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Entries Tagged as 'communism'

Five Book Reviews: Memoirs of Adrian Marino, Gheorghe Rafael-Stefanescu, Boris Johnson, George Orwell and Joseph Stalin

May 25th, 2014 · No Comments · Books, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

This is the most meaningful metamorphosis in Orwell’s life, during which time he realizes the underlying workings of Communism. Such ideology he ditches to refute it completely in his future best sellers: “1984” and “The Animal Farm”. We find Orwell, as an intelligent man, flirting with the left-wing dictatorship (and the Civil War) only to reject it without a right of appeal. As an observer, living his life’s experience at first hand, this is a compelling experience
It is precisely the stuff for which George Orwell’s works were completely banned in Eastern Europe, to the last days of Communism.

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«COMPTES RENDUS D’OUVRAGES – BOOK REVIEWS – BOEKGESPREKINGEN». Geologica Belgica,

February 28th, 2013 · No Comments · Books, International Media, OPINION, quotations, Reviews

“Cambridge was almost like a mythical mistress, whose eroticism would excite my resolve against obstacles put in the way by sundry bureaucratic tormentors and moral dwarfs”.
This is an exhilarating book and I can fully subscribe to Professor J. F. Dewey’s view (Oxford), who wrote the Foreword of the book: “Continental Drift offered me a relaxing excellent read full of humour, wisdom and good science, way beyond the History of Science”.

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Poetry in Translation (CXLVI): Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964), ROMANIA, “Prison Warder”, “ Suflet de călău”

November 22nd, 2012 · No Comments · PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

A muffled night
a bottomless abyss
a peacock’s cry
that never goes amiss.
Great panthers watching in the night
and tigers ready for the pounce,
the pythons flawlessly advance
a path so trite.
The shadow’s silence so profound
fills to the brim the darkest mind –
a jungle full of beasts of any kind,
but human soul is nowhere to be found!

(Rendered in English, from the Romanian original,
by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2012, Copyright Constantin ROMAN)

Sergiu MANDINESCU (1926-1964) – Biographical Note:

Sergiu Mandinescu was a son of Bucovina, who died prematurely at the age of 38, of which 14 years, between 1949 and 1963, were spent in the harshest Communist prisons: Jilava, Pitesti, Gherla, Aiud and more.
He died within one year of being released from prison, having barely had time to put pen to paper – his own poems that he memorized in the darkest prison cells.
Sergiu was only 23 years of age when he was imprisoned by the Communists and was discharged at the age of 37, only to pass away a year later.

Even after the demise of Ceausescu, 25 years after Mandinescu’s death, Romania was not ready to confront the demons of its past, as the “post-Communist” publishing houses still blackballed the publications of the poet’s verse. However, a handful of these appeared in print, first, before 1989, through the effort of the Romanian Diaspora and of late, in Romania, on the Internet and in some provincial literary magazines.
Considering the aforesaid, one can reasonably state, without fear of contradiction, that the conspiracy of silence is still alive and well in the Carpathian lands, in the guise of a pre programmed amnesia, through the good offices of overt and covert gremlins, perched in lucrative sinecures: the latter are at work, full time, like termites, until the whole shebang would implode: never too soon!

Addendum:
There seems to be no portrait extant of Sergiu Mandinescu, even though, given the assiduous efforts of the Romanian secret services, there ought to be some prison photos when he was indicted and therefore available in the late poet’s Securitate files.

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Poetry in Translation (CXXXV): Paul STERIAN (1904-1984) Poet of the Romanian Communist Prisons – “Popicele Stau”, “Nine Pins”

October 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · Diaspora, International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Nine pins standing
Eight plus the kingpin makes nine
They’re glad to be up standing.
Dear pins, stop being so smug
Because some of you are soon expected to die
If not all of you
And in particular the kingpin.

You are eight plus the kingpin nine

Popicele stau în picioare
8 şi cu popa 9
Se bucură că stau în picioare.
Popicelor, nu vă mai bucuraţi
Popicelor, din voi
Trebuie să piară îndată câteva
Dacă nu toate
Popa mai ales

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Romanians have had enough: January 2012 Riots in pictures

January 18th, 2012 · 1 Comment · International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvyQxZHNoKg&NR=1&feature=endscreen

http://www.carbonated.tv/news/romanian-protesters-clash-with-riot-police

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUovnttVlYQ&NR=1&feature=endscreen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZddLe7DidoU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbqmNFWK8-c

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Constantin ROMAN – Dérive continentale ou européen en dérive

July 27th, 2011 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

Voici une lecture aussi passionnante que captivante, bien qu’elle ne soit pas, comme le suggère son titre, un récit scientifique*/. Son auteur, un dissident Roumain ayant fait ses études de géophysique à Bucarest pendant les années folles du régime immonde de Ceausescu, est quand même parvenu a s’en échapper, afin de participer à une conférence à l’Université de Newcastle, en Grande Bretagne. N’étant plus retourné en Roumanie qu’après la chute du régime communiste, il est resté néanmoins un patriote Roumain, actuellement Professeur honoris causa de l’Université de Bucarest, tout en gardant sa résidence, près de Glyndebourne, dans une partie “chic” de l’Angleterre. Selon son propre récit, Constantin Roman doit être l’un des jeunes cientifiques recevant l’un des meilleurs honoraires du monde . Une fois arrivé en Angleterre, muni seulement d’un billet de £5 dans sa poche, il a utilisé son expertise, son charme, les meilleurs contacts ainsi que l’appui de l”unversité de Newcastle

Keith RUNCORN, invited Constantin ROMAN to a NATO Conference on Palaeomagnetism

comme plateforme de lancement. En parvenant à entretenir les meilleurs contacts, notamment avec le Professeur Keith Runcorn, de la Royal Society, il parvint à obtenir une bourse de recherches au Collège de Peterhouse, à Cambridge. Cela lui a permis de faire sa thèse de doctorat sur la tectonique des Carpathes et de l’Asie centrale, en étudiant des données sismiques afin d’identifier les limites et le mouvement des plaques lithosphériques. Dans ce contexte, utilisant les zones de compression et d’extension, il a défini l’existence de deux plaques lithosphériques non-rigides, les “plaques tampon”, ou “buffer plates”, du Tibet et du Sinkiang, cantonnées respectivement entre les plaques lithosphériques rigides de l”Inde et de l’Eurasie. Au début des années 70 une pareille suggestion aurait été étiquetée pour le moins comme iconoclaste. Une fois son doctorat obtenu, sous la direction du professeur Sir Edward Bullard, Roman est devenu par la suite Conseiller International de l’industrie petrolière, ayant gagné, je suppose, des honoraires prodigieux. Cet ouvrage traite essentiellement, de la folie des dictatures et des bureaucraties mais aussi de la douce vie de doctorant-chercheur a Cambridge. Quand aux détails de la bureaucratie “kafkaiesque”, les autorités britanniques semblent aussi obstinées que leurs consoeurs roumaines

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Four decades ago – A Romanian in Britain (A Story from the Home Office website)

April 23rd, 2011 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, PEOPLE, Reviews

My greatest trouble in England arose from my refusal to give up my Romanian nationality. In retrospect this may seem bizarre, especially that I was menaced on a number of fronts: by Securitate operatives masquerading as diplomats keen to end my flouting of socialist order and drag me back to Romania; by a prospective mother-in-law who refused to allow her daughter to marry me unless I accepted British citizenship; and by officials of the British Home Office who assumed that my desire to retain what I saw as my unalienable right of birth, my nationality, might stem from communist loyalties.

Afterwards Lord Goodman decided to champion my cause, writing to the head of the Home Office that I was a

“man of impeccable character clearly determined to belong here and make a significant contribution to our national life.””

In retrospect I hope that I discharged myself honourably of Goodman‘s expectations as I gave generously my expertise in discovering oil and gas for Britain and batting for Britain abroad on the cultural and scientific front, especially in my native country – Romania

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Churchill College, Cambridge, Romanian Poetry with George Steiner

April 14th, 2011 · 1 Comment · Diary, Diaspora, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

NOTE: for those readers who either do not know or do not want to know and especially for those who escaped Romania, this is to say how nearly impossible it was to cross the Iron Curtain during Ceausescu’s hellish dictatorship: many people risked their lives and paid the heavy price of exile – others who had no faith in any change for the better after Ceausescu’s fall, have joined the exodus and millions of uprooted who seek work and settled in other countries – Millions of them!! Romania’s 23 million-population would decrease even faster should it not be for the influx of Chinese workers and the high birthrate of the Roma ethnic minority. Such is the inheritance of five decades of Communism!

extract from:
www.constantinroman.com/continentaldrift
(there is a free Romanian translation downloadable in pdf (ask for link – large memory needed ) , because even 17 years after the fall of communism, in 1989, although these memoirs were published in England and in the USA, its translation cannot be published in Bucharest: it was turned down by Liicianu of “Humanitas”, by Patapievici’s “Romanian Institute” (Formerly the Fundatia Culturala Romana) and by Romanian editors with claims of being “aristocrats of the intellect” (boierii mintii) – read “leaders of opinion”.

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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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Radu PORTOCALA : “Executia sotilor Ceausescu – Adevarul despre o revolutie trucata”

March 16th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, OPINION, PEOPLE, Reviews

Radu PORTOCALA : “Executia sotilor Ceausescu – Adevarul despre o revolutie trucata”. “L’execution des Ceausescu – La verite sur une revolution en trompe-l’oeil” Editions Larousse, 153 pages, Paris 2009. ISBN: 978-2-03-584830-7.
“The execution of the Ceausescus – the truth about a faked revolution”.

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