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Diary of a Short-Sighted Adolescent

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  8,346 ratings  ·  128 reviews
The short-sighted adolescent is a passionate reader who takes various cultural figures as models, trying to emulate both their lives or their works. The pupil protagonist is a poor student, who likes science and reads a lot of books, sometimes staying up all night to do so. At the age of 17, he decides to write a novel to demonstrate to his teachers that he is not as medio ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 2016 by Istros Books (first published 1989)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Vit Babenco
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An inner world of an adolescent: the world of naive fears and immeasurable ambitions – Mircea Eliade tells the story marvelously.
The adolescent boy wants to write an autobiographical novel and to put there all his friends and all his modest life experience…
The fact is that The Novel of the Short-Sighted Adolescent will be a series of vignettes, impressions, portraits, conclusions about school life and the adolescent soul. This might seem dull and analytical; particularly the word ‘conclusions’.

May 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on
I tried. I really did. But I got through Catcher in the Rye, and this is worse. I cannot identify with anything except:

- He makes a plan to study or do something… and gives it up to start reading more interesting books.

Perfect. I do that all the time. But you can't make a book out of that, and it shows up so little that it's quite negligible.

I stopped just before the halfway point, but already by that point he'd (in no particular order):

- Made a girl cry by trying to kiss her and then saying,
May 12, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Crap, crap and even more crap. What is this book supposed to teach high school freshmen? That whoring around, smoking and repeatedly failing math is supposed to make you some sort of tortured intellectual? Yeah, I don't think so. I think it's one of the worst books on my school reading list. ...more
Ovidiu Sky
Oct 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I don't want to be mediocre, this is the fear of my soul and my body" said Mircea Eliade in on of his journals. This novel prove again that he overpass this fear and put together a sum of feelings that he shape them into a diamond. The novel is gorgeous, I recommend this to every teenager that has dilemmas and problems passing trough this age. Excellent book. ...more
This rediscovered Romanian classic is what you might get if a teenage Adrian Mole was studying for a philosophy degree. Before picking this up I knew of Mircea Eliade as a commentator on world religions. I didn’t realize he also wrote a number of novels. This is particularly special in that it’s a lost manuscript he wrote as a teenager; it was only discovered in a Bucharest attic after his death in the 1980s. The novel’s chief detriments – the repetitive nature of the sections about his schoolin ...more
Sep 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanian
This is one of the novels I should have read several years ago, in my early youth. If I would have read it when I had 17 or 18 years old I would have been better prepared for the difficult years that followed. I consider all teenagers must read it in order to learn how Eliade and his generation has passed through this difficult years. For me it was a model and I followed it even if I did not read it. I just picked several alternate routes before finally deciding to go a similar path of Eliade's ...more
Aug 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanian-authors
Disappointed by how misogynistic Eliade is -- I still like his works, but my taste-buds have been altered somewhat. Bitter.
Florin Pitea
I read this back in the 1980s, when I myself was a short-sighted teenager. I liked it to some extent.
Cosmina Ion
40% okay, 60% boring. "Cismigiu & Comp." by Grigore Bajenaru beats this book big time. ...more
Nov 06, 2021 rated it did not like it
i’m not even gonna bother writing a review cause i had to read this for school and it was horrible
Mar 07, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romanian
A very unusual book about a teenager aspiring to excel mediocrity by sacrificing his happiness. Although at first seeming weak and lacking will-power, as we watch the main character grow up he improves his self-control, finding the strength in himself to do what he was meant to do - push his limits until becoming an accomplished man. We understand that people are destined to do something really meaningful with their lives, but very few choose this way, and those who do can only achieve success b ...more
Marina Sofia
Mar 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first time I read this in English and at an age where I can mock the self-centred worldview of teenagers. Previously, I was a teenager myself and thought it was something to be taken seriously (see, even the great Eliade found school life difficult!). Of course, I now think it is more fictional than autobiographical, as it's easy to see the satire in it. Particularly funny are the chapters on procrastination and pretentiousness. The chapter on 'going to the brother' is very much of its time ...more
Jun 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was an awesome book. I'm glad that I was asked to read it in the first year of highschool. One of the greatest books about childhood I've ever read ...more
Clare Walker
Apr 10, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Read just before Romania. Picked this up with no expectations and loved it. Must find more by this author.
Aimee Nistor
Mar 11, 2022 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't recommend ...more
18+ content.
This is one of the worst books I've ever read. It encourages misogyny, racism, suicide, and communist ideologies. The main character is a depressed teenager who enjoys whipping himself with a rope hidden behind his journals. There is a detailed description of the utter delight brought by the feeling of fresh blood trickling down his back and how wonderful inducing pain is (Kinky, I know). The protagonist also, being a respectable sixteen-year-old, frequents brothels. He contemplates
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Unlike other works of Eliade, this did not appeal to me. I found it quite boring, maybe because I am long time passed the high school period. In any case, what really impressed me is that at 19 (when he wrote it) he was imagining himself covered with glory, admired and receiving awards. Years later, it happened. This is what I call positive thinking! :)
Morarescu Martha
it was very inspiring and im really grateful i chose to read it a year before it was recommended to me for i had the same feelings the character did and im afraid i would have given up on it which would have been a pity..
I dare say, this was the most boring book I've ever read, and it took me a month of my life to read it. I only did it because of the writer, but it was truly dissapointing. ...more
Aug 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A little misogynistic person, but the story is wonderful. (IS A KIND OF AUTOBIOGRAPHY)
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Review of Diary of a short sighted adolescent by Mircea Eliade, translated from the Romanian by Christopher Moncrieff with reference to original translation by Christopher Bartolomew

The unnamed narrator is a student in school. The novel focuses on his life as one, reading balzac or whatever instead of doing homework, failing maths etc, not telling parents you are suspended from school so read a classic in the park, you know normal school boy stuff.

The first half of it I found more interesting an
I've read this book out of pure curiosity ( I should have read it in high school, while I had the main character's age). Nevertheless, I can still relate to some parts of his behaviour, mainly reading books you love instead of studying, procrastinating, feeling tormented by the beauties of nature.

On the other hand, I don't agree with his behaviour and way of thinking. He's kind of a moron, really. Moulding poor Nishka just the way he liked, then he dumped her, forcing her to a mediocre lifestyl
Nov 29, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
No, I didn't like it. The behaviours that the main character had were exactly the same with the one the characters from "Elevul Dima dintr-a şaptea" had, which I didn't consider pleasant at all for some teenagers who were thought to be very smart. Also, that combinations of unmatching adjectives and nouns and the "mysterious" dialogues did not impress me. It really made me thought that they are some stupid guys who know some smart words but don't know what they mean. I will not read it again. Ev ...more
Maria Miguel
Mar 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While reading this book I felt like I was totally fulfilled inside. From the beginning to the very end, I got totally stuck. Mircea Eliade is a very inspiring and wise man and a great writer.
However, I think this book has to be read in a certain time of our lives. To truly admire it we have to relate to the character and to question and fear similar things. Reading this book without a sense of understanding and support is not the same thing.
Loved some parts (introspection), hated others with a passion (the way he sees and interacts with women). His relationship with math is the most relatable lol.
Oct 06, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book about teen-agers and their word.
Ileana Profeanu
I really pondered between one star and two stars. But in the end, it doesn't really matter. ...more
Luca lucas
Nov 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i grow up with this book.
Aug 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
is the first novel I woke up some emotions so bad.
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Romanian-born historian of religion, fiction writer, philosopher, professor at the University of Chicago, and one of the pre-eminent interpreters of world religion in the last century. Eliade was an intensely prolific author of fiction and non-fiction alike, publishing over 1,300 pieces over 60 years. He earned international fame with LE MYTHE DE L'ÉTERNAL RETOUR (1949, The Myth of the Eternal Ret ...more

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