Category Archives: Romania

Smiles in an absurd world

In Pray for Brother Alexander, which recently came out in English (see here from Punctum Books), philosopher Constantin Noica recounts one of the irrational moments that took place while he was imprisoned. He was around 50 years old, sharing the … Continue reading

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Noica’s Pray for Brother Alexander

    This is just a short note to let everyone know that Constantin Noica’s Pray for Brother Alexander came out today. To my mind, it is a wonderful book in which you discover a kind spirit. On the publisher’s … Continue reading

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Knowledge of a culture through dancing

I recently participated in a Round Table on Cultural Discourse(s), Romania, and Eastern Europe Paradigm. The event was organized by the Center for East European and Russian/Eurasian Studies at the University of Chicago. This is part of my contribution. A couple of years … Continue reading

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An aching love

  Before I left Romania, I considered myself a citizen of the world. Once I left, I became the guy from Fagaras, my hometown. I’m not talking about how other people saw me, but rather about how I saw myself. … Continue reading

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Constellations and Nationalism

  Around 20 years ago, I was working at the French Cultural Institute in Bucharest. One day, wearing my ID, I reach the entrance door at the same time with an older man, probably in his late 70s. I stop … Continue reading

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The longing for Bessarabia

Today my heart was filled with desire: I was overwhelmed by my longing for Chisinau, a beautiful city in Eastern Europe, the capital of present day Moldova, and the place where I felt truly alive. It is a strange thing … Continue reading

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Farewell! A poem by Valeriu Gafencu

The poem was written in communist prisons and memorized by Valeriu Gafencu’s friends. I would be happy and grateful for any suggestions for improving the translation. You can see the Romanian version below.  Farewell   Bleeding out from wounds so … Continue reading

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The Garden of the Lord’s Mother

  Photo from the Museum of the Village in Bucharest I am in a place that I will always call home, regardless of where my life will take me: Romania. I wrote about it before: I can never say why … Continue reading

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Understanding Evil (The Ghost of Pitesti)

Whenever I discuss the Holocaust or the communist persecution in class, there is always someone who says, “I will never understand why the Holocaust took place.” Or, “I will never understand why they persecuted people in communism.” Humans who have … Continue reading

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"There was no other choice"

  Eugenia and Gheorghe Hasu. Photo from Ioana Hasu’s collection, used with permission. Let me tell you a story. After fighting as a soldier for his own country, a young man returns home. There is nothing special about him; he … Continue reading

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