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Entries from September 30th, 2010

Poetry (LXXVI): “Bocet din Gorj”- culegere de Constantin BRAILOIU

September 30th, 2010 · Comments Off on Poetry (LXXVI): “Bocet din Gorj”- culegere de Constantin BRAILOIU · Diaspora, PEOPLE, Poetry

« ALE MORTULUI » (Gorj) culegere de C. Brâiloiu

( BOCET culegere de Constantin Brailoiu, transcris de Petru Comarnescu si transmis lui Mircea Milcovitch )
Zorilor, zorilor, / Voi surorilor, / Voi sà nu pripiti, / Sà ne nàvàliti, / Pînâ si-o gàti, / Dalbul de pribeag, / Un cuptor de pîine, / Altul de màlai, /Nouà buti de vin, / Nouâ de rachiu, / Si-o vacuta grasà, / Din ciread-aleasà, / Sà-i fie de masà. /

Din ciread-aleasà,

Sà-i fie de masà.

Mircea Milcovitch*** (n. 1941) care ne-a transmis “Bocetul” din Gorj este nascut in Romania unde a studiat la Institutul Nicolae Grigorescu, dupa care s-a stabilit in Franta. Artist sculptor de reputatie mondiala, lucrarile lui Milcovitch sunt prezente in muzee si colectii din Franta si din intreaga lume.


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Poetry in Translation (LXXV)”: Constantin ROMAN – “In Memoriam Smaranda BRAESCU”, Pioneer Pilot, Parachutist and anti-Communist Fighter (1887-1948)

September 22nd, 2010 · Comments Off on Poetry in Translation (LXXV)”: Constantin ROMAN – “In Memoriam Smaranda BRAESCU”, Pioneer Pilot, Parachutist and anti-Communist Fighter (1887-1948) · PEOPLE, Poetry, Translations

Extract from: “Blouse Roumaine – the Unsung Voices of Romanian Women”
With the advent of WWII, Smaranda Bràescu enrolled with other women pilots in the ‘White Squadron’, active on the Eastern front, where Romania was trying to retrieve from the Soviets the provinces taken by Russia as a result of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. After 1944, Bràescu joined the 13th squadron, which was fighting the Germans on the Western front, first in Transylvania, then in Hungary (Nyiregyhaza, Miskolc) and Czechoslovakia (Rimaska Sabota, Trencin and Piestany). Although a war hero Smaranda Bràescu soon fell foul of the communist puppet régime which was installed in Romania by Stalin’s armies. She protested to the United Nations about the legality of the 1946 elections and her letter of protest to the Allied Command in Romania fell into the hands of a Russian general. Thereafter Smaranda Bràescu became a pariah and had to join the underground resistance in order to escape imprisonment and certain death. She operated under an assumed name, first from a convent and then as an anti-communist resistance fighter. She died of cancer at the age of 51, and was buried in Cluj, under her assumed name of Maria Popescu, in a grave on which her merits and real identity could not be spelled out. The people who helped her were hounded out and given long prison sentences, including the doctors who looked after her in hospital.

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Palm Springs Art Gallery (California) exhibits American-Romanian sculptor Christopher Georgesco

September 20th, 2010 · Comments Off on Palm Springs Art Gallery (California) exhibits American-Romanian sculptor Christopher Georgesco · Art Exhibitions, Diaspora, PEOPLE

Michael H. Lord Gallery is a prestigious Art Venue in Palm Springs, California. Established in 1978, the Michael H. Lord Gallery is located in the Palm Springs Uptown Design District at 1090 North Palm Canyon Drive.
he three sculptures seen in the centre of the showroom for the current exhibition are by American-Romanian artist Christopher Georgesco. Born in Nebraska, Christopher grew up in California, where his father, Haralamb Georgesco had his private practice. Georgesco Senior was an internationally renowned architect of the early Modernist movement in Europe and the United States. His archives were donated by Christopher to the Getty Museum in the care of Special Collections Department.
Pasinetti House a listed building by Haralamb Georgesco, situated in LA and restored in 2008 by Willow Glen Partners. Georgesco Jr sculpture is in the background (permission; Tim Braseth_

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Book Review – ‘Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu

September 17th, 2010 · Comments Off on Book Review – ‘Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu · Books, Diaspora, OPINION, Reviews

‘Last Train to Trieste’ by Domnica Radulescu
During the 20th century Romanians made France or Germany their adoptive country, although some settled elsewhere in the world. But those Romanians who wrote in French or German were little translated in English and even fewer of them wrote in English. We can think of Panait Istrati, Countess of Noailles, or Princess Bibesco, before WWII who wrote in French and after the war, amongst the exile novelists such as Virgil Gheorghiu, Mircea Eliade, Vintilă Horia, Gregor von Rezzori, Herta Muller, who wrote in French, Romanian or German.Nevertheless few of their titles were rendered in English and amongst the latter fewer still became bestsellers, let alone enjoy the accolade of an International Prize.

If the Czechs had Kundera, the Albanians Ismail Kadere, so far the spotlight of international repute has generally bypassed Romania, leaving her literature in the shadows. This lapse could not be assigned only to the paucity of translation alone, but primarily to the absence of a broader perspective by the Romanian fiction writers, who were reduced for far too long, by Nicolae Ceausescu, to write in the wooden language of Marxist sycophantic speak.

Domnica Radulescu, known as an Academic rather than a fiction writer is only at her second novel, yet the omens are good: watch out this space.

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Isabela Vasiliu-Scraba: “Camera 13 a ‘Vilei Noica’ de la Păltiniş”

September 15th, 2010 · 3 Comments · OPINION, PEOPLE

Ignorarea voită a operelor lui Noica (v. Isabela Vasiliu-Scraba, Noica şi “discipolii” săi) -filozof care nu l-a recunoscut pe Liiceanu drept discipol, desemnându-l într-o conversaţie cu Octavian Nistor (1917-1993) “discipol al lui Henry Wald, nu al său” (1974) -, apare pregnant şi la citirea plăcii care indică “vila Noica”. Pe transparenta placă, dl G. Liiceanu a uitat să consemneze esenţialul: Anume că la Păltiniş, în cei 8mp ai camerei închiriate, Constantin Noica a sporit patrimoniul cultural românesc scriind opere de mare valoare filozofică precum: Sentimentul românesc al fiinţei (1978), Spiritul românesc la cumpătul vremii (1978), Trei introduceri la Devenirea întru fiinţă (1984), Scrisori despre logica lui Hermes (1986) şi ultima sa carte, apărută post-mortem întâi în germană, De dignitate Europa (1988) şi abia la şase ani de la moartea lui Noica în româneşte, limba în care fusese scrisă.

Tot în “confortul” de la Păltiniş a scris Constantin Noica minunatele sale rânduri despre Lucian Blaga (1895-1962), Mircea Vulcănescu (1904-1952), Mircea Eliade (1907-1987) şi Mihai Eminescu (1850-1889) chemându-şi aceşti prieteni “văzuţi şi nevăzuţi” să ridice împreună castele de gândire filozofică autentică.

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Romania Unadulterated: Book Review – “Bread, Salt & Plum Brandy”, by Lisa Fisher Cazacu

September 11th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Books, International Media, PEOPLE, Reviews

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!

But, thankfully, not all natives – for Romania is experiencing a brain drain of unprecedented scale and not just brains but muscles too – Romanians emigrate in droves to get away from the quagmire of corrupt officialdom – in the last two decades more than two millions mostly young able-bodied people have voted with their feet and left their country , not in good hear, but in dispair …

One of the statistics is Lisa’s Romanian husband and this is the SECOND ‘plus’ I had in mind as a benefit of Lisa’s Romanian experience: for this rumbustious and unflappable young lady would not allow her unpleasant experiences tarnish her romance with a dashing Mr. Cazacu. They get married and beat the bureaucracy at its game (o yes, even the American bureaucracy because we learn that there is some…) to live “happy ever after” in Texas!

Who needs a better happy-ending than this? in fact, on reflection there are bits in this account to please each and all readers. I for one, after overcoming the initial shock, I enjoyed this brave story in spite of its stark comments, or perhaps because of it.

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A History of Geophysics At Cambridge, England – Book Review

September 9th, 2010 · No Comments · Books, OPINION, PEOPLE, Reviews

Last but not least I am bound to be nostalgic about that last chapter in Carol’s book which I witnessed at “Mad Rise” as the last PhD student of Sir Edward Bullard. Teddy, a successor of Sir Gerald’s, remained the last towering Head o the Department of Geophysics before it was diluted with Geology and Mineralogy to become the current Department of Earth Sciences. Teddy was always unconventional and enthusiastic about new ideas and steeled my resolve in querying the infallibility of Plate Tectonics dictum, such as the “rigidity” of lihospheric Plates in Persia, Tibet and Sinkiang – hence the birth, at Mad Rise, during the early 1970s, of the revolutionary concept of “non-rigid plates”, or “Buffer Plates”: four decades on this new concept gained international acceptance from an otherwise a very conservative and sometimes begrudging profession. Such iconoclastic exercise was not without its dangers in the ruthless rat race of the late 1960s – early 1970s and the chaps from Mad Rise know it too well. Carol Williams apologizes to her contemporaries for leaving out some of their seminal contribution and one must be forgiving and accept her plea in good faith, given the fact that one is compensated by huge helpings about some greats. Even Molly Wisdom is not forgotten: here the larger-than-life persona who, for twenty four years was a Departmental secretary, is afforded not less than seven entries, only to be dispatched variously as a “part-time typist”, a “former opera singer” (with a “shrill voice”…), “chairing” the Common Room table during coffee breaks… It seems as if Molly’s shrewd judgment of human frailties was too close for comfort to some who considered the Department as their sole preserve.
Dan P. Mckenzie, another of Bullard’s students, has generously produced the Preface, the Postface, his raft of scientific papers, reminiscences, his youthful portrait, and more, leaving poor Sir Isaac Newton with the consolation prize of “second best”.

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William Blacker: “Along the Enchanted Way – a Romanian Story”

September 2nd, 2010 · No Comments · Books, OPINION, PEOPLE, Reviews

It takes an Irishman to write the best book on Romania since the WWII – the one before the war was yet another Irish – Patrick Leigh-Fermor.
William Blacker lived in Romania for over eight years in the early 1990s and went native, not just skin deep, but truly and convincingly: he learned the language, the customs, dressed as the other villagers of Maramures, learned their skills and traditions and listened to their stories steeped in ancient history: he was accepted as one of them surrounded with great affection and respect. He further went to one of the fortified Saxon villages, in Central Transylvania where he was “bewitched” by a beautiful gypsy girl with whom he lived for three years and by whom he had a natural son – Constantin.

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