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Ion Negoiţescu (August 10, 1921 – February 6, 1993) was a Romanian literary historian, critic, poet, novelist and memoirist, one of the leading members of the Sibiu Literary Circle. A rebellious and eccentric figure, Negoiţescu began his career while still an adolescent, and made himself known as a literary ideologue of the 1940s generation. Moving from a youthful affiliation to the fascist Iron Guard, which he later came to regret, the author became a disciple of modernist doyen Eugen Lovinescu, and, by 1943, rallied the entire Sibiu Circle to the cause of anti-fascism. He was also one of the few openly homosexual intellectuals in Romania to have come out before the 1990s—an experience which, like his political commitments, is recorded in his controversial autobiographical writings.
After World War II, Negoiţescu's anti-communism, dissident stance and sexual orientation made him an adversary of the Romanian communist regime. Marginalized and censored, he spent three years as a political prisoner. Ultimately reinstated during a late 1960s episode of liberalization, he continued to speak out against political restrictions, and came to be closely monitored by the Securitate secret police. In 1977, he joined Paul Goma and Ion Vianu in a civil society protest against the rule of Nicolae Ceauşescu, but was pressured into retracting. Eventually, Negoiţescu defected to West Germany, where he became a contributor to Radio Free Europe and various other anti-communist outlets, as well as editor of literary magazines for the Romanian diaspora communities. He died in Munich.
Ion Negoiţescu's review of Romanian literature and contributions to literary theory generally stood in contrast to the nationalist and national communist recourse to traditionalism or anti-Europeanism, and engaged it polemically by advocating the values of Western culture. His diverse work, although scattered and largely incomplete, drew critical praise for its original takes on various subjects, and primarily for its views on the posthumously published writings of national poet Mihai Eminescu. In tandem, the implications of Negoiţescu's private life and the various aspects of his biography, such as his relationship to exposed Securitate informant Petru Romoşan and the revelations of his unpublished diary, have remained topics of controversy in the years after his death.
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