Zaharia Stancu: Desculț (Barefoot)

The latest addition to my website is Zaharia Stancu‘s Desculț (Barefoot). We follow Darie, a young peasant boy from the beginning of the 20th century to World War I. However, the main focus of the novel is the sufferings of the Romanian peasants. The peasants are continually victims – of the boyars (rich landowners) and their staff, the kulaks (rich farmers), the local moneylenders, the government, wars, bandits, the weather and, in the case of the women, the multiple child births and child deaths. Stancu shows all of these issue, often on many occasions. Apart from the brief hope of the 1907 Romanian Peasants’ Revolt, which is brutally repressed, there is no reprieve from their suffering. Darie, who is a cripple, is even worse off than most, though he tries to make something of himself. However, it is the overall suffering of the peasants that is Stancu’s main concern.

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