Ion Druță, also known as Ion Drutse, was a prolific Moldovan writer, poet, playwright, and literary historian. Born on September 3, 1928, in Horodiște, Druță lived an impactful life until his death on September 28, 2023. He was an honorary member of the Romanian Academy and his works are often considered the “gold fund” of contemporary national literature.
Early Life and Education
Ion Druță was born in the village of Horodiște, which was part of Soroca County in the Kingdom of Romania at the time (now in Dondușeni District, Republic of Moldova). He graduated from the Forestry School and took higher courses at the Institute of Literature “Maxim Gorki” of the Union of Soviet Writers. In 1969, he settled in Moscow, Russia.
Druță’s literary journey began in the early 1950s with the publication of his first short stories. Over the years, he became a significant figure in Moldovan literature. In 1987, he was unanimously elected Honorary President of the Writers‘ Union of the Republic of Moldova. Initially, he wrote exclusively in Romanian but expanded his repertoire to include Russian from 1960 onwards.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ion Druță was a leading figure in the Romanian national movement in Moldova. However, his stance on the ethno-linguistic controversies of the region became more complex in the 1990s. He was both criticized and praised by pro-Romanian and pro-Russian media and organizations, respectively.
Druță’s dramatic operas remain an essential part of his oeuvre, though the details are not elaborated here.
Some of his famous novels include:
- Frunze de dor
- Povara bunătății noastre
- Întoarcerea țărânii în pământ
- Biserica albă
- Păsările tinereții noastre (1971)
- Moldavian Autumn, translated by various translators and published by the University Press of the Pacific in 2001.
Awards and Honours
Throughout his lifetime, Druță received several awards and honours, such as:
- Ordinul Drapelul Roșu de Muncă (1960)
- Ordinul Lenin (1988)
- Ordinul Republicii (1993)
- Laureat al Premiului de Stat al RSS Moldovenești (1967)
- Scriitor al Poporului din RSS Moldovenească (1988)
- Membru de Onoare al Academiei Române (1990)
- Membru activ of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova (1992)
- Doctor Honoris Causa of the Moldova State University (1999)
- Laureat al Premiului de Stat al Republicii Moldova în domeniul literaturii (2008)
Ion Druță leaves behind a rich legacy of literary works, political involvement, and academic contributions. His life’s work has been instrumental in shaping modern Moldovan literature and culture. With his passing, the world has lost a monumental figure in the literary and cultural history of Moldova and beyond.