ERGO (2018)
  • Croatia: Naklada OceanMore (2015)
  • France: Editions du Seuil (2016)
  • Germany: Paul Zsolnay Verlag (coming soon)
  • Greece: Vakxikon Media & Publishing House (coming soon)
  • Hungary: Typotex Kiadó (2014)
  • Italy: Voland Edizioni (coming soon)
  • North Macedonia: Antolog (2015)
  • Poland: Jagiellonian University Press (2016), EMG (2019) 
  • Serbia: Heliks (2015), Heliks (2018)
  • Slovenia: Založba Pivec (2017) 
  • Sweden: Bonniers/ 2244 Förlag (2011)
  • United Kingdom: Istros Books (2016)


Translated by Alistair Ian Blythe


I like to read in the carriage. Mama takes me to task; Papa, who never forgets, not even en famille, that he is Dr Leon Margulis, primary physician with a surgery behind the National Theatre, says that I will ruin my eyes and give birth to nearsighted children. But I am obstinate and still bring a book with me. Back in their day they probably had the time to read and do lots of other things, but we youngsters have to dole out our hours with care. I could hardly wait to find out what Becky would get up to next in Vanity Fair. Although truth to tell, I think that I am more like that silly Amelia, and I shall end up loving some rascal all my life. Today I had no luck with my reading. Firstly, because my hands were frozen. And then, no sooner did we climb into the carriage than Mama and Papa, chopping the subject as finely as our cook does the parsley, began to dissect the case of the unidentified man Petre found lying in the snow this morning, in a field near the Băneasa woods and lakes. He was taken to the Prefecture of Police and placed under arrest. Mama, who is up to date on absolutely everything, says he is a fugitive from the madhouse and that he must have been driven insane by too much learning. And here she gave me a minatory look: “It is high time that Iulia decided on a decent man to marry.” Papa examined the stranger at the request of Costache, our friend from the Police, and said that he was not a vagrant, despite his wearing unbelievably odd clothes. Perhaps he is a clown from the circus. He is otherwise clean and has no “physiological” flaws apart from the fact that he does sometimes talk in a garbled way. If he is a madman, then he is a cultivated madman; he “couches his words nicely”. But when Papa asked him whether he had tuberculosis, the man gave him a scornful look, as if infuriated, and answered cuttingly: “You’re a two-bit actor!” Papa replied, as gravely as he does whatever the situation: “Sir, if you please, I am not an actor, but a physician!” He added that his lungs sounded a little congested, that he was very pale, but that he could not find any serious illness. The man calmed down and said that he would like to smoke. Papa, who is against the habit, nonetheless brought him some fine tobacco and rolling papers from Costache’s desk, but said that the man under arrest, after giving him a savage glance, quite simply turned his back on him. He is ill bred! They retained his valise for examination, a silver box, like a safe, which indicates that he might be a money forger, but they released him after keeping him under arrest for only an hour and following a brief interrogation by Costache. On finding himself free, he straightaway made himself scarce. But the best coachman in the Police was assigned to follow him unobtrusively.

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