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Articles tagged "Romanian"

The Release of Mr. K

1 One fine day, Kosef J found himself released from prison. It all started with the rattling of the chains that secured the two locks on the elevator. Then the doors at the very end of the corridor were flung open. Lastly, there was some swearing followed by the creaking of the breakfast trolley. But only when the two elderly prison guards walked past Kosef J’s cell without even breaking stride did he realize that something unusual was about to happen.  In the first few...

Translator Relay: Sean Cotter

Our "Translator Relay" series features a new interview each month. This month's translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. For June's installment, Ellen Elias-Bursac passed the baton to Sean Cotter, whose translations from Romanian include Mircea Cărtărescu's Blinding, Nichita Stănescu's Wheel with a Single Spoke and Other Poems (recipient of the 2012 Best Translated Book Award for Poetry), Liliana...

Mircea Cărtărescu’s “Blinding”

Contemporary literature from Eastern Europe often evokes borders and boundaries—between nations, ethnic groups, cultures, and political regimes. Perhaps it's to be expected: the region itself occupies a nebulous space between East and West—Orient and Occident—linking two worlds and their traditions. In the sprawling trilogy Orbitor, by Romanian novelist Mircea Cărtărescu, the text becomes a bridge between such worlds. The first volume of the trilogy,...

Mihail Sebastian’s “The Accident”

A first encounter with the Romanian writer Mihail Sebastian (1907-1945), and his novel The Accident, might benefit from some personal context—a little of mine, and a good bit of the author’s. I was born in Romania in 1979, emigrated when I was a child, and returned to the country in 2004 to work in film.  One of the fondest memories I have of the two years I lived in Bucharest is of the evening a friend treated me to a gramophone recording of Sebastian’s play The Star...

from “The Same Way Every Day”

A plump face, an old suit with a too-long skirt, her hair permed.  Nana looked like that when she’d met us, at the beginning of the first year at the university.  Older than she would seem ten years later, when, thanks to me, she’d meet her future husband.  Was he the first?  The second?  I'll never know. When she still put her hair in rag curlers she brought from home, those evenings in the cramped room stinking of crowded bodies, of Nivea cream...

The Languages of Alta Ifland

Alta Ifland’s writing raises important questions about the legitimacy and practice of autobiography that are too often taken for granted by American writers. In an alert literary age, the fifty-three thought-provoking short prose texts of her Voice of Ice / Voix de Glace would have attracted considerable attention outside the circles of small magazines and bookshop readings, in which this book indeed attracted attention when it came out in 2007. The author, described in a...

Serbian


mopete has read thomas mann

and so mopete has stopped in a bewitched interval of his soul, for him as if on a magic mountain where it's snowing everywhere, while many just sit and gaze out the window, boring themselves, idly elaborating theories about time. you can travel the well-worn path from the rooms on the ground floor— the dining room, for instance—to the rooms with numbers on the door where, from the terrace, you can admire the noble stillness of snow in the valley. and so mopete...

mopete and uniqueness

mopete, listening as a friend of his quotes wassily kandinsky, has a strange vision, a figment of his solitude—an ancient hypostasis, blotches without a trace of reality thrown upon the canvas on which, however, young nefa shines. young nefa: she is now very much not here—mopete will never invoke her name again. there seems to be nothing good in store for mopete. it's a desert, sort of, through which he keeps trudging on and on. right above his head, the...

deep meditation

vasilescu's father's friend has left the seaside to go to a monastery in the north. there in the mountains he wants to empty his mind of thought until it comes to entertain a notion of that provisional shadow cast by conscience, with its bitter residue of worldly time, like fruit kernels that pile up in a heap and make him count them, so that, here among the hills, he no longer can keep straight whether this evening is for real, or whether that tree elongated in shadow...

holiday pleasures

vasilescu's father's friend is playing with a beach ball. tentatively, he throws it toward the sea, gathers it in the shadow cast by his body, not minding the waves at his feet now breaking against the shingle. bandages of comfort unroll around him, around the wound of his thoughts open to the sun. after dinner he withdraws and, sitting in the shade, meditates. he reflects to himself that where this soon will have led, now that he's reached the limit, must be the sun...

the introduction of vasilescu’s father’s friend

mopete went to the theatre today. he took a girl, and vasilescu's father's friend saw him—called hello to him, too—mopete threw a meaningful, if too obvious glance at the girl beside him, and with a fixed look walked right by. the play proved to be of great interest. the girl at mopete's side—she wasn't young nefa—listened totally absorbed. mopete said to himself—now he'll have turned round to look at you—and put on an...

Domestic Sadness

In the seed of lilies I buried you serenely we loved each other in old belfries years unravel like old lace I look for you everywhere, God but you know it's too little I buried you in November when school girls went to lunch they didn't know you were in the wagon else they would have cried the pain was overthrown into the parents like defeated floodgates would tumble of paper, your old flesh how else would it be?—yellow and sad and I loved you in the...

Come with Me to the Countryside

House under construction with dried branches, like spiders, in your scaffolding Rise to skies with serenity Until the clouds will have served as curtains And the stars: relief for lamps on balconies in the evening. Between two chestnut trees burdened like discharged patients Grew the Jewish cemetery - out of boulders; On the outskirts of town, on a hill, Crawl graves like worms. The yellow dogcart waits for us at the train station In me reeds get torn with a paper rustle...

Voice

Dilapidated wall I asked myself Today why she Didn't hang herself Lea, the blonde Lea At night with a rope She'd have dangled Like a ripe pear And the street dogs Would have barked People would have gathered To see her And they'd have shouted "Watch that she doesn't fall" I'd have Locked the gate I'd have mounted a ladder And would've taken her down Like a ripe pear Like a dead girl And would have laid her to rest In a...

Meralda

Just as the sun rises every day, giving its light to the earth, so day after day, year in, year out, we Roma travel on, without knowing where we are headed but following the road that lies before us. A people of the road! Always our heart sings its sorrow in the teardrop of a song from beneath our soles, from the very earth. Grass blades turn green, trees' buds adorn themselves under the blue gaze of the sky, the world blossoms from the green of the leaf to the red of...

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