Urmuz (Romanian pronunciation: [urˈmuz], pen name of Demetru Dem. Demetrescu-Buzău, also known as Hurmuz or Ciriviş, born Dimitrie Dim. Ionescu-Buzeu; March 17, 1883 – November 23, 1923) was a Romanian writer, lawyer and civil servant, who became a cult hero in Romania's avant-garde scene. His scattered work, consisting of absurdist short prose and poetry, opened a new genre in Romanian letters and humor, and captured the imagination of modernists for several generations. Urmuz's Bizarre (or Weird) Pages were largely independent of European modernism, even though some may have been triggered by Futurism; their valorization of nonsense verse, black comedy, nihilistic tendencies and exploration into the unconscious mind have repeatedly been cited as influential for the development of Dadaism and the Theatre of the Absurd. Individual pieces such as "The Funnel and Stamate", "Ismaïl and Turnavitu", "Algazy & Grummer" or "The Fuchsiad" are parody fragments, dealing with monstrous and shapeshifting creatures in mundane settings, and announcing techniques later taken up by Surrealism. Urmuz's biography between his high school eccentricity and his public suicide remains largely mysterious, and some of the sympathetic accounts have been described as purposefully deceptive. The abstruse imagery of his work has produced a large corpus of diverging interpretations. He has notably been read as a satirist of public life in the 1910s, an unlikely conservative and nostalgic, or an emotionally distant esotericist.In Urmuz's lifetime, his stories were only acted out by his thespian friend George Ciprian and published as samples by Cuget Românesc newspaper, with support from modernist writer Tudor Arghezi. Ciprian and Arghezi were together responsible for creating the link between Urmuz and the emerging avant-garde, their activity as Urmuz promoters being later enhanced by such figures as Ion Vinea, Geo Bogza, Lucian Boz, Saşa Pană and Eugène Ionesco. Beginning in the late 1930s, Urmuz also became the focus interest for the elite critics, who either welcomed him into 20th-century literature or dismissed him as a buffoonish impostor. By then, his activity also inspired an eponymous avant-garde magazine edited by Bogza, as well as Ciprian's drama The Drake's Head.