12 juillet 2008

Barbu Stirbey and Ileana von Kripp

Dear Everybody, The time has come to tell you a little about another colourful Roumanian personality, Prince Barbu Stirbey (1873-1946). Why? Well, frankly why not. And because he was quite a character. His mother was Maria Ghika-Comanesti (important to remember when I tell you about an admirable baroness later on), father Prince Alexandru Stirbey and he was grandson of another Barbu Stirbey (born Bibescu and adopted Stirbey), Prince of Wallachia and died in 1869. Quite well connected, wouldn't you say? He married Princess Nadèje... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 01:55 - Commentaires [4] - Permalien [#]

11 juillet 2008

Radioactive Grass New York Times Lehel Kovacs By DANIELLE TRUSSONI Published: June 29, 2008 In “History and Utopia,” the Romanian philosopher Emil Cioran speculated about whether it’s “easier to confect a utopia than an apocalypse.” Utopia and its discontents, so central to Eastern European writers, are central to Gyorgy Dragoman’s darkly beautiful novel. A scathing portrait of life in a totalitarian society, “The White King” is both brutal and disarmingly tender. Dragoman’s answer to... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 23:31 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
11 juillet 2008

Angels, Aurors and Duchesses

Dear Everybody, Just when I think I should be getting to bed and that, really, I should turn off the computer, I remember I have more to tell you. I already said that I'd met Nicole's great and much loved friend, Nely, last Friday for tea in a café on Dorobanti. Let me introduce you to her. Here she is on the left. Thilled to see her again today, albeit ever so briefly. She will leave on holiday this Saturday and was in the area for chores pre-trip. How lovely to have her in front of me once more, looking most regal and... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 01:25 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
10 juillet 2008

Corneliu M. Popescu

The time has come to tell you about Corneliu M. Popescu. Born in 1958, Corneliu is the best translator of Eminescu who ever lived to date (sorry to all those who have tried!). When I first arrived in Bucharest all those years ago (the beard's getting long, now!), I decided that in order to understand the Romanian soul, I would have to study its literature. Huh! That's not easy when the translations on-line are, on the whole, dreadful, and so many writers aren't even translated. Then I found Corneliu M. Popescu. He was a genius. A... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 22:18 - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]
09 juillet 2008

Weekend with Lidia and Marian

Dear Everyone, We set off for Brasov on Friday evening by train, the rapide, which was indeed more rapid than the usual acelerat. Nothing very exciting to report on our journey into Transylvania except that Rosie growled persistently at a Roma man sitting next to me smelling of cabbage… We arrived at Lidia’s around 23h – no Ionut and Ioana, no Mara and Dan. Just us three and Rosie. Very nice, too, to have them to myself for a change! Saturday was a beautiful day. How wonderful to wake up in... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 14:59 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
08 juillet 2008

The 4 Friends Identified!

I went for a walk on Thursday beginning with the memorial house of George Calinescu (literary critic, author, historian to name a few of the strings to his bow). It's a lovely little house comprising of two rooms, books from floor to ceiling and paintings that fair made me jaw drop. On the way out, half way up the garden path, my attention was drawn to a certain sculpture of Calinescu. A caricature to be precise. It reminded me so much of our 4 friends - the statues in front of the house on str. Rabat. Exactly the same style and... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 22:07 - Commentaires [3] - Permalien [#]

04 juillet 2008


Dear Everyone, Well, not happy with sabotaging the time I have left in Bucharest which is oh so very precious to me, BC tried to scupper my weekend too, but failed. Chucking an extra class at me tomorrow finishing just as my train to Brasov is due to leave the Gara de Nord has not had the desired effect of buggering up my plans. I shall still go, but on a later train, which may well be less crowded and thus better all round except for poor Marian who has to come and meet me. The meanies won't reimburse me the cost of my ticket, but... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 01:53 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
02 juillet 2008

Walk with Mihai, str. Paris and other gems

Dear Everyone, I saw Mihai yesterday for a Nicole Tour...and he knew everything before I had to say a word! 6, str. Biserica Amzei is still up for sale (left)...looks like no one fancies it, but if anyone would like to give it to me for Christmas, that's fine by me. Radu Arion's villa with the dragon extravaganza outside would suit me down to the ground. I could pack it full of little old ladies and have stray but gentle dogs in the garden. Goats would come in handy too, instead of a lawn mower. The Filipescu-Cesianu mansion is at... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 21:54 - Commentaires [1] - Permalien [#]
30 juin 2008

St. Peter, St. Paul and Waterloo

Dear Everyone, For those of you who love tradition, this was really the day to discover that Roumania is not about bare-footed gypsies and Dracula. With the Orthodox festival of St. Peter and St. Paul celebrated in every church across the country, the Muzeul Satului (Village Museum) was transformed into a buzz of colour, music and ambiance today. St. Peter, so-called founder of the church in Rome and crucified 'upside-down' by Emperor Nero for having burned Rome to the ground (when in fact it was the fruitcake Nero who lit the match... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 02:05 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]
29 juin 2008

Sighet Memorial Penitentiary and Pitesti...

I've realised with a certain amount of shame that I have never written a post about the Sighet Memorial Penitentiary in Sighetu Marmatiei, N. Maramures. Having visited it no less than three times and having been profoundly moved by what I saw, my only reasoning for this apparent 'lapsus' is fear of failing. Failing to do justice to the memories of the victims of such unspeakable suffrance and cruelty in the hands of such unspeakable brutes, by my paltry words. Words are so superficial, insignificant. The lives of those lost were not.... [Lire la suite]
Posté par Sarah in Romania à 01:08 - Commentaires [0] - Permalien [#]