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Voices & Shadows of the Carpathians – an Anthology of Romanian Thought

June 23rd, 2009 · 4 Comments · Books, Diaspora, PEOPLE, Translations

An Anthology of romanian Thought

An Anthology of romanian Thought

Voices & Shadows of the Carpathians
An Anthology of Romanian Thought –
selected and introduced by Constantin Roman.

POSTFACE: A Conspiracy of Silence

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 (1920-1970)
( “Edgard Jene and The Dream About The Dream”)
(“Collected Prose”, Carcanet, 1986)

John Sandoe Bookshop, Chelsea

John Sandoe Bookshop, Chelsea

One day, during a regular trip to that learned Institution off London’s King’s Road, which remains “John Sandoe’s Book shop” I was asked by one of its luminaries a simple, if justifiable question:

“Is Gregor von Rezzori Romanian?”

I knew that “Grisha” was born in Bucovina, sometime before the Great War, when that Romanian province belonged, for over a century, to the now defunct Habsburg Empire. The answer was not simple because the author wrote in German and now, I thought he lived as an exile in Germany, where I knew he was deemed to be one of the greatest contemporary German writers. However, such detail needed not become a signal factor in assigning the author’s appurtenance, as scores of Romanian writers, like Cioran and Ionesco, lived as exiles in France and wrote in French. I knew the problem to be more complicated as the vexed matter of change in frontiers of an author’s place of birth, especially in the troubled lands of Eastern Europe, would not satisfy an intelligent inquirer, even less so in “Sandoe’s Bookshop”. Moreover in provinces such as Bucovina, which lay at the frontiers of the Russian, Prussian, Austrian and Turkish Empires, there was, inevitably, a mosaic of ethnic groups – Romanians, Austrians, Ruthenians, Poles, Jews, Ukrainians all with their individuality, but also with their intercourse, which blurred, to a degree, the distinctions: I knew von Rezzori to speak all these languages, which destined him to become a citizen of the world, an “international”, like those prized sportsmen who today played rugger for the teams of other countries. I hesitated for a while and to gain time I ventured to make what I thought to be a safe statement:

“He lives in Germany!?”

“No, he died in Tuscany, two years ago. His Italian widow came here to see us, recently.”

This was not a game of one-upmanship – just a friendly “away from home” rehearsal of a kind that one often heard in

Gregor von Rezzori,  scriitor din Diaspora Romaneasca - nascut in Bucovina in 1914, decedat in exil, in 1998.

Gregor von Rezzori, (b. 1914- d 1998) exiled Romanian Writer of German expression

the ethereal but homely surroundings of this learned shop, where the owners were blessed with an abstruse yet stimulating knowledge. I was not surprised that my friend knew more than I did about the subject, but I was still taken aback – this was not a confrontation, for I was a regular of his shop and it was not the style of this charming place. I pondered for a while longer whilst trawling from the recesses of my mind for any evidence that might emerge from the “Snows of Yesteryears”, some detail that I might cling to for an answer. Then I said, perhaps a little mischievously:

“Ah, you see? He may have written in German, but he must be Romanian, as his wet nurse was a Romanian peasant.” By that I meant, inter allia, that Rezzori was nurtured, in his formative years, by the Romanian psyche, so to my mind we had a good claim to the idea of the writer’s Romanianness. Besides, such affinities were apparent from the author’s admissions in his autobiographies and novels.

It was a quiet afternoon, with one of those rare moments when there was no other client in the shop, as we were engaged in this thought-provoking repartee, so out came the next salvo:

“But, is Paul Celan Romanian?”

Paul CELAN (n. Cernauti, 1920 - d. Paris, 1970) poet Bucovinean de expresie Germana, prieten cu

Paul CELAN (b. Cernauti, 1920 - d. Paris, 1970) considered "the best German poet since Rilke" Romanian poet of German expression and a friend of Emil Cioran

My general attitude is never one to hide my ignorance if I were not to know the answer, perhaps because, and rather immodestly, I dare say, I am rather proud of what I do know. This is true especially on a Culture such as that of Eastern Europe, which suffered so much confusion and misunderstandings and is unjustly so sketchily known in England. But you see? This was not true in John Sandoe’s! Here the situation was different and the balance of erudition fell in their favour, in a nice way. So I said demurely:

“No, never heard of Paul Celan – who is he?”

“He is a poet and he comes from Czernowitz’ , like von Rezzori,” I was informed without a blink.

“I must read him! You see, he must be one of those exiled poets. If I had not heard of him this is because, in Romania, we were never taught at school about any of our fellow countrymen, from the Diaspora, who made their name abroad. The Communist censorship controlled all information: it always made sure that such books, written by Romanians living in the West, not only could not be found in bookshops or in the school curricula, but not even their name could be mentioned in bibliographies. It was a complete embargo of ideas. It was death by silence, it was a conspiracy of silence.”

Gradually I warmed to the subject and poured:

Emil Cioran (b. Transylvania, 1911 - d. Paris, 1995), celebrated in france as one of the greatest 20th c writers - He was a friend of Mircea Eliade, Eugène Ionesco, Paul Celan, Samuel Beckett, and Henri Michaux.

Emil Cioran (b. Transylvania, 1911 - d. Paris, 1995), celebrated in france as one of the greatest 20th c writers - He was a friend of Mircea Eliade, Eugène Ionesco, Paul Celan, Samuel Beckett, and Henri Michaux.

“This ideological censorship perpetrated by the Communists would have put to shame even the Catholic Inquisition of the Middle Ages. Names such as those of Mircea Eliade, or Emil Cioran were whispered in a hushed voice, lest one would be overheard and thrown in prison for “seditious propaganda”. Ionesco’s “Rhinoceros” was staged in Poland, but not in Romania. Even the works of those Romanian scientists who chose freedom were banned from public libraries. Literature of any kind, even scientific literature, was regarded as belonging to an “ideological domain” It remained the preserve of the Communist Party, of the one-party system, which dictated what staple diet was good for internal consumption.

You see, I have been over here for many years and I still have a lot to catch up with – the “ABC” rudiments of my culture and I had not yet reached the letter “c” for Celan.”

I was neither defensive nor ashamed of myself: I was just angry at the injustice of that cultural genocide practised during forty years of Marxist régime in Romania. Curiously this practice had not completely disappeared since the so-called “Revolution”, which was the coup de palais of December 1989, which put down the tyrant and his wife!

Suddenly I remembered that innocuous event, which took place in Eastbourne, several years ago, when the local branch of the “English-speaking Union” had invited the Cultural Attaché of the Romanian Embassy in London to address an audience of retired Civil servants and decent country squires. His disquisition on “Romanian Culture” was supposed to be informative. After his uninspired, uninspiring rambles, redolent of the style of the defunct Communist Party rallies, the Attaché took questions from the floor:

Gabriel Gafita, former Cultural Attache in London (1991-1995): he suggested that the one and only valid Romanian Wrtiter was untranslatable because of his highly subtle language.. For his merits Gafita became later ambassador to Canada and Portugal.

Gabriel Gafita, former Cultural Attache in London (1991-1995): he suggested that the one and only valid Romanian Wrtiter was untranslatable because of his highly subtle language.. For his merits Gafita became later ambassador to Canada and Portugal.

“Would he care to name” – he was asked- “a Romanian author of international repute, that could be read in English?” Quite a legitimate question, I would have thought.

“Well, you see? There is one,” he answered, after much thought –

“He is a 19th century playwright by the name of Ion Luca Caragiale. The
problem is that he is too subtle to do him justice in translation: he is, in
fact, untranslatable and it is a pity!”


Caragiale (1852-1912), dupa elucubratiile atasatului Cultural de la Londra "singurul scriitor merituos din literatura romana, dar din pacate intraductibil, datorita subtilitatii limbii sale...

Caragiale (1852-1912), acording to the Romanian Cultural Attache in London "the greatest Romanian Writer ,sadly untranslatable because of the subtlety of his language" (sic)....

I was as startled as the rest of the audience was at this odd response. I knew of Caragiale since my school days in Bucharest, at the time of Stalin’s purges and of the national-communism of Gheorghiu-Dej. Caragiale was the darling of the régime because he lampooned the “decadence” of the Romanian upper and middle classes of modern Romania, at the end of the 19th century, when the country was a young kingdom. Caragiale was in prose for the Romanians what Gilbert and Sullivan was in rime and song for the British. He was one of the few classics of Romanian literature who could be “adopted” and “used” in his entirety by a Marxist régime, for its propaganda purposes. All other of Caragiale’s contemporaries were either conveniently forgotten, or selectively censored to be repackaged as “progressive writers”:

“True they were capitalists, but they were progressive for their time”, this would be the excuse. We knew there were, of course other “progressive writers” who professed a more balanced view of society. But because their style was more nuanced, not sufficiently critical of the former pre-Communist régime, they did not mesh with the Communist Government propaganda and they did not make it to the book stores and schools. Such books were under lock and key in the dungeons of public libraries, under the label of “fondul special” (the “special fund”), which was open only under the strictest criteria to a handful of approved “researchers” , regarded by the régime as “reliable” enough to sing the praise of the one-party system. 19th century playwright by the name of Ion Luca Caragiale. The problem is that he is too subtle to do him justice in translation: he is, in fact, untranslatable and it is a pity!”

Great as he may have been, as a teenager, I soon got sick of this staple diet of Caragiale, marketed as the “unique genius” that Romania had ever produced! I wanted to find out more about the “other” Romanian writers like Ionesco, and Eliade who were published abroad and smuggled into the country at great risk. Now, some 30 years on, I was jerked into reality, as the name Caragiale popped up again in the words of this comrade from the Embassy. Thank God that this happened only in the back water of Eastbourne and that the audience was insignificant, otherwise the word might have spread like a foot and mouth virus to cause irreversible damage.

As it happened, it only reinforced the prejudice, albeit within a small group of English people, that Romania’s contribution, beyond Dracula and the orphanages was indeed insignificant. Witnessing this performance it was no longer surprising to come across such ill-conceived prejudices as that of Julian Barnes’s (“One of a Kind”) suggestion that all that Romania could produce was a single genius in any one field – Brancusi in Sculpture, Ionesco in Drama, Nastase in Tennis, Hadji in Football, Ceausescu in dictators… Quite a neat seditious little theory, enough to make the blood of any Romanian curdle! And yet, we Romanians we were our own worst enemies, at least if one were to judge our record by the performance of this official emissary.

For me what I heard from the lips of this “nouveau communist” was untrue and outright farcical. I wanted to shout to the audience the long array of Romanian poets and novelists who lived in the West and did write in other languages or were translated in German, English, Spanish or French. There were scores of them, some being lionised in Paris, given literary accolades and much coveted Literary Prizes, others compared to the great and the good of International Pantheon of literature; “the Gorky of the Balkans” , “the best German poet since Rilke” , ” the most elegant 20th Century French writer in the tradition of Baudelaire and Valéry”…

Since I chose Britain as my adoptive country, especially in my innocent days of scholarship at Newcastle and later on at Cambridge I was brutally aware of the ignorance of Romanian values in the West. After all why should it matter? We were only a small country on the map of world culture and for that reason we experienced the same complex as the other small European nations – Portugal, Belgium or Finland.

In my early years of exile, fired by a youthful naiveté, steeled by an tinge of arrogance, I was convinced that I could repair such injustice, that I could change the world and become an unofficial “Open University” of Romania – I felt I had a “Messianic” message to impart to the rest of the world and set up urgently to the task of writing articles, translating Romanian poetry in English, even organising exhibitions and festivals, to put the record straight. My research at Cambridge focused on the Carpathian earthquakes and made the subject of an article in ‘Nature’ or the “Geophysical Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society”. I was busy publishing Romanian poems in “Encounter”. In the “Cambridge Review” I debated the “Romanian myth in the sculpture of Brancusi”. I cajoled George Steiner in chairing an evening of Romanian poetry at Churchill College. I played panpipe music, the Romanian shepherd’s lament, in the Chapel of Peterhouse. I trotted about the country addressing the WI in obscure provincial towns.
Other Romanian writers were pioneers of a new style: the Dada, the Lettrism, the Theatre of the Absurd… These exiles

Romanian-born Tristan TZARA (1896-1963) - published the DADA Maniphesto in 1916. Portrait by Delaunay (1932)

Romanian-born Tristan TZARA (1896-1963) - published the DADA Maniphesto in 1916. Portrait by Delaunay (1932)

were part of the literary aristocracy of Paris, whose salons were frequented by Proust, Valéry, Apolinaire or Colette– all those enchantresses, who delighted, for decades, the refined Parisian society, the conductrix of good taste – Countess Anna de Noailles, née Princess Brancovan, Princess Marthe Bibesco, Hélène Vacaresco. All these were aristocrats by vocation and by blood – This is what our Romanian aparatchik did not want to spell out and was trying instead to cover up. Besides, for the Communists, these writers who chose Western Europe as their haven –still represented the embarrassment of a deep chasm between “them and us” – The “errand children” of Romania were not yet ready to be accepted to the bosom of their country of origin, even after Ceausescu was put down. The Romanian Diaspora was still on trial. We still had a long tortuous road ahead of us, for our minds to meet. It was not going to be easy bridging this spiritual gulf between the uprooted and the deep rooted, between the dispossessed and the repossessed, or, shall I say, the possessed of insidious propaganda – the brainwashed, the complacent and the political opportunists.

I never got tired of my “missionary” initiative, but I soon realised that the echoes were meagre compared to the effort that I put in this pathos. Soon after, like every other graduate, I was absorbed in my profession, in the less glamorous field of geophysics, or as the French had it encapsulated so well, I had to “waste my life by earning it”. Still, my initiation in the contribution which the exiled Romanians had made, grew ever more with every book or work of art I had acquired during this trail of exploration.

So, many years later, when listening to that Romanian Cultural Attaché addressing his unsuspecting audience in Eastbourne, I was shocked by the malevolent manner in which he dispatched his subject. In spite of this reaction I decided giving up my vocation of a “good soldier Schweick” and say nothing, not to muddy the waters of an otherwise sunny afternoon of the English Riviera. I was content to label this sorry diplomat a “rhinoceros”, a “relic” of our troubled past. Still I was surprised to hear , later on, that he was promoted to become an Ambassador in a Western democracy:

“Good work Comrade! Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose!” whispered in my ear my cynical “other self”.

I thought:

“His dutiful, zealous iconoclasm, his personal cultural revolution, his damage to Romania’s cultural heritage were all adequately recompensed by his masters, both overt and covert: Ceausescu’s shadow was cast large, well after his demise, it was functioning very well, according to the same tenets of “cultural demonology.”

The age of wisdom, but perhaps not the wisdom of the age, made me, at long last, discover the bliss of being reconciled with inequities that one cannot change. But was I?

Many more years after the Eastbourne episode, as I returned from John Sandoe’s bookshop in Chelsea, I was in reflective mood:

“How come that I did not know about Paul Celan, after all these years? It was no longer the Communists fault, it was MY fault.”

I trawled the internet, I scurried the bookshops. Even Waterstones had two books by Celan: I was surprised by my find.

Still, John Sandoe had quite a different dimension:

“I must put the record straight!”

I fell again in the same old trap in which I fell before so often, a trap which I promised to avoid: that is the hole in which all Romanians find themselves when they live in the West, a hole from the depths of which they cry:

“Look at us, we are famous, but nobody really knows about it! If they do they think that we are foreign!”

As they do go about explaining their seminal contribution, their splendid but ignored contribution, Romanians are experiencing that schizophrenic sentiment –an inferiority complex overprinted by an indelible conviction of belonging to an illusory important nation.

By assembling this compilation of thoughts and shadows from the Carpathian space, I hope that I could make peace, at least to a modest degree, with this dichotomy which confronts the Diaspora.

London, July 2001


4 Comments so far ↓

  • Rodica Perciali

    Romanian Museum (25 ani), Romanian-American League (13 ani)
    Philadelphia, Princeton NJ, Chicago, Romania-Brasov

    Domnule Roman, cum putem sa va multumim !

    cartea dvoastra este un dar poate prea coplesitor..emotionant si care, ca act de cultura si de recunostinta culturii si sufletului romanesc ne onoreaza ca popor; ne inalta si ne ridica cu o treapta mai sus spre cerurile spre care tintim sau pe care credem ca le meritam..dar ceva ne tot impedica..sau tragea inapoi..Dvoastra ati facut un mare pas inainte..mare de tot..ne si intrebam de unde atita forta..atita perseverenta.. Trebuie ca veti lumina fetel si spriritul multor romani si al altora care tin la noi sau sunt legati de noi in vreun fel sau altul. Si de aceea trebuie sa fie si altii sa va urmeze..II cautam. PUNTILE ROMANESTI PESTE OCEAN se construiesc incet si greu, dar sunt mari sperante, nu-i asa? Ne veti spune si noua de la cei care va vor scrie..

    Poate ca sunteti lumina la capatul unui lung tunel..dar nu vreau sa va suparati..Nu acela al zecilor de decade trecute (caci pt.noi, cei de azi, nu acela e cel mai dureros mai ales ca ne obisnuisem mai mult sau mai putin cu el..) ..ci al ultimilor 20 de ani cind era de asteptat sa ajunga lumina si la noi..Aceea de la mama de acasa. SI cu o scrisoare blinda sa ne invite acasa..verile macar..Sa ne cunoastem, sa ne adunam in jurul valorilor noastre deja stiute sau mai putin sau deloc stiute..si sa le gasim pe ale noastre..sa ne intarim prin noi si ceea ce subteran ne leaga..sufletul romanesc…Am sugerat pina si staff-ului Dlui Emil Constantinescu in 1992-1996 sa foloseasca , macar ca “strategie” un apel, o scrioare speciala catre emigratia romana..exil, diaspora, comunitati, persoane..Ce o fi fost atit de greu de facut sau, dupa ce a fost ales, ce forte s-or fi opus inca nu ne f.clar…Asa ca ea ramine inca, pentru prea multi.. o mare absenta , dorinta nerostita , dureroasa iar p.t tara o pata apasatoare nediscutata..

    “Dragi copii, nu mi-ati mai scris sau poate scrisorile nu ne-au ajuns.. si timpul a trecut greu peste noi.. dar sufletul meu este si la voi asa cum e la cei care v-au ramas in urma aici, lasat Trebuie sa va caut ca sunteti copii mei..sa va spun ca lucrurile se schimba la noi si ca putem primi corespodnenta si..mai mult ca puteti veni ..Veniti ! ”

    Eu nu am asteptat-o…Si nu numai eu..Au fost multi care au simtit nevoia sa se apropie de tara in 1990 si au si facut-o desi nu au fost invitati..decit de familiile/rudele lor….Dar acum chiar ca lipsa ei a devenit o drama daca nu o trauma adinca iar pierderile tarii sunt imense..

    faptul ca generatia noua nu mai citeste istorie si chiar prea putina literatura si ca prea multi tinmeri sunt ca si stimulati sa plece din tara riscind ca si minunatele femei romanec de care vorbiti si ca unii din noi sa nu fie cunscuti celor din tara vreodata..ma sperie si spr sa sperie pe mai multi si aceia, dac sunt destui de buna credinta si tin la neamul romanesc sa fac eforturi sa se caute, cunoasca si uneasca/organizeze.

    Cartea dvoastra este un mare dar si lumina magica tocmai necesara !
    (sper sa imi raspundeti la scrisoare si sa discutam despre acest aspect)

    Ca nou emigranta in 1981 eu eram legata de Romania dar , datorita cititului si rudelor de aici, deja familiarizata cu SUA..si pt.mine nu se putea decit sa incorporez ambele mame..in sufletul si munca mea umanista, de comunitate si de profesoara..Dar nu am reusit sa fac asta si cu altii..PUNTILWE ROMANESTI PESTE OCEAN inca nu functioneaza..

    Poate ca este si p.t ca abia acum unii sau altii aflam de unii si altii..simtindu-ne chiar vinovati, exact aceai care ne cautam , ca nu am put afce eforturi mai mari si mai repede..si ca, oare de ce, am crezut si credem ca acel GUVERN le face ???!!! Sau ca numai mama de acasa trebuie s afac si nu noi, catre ea..ceva in plus !

    Dar ce minune ca exista oameni ca dvoastra..de fapt nu e minune – E NROMAL SAU ACETSA E NROMALUL..dar noi, cit de multi traim normalitatea cind, din nou, nu ne stim si daca ne stim nu ne unim…??

    Poate ca este acest cerc vicios in care nici noi , chiar si emigrati in America..nu am stiut despre inaintasii nostri emigrati..plecati mult mai inainte si cu realizari deosebite in alte tari….Eu sigur, o generatie mai norocoasa formata in perioada de detenta 1966-1980 si, ca filoloaga-umanista , toata ziua in biblioteca sau in virful patului citind (si seara, daca nu aveam vreo “intilnire”..) .. stiam de Ionescu, Cioran.. DOAR stiam…auzisem..precum si de marile doamne si chiar si de Lupeasca..

    Dar vedeti, nici acum nu se poate spune ca sunt integrati noua caci, adevarul este ca spiritul national ni s-a format la scoala si in viata de zi cu zi..si aflin de marile familii boieresti intelectuale. din citti si din unel case memoriale pe care, totusi, comunisti le-au mentinut bine…Iar ceilalti care s-au adaugat cunostinelor noastre ulterior au venit ca niste persoanje ingeri la care nu aevam cum ajunge..si stiind-ne limitarile nic nu am suferit sperind insa sau contind ca tipmul ne va apropia de ei..dar Ei s-au dus..Nici nu pot cered ca eu am fost la Paris in 83 – chiar anul incopororarii Muzuelui Roman la Chicago – cind nevoia de a VEDEA SI SIMTI FRANTA CU OCHII si PORII MEI a fost atit de mare, chiar dramatica , dupa socul cu America..incit am luat-o pe fiica noastra , Irina, de 6 ani atunci si venit..si din nou in 93 si 2002 vind ea acum studenta si respectiv doctoranda a avut burse de studii peste vara..

    dar, totusi… nu a fost in planurile mele sa dau de Dl.Cioran..cumva..
    Mai ales daca stiam ca e Sibian, m-as fi facut luntre si punte si eu ca fagarasanca si cum vedeti ca am resuit sa fac ce am facut 25+ as fi reusit..Am cautat doar La maison Roumaine caci auzisem de ea, de Dl.Korne si “Le Combat”..Dar reactia pe care am simtit-o a fost ca si in SUA din partea unor legionari …ca suntem consideati mai mult sau mai putin comunisti…unii chiar agenti/spioni sau oricum eram brainwashed..

    Am comenta desoeri aceasta drama daca nu tragedie a noastra ,a dica faptul ca dac in atar era doctatura de stinga, in emigratie era una de dreapta si ca intre ele cultura romana a avut cel mai mult de suferit – adica sufletele oamenilor. Dar la asta o contributie masiva a avut nu numai securitatea ..ci, p;aradoxal , chiar biserica romana care comaprativ cu cea neoprotestnata a tinut oamenii cit a putu ea mai departe de organizare sociala si chiar si culturala cu exceptia folklorului muzical si dansant care , sigur, nu putea pretinde nimeni ca ar fi politicizat..Culmea si dezastrul a fost insa ca muzeul nostru, costumele..si mai ales studiile asupra emigratiei au fost considerate..ca o “misiune” Acum imi explic, atunci nici nu am inteles ce se intimpla si mai bine a fost caci astfel a durat mai mult elanul meu..Eu stiam una si buna _ cultura roman e cea mai importanta si punctul central..toti tin la ea..Si dac nu este numai p.tca ori nu au timp , ori nu stiudestul..ori nu cred ca americanii ne apreciaza p.tea si nu se zbat sa o promoveze sau sa ne sprijine s ao facem..Cum spuneati..ca ati organizat actiuni romanesti..Imi inchipui cita munca si ca ..ati resimtit lipsa insuficientului sprijin de la altii..dar va uitati acum cu nostalgie si, sper, mandrie inapoi ..dar este evidenta si tristetea ca nu s-a facut mai mult..

    Ceea ce dvoastra ati simtit fata de acel Domn Gafita ( pe care si eu l-am intilnit la MAE in 96..anul poate cel mai bun in emigratie caci se spera in opozitie/Emil Constantinescu..si MAE-ul a arata edschidere mai mare catre noi..cel putin asta s-a vazut clar la Dl.Mircea Geoana..nu stiu cum a fost in vestul EU..) am simtit si eu..DAR EU NU AM TACUT..SI DE ATUNCI MI I-A RIDICAT PE TOTI IN CAP..DE LA MIC LA MARE..LA CEL MAI MARE..care acum e Dl.Geoana..si care ar trebuis a fi sprijinit muzuel si Liga Romano-Americana caci de fapt l-a ajutat atunci..Eram disperati ca nu s eleaga ceva semnificatvi cu tar si ca MAE nu-si face datoria..si AM VRUT ANUME SA IMPING..dar cum aveam dovezi ca sutn si neajutorati..am vrut – am simti ca trebuie sa ne facem noi datoria, cei care suntme inaintea lor si am resuit mai mult in promovare, cum era m eu..macar eu..- SA-I AJUT ARATIND CA SE POATE si ce se poate si ca ei au de ce sid e cine sa se elege..Dra legaturile si le-au facut pe la spatele meu cum au crezut ei..Nu are rost sa detaliez acum, cred ca stiti deja singur.(.sau poate ca nu stiti !)..si cum de s-a ajuns, Dle Roman, de a cazut nici mai mult, nici mai putin decit New Yorkul..unde s-a aflat miezul sau creierul anticomunsimului roman..(atita to ca membrele trupului lui erau prea intinse la distante mari prin tara asta urangutan..asa ca unele s-au gelatinizat si alunecat in societatea americana complet.., altele s-au subtiat si au mai actionat mai mult ocazional….altele s-au imbolnavit.. altele si au actionat mai mult prin scrisori de pe patul de boala.. altele s-au chircit imbatrinite si indurerate pina peste poate..altele, din frustrare, s-au crispat , incrincenat si critcile si acuzatiile in stinga si dreapta le-au devenit supapa necesara supravieturii..si unele au crescut ghiare impotriva propriilor frati…Cite infiltrari si transplanturi au fost facute din partea securitatii spre si intre membrele acestui trup..de altfel destul sau chiar f. difuz comparativ cu exiilul uncrainian, maghiar, polonez..nu stim si nu avem cum afla..tocmai p.tca nu au fost si nu sunt mai mult in emigratie care sa fi dorit studii..adica adevrurile sociale sa fie cunscute si s-au limita la nivelul perosnal in orice..In ambitiis si munca si resuite dar si in cunoasterea societatii..

    Romanu nu este fiinta sociala cu mari cauze..Ori nu a apcuta sa fie ori a trebuit sa fie prea pragmartic si sa se descruce in istoria dificila de la acele multe incrucisari de drumuri “geopolitice” cum se numesc acum..si timpuri istorice de o densitate maxima..Oare multe sunt atrile peste care s-au intimplat atieta lucruri mari..Ele fiind, din atitea parti, INDEPENDENT de vointa lor… mari, prea mari si neasteptate si pera multe deodat uneori….si romanii mei nu puteau decit sa se tina la pamint..sa le reziste, nu-i asa?? Tinta si traditia lor a fost sa-si mentina enrgia necesara gospodarii proprii…si ei, poate spre desoebire de alte natii..si-au tinut gospodaria curata, camara asigurata si gradina inflorata.. iar crestinismul i-a ajutat si i-a tinut intregi la minte..dar nu i-a ridicat la ceruri..cu toate ca i-au dat toate florile strinse in sufletul lor din gradina unei tari prea frumoase de la Dzeu..Romanul cu mintea prea inalta in ceruri si ajustindu-se la fortele mari din jur ba cu rugi, ba cu daruri, ba cu siretenii…si cu capul plecat…..nu apucat sa invete suficient distinctia intre realitate si vis sau visul de cosmar…. si ce e de facut sa nu te lasi ademenit sau pacalit de eel sau ..de altii ca ele….Si abia acum se trezeste si din visul comunist….si vede ca nu exista Dzeul cautat…de accea acum isi contruieste CELE MAI MULTE BISERICI DIN ISTORIE stiati? In timpul acesta sarlatanii care au stiut mai bine distinctia intre vis si realitatate si ca visele le poti ajusta sau le face nori/ceata peste altii daca ai talente la a pacali si vraji….isi cladesc palatele lor..pt ei …si, mia rau chiar decit comunistii inainte care selectionau din istorie tendintele socialiste..in ideea griji fat de mase…acestia nu mai au nic o doctrina..si nu vor nic macar sa discute despre ceva..Ei sunt doar pragmaticii care fug de orice lesa si vor totul FARA ISTORIE…FARA CONSTIINTE CARE SA SE UITE LA EI…si fara rudele de dinafara care sa nu cumva sa se intoarca acasa sa-si ceara locul…ori, legal, la casa parinteasca , ori social/profesional/prin merite si experienta superioara..in societatea inca comunizata administrativ de primii…pe urmele celorlalti..

    Romanii astepau sa se deschide orizonturi..cind colo au aarut alte tuneluri..noi..ptcare nu sunt echipati..caci nu au SOCIETATE CIVICA REALA, ROMANEASCA..adica nu au apcuat sa si-o formeze..

    Aceasta, Dle Roman trebuia sa le vina de la cei plecati..formati in tarile vestice si America..Nu-i asa?

    dar daca romanul e nascut poet si prea multi plecati au preferat – iarasi – visul si frumosul..- in loc de munca pt.societate ..caci aceasta notiune nu si-au format-o pe deplin sau nu natural interiorizat ( au avut-o germanii Transilvaniei si s-a tansferat intr-o buna masura si romanilor dar nu suficient ca sa nu se lase incalcati/ademeniti de bucurestenii sarlatani..; au avut-o comunistii dar au distrosionat-o pina la distructie…)

    atunci avem in afara Romaniei romani de valoare culturala pura dar nu oameni mari…personalitati de forta sociala..

    Cred ca va ajuta romanii din tara cind se va scrie despre activitatea anticomunista mai ales despre cei de caractaer si daruire romaneasca..si cum unii au reusit sa se organizeze totusi..cu mari eforturi TRebuie vazut care dintre ei erau oameni luminati si au tins spre organziare p.tbineel romanilor si care, ingusti/lipsiti de educatie dar propulsati de vanitate au ajuns piedici celorlalti.. Practic nu ar mai conta xdistinctia, dar teopretic da caci altfel oamenii nu inavat si poate tocmai de aceea suntem inca in intuneric..alaturi de faptul ca nu sunt altii din afara lor a “activistilor” care sa fi vrut studii..cunoastere..

    LIpsa lor este cea mai mare drama romaneasca noua..si se adauga la cea generala (nu abosluta) a tradiitionalei noaster incapacitati de a coopera..(caci, iarasi, suntem nascuti poeti si analisti..ori cooperaea este o problema de actiune..Si nu este la aboslut si p.tca exista o categori de romani care au cooperat f.bine..tocmia securistii..si de aceea au ajuns sa fie cei mai mari afaceristi si se acopera unii pe altii..si adevarul si chiar si legille, regulamentele cum face cel mai mult …chiar MAE_ul..)

    Asa ca lumina inca nu se face..si asta incepe sa fie nu tristetea mea..ca aceata e de mult..ci SPAIMA mea..caci am dat 25+ ani cas a infloreasca cunoasterea si sa ne intarim cu ea…

    Simplul fapt ca abia acum ati scos aceasta carte..(care inca ramane sa-si faca drum cu lumin ei la multi alti..care au si uita ca pe pamint exista lumini magice care pot lumina tot ce pian acum parea uitata..sau nu mai conta..) arata cti de incet ne miscam si in ce pericol suntem..

    caci imi imaginez ca sunteti in virsta iar eu simt ca, la 61 de ani ma apropiu vertiginos de slabirea energiilor pina la riscul prabusirii intregului imperiu romanesc pe care l-0am construit….si chiar si modelul PUNTILOR ROMANESTI PESTE OCEAN..caci sunt singura care am reusit sa infiintez si tin pe umeri sedii culturale romanesti in ambele tari, adica din Romania in SUA si din SUA in Romania -filiala – cum era natural si e bine sa faca mai multi..

    Dar inca nu e vorba de ceruri..ci tot de un mare vis..Doar ca eu am cladit caramizi (inclusiv economice) si scari spre el..in speranta ca altii le vor vedea si vor invata ca ASTA E DRUMUL..Aceasta e solutia…

    Dar poate ca am vrut pera mult si saltul ar fi prea mare.

    ce spuneti ?

    Uitindu-ma la scrisul dvoastra tinind de SUBLIM si..de PERFECTIUNE

    mi-a venit sa pling SUB SENTIMENTUL COPLESITOR AL UNEI NAVALIRI DE PREA MULT FRUMOS SI BUN..- FRUMUSTETEA SUFLETULUI ROMANESC SI A LUMII NOASTRE UMANISTE a ami multor culturi ingemanate IN CARE M-ATI TRANSPUS….Le stiam si erau acolo in vazduhul minti noastre.. tinute anume sa ne fie de reazam peren…

    Dar dvoastra cu un har deosebit si o gingasie cum chiar ca nu credeam ca o mai aud de la vreun roman (sau roman evreu..) cu atit mai putin acordate cu un stil noua/creativ de istorie/jurnal persoanal..mi le-ati readus in fata..peste trup si acum mi se aseaza in brate si in poale.. cele stiute dar neimplinite, ci dorite, jinduite..incit m-ati facut sa mi se ridice lacrimi in ochi..

    (ceea ce mi s-a intimplat extrem de rar..si de ultima data, acum 2-3 ani.. nici nu cred ca va pot spune caci erau scrierile unui umanist roman, profesor universitar care m-a ghidat ca studenta in Ist. teoriei literare in 1966-67…. dar criticata in tara de unii drept nationalist iar dvoastra, cred, sunteti evreu roman..)

    In ultimul an m-am gindit mult la fenomenul romano-evreiesc si mi-am spus : indiferent ce cauze sunt la resentimente – atita timp cit conflictul exista chiar daca mai mult tinut sub copntrol – trebuie TRATAT..si felul cel mai bun de a trata este cu medicamentul care vindeca si nu doar mentine…Acesta trebuie deci sa fi cunsocut cauzele si sa stie ce ingrediente le contracareaza..si apoi duce pe pacienti la acel punct unde sa poata functiona ..

    Nu-i as asa acesta este DIALOGUL?????
    Dra sigur, ca si un medicament, facut de farmacisti si administrat de doctori cu buna credinta si si mai bine, cu suflet..

    Nic macar nu aminventa asta, Domnule Roman, caci insasi cartea dvoastra arata cum evreii si alte nationalitati nu numai ca au convietuit bine cu romanii localnici dar s-au atasat lor si tarii si si-au adus contributia la cultura si dezvoltara ei..ca si in ate tari si cum se intimpla acum tot mai mult in lume..

    Cit de necesare sunt cartile sau orice scrweiri care sa aduca in fata lucrurile bune la oameni sis a le lase in urma sau la subsol.pe cele “rele” ?

    Mai e cazul sa ne intrebam..?NU, toata lumea stie sa raspunda..dar citi o mai fac??

    Pina si eu am ajuns la sentimente amare..si in ani 80 si 90 in paginile cu materiale despre muzeu presaram o fraza (afrimatie) anume….(era in contextul in care imperiul de frumos al acestui muzeu si mai ales drumetiile lui prin lume sa le prezinte..si reuseam caci apareau masiv in presa si televiziuni americane..au fost mereu atacate de proprii conationali ..cum nu mi-as fi imaginat vreodata ca vreun roman ar face….poate si tocmai p.tca tocmai comunimsul criticat in exil ca “distruge cultura romana” TOCMAI o mentinea – in majoritate, inclusiv pe cea sustinuta de acest muzeu al valorilor nationale perene..esentiale..si ne hranea cu ea…)

    In anii 90 s-a adaugat insa una mai lunga devenita paragraf..adresat MAE-ului, Min.CUlt si altora care nu se lcupau de promovare si de intarirea legaturii cu emigratia..

    Presa din ROmania l-a preluat de fiecare data dar nu a aprofundat prbolema..Nici macar in privinta lipsei de promovare economica – ceea ce este cel mai mare dezastru dupa 90..As zice ca mai mare decit coruptia..(si vedeti cit am sacrificat eu cultura p.t ideea si chiar actiunile de promovare….pina la a mentine camera principala a muzeului ca un showroom de arta popualra conetmporana, covoare, mobila si chiar sticalrie facuta de mana..cu ideea sa arate cultura romaan etnografica dar si capacitatea tarii de a produce si exporta..si, deci de a gasi comenzi..Asta in loc sa expunem mai mult tezaurul vechi..asa cum il vedeti partial, mai ales unele costume, in fotografiile din Chicago-Evanston ..

    Pe linga asat cel mai releavnt p.t cine cred ca sunteti dvoastra este faptul ca din 1985 am pornit stduiul emigratie romanesti..in 198 am terminat cel mai mare proect de ist.vizuala..dar nu si cartea care se afla inca in manuscris..75 pagini terminate, deci 75% ca doard e 100 de pagini o planuiam atunci..

    Deci si noi avem – dar mult mai demult ca dvoastra – un centru numit “Resource Center on Romanian Immigration and on Romania” dar mereu in cautare de colaboratoir…de 5 ani ii caut in tara si nu-i gasesc..

    Totusi, analiza si oarecum studiul comunitatilor am continuat-o.Am probabil cea mai bogata arhiva a ultimilor 25 de ani..pe linga cea de la Vatra din Michigan..unde se afla arhiva ist.emigratie mai ales a bisericilor ortodoxe..dar cred ca si toata presa..Eu am numai din ultimii 25 de ani..dar nu complete..Iar in ultimii 10 ani f.putin caci nu ami e presa de diaspora, ci ce adin tara..copaita aic ..

    Romanii din Anglia sunt avansati avind un web site edificatoriu..bogat..

    Noi nu..

    Sunt epxlicatii triste si vin de la startegia MAE-securitae sa ne tina slabiit sis a ne slabasca si mai mult si ..au reusit..
    dar Dle Roman, a reusit masiv si crunt si o romanca evreica ..directoarea Centrului Cultural Roman NY–

    Dar despre asta nu pot vorbi deloc caci pt noi (muzeu si progranmele lui p.ttara si emigratie si publicul american si studiile romanesti, etc. ) si p.t tara a insemnat un atentat la crima aproape reusit

    ca atare incepusem s ama intreb, unde sunt, cum ii ppt gasi pe acei evrei romani care au tinut la Romania si la ce era frumos..Acele fiinte mai romantice sau uanisti ca mine care tinem la toat lumea atita timp cint punem mai presus d e noi comuniunea spirituala spre frumso dar si spre binele tuturor..ARMONIA..si nu se poate spune ca nuam crescut sub ea, Dle Roman..asa am crescut eu in comunism si multi ca mine..

    Generatia mea a fost norcoasa si de aceea a ivaat mult si bine si a put impanizi lumea cu inginerime si profesoir universiatari sua muncitori harnici..descurcareti..Noi nu am simtit Dle Roman ca vreo alta tara si cu atit mai putin vreun grup etnic ni se ridica in cap si cu atit mai putin ca ne submineaza in vreun fel..Nu ni se bagau pe git produsele altor unor tari anume..din Rusia nu -mi amintesc macar un singur produs..preucm nic din America decit filmele ori ele insemnau enorm..ca si cele franceze, britanice, etc.pe de alta parte..Literatura americana incepuse sa fie aproape la fel de citita ca cea clasica si moderna europeana..cel putin de catre filologi..Si nu toti delegatii care au plecat in strainatate erau membri ai PCR..ne veneau multi straini in vizita si in anii 70 Romaia a ajuns sa aibe 1, 5 turisti straini pe an lucru inca neatins azi..ca si altele care nu sunt atinse ci dimpotriva.. Hotelurile au fost bine construite si utilate, bucatarii se dadeau peste cap sa serveasca strainii exemplar..Ei veneau oarecum retinuti daca nu tematori si plecau incintati..dar sigur ca noi, romani doream mult mai mult si avema nevoie de dezvoltarea noastra FARA LIMITE…Asa credeam ca se poate numai in capitalism si acum vedem..ca da se poate, dar nu ai pina la un punct..Suntem totusi servitorii altora..mai ales ca noi continuma sa credem ca dezvoltarea profesionaal este suficenta..Romanii nu-si construiesc relatii de gen networking..si nimic social/politic si aproape nici in business..

    Eu sunt o mare exceptie si de aceea am greutati enorme.. dar am si facut greutati alor mei care toti erau ca toti ceilalti..Ghinionul meu..

    Asa ca tot timpul am tintuit si tinjit spre a gasi romani DEOSEBITI – romani MARI..

    Fara ei am sa ma scufund si eu..si mzuuel risca sa se innece la mal..cea mai bogata si vestita corabie romaneasca – BRICUL MIRCEA AL DIASPOREI..dar cum Romania abia il mentine si nu a mai putu sa-l trimita anual la evenimente..la fel si diapsora cu acest muzue..

    dar, mult mai rau..ca sa vedeti totusi diferenta..

    Asa cum sunt cei din tara..comunisti..neocomunisti .. corputi.. saraci..etc. s-au descurcat si-si mentin macar la un minim..valorile importnate..pe cita vreme emigratia este cea datoare..si MORAL vinovata..Si ce vreti dovada mai mare decit ce patim noi, care -l mentinem – Bricul Mircea – cu genunchii, bratele si spatele obosite si cu artrita – o singura familie,,mai mult noi doi, mai mult eu..care am si renuntat de mult la profesie..deci al venit..iar sotul meu arhitect nu-si poate tine nic macar biroul lui liber de romanism caci ne este invadata nu numai toata casa, sau spatiile din Philadelphia sau din Brasov, dar toata viata..si am ajuns ane simtim sufocati..NU atit de mobilel bechi si pitoresti transilvanene impoprtate de mine in 2002 decind casa noasra adevenit mai mult un depozit..si si muzuel cam la fel..dar mai ales de hirtii/arhiva…pina si in bucatarie…

    Sigur ca dvoastra care ati adunat atita docuemntatie ca sa faceti aceste carti stiti ce inseamna asta..dar citi romani la virsta cea mai buna/productiva de 35-60 isi sacrifica profesiile si si casele p.tRomania si romanism??..si uneori si sanatatea !?

    Pe aceia trebuie neaparat sa-i gasim si va rog si pe dvoatra sa ajutati..cel putin sa ne spuneti cine este interesat de STUDIILE ROMANESTI ale perioadei contemporane/recente….

    Am cautat la siteul dvoatsra ,infrigurata, sa vad in ce consta si cu cine e organizat Centrul de studii Romanesti…dar am impresia ca sunteti doar dvoastra, adevarat?

    dac da, sunt sigura ca ati simtit nevoia ajutoarelor..desi ceea ce ati facut dvoastra este ceav ce s-a facut si se mai face si doar de catre o persoana..dar cind e vroba de documentarea si analiza si mai ales studii despre emigratie, relatia tara-diaspora, studi de caz, o publicatie macar anauala daca nu lunara, sondaje si cercetare sociologica..si politica, este cu totul altceva..

    M=as considera infrinta sa fac/sa fie faurit doar ce pot eu..

    Dar acum mi-ati dat o motivatie in plus si va multumesc din suflet..Sper sa va bucurati si dvoastra sa aflati de mine..ca femeie romanac..Sunt zeci de apgini in presa americaan cu mine..unele pagini intregi de format mare..Ambasadoarea neoficiala, etc. si un art.mare cu fotografii ale mele – mari – si mai mici ale reginei Maria (sigur ca m-am simtit jenata caci numa cum ma comaora si nic nu m-am gindit vreodaat decit sa fac ceav si eu pe linia inaintasilor mei despre care citeam si pe care ii adoram. Am ajuns insa sa fiu o persoana civica si cu asta chiar ca am intrat in singuratate romaneasca….in emigratie..dar ma simt mai aproape de nevoile oamenilor…Dar muzeul stagneaza caci ei nu au grija lui. Ira pe Americani ii intereseaza dar nu ajung sa ajute…In schimb ar vrea sa fie invitati la sindrofii, sa vada mai multi romani, cu muzica si dans…Ori acei romani nu vin…Am incercta sa invit din Romania dar nu gasesc voluntari si de palta nu poate fi vorba..Si chiar daca as afce tot eu u efort in acest sens, nu am gasit pe cine sa angajez nic la Brasov dar mite p.t ce e nevoie aici. Insa as vrea sa gasesc parteneri p.t documentare ..daca am avea macar o carte terminata v-as propune sa cautam si pe altii care su scris ceva despre romanii din afara tarii sau cei din tara care au prezenta si in afara..si sa le popularizam impreuna..caci sigur si muzuel si centrele noastre de studii au nevoie de bani ..dar pina una alta..nu avem nici macar o secretara, dvoastra aveti?

    Inchei acum, sper ca nu v-am obosit prea mult.. va cer scuze dac am scris mult pera mult p.t ceea ce trebuai sa insemne o scrisoare de multumire dar atit atins nu numai o coarda sensibila si cu nevoile ei de a vibra..dar mai multe care au ce spune si ele..si p.tcare ar trebui sa fie culegatori de tezaure ca dvoastra dar talentati la vorba..nu doar la obiecte..sau obseravtii..

    Inca odata, felicitari si ma bucur nespus de mult..sa vad ca o treptele culturii romanesti se imbogatesc si se inalta printr-o care de hotar si exceptional de frumoasa ca a dvoastra.. aratindu-mi pina si mie ca piatra de fundatie la PUNTILE ROMANESTI PESTE OCEAN o avem mai degraba – cel putin pina acum – in tarile dvoastra din vestul Europei decit in tara..(am soerat la as aceva..am incercts sa fauresc realtii de mai multi ani..dar nu am apuctsa perseverez cumas vrea; in tomanele lui 2003, si in 2008 cin muzuel a implinit 20 de ani si respectiv 25 si eram in tar am vrut d.mult sa organizez un tur cu prezentari despre noi si pe tema PUNTILOR..la unele asociatii ale romanilor din Germania, Franta, Italia si Anglia, dar nu am vrut sa o fac singura..Ideal era sa fim macar 2-3..dac nu 5-6..si la fel si pt. in tara, sa nu mai fac prezentari singura..Dra nu i-am gasit pe ceilalti, nic nu pot spune ca am cauta destull..deci mai am multe de facut..Oameni ca noi mai au de facut..multe..Nu-i asa?

    La ce lucrati si ce planuri aveti? Ati vrea sa cautam oameni desoebiti ai zilei de azi??ca nu vrems a imbatrineasca prea tare sau sa nu se stie de ei la timp, nu-i asa?

    Mutumesc si va doresc numai bine,

    Rodica Perciali

  • anni

    Very good article about Romanian writers….thanks…..and by the way….few know that Tzara or Celan war born in Romania
    I live in Cologne and it is the same story….I ve studied in Bucharest and Germany ….lived in Birmingham and seach my place in this world…anni

  • editor

    Thank you. Ai un parcurs inedit in aceste universitati care banuiesc ca iti ofera o perspectiva deosebita: succes mai departe si daca ai avea contributii pentru situl nostru, nu ezita

  • editor

    Rodica, I am humbled by your generous comments: do we deserve all these? This is NOT self-deprecation or false modesty, rather the lack of self-examination, due to the fact that so far we work in a splendid isolation: ‘o voce in pustiu’..