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Camil Petrescu (Romanian pronunciation: [kaˈmil peˈtresku]; 9/21 April 1894 – 14 May 1957; born and died in Bucharest) was a Romanian playwright, novelist, philosopher and poet. He marked the end of the traditional novel era and laid the foundation of the modern novel era.



Camil Petrescu lost both his parents early in life and was raised by a relative (or a nanny from the Moşilor suburb; the sources remain quite unclear on this).

Petrescu went to primary school at Obor, and to high school at Saint Sava National College, where he wrote his very first poem. Being very poor, he studied assiduously, worked to support himself, and relatively late—at the age of 29—he began his studies in philosophy at the University of Bucharest. His antisemitism is controversial, having Jewish friends such as Mihail Sebastian .[1][2][3]

In 1916, Petrescu was drafted and sent to the battlefields of then raging World War I, where he was wounded and taken prisoner by the Austro-Hungarians. Freed in 1918, he depicted his war experiences in his 1930 novel Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război ("The Last Night of Love, the First Night of War"). In 1933, Petrescu wrote the novel Patul lui Procust ("The Bed of Procrustes"). He was a teacher in Timişoara, and director of the National Theater Bucharest. He was also a member of the Romanian Academy from 1947.


  • Patul lui Procust ("The Bed of Procrustes"—of which we now have Ileana Orlich's translation of 2008, published by the Camil Petrescu Cultural Foundation in Bucharest)
  • Ultima noapte de dragoste, întâia noapte de război ("The Last Night of Love, the First Night of War")
  • Doctrina substanţei ("The Doctrine of Substance") - philosophy - 1940


  • Patul lui Procust (2001) - Bed of Procust, Procust's Bed (2001, International English title - it is not known why this title was chosen when the reference in the original Romanian title is to the mythical Procrustes)
  • Cei care plătesc cu viaţa (1991) aka Those Who Pay With Their Lives (1991)
  • Mitică Popescu (1984) (play)
  • Iată femeia pe care o iubesc (1981) (TV) (play)
  • Ultima noapte de dragoste (1979) (novel Ultima noapte de dragoste, întîia noapte de război) - The Last Night of Love, First Night Of War (1979)