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Entries Tagged as 'review'

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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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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Five Book Reviews: Memoirs of Adrian Marino, Gheorghe Rafael-Stefanescu, Boris Johnson, George Orwell and Joseph Stalin

May 25th, 2014 · No Comments · Books, History, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

This is the most meaningful metamorphosis in Orwell’s life, during which time he realizes the underlying workings of Communism. Such ideology he ditches to refute it completely in his future best sellers: “1984” and “The Animal Farm”. We find Orwell, as an intelligent man, flirting with the left-wing dictatorship (and the Civil War) only to reject it without a right of appeal. As an observer, living his life’s experience at first hand, this is a compelling experience
It is precisely the stuff for which George Orwell’s works were completely banned in Eastern Europe, to the last days of Communism.

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Şerban Veliciu: Recenzie – Deriva Continetală – Coliziunea Continentelor şi Convergenţa Culturilor”, sau – “Un Român în Derivă”

October 18th, 2013 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, PEOPLE, Reviews, Translations

Deriva Continetală – Coliziunea Continentelor şi Convergenţa Culturilor” “Un Român în Derivă” Dr. Ing. Şerban Veliciu Profesor la Universitatea din Bucureşti, Citind “Deriva Continentală” aflăm despre meandrele carierei lui Constantin Roman, cel care a reuşit să strălucească în domenii în care, la începuturi, nu promitea prea mult. Am fost amândoi colegi de an la Facultatea […]

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«COMPTES RENDUS D’OUVRAGES – BOOK REVIEWS – BOEKGESPREKINGEN». Geologica Belgica,

February 28th, 2013 · No Comments · Books, International Media, OPINION, quotations, Reviews

“Cambridge was almost like a mythical mistress, whose eroticism would excite my resolve against obstacles put in the way by sundry bureaucratic tormentors and moral dwarfs”.
This is an exhilarating book and I can fully subscribe to Professor J. F. Dewey’s view (Oxford), who wrote the Foreword of the book: “Continental Drift offered me a relaxing excellent read full of humour, wisdom and good science, way beyond the History of Science”.

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Mircea Milcovitch – Un irréversible journal de retrouvement, by Thiery Jolif (www.unidivers.fr)

October 21st, 2012 · No Comments · Books, Diaspora, International Media, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

Comment faire d’un chemin d’exil une marche de « retrouvement », de retournement sans retour ?
Si, ainsi qu’aimait le rappeler Claudel, « Dieu écrit droit avec nos lignes courbes », l’écriture pourrait bien alors se révéler être le vecteur de ce ré-embrassement à la fois charnel et spirituel, demeurer étranger à son pays, à son passé et pourtant présent à tout et à tous.

Il aura fallu plus de quarante années de maturation pour que l’artiste Mircea Milcovitch publie son « journal d ’exil ». Un journal qui n’est pas le fait d’un scrutateur de soi, d’un « indiscret observateur » de soi-même mais une toile écrite comme est tissée celle de l’araignée. Les gouttes de rosées qui ici s’irisent à la lumière du soleil de la mémoire sont des souvenirs. Ecrits, ils sont pris dans la toile fine, subtile, prisonniers ils étaient destinés à l’oubli…

Il faut écrire la pensée pour la dérouler. (p. 225

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Book Review: “Once Upon Another Time” by Jessica Douglas-Home

April 4th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Books, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews, Uncategorized

Once upon another time
by Jessica Douglas-Home.
Quotation from page 169-170;
"the Arbuthnots (British Ambassador to Romania, – LC note) second party took place that evening – a lavish buffet for twenty. As with the first one, people sat in huddles whispering on the stairs and in corners. A gaunt professor of architecture entered and for a time seemed frozen by the sight of the two tables piled high with unheard of delicacies. A waiter broke the spell by handing him a glass of wine from a silver tray whereupon he fell on the food like a starving man.

(LC note- Romanians had next to nothing to eat under Ceausescu in the 1980s, except chicken claws).

I have a picture of Plesu and Liicianu stretching their legs out from the deep velvet sofa, arms clasped behind their necks, their eyes glinting amusedly at me, relaxed and at peace with themselves.

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Book Review: “The Romanian” by Bruce Benderson (Prix de Flore)

April 2nd, 2010 · No Comments · Books, PEOPLE, Reviews

There are also the occasional hilarious interludes such as the one at the Romanian Cultural Centre in New York. Here, the Institute’s Director, Carmen Firan is a former protege of ex-President Ion Iliescu and Berensn describes her as “an intellectual”(sic) a matter of opinion on which the jury is still out. Benderson also mentions a meeting organized in NY where Firan’s choice guest is a certain Nina Cassian. In romania, Cassian is still remebered as an ex-communist sycophant but in spite of it in New York the subject is repackaged as a “dissident” (and how!).

Cassian was a poet who, during four long decades of communism enjoyed unashamedly, the spoils of the dictatorship. During her extended honeymoon with the Romanian Communist censorship Cassian published several dozen volumes of her grotesque poetry, before she absconded to USA, in the late 1980s. Bruce finds her in NY where she is hailed as a linchpin of Romanian culture…. now we know where are the sympathies of the Romanian Cultural Centre: well – birds of a feather!

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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Orwell Diaries (ed. Peter Davison, Harvil Secker, London 2009)

November 17th, 2009 · No Comments · Books, Diary, PEOPLE, quotations, Reviews

Orwell Diaries 1931- 1949 Edited by Peter Davison, Publ: Harvil Secker ISBN 9781846553295 (sourced from ten original diary notebooks) I bought Orwell’s Diaries thinking that I could glean more information about his philosophical conversion from Spanish Republicanism to what had become later a lucid critic of left-wing dictatorship. It appears, sadly, that two notebooks of […]

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