Editor's Note

The threshold between the millenniums is an opportunity for evaluation: tributes, jubilees, festivals. Archives are being browsed, masterpieces are reappraised, and writings are redefined in the current context, then recirculated in today's competition. Everything becomes subject to cultural survival, especially when 'small cultures' are concerned. In a short span of time Romanian culture has launched a fair number of such competitors in quite a few domains meant to captivate the eye, the ear or the spirit. Our mission is to prevent some of them from falling into oblivion. The selection for this issue was restricted to five luminaries whose contours we tried to outline as a memento, for a single book is too little to embrace even one of these huge personalities. BRÂNCUŞI is the spirit that meanders throughout this anthology. In the year 2000 homage was paid to the national poet Mihail Eminescu (1850-1889). 2001 was dedicated to the sculptor Constantin BRÂNCUŞI (1876-1957); in September 2001, the 15th edition of the George ENESCU (1881-1955) International Music Festival took place in Bucharest; and 2002 will see the celebration of the genius of Romanian drama, Ion Luca CARAGIALE (1852-1912), whose great follower was Eugen IONESCU (1909-1994). Finally, we introduce the overwhelming personality of the historian Nicolae IORGA (1871-1940), author of thousands of historical and literary works, assassinated by the fascist Iron Guard. Illustrious names such as Dimitrie Cantemir, B. P. Hasdeu, Mircea Eliade, Emil Cioran, A. D. Xenopol, Henri Coandă, N. Paulescu, Dinu Lipatti, Sergiu Celibidache also belong to the world heritage. To all those mentioned above we may add the remarkable presence worldwide of stage and movie directors, our excellent medical school, geniuses of mathematics, or famous conductors and interpreters who have performed in the greatest concert halls of the world.

by Aurora Fabritius