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Entries Tagged as 'Bucharest'

Poetry in Translation (CCXXXIII): Hélène VACARESCO (Elena Văcărescu, b. 1866 Bucharest – d. 1947, Paris): “Romania”

December 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Diaspora, History, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

You may well recognise in these qualities Romania, land of suffering, land of enlightenment and of valour placed across the promontory against the dredge of Asian invasions and like a beacon being mightily conscious of defending the civilization, which gave it its people and its laws”.

(Hélène Vacaresco, Diplomat, Poet,
addressing the Societe des Nations,
Paris, 27th April 1925)

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Collection of Antique Prints and Engravings (16thc – 19th c), (Part I)

October 29th, 2013 · 1 Comment · Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

Constantin ROMAN bought his first prints whilst a postgraduate student in Cambridge, in the early 1970s, when very few people were interested in the subject and prices were accessible. Over the following thirty years, as a Geophysicist, he had the opportunity to travel extensively and added substantially to his collection, mostly from dealers in England, France and Holland. His particular interest concentrated on images from the Ottoman Empire in Europe, with emphasis on Wallachia and Moldavia (the Lower Danube and the Carpathians) as well as the Eastern part of the Habsburg Empire, (the Principality of Transylvania). Auxiliary themes of a wider regional interest (Polish, Russian, Balkan, Hungarian, Austrian, Turkish) are also present.

Subject Matter:

The subject of the collection has a strong topographical interest. It consists of maps (including plans of battles and strategic fortifications), views (landscapes and townscapes), costumes, portraits of historical characters, scenes of social and political interest, architectural / natural monuments, political cartoons of the 19th century, etc.

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WInter Drifts and Snowdrift: latest news from Absurdistan!

January 29th, 2012 · No Comments · International Media, PEOPLE, quotations

According to the Bulgarian rag “The Echo” – all is well with our “brothers in arms”, the Bulgars, but NOT so well across the border in Absurdistan: In Bucharest, a number of major streets were closed to traffic and efforts continued to clear the snowdrifts on the city’s ring road. Snow-clearing vehicles from nearby towns were called in to aid the efforts, but these were delayed for some time after their drivers had to return and purchase road vignettes before proceeding on the motorway.

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1980 – Thirty Years ago – Romania’s Communist Christmas

December 22nd, 2010 · 1 Comment · OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations

“I got up early, at the crack of dawn, to secure a place, by 6 AM, in an interminable queue, in the hope of buying milk and eggs for our silver wedding anniversary, but I came home empty handed. That afternoon I went again on an errand to see if I could buy anything for our dinner at our local market place. This was an open air market where peasants with a tiny plot of land could bring their vegetables. These were a luxury as they were so expensive, so I thought I had a better chance of finding something. The stalls made of wooden planks on struts were absolutely empty and in the fine rain they looked desolate and dirty. I scanned the stalls, as the last peasants were about to leave, for their villages, outside Bucharest. It was winter time and dark was falling early in the day. As I was about to give up, looking down, carefully to avoid the pot holes full of rain water, I just noticed a few potatoes which fell on the ground, under the stall, so I asked the peasant if I could pick them up. As I knelt on the ground, with difficulty, at my old age, because of my arthritis, I put them in my plastic bag and asked how much he wanted. He did not want to receive any money, in deference to my advanced age. I must have looked pityfull and exhausted. I hurried home with just an empty bag with three potatoes covered in mud. As I entered our block of flats I met this young neighbor of mine, who exclaimed in surprise: madame, she said, ‘where have you found these potatoes, because I looked the whole day and found none… and I have a young baby at home who has nothing to eat. I am desperate.’ So, I handed over to her the three potatoes, which were visible through the plastic bag and came home with nothing: but was glad to have done a good deed.” (Jenny Velescu, personal communication, 1981)
(Extract from the Anthology: “Blouse Roumaine – The Unsung Voices of Romanian Women”)

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QUOTATIONS: How other people see us (II) – Harold NICOLSON

April 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Diary, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations

The Harold Nicolson Diaries: 1907-1963
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG (21 November 1886 – 1 May 1968) was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician.
Amongst these diaries there a brief insightful portrait of King Carol II of Romania, whom Harold Nicolson visited in Bucharest:

“He had ordered he said, a purely Romanian luncheon. God, it was good! In spite of my feeling so faint, I gobbled hard. We talked agreeably. He is a bounder, but less of a bounder than he seemed in London. He was more at ease. His Windsor blue eyes were wistful and he had something behind them. He spoke with intelligence about Chamberlain and Eden and the Italian Agreement and the French cabinet and the league of Nations. He was well-informed and most sensible. We kept all debating topics away.”

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Book Review: “Once Upon Another Time” by Jessica Douglas-Home

April 4th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Books, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Uncategorized

Once upon another time
by Jessica Douglas-Home.
Quotation from page 169-170;
"the Arbuthnots (British Ambassador to Romania, – LC note) second party took place that evening – a lavish buffet for twenty. As with the first one, people sat in huddles whispering on the stairs and in corners. A gaunt professor of architecture entered and for a time seemed frozen by the sight of the two tables piled high with unheard of delicacies. A waiter broke the spell by handing him a glass of wine from a silver tray whereupon he fell on the food like a starving man.

(LC note- Romanians had next to nothing to eat under Ceausescu in the 1980s, except chicken claws).

I have a picture of Plesu and Liicianu stretching their legs out from the deep velvet sofa, arms clasped behind their necks, their eyes glinting amusedly at me, relaxed and at peace with themselves.

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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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Dela Oxford la Bucuresti (Universul Familiei Regale Romane)

April 9th, 2004 · Comments Off on Dela Oxford la Bucuresti (Universul Familiei Regale Romane) · Art Exhibitions, PEOPLE

Dela Oxford la Bucuresti Universul Familiei Regale Romane – Portrete din arhivele Britanice Expozitie organizata la Muzeul de Istorie al Municipiului Bucuresti de catre Dl. Russell Harris, M.Litt, (Oxon) Aprilie 2004 Expozitia de fotografii cu portretele familiei regale a Romaniei precum si ale capetelor incoronate cu care regii Romaniei sunt inruditi, se va deschide in […]

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