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ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART FIVE OF SIX)

March 26th, 2016 · No Comments

I remember grandfather was telling me that before the war there was a kind of popular bistro across the road from the Bellu Orthodox cemetery whose name was “Better here than Opposite’ (Mai bine aici decat vis-à-vis). This was very handy because the mourners, instead of going all the way to the home of the dearly departed, for the traditional post-funeral meal, they would instead have the drinks across the road from the cemetery, once the funeral was over and the alms given to the poor. And so there was so much merry-making at the bistro, with gypsy brass band and even dancing – all of course in memory of the deceased, that people started complaining for the lack of decorum, especially as the mourners were approaching the cemetery gate with the hearse and all and they were hearing were the fiddles and bassoons playing away drinking songs…
Eventually the police shut the establishment and now it is all history!

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Tags: Books · Diary · Diaspora · Genealogy · History · PEOPLE · Short Stories & Cameos

ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (PART SIX OF SIX)

March 26th, 2016 · No Comments

– There was this stranger, who joined us during the service, attracted by Angelica’s surname: she thought that it was the same family as that of “Prince Lambrino” and assumed that you, as chief mourner, you were the Prince himself! So I reassured her that you were, indeed, the real thing!
– God forbid! Perish the thought!
For a split second I believed that Aunt Angelica’s funeral turned into a scene from Eugene Ionesco’s Theatre of the Absurd, one that my Aunt, as a blue stocking, will have enjoyed.
– Farewell Angelica and God bless you!

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Tags: Diary · Genealogy · Genealogy · History · PEOPLE · quotations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXXXIX), Nichita STĂNESCU (1933-1983), ROMANIA: “Vitraliu”, “Stained Glass”

March 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

Când te vei trezi, lipiţi de geamuri,
arlechini din sticle colorate
vor lăsa prin ei să-ţi cadă-n braţe
soarele, mereu la jumătate.
As you will find it, early in the morning,
the arlequin will start his joyful dancing:
as all resplendent sunrays will be donning
the immortality in which you will be basking.
Rendered in English by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2016 Copyright Constantin ROMAN

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Tags: Books · Famous People · International Media · PEOPLE · Poetry · quotations · Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCXXXVII): Pablo NERUDA (1904-1973), CHILE – “Ode to Age”, “Odă Bătrâneţii”

March 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

Now,
time, I roll you up,
I deposit you in my
bait box
and I am off to fish
with your long line
the fishes of the dawn!
Acum a sosit
timpul să te înfăşor,
să te pun în
cursă
si să pescuiesc
cu undiţa ta lungă
peştii zorilor.
Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London

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Tags: Books · Famous People · International Media · PEOPLE · Poetry · quotations · Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXXXVIII): Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564), Italy/Tuscany: “Bătrâneţe”

March 20th, 2016 · No Comments

În cursul vieţii lungi ce am avut
Bătrâna barcă vântul a-nfruntat
S-ajungă-n portul unde-a ancorat
Să ispăşesc păcate din trecut.

Mânat de fantezia mea şi arta
Din care am creat un Dumnezeu
Iluziile şi vanitatea, tot mereu
M-au amăgit, ademenindu-mi soarta.

Visul de-amor acum e prea puţin…
Ce-oi deveni, să mor de două ori,
O dat-aici şi-o alta la răscruce …

Sculptura, arta nu mai pot să-nchin
Când Duhul Sfânt mă chiamă-n zi de zori
Să fiu martir cu braţele pe cruce.
Rendered in Romanian by Constantin ROMAN, London,
© 2016 Copyright Constantin ROMAN

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Tags: Books · Famous People · International Media · PEOPLE · Poetry · quotations · Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXXXVI): Adrian MUNTEANU (b. 1948-Brasov), ROMANIA – “Scriu un sonet. Deplină amăgire”, “The Sonnet – an Eternal Tease”

March 18th, 2016 · No Comments

Adrian MUNTEANU
(b. 1948, Brasov)
“The Sonnet – an Eternal Tease”

I write a sonnet as a constant tease –
Its rules are there to liberate my dream,
To be myself and follow, as I seem
To play with empty words of love and ease.
Rendered in English by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2016 Copyright Constantin ROMAN

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Tags: International Media · PEOPLE · Poetry · quotations · Translations

POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXXXV): Pablo NERUDA (1904-1973), CHILE – “Ode to Age”, “Odă Bătrâneţii”

March 4th, 2016 · No Comments

I don’t believe in age.
All old people
carry
in their eyes,
a child.
Nu cred in vârstă.
Toţi bătrânii
poartă
în ochii lor,
un copil,
iar copiii
uneori
ne privesc
cu ochii înţelepţilor de demult.

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Tags: Books · Famous People · International Media · PEOPLE · Poetry · POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT · quotations · Translations

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

February 27th, 2016 · No Comments

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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Tags: Books · Diary · International Media · PEOPLE · Reviews

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

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments

– ‘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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Tags: Books · Diary · Education · Not without my Boppa · PEOPLE · Short Stories & Cameos

Constantin ROMAN – Book Review: Orwell behind the Iron Curtain

February 26th, 2016 · No Comments

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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Tags: Books · Communist Prisons · Diary · Famous People · History · International Media · OPINION · PEOPLE · quotations · Reviews