Such writers as Creangă can only emerge where the spoken word is ancient, heavy with meaning, almost equivocal; where experience is condensed in fixed formulas, familiar to all. Thus a literary work should simply mean a re-animation of certain elements outworn by long usage.
Maybe such a maker of words should have arisen centuries later, in an era of Romanian humanism. Creangă was born much earlier into a world endowed with long-standing traditions and a kind of erudite memory, in a village, a mountainous village at that, on the hilly side of the Siret river. The people there are self-contained and conservative and their experience of life is given impersonal and aphoristic expression...
Consequently, there is little to say about Creangă as an artist. Critical attempts generally stray far from their mark. A musician may well imitate the thunder of water, a painter may well paint the visible, but these are artistic reflections, not critical interpretations.
Creangă is a grand expression of human nature, as embodied historically in the Romanian people; more simply he is the genius of the Romanian people itself, caught in a moment of supreme expansion. Ion Creangă is, in fact, anonymous.
GEORGE CĂLINESCU: Ion Creangă, Life and Work.
"Minerva" Publishing House – Bucharest – 1978