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Gaudeamus (novel)

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Wikipedia article

'Gaudeamus' is a novel written in 1928 by the Romanian writer Mircea Eliade, portraying him at college during the Interbellum. It was only published as a single volume in 1989. It is the sequel to 'Diary of a Short-Sighted Adolescent' (Romanian: 'Romanul adolescentului miop)', which is based on Eliade's time in high school.

'Gaudeamus' was published in English for the first time in April 2018 by Istros Books, with a foreword by Bryan Rennie.


As Bryan Rennie writes in the foreword of the 2018 English edition: "Mircea Eliades 'Gaudeamus', written between February and March of 1928, is a coming-of-age novel based on his undergraduate years at the University of Bucharest (1925 to 1928). His earlier novel, 'Romanul adolescenului miop' ('Diary of a Short-Sighted Adolescent', Istros Books, 2014) had focused on the final years of his 'Liceu' (high school) education and had been serialised in its entirety in the Bucharest periodicals 'Cuvntul', 'Viaa Literar', and 'Universul Literar' in the 20s, but the manuscript of 'Gaudeamus' had a different trajectory. Finished before Eliades departure for India in 1928, it remained among his papers in the family house on Strada Melodiei in Bucharest. Only three pages, described as an excerpt from 'Gaudeamus', appeared in 'Viaa literar' in March 1928. Eliade attempted without success to place the manuscript with the publisher, Cartea Romneasc, but the novel was to wait more than fifty years to appear in print. Eliade did revisit and reread it in 193233, when, according to his 'Autobiography', he found it both lyrical and frenzied, too pretentious, timidly indiscreet, and quite lacking in grandeur. He never again tried to have it published, nor, indeed to have any contact with it. The house was demolished in 1935 and the manuscript passed into the possession of his younger sister Cornelia (Corina) Alexandrescu. It was not until 1981 that a high school teacher and Eliade enthusiast, Mircea Handoca, along with the philosopher, essayist, and poet, Constantin Noica, were given access to Mme. Alexandrescu's attic and recovered the manuscript. Together they assembled the first 2,500 typed pages of Eliade's writings from 1921 up to 1928. Several chapters from 'Gaudeamus' appeared in three issues of the journal 'Manuscriptum' in 1983, three years before Eliade's death, but the entire text of the novel did not appear until 1986 when it was published in 'Revista de istoire i teorie literar' and then again as a single volume with 'Romanul adolescenului miop' in 1989. Curiously, the three-page passage from 'Viaa literar' was absent from the final version of the manuscript. Thereafter 'Gaudeamus' was translated into French in 1992 and Italian in 2012 and now it appears for the first time in English."


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