Daniel Bãnulescu

Portrait Daniel Bãnulescu
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Daniel Bãnulescu was born in Bucharest, Romania, in 1960. After studying engineering, he worked as a copy editor, reporter, and night watchman. In 1981, “Amfiteatru” was the first magazine to publish his poetry. From the beginning, Bãnulescu has aimed to be provocative in his poetry, which revels in insanity, obscenity, and images of death. In its aggressive combination of sexuality and religion it is reminiscent of the aesthetics of Georges Bataille, François Villon or Charles Baudelaire. The first poetry collection “Ziua în care am fost publicat” (t: The Day I was Published) appeared in 1987 as an insert in the magazine “Convingeri Comuniste”. The “poet of the explosive and not the conceptual”, as he was called by Mircea Martin, the Bucharest patron of literature, was permitted to publish the forceful title poem; the censors, however, balked at his other texts with their eloquent torrents of sexuality. Only half of the original number of poems were printed. After the end of Ceausescu’s dictatorship the missing poems were published in a second volume entitled “Te voi iubi pân’ la sfârşitul patului” (1993; t: I Will Love You till the End of Bed). The first novel “Te pup in fund, conducãtor iubit!” (1994; t: I Kiss Your Ass, Beloved Leader) reinforced Bãnulescu’s reputation as the controversial enfant terrible of contemporary Romanian literature and won him the prize of the Romanian writers’ Union. In addition to his second novel “Cei şapte regi ai oraşului Bucureşti” (1998; t: The Seven Kings of Bucharest), he published the poetry volumes “Balada lui Daniel Bãnulescu” (t: Daniel Bãnulescu’s Ballad) in 1997, and “Republica federala Daniel Bãnulescu” (t: Federal Republic of Daniel Bãnulescu) in 2000, as well as “Daniel, al rugaciunii” (t: The Prayer of Daniel) in 2002. A selection of his poetry, entitled “Schrumpeln wirst du wirst eine exotische Frucht sein” (t: You’ll Shrivel You’ll be an Exotic Fruit) was published in German translation in 2003 and received the Prize for European Poetry of the City of Münster in 2005.

The megalomaniac lyrical voice seeks, with lecherous bragging, to go beyond societal as well as poetic limits; at times, however, more sensitive tones are struck. The author prefaces the volume with a note in which he, again, provokes his critics: “Although he knows hundreds of colleagues who are more talented than himself, the modest and tight-lipped author can detect only three major chances for Romanian literature: the poet Daniel Bãnulescu, the novelist Daniel Bãnulescu, and the dramatist Daniel Bãnulescu.” Daniel Bãnulescu lives in Bucharest. In 2004/2005 he held a scholarship of the DAAD in Berlin.

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