Looking back at the dinner in Brancusi’s old atelier, the memories are like a replay of a magic dream. In the summer evening the narrow lane of Impasse Ronsin, now completely vanished, was deserted. As I rang the bell, I remember I was not a little surprised, that before I was let in, Istrati looked up and down the lane, I presume to check if I may have been shadowed by some unwanted troll… For the uninformed reader one should point out that Paris of the ‘60s to late 1980s was replete with cloak and dagger stories, which would have made Agatha Christies’ stories a child’s play: indeed, one could not be too careful.
Entries Tagged as 'Bucharest'
March 24th, 2017 · No Comments · Art Collections, Art Exhibitions, Diary, Diaspora, Famous People, PEOPLE, Uncategorized
Tags:"Constantin BRANCUSI"·A;exandre Istrati·ATELIER·Brancusi Travel grant Cambridge·Bucharest·cambridge·Constantin Brancusi Memorial Symposium·IMPASSE RONSIN·Jim Ede·Kettle's Yard·Natalie Dumitresco·Painter·Prometheus
BLOUSE ROUMAINE: Daughters of BESSARABIA – Milita PATRASCU (b. 1883, Nisporeni, MOLDOVA – d. 1976, Bucharest, ROMANIA)
June 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Art Collections, Art Exhibitions, Books, Communist Prisons, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, quotations
Milita Pàtrascu (b. 31 December 1883, Nisporeni, Bessarabia – d. 1 February 1976, Bucharest): Sculptor, pupil of Constantin Brâncusi, graphic artist/illustrator, member of the 1930s-1940s Avant-Garde Group Arta Nouà Movement
Arrested in 1959 by Romania’s Communist regime but saved by writer and politician Mihail Sadoveanu and kept instead under house arrest.
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Political prisoner"·"pupil of Brancusi·Aretia Tattarescu·Bucharest·Column of Infinity·editor·Eileen Lane·English·Gate of the Kiss·Milita Pàtrascu Chisinau·Moldova·Nisporeni·Paris·Romania·romanian·Sculptor·Table of Silence·Targu Jiu
March 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos
Sărut mâna pentru masă
C-a fost bună şi gustoasă
Şi bucătăreasa grasă.
Which, in the English vernacular translation, would more or less sound like:
Kiss your hand, Ma’am, for the pastry,
And the meal, which was so tasty,
For the coffee and all that,
As the cook was nice and fat’.
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Emil Cioran·"Eugene IONESCO"·Army tradition·Aunt Angela·Bellu cemetery·Bucharest·Cavalry regiment·chapel of rest·Colonel0in-Chief·cousin-in-law·East India Compamy·England·eternal memory·Eternal rest"·family graft·Funeral·inheritance·King's Own Regiment·Maître de cérémonie·majordomo·Orthodox Priest·Orthodox service·outlaw·Romania·Theatre of teh Absurd·Vesnica pomenire·wake
March 28th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Short Stories & Cameos
The King? What King? I thought you were a republic and just shot one president to replace him with another, I said tartly
– This is His Majesty the King of Romania. He is the guest of His Beatitude the Archbishop of Argesh and is coming to visit the royal graves at the monastery in the Carpathians. The King and his family were specifically assigned these rooms and the hotel will be full with the Press from abroad and dignitaries.
The King of Romania! How very odd – he was turned away before by the new Communist President and marched off all the way to the airport under military escort to have him expelled from the country: only the year before! The old commies were still afraid that he might command some unwelcome popular support and overthrow the rascals who usurped the power after Ceausescu.
Tags:Archbishop of Argesh·Bucharest·Ceausescu·dereliction of morals·driver·HM King Michael of Romania·Hotel Continental·Hotel Union·inhibition·missionary position·morala proletaiatului·obsequious·road potholes·Securitate mascarade·sex under Communism·Systolic heart·tart·traffic·tuna sandwich
March 27th, 2016 · No Comments · History, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos
Still, during the dictatorship years the Continental was no more than a gilded cage for tourists, a kind of ghetto, where all foreign visitors were huddled together, as they were easier to keep in check. A hub of Securitate operatives and professional prostitutes were at hand. A mall of hard-currency shops, where luxury goods could be bought only with dollars, were completing the landscape. Dollars were at the time a currency, which native Romanians were not allowed to obtain: if found out, or denounced, they could spend years in prison.
March 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Genealogy, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos
Mr Professor Sir, you are English, aren’t you? But you are also a little bit Romanian!
– No, I am British – I am not English, because I was not born in England and I am naturalised British. What’s all about?
That baffled Vlad, like most Continentals could not make the difference between English and British, so I enquired:
– But why are you asking this all of a sudden?
– Because, Mr Professor Sir, you are also a little Romanian and you criticise too much all these things, the potholes in the road and everything.
Now I got the gist: I offended Vlad’s national pride and he was going to teach me a lesson: he was going to give me a fright by the way of retribution.
Tags:"post-communism"·"The Scream"·Administration·bacshish·Bellu cemetery·Bucharest·Bucharest trafic·car driver·carer·carer skiving·chapel of rest·denture·died of starvation·dollar bribes·dollars·Edvard Munch·funeral reathm the Balkans·graft·gypsies·hot water·Intercontinental hotel·old habits·Orthodox funeral·Professor·rigor mortis·romanian·rush hour·service·wreath
March 26th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Genealogy, History, PEOPLE, Short Stories & Cameos
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!
Tags:"post-communism"·Angela Lambrino·Aunt Angelica·Bellu cemetery·bribes·Britain·Bucharest·bureaucracy·Ceausescu·chapel of rest·Courts of justice·England·formalities·Funeral·gipsies·gipsy mafia·graft·mafia·Orthodox funeral·Orthodox Priest·Paul Lambrino·reaths·State Funeral·wake
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.
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Constantin Roman"·"George Orwell"·1984·Academia Romana·Academician Matei Draaghiceanu·boo review·book·Bucharest·Diaries·French Embassy·Life under Communism in Romania·Margot Draghiceanu Eftimiu·Paris Match·review·Romania·secret service·Securitate·Transcript
POETRY IN TRANSLATION (CCCLXII), Cristian PAŢURCĂ (1964, Bucharest – 2011, Bucharest), ROMANIA: “Imnul Golanilor”, “Hoodlum’s Song”
November 9th, 2015 · No Comments · Diary, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Translations
Imnul golanilor (refren):
Mai bine haimana, decât trădător
Mai bine huligan, decât dictator
Mai bine golan, decât activist
Mai bine mort, decât comunist.
Hoodlum’s Song (refrain)
I’d rather be a hoodlum than be a nation’s traitor.
I’d rather be a vandal, than be a scum-dictator.
I’d rather be a punk, than Party activist.
I’d rather be long-dead, than rabid Communist!
© 2015 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London
Tags:"Centre for Romanian Studies - London"·"Constantin Roman"·"Poetry in Translation"·Bucharest·Communist·Cristian PAŢURCĂ·dictatorship·editor·English·folk singer·Hoodlum song·Imnul Golanilor·London·poem·poet·poetry·poezie·Romania·romanian·traducere·translation·uprising
In 1900, the British Minister or Ambassador, Sir John Gordon Kennedy (1836-1912), obtained the grant of a piece of land at the junction of Strada Pictor Verona and Strada Xenopol, in the corner of the Gradina Icoanei (The Park of the Icon) from the Commune of Bucharest in a deed of gift dated 2 December 1900.
The cornerstone of the church was laid 100 years ago today on 20 October 1913. The external fabric was completed by 1914, and the interior furnishings had been ordered from England. However, building work was interrupted with the outbreak of World War I.
The first service was held in the new church on Easter Day, 4 April 1920, and it was soon completed, and was dedicated by the Bishop of Gibraltar on 5 November 1922.