H. Bonciu, or Horia Bonciu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈhori.a ˈbont͡ʃju]; reportedly born Bercu, Beniamin or Hieronim Haimovici, also known as Bonciu Haimovici, Haimovici Bonciu; May 19, 1893 – April 27, 1950), was a Romanian novelist, poet, journalist and translator, noted especially as an atypical figure on his country’s avant-garde scene. His work, comprising several volumes of poetry and two novels, is a mixture of influences from the diverse literary schools of Europe’s modernism, and, unusually in the context of Romanian literature, borrows heavily from German-born movements such as Expressionism. The autofictional and cruel detail in Bonciu’s narratives makes him a senior figure among Romania’s own Trăirist authors, while its capture of the unnaturally grotesque also finds him as one of the country’s Neoromantics and Surrealists.
Opposed by the literary establishment when his erotic subjects became more widely known, and further marginalized for his Jewish origin, H. Bonciu was even prosecuted in the 1930s on grounds of “pornography”. His work was banned by the local fascist movements, and later selectively censored by the communist regime. The controversy, like his refusal to rally with any particular cultural movement of the interwar, has touched the critical reception of his work, and has introduced a decades-long debate about its contextual value. While some scholars find Bonciu a necessary addition to the modern literary canon and a forerunner of postmodern literature, others describe him as mediocre or pretentious.