Nicolae Breban
(born on February 1, 1934, Baia Mare, Romania) is a Romanian novelist and essayist.

He is the son of Vasile Breban, a Greek Catholic priest in the village of Recea, Maramureş County. His mother, Olga Constanţa Esthera Breban, born Böhmler, descended from a family of German merchants who emigrated from Alsace Lorraine. In 1951, he was expelled from school on account of his social origin when in the last but one grade at the „Coriolan Brediceanu” High School in Lugoj. He worked as a civil servant in Oradea and finally passed the graduation exams at the „Oltea Doamna” High School. As he intended to study at the Polytechnics, he has to work first as an apprentice in the „23 August” Works in Bucharest. He enrols in the Faculty of Philosophy by „forging personal documents” as he candidly admits in Confesiuni violente (Violent Confessions). His reading of Nietzsche and Schopenhauer made him, in fact, suspicious in the eyes of Dean Athanase Joja.

He made his literary debut in „Viaţa studenţească” (no. 5, May 1957), with the sketch Doamna din vis (The Lady in the Dream). At the 10th Congress of the Romanian Communist Party, held between 6 12 August 1969, he was elected alternate member of the Central Committee. Beginning with issue no. 20 of 14 May 1970, he is editor in chief of the literary review „România literară”, around which he attracts some of Romania's most important writers. In 1971, the première of the movie Printre colinele verzi/Among the Green Hills (written and directed by Nicolae Breban), the film version of Sick Animals, took place. The communist authorities are quite annoyed by this movie, but it is nevertheless included in the official selection for the International Festival of Cannes.

While in Paris, on this very occasion, Nicolae Breban remained shocked by the „July theses”, by means of which Nicolae Ceauşescu, following the Maoist model, was instating the Cultural Revolution. The writer publicly repudiated the cultural policy of the Romanian regime in a number of interviews published in the Western media, and, in protest, resigns his position as editor in chief of „România literară”. Back home, in 1972, the communist authorities regarded him as undesirable. He therefore underwent disregard, police watch and was not allowed to travel abroad until 1975, despite his being a German citizen beginning with this very year. Without actually becoming an exiled (1986–1989), he lived mostly in Paris with his wife Cristina. He returned to Romania and in 1990 he launched a new series of the literary review „Contemporanul - Ideea europeană”. On the 24th of October 1997, he became corresponding member of the Romanian Academy and on the 14th of January 2009, titular member of the Romanian Academy.


  • Francisca, 1965
  • În absența stăpânilor (While the Owners Are Gone), 1966
  • Animale bolnave (Sick Animals), 1968
  • Îngerul de gips (Gyps Angel), 1973
  • Bunavestire (The Annunciation), 1977
  • Don Juan, 1981
  • Culoarul cu șoareci, 1981 (theatre)
  • Bătrâna doamnă și fluturele, 1982 (theatre)
  • Drumul la zid ("Road to the Wall"), epic poem, 1984, 2009
  • Pândă și seducție (Wait and Seduction), 1991
  • Elegii parisiene (Parisian Elegies), 1992, 2006
  • Confesiuni violente (Violent Confessions), 1994
  • Amfitrion, vol. I, Demonii mărunți, vol. II, Procuratorii, vol. III, Alberta, 1994
  • Riscul în cultură (The Risk in Culture), 1997
  • Spiritul românesc în fața unei dictaturi, 1997
  • Ziua și noaptea (primul volum al tetralogiei Ziua și noaptea), 1998
  • Ursul și știuca, 2000 (theatre)
  • Voința de putere (volumul al doilea al tetralogiei Ziua și noaptea), 2001
  • Stricte amintiri literare, 2001
  • Sensul vieții (Memorii), 2003-2007
  • Friedrich Nietzsche - Maxime comentate, 2004
  • Puterea nevăzută (volumul al treilea al tetralogiei Ziua și noaptea), 2004, 2006
  • Vinovați fără vină, 2006
  • Jiquidi (volumul al patrulea al tetralogiei Ziua și noaptea), 2007
  • Orfeu în infern, 2008 (short stories)
  • Trădarea criticii, 2009
  • Profeții despre prezent. Elogiul morții, 2009
  • Singura cale, 2011