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Entries Tagged as 'Feminism'

Book Review – ‘Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu

September 17th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, Reviews

‘Last Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu
During the 20th century Romanians made France or Germany their adoptive country, although some settled elsewhere in the world. But those Romanians who wrote in French or German were little translated in English and even fewer of them wrote in English. We can think of Panait Istrati, Countess of Noailles, or Princess Bibesco, before WWII who wrote in French and after the war, amongst the exile novelists such as Virgil Gheorghiu, Mircea Eliade, Vintilă Horia, Gregor von Rezzori, Herta Muller, who wrote in French, Romanian or German.Nevertheless few of their titles were rendered in English and amongst the latter fewer still became bestsellers, let alone enjoy the accolade of an International Prize.

If the Czechs had Kundera, the Albanians Ismail Kadere, so far the spotlight of international repute has generally bypassed Romania, leaving her literature in the shadows. This lapse could not be assigned only to the paucity of translation alone, but primarily to the absence of a broader perspective by the Romanian fiction writers, who were reduced for far too long, by Nicolae Ceausescu, to write in the wooden language of Marxist sycophantic speak.

Domnica Radulescu, known as an Academic rather than a fiction writer is only at her second novel, yet the omens are good: watch out this space.

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Romanian Foreign Affairs (I): Rebecca WEST and Antoine BIBESCO

May 1st, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, PEOPLE, quotations

Rebecca West: in Paris, on her way home, she had a brief affair with Prince Antoine Bibesco (who wore black crepe de chine in bed), a Romanian diplomat married to Elizabeth Asquith, daughter of the Liberal leader. She was to remember her own affair as ‘rapturous’ but at its close felt that some blight still affected her personal life. The evidence suggests that Bibesco’s sophisticated sex inventiveness frightened Rebecca and that she interpreted it as a further manifestation of male hostility and aggression and she continued in analysis when she returned to London this time with Silvia Payne another early Freudian. Neverthelsess the elation of her first days with Bibesco coloured the writing of ‘The Strange Necessity’ in which her meditations on art and literature are embedded in an account of a ‘sun guilded autumn day’ wandering through a magically illuminated Paris.

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“Blouse Roumaine – the Unsung Voices of Romanian Women”: what the Readers say:

September 3rd, 2009 · 2 Comments · Books, Diaspora, PEOPLE, Poetry, Reviews, Translations

Constantin Roman invites us for a walk, during which he enjoins past and present alike, in a brisk coming and going of the narrative. It is a narrative that cannot suddenly end, but rather one which compels us to start all over again and revisit. It is a truly wonderful gift, a very happy surprise indeed of an inherently original book, which haunts us like the persistent music of those Romanian women’s voices.” (French Government Adviser, Paris)

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