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Entries Tagged as 'Ceausescu'

Romania anilor ’50 si ’60: Muzica usoara occidentala sub Comunism

August 12th, 2011 · 4 Comments · International Media, PEOPLE

Uneori, la Bucuresti, mai auzeam de la prietenii unor prieteni, cam la māna a treia sau a patra, de niște “ceaiuri” date īn cartierul Primăverii, unde “grangurii” īși aveau ghetoul privilegiat, īn casele luate cu japca de la “exploatatorii” care īnfundaseră pușcăriile de la Sighet sau Aiud.
Copiii lor, de aceeași vārstă cu mine, primiseră discuri de muzică ușoară: twist, rock’n roll – muzică “decadentă” pentru noi, dar nu și pentru ei. Era imposibil de pătruns īn asemenea cercuri, și m-aș fi simțit compl “pe din afară”, așa că doar visam. Īn plus, nu era suficient să fi pus māna pe un disc străin, ci trebuia să ai și un “patefon” modern, pentru “microsilloane” de 33 și mai tārziu de 45 (rotații pe minut). Asemenea tehnologie nu exista pe piața liberă, dar la un moment dat a fost importată din Cehoslovacia sau Germania de Est. Prin anii ‘60 apăruseră niște īnregistrări romānești (Electrecord) cu cāntăreți occidentali simpatizanți comuniști – interpretul negru american de jazz Paul Robson, sau comunistul francez Yves Montand. Ei, asta era mare lucru! Dar noi tinerii preferam Beatles sau Paul Anka, īnsă de unde Dumnezeu să īi găsești?

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Comrade Jonathan Swift’s “subversive” Gulliver and the “Genius of the Carpathians”

June 3rd, 2011 · No Comments · Books, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations

“Publishing Swift’s satires in 1985, I myself fought a lot with the censor in order to include “A Modest proposal” concerning eating Irish children, which had become subversive here on account of meat shortage in Romania. Faced with the alternative of not publishing the book at all, or doing it without the famous text, I gave it up. The supreme level of censorship was a department of the (Communist) Party Central Committee.”
source of quotation:
http://www.blouseroumaine.com

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20th c Romanian History (I) – Ceausescu & Bokassa

April 4th, 2011 · No Comments · OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations

There was a glaring complicity between the two dictators, Bokassa and Ceuasescu, who, although were worlds apart, they had a lot in common, in particular the cunning of the small-time village satrap, overblown to parody level. They also shared the same tribal feeling about being surrounded by family in key positions, the same attraction for all that glittered, the delusions of grandeur.

Bokassa Coronation sceptre inspired Nicolae Ceausescu

In retrospect Bokassa outwitted all his contemporaries, including his French masters and returned from his exile (where he was kept prisoner in a gilded cage by his French masters), to be allowed to die a revered village elder in his native country. By contrast Ceausescu was less astute than his African pal: Nick and Elena were outfoxed by their trusted lieutenants, who had them summarily ‘judged’ by a parody Court and hastily dispatched in a carnage redolent of the parodic shoots of Carpathian bear in Romania’s mountains.
Both Nicolae and Elena claimed their innocence during their farcical kangaroo court trial of 1989, but nobody came to the rescue of the once feted Hero hailed in dithyrambic verse by his Court Poet, Adrian Paunescu:

“We love Him because this Country is free under the sun
The People of this country are free and the real leader
We love him because He embodies the conscience of the Working people
And that he makes us proud that as a man He is Romanian”

Reallly, incredible as it is in retrospect, the above ditty might have been more suitable if it was dedicated to Emperor Bokassa instead: sadly, Adrian Paunescu, Ceausescu’s fawning Court jester, had to make do with a ‘second best’!

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Moartea martirică a Părintelui Arsenie Boca (1910-28. XI.1989) – The Martyrdom of rev. Arsenie Boca

April 1st, 2011 · No Comments · Diary, OPINION, PEOPLE

“ În 1989 părintele Arsenie spunea celor apropiaţi: ‘nu mă mai vedeţi în curând că aştia mă termină’. În ultimii ani celor de la conducere le era foarte teamă de părintele Arsenie. Era ţinut în satul Drăgănescu iar intrările în sat erau păzite zi şi noapte de Securitate (..). Ultimele momente şi le-a petrecut la Sinaia. Trebuie neapărat să scrieţi asta. Am fost la el împreună cu parintele Dometie care a fost ţinut acolo timp de o săptămână şi jumătate. Si nu i-au dat voie să vorbească cu el. Maica de acolo ne spunea că e la Drăgănescu. Părintele Arsenie avea însă un căţel mic, flocos, negru. Unde era părintele, acolo era şi căţelul. Când am văzut căţelul, mi-am dat seama că este acolo. În cele din urmă ni s-a spus că este bolnav şi că nu poate vedea pe nimeni. I se poate trimite doar un pomelnic sau o scrisoare… După trei zile ni s-a spus că a murit părintele. L-au adus şi era aşa cum era: TORTURAT şi CHINUIT. Se vedea la degete şi la faţă faptul că a fost torturat. Eu am fost la înmormântare şi am văzut: unghiile de la două degete îi erau pur şi simplu zmulse…Toate acestea s-au petrecut pentru că a prezis căderea şi moartea lui Ceauşescu. Nu mi-e frică să spun adevărul, chiar dacă unii mai vor să ascundă acest lucru. Puteţi fi şi un om trimis de cei care l-au torturat şi acum vor cu orice preţ să ascundă adevărul. Eu spun adevărul pe faţă, pentru că mulţi îl ştiu, dar nu îl spun”.

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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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Ceausescu and Jonathan SWIFT – The Seditious Captain GULLIVER

April 25th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, PEOPLE, quotations

Surely, the Reverend Jonathan Swift never expected, in his wildest dreams to be ‘excommunicated’ by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu: not that Ceausescu ever read Jonathan Swift! That was not necessary! Ceausescu did not read ANY books at all – he was instead famous for his semi-literacy and for professing a distinctly basic vernacular Romanian…
Yet, amazingly, in spite of such auspicious circumstances, Jonathan Swift managed posthumously to blot his copybook with the Communist dictator… Read on the problems encountered by an editor in Bucharest in the 1980s who tried to publish Swift”s Satyres:
Publishing Swift’s satires in 1985, I myself fought a lot with the censor in order to include “A Modest proposal” concerning eating Irish children, which had become subversive here on account of meat shortage in Romania. Faced with the alternative of not publishing the book at all, or doing it without the famous text, I gave it up. The supreme level of censorship was a department of the (Communist) Party Central Committee.
“Publishing Swift’s satires in 1985, I myself fought a lot with the censor in order to include “A Modest proposal” concerning eating Irish children, which had become subversive here on account of meat shortage in Romania. Faced with the alternative of not publishing the book at all, or doing it without the famous text, I gave it up. The supreme level of censorship was a department of the (Communist) Party Central Committee.”

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QUOTATIONS: How other people see us (1) – Margaret THATCHER

April 10th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Books, PEOPLE, quotations

Interesting insight on her visit to Ceausescu in the mid 1970s: “Margaret Thatcher – the Path to Power” (Harper Collins, London 1995, ISBN 000 255806 8, 656 pages)
I was also shown around a scientific institute specializing in polymer research. My guide was none other than Elena Ceausescu who had already began to induulge a personal fantasy world which matched her husband’ absurdity, if not in human consequences, she was determined to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on polymers. it subsequently emerged that she could barely have distinguished a polymer from a polygon. But behind the defences of translation and communist long-windedness she put up quite a good show.

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António Mega Ferreira: “A blusa romena”

April 8th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, International Media, Reviews

O resultado é uma engenhosa urdidura onde cabe quase tudo: as duas histórias de amor em espelho (cheias de simetrias e curto-circuitos), mas também evocações de Paris e da Roménia de Ceausescu, referências eruditas (de Joyce a Schubert, de Sonia Delaunay a Espinoza), jogos metaliterários, auto-ironias e um quarteto de personagens bem desenhadas, a executarem na perfeição a sua música de câmara. Pela sua crescente importância ao longo do livro, destaco Lumena, a prostituta por quem Vasco se enamora, cuja beleza está algures entre uma Madonna de Rafael e a «terrível Judite» que decapita Holofernes num quadro de Caravaggio.

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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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Poetry in Translation (LXXIV): Marin Sorescu (b. 1950) – “Exile”

March 26th, 2010 · 1 Comment · PEOPLE, Poetry, Translations

EXIL (Marin Sorescu)
Au inflorit cartofii in Marmatia / si voi tocmai acum plecati spre sud /cand ceru-i aiurit si descusut / cand se confunda bocetul cu natia ? /

EXILE

As the potato flowers are in bloom
You take the road which ever us do part?
Now that the sky is gray and overcast
And tears confound the country and the doom?

The grief will be for you the new abode
Perhaps a warmer grave and newer ethos
We shall unearth those emerald potatoes
Those precious stones dug out from where we hoed.

What kind of God preserved in secret heavens
May still be glad to gather our bones
With you, with us we cry on our tombs
With you with us a story ends in ruins.
(Translated from Romanian by Constantin ROMAN)

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