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Entries from April 27th, 2010

QUOTATIONS: How other people see us (II) – Harold NICOLSON

April 27th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, Diary, OPINION, PEOPLE, quotations

The Harold Nicolson Diaries: 1907-1963
Sir Harold George Nicolson KCVO CMG (21 November 1886 – 1 May 1968) was an English diplomat, author, diarist and politician.
Amongst these diaries there a brief insightful portrait of King Carol II of Romania, whom Harold Nicolson visited in Bucharest:

“He had ordered he said, a purely Romanian luncheon. God, it was good! In spite of my feeling so faint, I gobbled hard. We talked agreeably. He is a bounder, but less of a bounder than he seemed in London. He was more at ease. His Windsor blue eyes were wistful and he had something behind them. He spoke with intelligence about Chamberlain and Eden and the Italian Agreement and the French cabinet and the league of Nations. He was well-informed and most sensible. We kept all debating topics away.”

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Maria Mesterou – Galerie Etienne de Causans, Paris 6e, 17-26 Mai 2010

April 26th, 2010 · No Comments · Art Exhibitions, Diaspora, PEOPLE

Maria Mesterou Romanian-born French painter, personal exhibition, Galerie Etienne de Causans, Rue de Seine, Paris 6, from 17 to 26 May 2010

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Christopher Georgesco (California) – First-Generation Romanian-American Sculptor

April 25th, 2010 · 3 Comments · Art Exhibitions, Diaspora, PEOPLE

Like his father, Christopher is a talented and inspired artist: he attended the Santa Monica City College at the age of 20 he part took in a group show and at 28 had his first one-man show. Subsequently and with great determination he put his mark on the Californian and the International artistic map, with an impressive array of monumental sculptures:Grand Hyatt Hotel., Tokyo. Japan, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, La Jolla Musem of Contemporary Art, CA, Laguna Beach Museum of Contemporary Art, CA, Santa Barabra Museum of Art, CA, University of California Los Angeles, CA, University of California Santa Barbara, CA, Pasadena City College, Pasadena, CA, Plaza Pasadena, City of Pasadena, CA, Valley Presbyterian Hospital, Los Angeles, CA, King World Productions, Merv Griffin, Los Angeles, CA, Knapp Communicatons, Los Angeles,CA, McCrory Corporate, New York, NY, Raychem Copporation, Los Angeles, CA, Sea Horse Corporate, Manzanillo, Mexico, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, “Oasis of the Sea”, Installation Finland, Princes Cruise Lines, Installation Italy, Smithsonian Archives of American Art, Washington, DC, City of Palm Springs, CA

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Ceausescu and Jonathan SWIFT – The Seditious Captain GULLIVER

April 25th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, PEOPLE, quotations

Surely, the Reverend Jonathan Swift never expected, in his wildest dreams to be ‘excommunicated’ by communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu: not that Ceausescu ever read Jonathan Swift! That was not necessary! Ceausescu did not read ANY books at all – he was instead famous for his semi-literacy and for professing a distinctly basic vernacular Romanian…
Yet, amazingly, in spite of such auspicious circumstances, Jonathan Swift managed posthumously to blot his copybook with the Communist dictator… Read on the problems encountered by an editor in Bucharest in the 1980s who tried to publish Swift”s Satyres:
Publishing Swift’s satires in 1985, I myself fought a lot with the censor in order to include “A Modest proposal” concerning eating Irish children, which had become subversive here on account of meat shortage in Romania. Faced with the alternative of not publishing the book at all, or doing it without the famous text, I gave it up. The supreme level of censorship was a department of the (Communist) Party Central Committee.
“Publishing Swift’s satires in 1985, I myself fought a lot with the censor in order to include “A Modest proposal” concerning eating Irish children, which had become subversive here on account of meat shortage in Romania. Faced with the alternative of not publishing the book at all, or doing it without the famous text, I gave it up. The supreme level of censorship was a department of the (Communist) Party Central Committee.”

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Mircea Milcovitch – “Le Génie du Sphinx” – Confessions sur la gestation d’une sculpture

April 24th, 2010 · No Comments · Art Exhibitions, Diaspora, PEOPLE

En 1991, j’achevais une série de dessins et sculptures. La source d’inspiration était l’ancienne Égypte, dont j’avais essayé d’extraire l’esprit, à ma manière, c’est-à-dire selon mon propre code de formes, et après un long travail d’élaboration. Sans que ce soit l’unique « source » de mon travail, je regardais et interrogeais cet art sculptural depuis longtemps, depuis mon arrivée à Paris. Lorsque je l’avais rencontré au Louvre, j’avais subi un choc. Je m’étais rendu compte que les reproductions ne pouvaient pas rendre compte de la réalité, remplacer la rencontre, le contact avec cet art monumental. J’avais senti une communion, un lien avec ceux qui l’avaient conçu et exécuté. Dans le sous-sol du Louvre, où ces sculptures étaient exposées, j’ai posé la main sur l’épaule d’une sculpture égyptienne en basalte noir. Je suis resté longtemps figé à côté de cette sculpture, ma main sur son épaule. La pierre froide sentait le toucher et transmettait quelque chose à son tour. Ce n’était pas uniquement une impression. La sculpture me devenait étrangement proche.

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QUOTATIONS: How other people see us (1) – Margaret THATCHER

April 10th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Books, PEOPLE, quotations

Interesting insight on her visit to Ceausescu in the mid 1970s: “Margaret Thatcher – the Path to Power” (Harper Collins, London 1995, ISBN 000 255806 8, 656 pages)
I was also shown around a scientific institute specializing in polymer research. My guide was none other than Elena Ceausescu who had already began to induulge a personal fantasy world which matched her husband’ absurdity, if not in human consequences, she was determined to win a Nobel Prize in chemistry for work on polymers. it subsequently emerged that she could barely have distinguished a polymer from a polygon. But behind the defences of translation and communist long-windedness she put up quite a good show.

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Scrisoare deschisa d-lui Marian LUPU

April 9th, 2010 · No Comments · Diaspora, OPINION, PEOPLE

Domnule Marian Lupu, uitati-va in inima si vedeti ce sunteti. Daca sunteti Roman intoarceti definitiv spatele trecutului bolsevic si lasati sufletul sa infloreasca pe pamantul lui natal dela Nistru pana la Tisa. Optand sa mergeti catre Europa, asa cum se pare ca ati ales, dar privind tot timpul inapoi spre Moscova, nu veti face altceva decat sa va impiedicati, sa va impotmoliti, si sa tariti din nou si poporul in mocirla.

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António Mega Ferreira: “A blusa romena”

April 8th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, International Media, Reviews

O resultado é uma engenhosa urdidura onde cabe quase tudo: as duas histórias de amor em espelho (cheias de simetrias e curto-circuitos), mas também evocações de Paris e da Roménia de Ceausescu, referências eruditas (de Joyce a Schubert, de Sonia Delaunay a Espinoza), jogos metaliterários, auto-ironias e um quarteto de personagens bem desenhadas, a executarem na perfeição a sua música de câmara. Pela sua crescente importância ao longo do livro, destaco Lumena, a prostituta por quem Vasco se enamora, cuja beleza está algures entre uma Madonna de Rafael e a «terrível Judite» que decapita Holofernes num quadro de Caravaggio.

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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 · Comments Off on Book Review: “The Romanian” by Bruce Benderson (Prix de Flore) · 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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