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Entries Tagged as 'American'

BOOK REVIEW: A Romanian close encounter – “The Romanian – Story of an Obsession

February 27th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

A literary critic of “Le Monde” who is quoted on the front cover of this book states that: “what astonishes and intrigues is Benderson’s way of recounting in the sweetest possible voice, things which are considered shocking… ”
If the French are “shocked”, then the Romanians would certainly be outraged, not by the lack of prudery, as by the fresco of the Romanian society of motley pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, bureaucrats, hangers-on, desperate people and the whole gamut of poor destitute of all ages, social background and ethnic origin, neither of whom come out too well, in the end: TOUGH!

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Constantin ROMAN’s Book Review: “Bread, Salt & Plum Brandy” by Lisa Fisher Cazacu

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, PEOPLE, Reviews

FIRSTLY she comes to realize the true blessing of being born in a country where public services function properly and are taken for granted:
– “what, no bus service to take children to school? What, no compulsion by RomTelecom the national telephone company to fix the fault on Lisa’s line at a weekend?”
– Who needs a phone, anyway?
The list of Ubuesque mishaps is endless and a great eye-opener both for the reader who could not imagine it and for the natives who got used to and put up with it for far too long!

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Poetry in Translation (CCCXXXIII), T. S. ELIOT (1888-1965), U.S.A./ENGLAND: “Hysteria”, “Isterie”

April 7th, 2015 · No Comments · Famous People, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

I
decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be
stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might
be collected, and I concentrated my attention with
careful subtlety to this end.
Mi-am
făcut socoteala, dacă săltatul sânilor ei ar putea cumva fi
oprit, atunci poate câteva frânturi ale după amiezii ar putea fi
salvate, astfel ca să-mi pot concentra atenţia, în acest scop, cu
o subtilitate bine pusă la punct.

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Poetry in Translation (CCCXXXII), T. S. ELIOT (1888-1965), U.S.A./ENGLAND: “Aunt Helen”, “Mătuşa Ana”

April 4th, 2015 · No Comments · Famous People, International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Miss Helen Slingsby was my maiden aunt,
And lived in a small house near a fashionable square
Cared for by servants to the number of four.
Now when she died there was silence in heaven
And silence at her end of the street.
The shutters were drawn and the undertaker wiped his feet —
He was aware that this sort of thing had occurred before.
The dogs were handsomely provided for,
But shortly afterwards the parrot died too.
The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece,
And the footman sat upon the dining-table
Holding the second housemaid on his knees —
Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived.

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Poetry in Translation (CCCXVI): Walt WHITMAN (1819-1892), U.S.A. – “To a Stranger”, “Trecătorule”

January 31st, 2015 · No Comments · Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass- you
take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you- I am to think of you when I sit alone, or
wake at night alone,
I am to wait- I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you

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Poetry in Translation (CCCXII): T. S. ELIOTT (1888-1965), U.S.A. / ENGLAND – “Lune de miel”, “Luna de miere”

January 3rd, 2015 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Ils vont prendre le train de huit heures
Prolonger leurs misères de Padoue à Milan
Ou se trouvent le Cène, et un restaurant pas cher.

Apoi vor prinde trenul, la opt şi jumătate,
Târându-şi, greu, suflarea, din Sud înspre Milano,
La Cina cea de Taină şi un meniu mai ieftin.

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Poetry in Translation (CLXXVI – CLXXXII): Robert Creeley (1926 – 2005), USA, Seven Poems

April 6th, 2013 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

STILL
Still the same
day?
Tomorrow.

ÎNCĂ
(Robert Creeley)
Încă aceeaşi
zi?
Mâine.

Poetry in Translation (CLXXVIII): Robert Creeley (1926 – 2005), USA, “Do you think…”, “Crezi, oare…”

DO YOU THINK?
(Robert Creeley)

CREZI OARE?
(Robert Creeley)

Crezi, oare, dacă
vre-o dată ai face ce-ai vrea
să faci, atunci n-ai mai dori să o faci?

Crezi, oare, dacă
mărul de pe masă
ar fi fost mâncat de cineva, atunci
n-ai mai fi fost acolo?

Crezi, oare, dacă
la un moment dat doi oameni s-ar iubi
ori şi cum la un moment dat unul sau celălalt
ar iubi mai puţin
intr-o clipă sau alta a unei relaţii eminamente fericite?

Crezi, oare, dacă
respirând adânc, odată, ai fi
obligat atunci să repeţi din nou
şi iarăşi din nou, până când mecanismul
respiraţiei nesfârşite ar deveni
o necessitate aproape infinită?

(Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2013 Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

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Poetry in Translation (C I): William Stafford (1914 – 1993) – “A Story That Could Be True”, “O poveste aproape adevărată”

December 28th, 2011 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Poetry in Translation (C I): William Stafford (1914 – 1993) – “A Story That Could Be True”, “O poveste aproape adevărată”
They miss the whisper that runs
any day in your mind,
“Who are you really, wanderer?”–
and the answer you have to give
no matter how dark and cold
the world around you is:
“Maybe I’m a king.”

Ei nu-ţi vor auzi şoapta
ce-ţi trece mereu prin minte.
“Oare cine eşti tu, străine?”
Iar tu, ori cât de intunecată şi rece
ţi-ar părea lumea din jurul tău, vei răspunde:
“Eu, poate sunt Împăratul!”

Versiune in Limba Româna
Constantin ROMAN
© Constantin ROMAN, 2011

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Conversation with Domnica Radulescu, Romanian-American Academic and Novelist about her first Novel – “Train to Trieste”

May 2nd, 2011 · 3 Comments · Books, Diaspora, PEOPLE

CRS:
Most of Romanian exiles who became acknowledged as international greats, Cioran, Anna de Noailles, Marta Bibescu, Horia Vintila wrote directly in the language of their adoptive country, yet the native Romanian officials together with a raft of native critics considered this practice disloyal. The young Elena Vacarescu who received a prestigious French Prize for her poems.she was reviled, back in Romania, even before 1900. She returned only to be exiled again, yet she desperately loved her country wherever she was. Two generations later, under communism, the official critic George Calinescu in his opus on the History of Romanian literature dismissed Anna de Noailles as “unpatriotic” for not writing in Romanian. Even as recently as two years ago a director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris refused a Romanian author financial help for the translation of his book simply because this was written in a foreign language therefore stating that it did not qualify as Romanian (sic). We know that this seems bizarre and nonsensensical. Your choice of writing in English is clear and I for one I think it a great help in putting `Romania on the map, very much as Panait Istrati or Anna de Noailles did it before the war and many other exiles since – what are your views on such criticism? Do you find it justified?

DR:
I frankly don’t care much about such criticism nor do I pay much attention to it. I think a writer can write in any language under the sun she/he chooses and throughout history writers wrote in different languages, not always their first native or maternal languages. I left Romania for the United States in order to start a new life, a new me, a new destiny, when I was quite young. It felt like the most natural thing in the world to write in the language of the country in which I have been living for a quarter of a century. Besides I adore writing in English more than in any other language.

CRS:
On the occasion of the Award of the Nobel Prize for Literature to Herta Muller much debate and controversy was stirred in the Romanian society about the Romanianness of a German ethnic born in Romania, who lived in Berlin and wrote in a foreign language… Some critics went even further as to suggest that one of the reasons why Romania may have been overlooked by the Nobel prize committee is the paucity of Romanian novels translated in languages of international circulation: do you find such suggestion justified?

DR:
I don’t know, again I don’t care much about such issues as someone’s “Romanianness” or “Frenchness,” and I think it’s silly of critics and the media to worry about things like that; the reason they do is because there is such a need to pin and label writers and place them in boxes of ethnic, national, linguistic affiliations. Maybe Romanians should do a better job at translating their own literature in other languages.

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Book Review: “The Romanian” by Bruce Benderson (Prix de Flore)

April 2nd, 2010 · No Comments · Books, PEOPLE, Reviews

There are also the occasional hilarious interludes such as the one at the Romanian Cultural Centre in New York. Here, the Institute’s Director, Carmen Firan is a former protege of ex-President Ion Iliescu and Berensn describes her as “an intellectual”(sic) a matter of opinion on which the jury is still out. Benderson also mentions a meeting organized in NY where Firan’s choice guest is a certain Nina Cassian. In romania, Cassian is still remebered as an ex-communist sycophant but in spite of it in New York the subject is repackaged as a “dissident” (and how!).

Cassian was a poet who, during four long decades of communism enjoyed unashamedly, the spoils of the dictatorship. During her extended honeymoon with the Romanian Communist censorship Cassian published several dozen volumes of her grotesque poetry, before she absconded to USA, in the late 1980s. Bruce finds her in NY where she is hailed as a linchpin of Romanian culture…. now we know where are the sympathies of the Romanian Cultural Centre: well – birds of a feather!

A literary critic of “Le Monde” who is quoted on the front cover of this book states that:

“what astonishes and intrigues is Benderson’s way of recounting in the sweetest possible voice, things which are considered shocking… ”

If the French are “shocked”, then the Romanians would certainly be outraged, not by the lack of prudery, as by the fresco of the Romanian society of motley pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, bureaucrats, hangers-on, desperate people and the whole gamut of poor destitute of all ages, social background and ethnic origin, neither of whom come out too well, in the end: TOUGH!

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