Roma

Do Something, Be Somebody

The experimental artist Grigorescu Ion has forged himself some time ago out of the painter Ion Grigorescu. Indeed, in Romanian it is rather unusual for an adult to put his family name before the forename. Customarily, this happens in official documents or in school registers,

The Weed Talk

I have never met Ştefan Bertalan. A founder of the sigma group in Timishoara, the most influential hub of constructivist experimentalism in Romanian art, Bertalan has always seemed to me somehow ill-timed, included in the canon, and confined therein. I came once into contact

Helen Of The Netherworld

And yon unwedded virgins…(Euripides, The Trojan Tragedy) This story commences in the Mounts of the Pindus. The dawn of the 20th century. Autumn: the time of wedlock. The Pindian event of the season: the wedding of beauteous Helen. Macedo-Romanian villagers called her

The Architect

Emil Popescu was an architect. His specialty was the oil factories and we can say, without any exaggeration, that wherever in the country an oil factory had been built in the last five or six years, one could easily tell it was the work of architect Popescu's skilled

The Way To The Wall

excerpt During such hours, hundreds of hours, was the final thought born. Sitting like that, like a murky statue, between the bed panel and the door, so that Florica, when she opened the door, did it carefully, not to hit him. But he didn't move an inch and the chair

A Phobia To Noise

 Mr. Popescu, a brave citizen of Bucharest, abode on a street in the slums, where a coach driving past every other day would make a sensation. Cots would vanish into the vast grounds, enabling each of their landlords to bellow to their heart's content, commit murder

The Black Spider

After the last act, with the collar of the raincoat raised, hiding the flowers picked up from the stage by the flyman, he was the last to go out in the street. The doors were closing on the dark halls. The square was empty. The light bulbs threw a bluish and so sad a light

The Place Where Nothing Happened

excerpt Loneliness tightened up around Daria Ortac. She felt isolated from the world and saddened to death. The wind was about to start splashing scarce drops into the windows. It was a sunset wind, irregularly enveloping, stirring up echoes of sound and human voices. Wrapped

A Concert Of Bach's Music

excerpt After Lica's departure, Mrs. Vera had vainly peeked from behind the curtains, trying to see whether they turned their heads one after the other. Lica hadn't turned his head, so Mrs. Vera reached the banal conclusion that all men deride women, and that

Canutza Wronghead

Once there was a man who whilst in the world could not be in tune with it – a twisted fellow. His mother fancied she would deliver him precisely at Lenten Shrovetide, when a terrible sleet had struck. That year Easter was due in the dead of winter. His father took his

Amidst Hen Houses

excerpts Pandele Vergea's home was severed from the heart of the town only by a mere quarter of an hour's walk. Despite that, it was left without the range of any sound from the side-paths quietly leading towards the profundity of a valley – in whose depths churlish

Queen Kiazhna 1560-1568

excerpts ITHE TOMB The bells of the royal church of Bucharest tolled wailing and gradually; and from above, from up the opposite hill, answered the small round spire of Bucur's church. It was towards the end of February, in the year 1560, and recently the body of