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Entries from February 27th, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: A Romanian close encounter – “The Romanian – Story of an Obsession

February 27th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

A literary critic of “Le Monde” who is quoted on the front cover of this book states that: “what astonishes and intrigues is Benderson’s way of recounting in the sweetest possible voice, things which are considered shocking… ”
If the French are “shocked”, then the Romanians would certainly be outraged, not by the lack of prudery, as by the fresco of the Romanian society of motley pimps, hustlers, prostitutes, bureaucrats, hangers-on, desperate people and the whole gamut of poor destitute of all ages, social background and ethnic origin, neither of whom come out too well, in the end: TOUGH!

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NOT WITHOUT MY BOPPA: “Big Tits” – The Story of a Girl’s Private Education in Switzerland

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Education, Not without my Boppa, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

– ‘You know?’, daughter told me, half incredulously and half bemused, ‘you know, Pa’ and then she paused…
– ‘Well, how shall I put it, to you, Pa? When we entered class, the other day, the Spanish teacher had already marked in chalk, on the black board, in English, that is, “BIG TITS”, in capital letters
– ‘Big Tits? I asked, ‘What on earth for? It can’t be! Are you serious?’
– ‘Yes I am, I saw it! We both saw it, Catherine and I. We looked at each other and laughed. It was embarrassing!’
– ‘Of course it was!’

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Constantin ROMAN – Book Review: Orwell behind the Iron Curtain

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Communist Prisons, Diary, Famous People, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

Orwell behind the Iron Curtain
Margot Eftimiu,, my private French language teacher in Buchrest, was educated in Vevay, Switzerland and fell on hard times after being expropriated by the Communist regime. She borrowed these magazines and transcribed by hand the whole of Orwell’s 1984 novel- no mean feat and a labor of love. I had the privilege of being lent these notebooks when I was just 15 years of age, and found the reading fascinating.
As a teenager, during the dire Stalinist years I identified myself perfectly well with the character of Orwell’s book and with the whole atmosphere described by the author, as one which we were experiencing in Romania under a communist dictatorship.

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Constantin ROMAN’s Book Review: “Bread, Salt & Plum Brandy” by Lisa Fisher Cazacu

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, PEOPLE, Reviews

FIRSTLY she comes to realize the true blessing of being born in a country where public services function properly and are taken for granted:
– “what, no bus service to take children to school? What, no compulsion by RomTelecom the national telephone company to fix the fault on Lisa’s line at a weekend?”
– Who needs a phone, anyway?
The list of Ubuesque mishaps is endless and a great eye-opener both for the reader who could not imagine it and for the natives who got used to and put up with it for far too long!

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NOT WITHOUT MY BOPPA – The Acid Test: an Interview at Horsted Place

February 24th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, International Media, Not without my Boppa, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos

on this occasion she insisted that I viewed the young man, not at home, but at a nearby country hotel. The venue was Horsted Place, in Sussex, an elegant historic manor house, where, in its heyday, the young Queen Elizabeth II was entertained by the Neville family. Now this wonderful Victorian Tudor pile is a country hotel, favoured by Glyndebourne opera patrons. This immensely elegant place, with highly-trained chefs and waiters is offering an impeccable service. I agreed to meet the young hopeful at Horsted Place and asked him to tea.

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Isabela Vasiliu-Scraba, „Rinocerizarea” criteriului biografic la un istoric dilematic

February 23rd, 2016 · No Comments · Communist Prisons, Diary, Famous People, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, quotations

Isabela Vasiliu-Scraba, „Rinocerizarea” criteriului biografic la un istoric dilematic  Motto: „Gnosticism is a type of thinking that claims absolute cognitive mastery of reality […]. In marxism (its immanentizing form) gnosticism considers its knowledge not subject of criticism, relying (as it does) on a claim to gnosis, a special gift of a spiritual and cognitive elite”. […]

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Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXIV): Mikhail LERMONTOV (1814-1841) RUSSIA: “The Sail”, “Pânzele Albe”

February 14th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Când în albastrul, de-azur, orizont
Soarele-apare aşa minunat,
Oare de ce m-a împins a mea soartă
Spre mii de primejdii să fi înfruntat?

Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2016 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

Below, a current azure bright,
Above, a golden ray of sun…
Rebellious, it seeks out a storm
As if in storms it could find peace!

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Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXIII): Sophia PARNOK (1885-1933) RUSSIA: “Today I do not want you”, “Astăzi nu vă vreau”

February 12th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Don’t seduce me down dark alleys,
To the places left behind –
To the bold or to the timid
Lips I’ve kissed so many times.
Nu mă-mbia să merg pe căi de noapte,
Spre locuri ce-am lăsat demult departe.
Celui mult prea timid, sau prea adept
De sânuri, ce demult am strâns la piept.

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Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXII): Marina TSVETAEVA (1892-1941) RUSSIA: “A kiss on the forehead”, “Sărut pe frunte”

February 12th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Sărut pe frunte
Marina TSVETAEVA
(1892-1941)
Un sărut pe frunte – şterge mizeria.
Iţi sărut fruntea.
Un sărut pe ochi – şterge insomnia
Iţi sărut ochii.
Un sărut pe buze – e-un pahar cu apă.
Iţi sărut buzele.
Un sărut pe buze – iţi şterge memoria.

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Poetry in Translation (CCCLXXXI): Rosalia de CASTRO (1837-1885) SPAIN/GALICIA: “He Who Weeps Goes Not Alone”, “Cel ce plange nu-i singur ”

February 9th, 2016 · 1 Comment · Books, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Cel ce plânge nu-i singur mereu,
Voi, lacrimi, să curgeţi din plin!
O singură jale este mult prea puţin;
Căci ferice să fi este greu.

Când destinul hain, mă-nconvoaie din plin,
Sufletul e pierdut pe cărare;
Resemnată păşesc spre destinul divin:
Când amarul mă-ndreaptă spre zare.

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