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Entries Tagged as 'communism'

David OLDROYD – Book Review: Continental Drift, Colliding Continents, Converging Cultures

February 20th, 2017 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Education, Famous People, History, PEOPLE, Reviews, Science

Constantin Roman a Romanian patriot and is presently a professor honoris causa in Bucharest, while residing with his family in salubrious Glyndebourne. Roman must, by his account, surely be one of the world’s most upwardly mobile earth scientists. Starting in England with only £5 in his pocket, by ability, persistence, and charm, and using Newcastle as a stepping‐stone, he became acquainted with the right people and obtained a scholarship to Peterhouse, Cambridge, to do a Ph.D. on the tectonics of the Caucasus and across into Central Asia.

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Moving Here – A Continental’s Drift

February 9th, 2017 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Famous People, History, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Short Stories & Cameos

My greatest trouble in England arose from my refusal to give up my Romanian nationality. In retrospect this may seem bizarre, especially that I was menaced on a number of fronts: by Securitate operatives masquerading as diplomats, keen to end my flouting of socialist order and drag me back to Romania; by a prospective mother-in-law who refused to allow her daughter to marry me, unless I accepted British citizenship… and by officials of the British Home Office, who assumed that my desire to retain what I saw as my unalienable right of birth, my nationality, might stem from communist loyalties.

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Constantin ROMAN: Memoirs “Continental Drift, Colliding Continents, Converging Cultures” (extract)

January 6th, 2017 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Education, History, International Media, PEOPLE, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, Reviews, Science, Short Stories & Cameos

Mi-am analizat rapid, din interstiţiile memoriei, virtuţile eventuale ale originii noastre sociale, pentru ca să pot avea o ideie de cum m-aş fi putut bucura de libertatea de a călători în străinătate, atâta timp cât paşaportul era acordat doar pe criterii de apartenenţă la o anumită clasă socială şi politică privilegiată: era evident că în familia noastră nu ne-am născut “ilegalişti”. Departe de a aparţine categoriei privilegiate de comunişti nomenclaturişti, familia noastră nu dorea să se compromită luând din mers trenul communist, ba chiar dimpotrivă, după ce ne pierdusem prin expropriere şi naţionalizare toate economiile şi bunurile mobile şi imobile, ajunsesem să fim marginalizaţi. Şansa noastră de supravieţuire nu era foarte bună, să nu mai vorbim de luxul de a fi obţinut un paşaport.

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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (405 – 406), Florenta ALBU (1934 – 2003), ROMANIA: “Gauche-droite”, “Le chant de Bucarest”

December 29th, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Famous People, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Reviews, Translations

Allez-y Arlequins
Chants d’Arlequins
Alors que les portes sont grandes ouvertes
Sur l’âme du vide…

Cette marche dans la boue
Une peur historique encore et encore en criant
Gauche – droite – gauche

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Synopsis of “The Blouse Roumaine – An Anthology of Romanian Women” Selected and introduced by Constantin Roman

October 2nd, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Communist Prisons, Diaspora, Education, Famous People, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, POLITICAL DETENTION / DISSENT, quotations, Reviews, Science, Translations

These sketches are displayed like a series of miniatures in a virtual National Portrait Gallery: they are all glittering stars from Western galaxies and Eastern nebulae, in all 160 of them…

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POETRY IN TRANSLATION (155): Marin SORESCU (1936-1996), ROMANIA – “Passport”

July 9th, 2016 · 1 Comment · Books, Diaspora, Education, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Reviews, Translations

This passport
Is written in my bones
On my skull, femur, phalanges and spine
All arranged in a way
To make clear
My right to be man.

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“Continental Drift: Colliding Continents, Converging Cultures” – Review by Prof. Thomas G. Gallagher

May 3rd, 2016 · No Comments · Books, Diary, Diaspora, Education, Famous People, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Science

Constantin Roman writes with candour, wit, and humility. His remarkable life story unfolds with effortless simplicity thanks to his ability to write mellifluous English influenced by Romanian cadences. It is clear that he wishes to do service for the country he never lost touch with during 25 years in exile. Perhaps one way is to motivate and instruct young people with similar talents and ambitions to the ones he possessed in the 1960s.
The need for Romanians to rediscover the characteristic of group solidarity which Roman encountered in the British university world but which disappeared in communist Romania is a pressing one. That is why his story deserves to be better-known in Romania.

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ETERNAL REST IN BUCHAREST (part 3 OF 6)

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.

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Poetry in Translation (CCCLVIII), Nina CASSIAN (1925-2014), ROMANIA/USA: “Donna Miraculata”, “Donna Miraculata”

September 26th, 2015 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, Famous People, OPINION, PEOPLE, Poetry, quotations, Translations

Since you betrayed me I am more becoming
A body’s carcass glowing in the dark
My fragile self, invisible, yet stark,
With frozen looks and body which is pining.

My wretched fingers can’t feel any more
My useless walk, is pining with desire…
My cruel stare invisible, yet sore –
The halo of my body still on fire.

Rendered in English by Constantin ROMAN,
© 2015 Copyright Constantin ROMAN, London

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Constantin ROMAN: “Voices & Shadows of the Carpathians” Postface (Part 1 of 2)

February 20th, 2015 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, Famous People, International Media, PEOPLE, quotations

“Now, I am a person who likes simple words. It is true, I had realised before this journey that there was much evil and injustice in the world that I had now left, but I had believed I could shake the foundations if I called things by their proper name. I knew such an enterprise meant returning to absolute naiveté. This naiveté I considered as a primal vision purified of the slag of centuries of hoary lies about the world.” (Paul Celan)

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