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Entries from August 31st, 2011

Poetry in Translation (LXXXVII): U2 – “Peace on Earth”

August 31st, 2011 · No Comments · International Media, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Peace
Heaven on Earth
we need it now
I’m sick of all of this
hanging around
Sick of sorrow
I’m sick of the pain
I’m sick of hearing
again and again
that there’s gonna be
peace on Earth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a8PcvmRllis&feature=related

Pace

Tu, rai lumesc,
Te vreau acum
Sunt ostenit
S-astept in veci.
Etern ecou
Si-adanc suspin
Mereu s-aud
Un lung refren
De Rai lumesc
Pe-acest Pamant..

(Romanian version by Constantin ROMAN)
31 August 2011

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Patrick McGuinness’ first novel on Ceausescu’s Romania – on the Booker Prize Longlist for 1911

August 30th, 2011 · No Comments · Books, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

It takes an Irishman, like Patrick McGuinness, to write a fiction book on Romania, which is certainly one of the best on this subject to come out in the last one hundred years.
It is superbly crafted, gripping, witty and full of unexpected twists and turns as would befit the dark days of Ceausescu’s terminal dictatorship. The author’s acid style may not be one to be enjoyed by humourless Romanians, who, in spite of the last two decades of “freedom” remain shackled to the old mentality of the fallen dictator: it nevertheless caught the attention of the Booker Prize Jury which shortlisted it for the prize to be given later in 2011.

Ceausescu’s fall is not unlike the recent stories of other fallen dictators and the paranoia they imposed on their subjects yet the current political scene in the Middle East and North Africa makes this theme so much more compelling.
Despite the real pain and memories of suffering which this narrative brings to people cowered by fallen dictators, Patrick McG’s story deserves the highest accolade.
Watch out this space!

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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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