T is for Top Literary Minds



Assembling a complete list of Romanian writers would be madness — way too long. No time. No space. This is only a sampling of authors dear to my heart, representing the old and new generations.

Mihai Eminescu, for his opus, Luceafarul (Evening Star), is at the top of the list.

So left the Evening Star. His wings/Grew large across the sky/ A thousand years of reach would spring/And at a wink go by.

Mircea Catarescu, with his work of art, Nostalgia — a collection of stunning stories ( find excerpt from Roulette Player here). His prose was translated into English and all major European languages  — surely every writer’s dream. Presently he is an associate professor/lecturer at the University of Bucharest.

Marin Preda, with his powerful The Most Beloved Earthling. A writer among writers, unafraid to criticize or applaud as the times required it. He died soon after his book (a criticism of the system) was published.

Nichita Stanescu, the wonderful Nichita, with the incredible Wheel With a Single Spoke and Other Poems.

Tell me, if I ever caught you/ and kissed the arch of your foot/ wouldn’t you limp a little after that/ for fear of crushing my kiss?

Andrei Codrescu, who writes extensively about his life as an expat living in Paris, Rome, and the U.S., with works such as The Poetry Lesson and The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess. He’s been a commentator on NPR’s All Things Considered since 1983. 

And the one and only Herta Muller (Romanian-German), winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, with The Hunger Angel (excerpt here) and Facts.

I’m not sure if Preda is translated (at least I couldn’t find anything), but the rest are.

I know time is precious and little of it left in the day. I don’t intend to lengthen your to-be-read list, although I’m sure their writing will move and charm you just as it moved and charmed me. Mainly, my intention is to share with you writers from a different culture.

~~~ Thank you, dear blogging friends. I hope to see you tomorrow for Universal Love.


Images: Nichita Stanescu: www.scrierile.com; all the rest: Wikimedia Commons.


25 responses to “T is for Top Literary Minds

  1. So many books. So little time…

  2. I’ve just read the excerpt of ‘The Hunger Angel’ and have noted it to buy – thank you Silvia. The other excerpts I will read later. Muller’s book sounds grim, dark and desperate. That darkness reminds me of Donna Tartt’s ‘The GoldFinch’ which I heard on the radio in my car this a.m. has won the Pulitzer Prize. It is a gift when a writer can write about human experience, no matter how grim.
    Garden of Eden Blog

    • Thank you, Susan. Yes, Muller’s writing is dark and very, very honest. She opens herself up is ways many writers find difficult to do. Sitting with her book is an experience, perhaps that’s why the Nobel prize.

      I was reading the Goldfinch just before the beginning of the challenge, then had to put it on hold (got to the part where everything at the museum ends with dust, before, I guess, desperation hits). Can’t wait to get back to reading it. Happy to hear about the Pulitzer win. Well deserved.

      • At that very point you mention after the dust, I nearly stopped reading it. But took it up again after a day or so then couldn’t put it down. You have a treat in store, post the A-Z!!

  3. A very impressive list above. Just dropping in from A-Z to say hello.

  4. Sylvia, your choice of authors and their writings is magnificent. It is so interesting to me to see how authors of other cultures see the world, or describe events. I’m enjoying learning. Thank you.

  5. Sadly, I haven’t heard of any of these authors. Thanks for letting us know about them and other aspects of Romanian culture and history. Re: The Goldfinch. I thought that was a great book. How exciting for her to win the Pulitzer. Thanks for the news!

  6. Hi Silvia, thanks for stopping by my blog earlier. I so appreciate your sharing top Romanian authors. I will be sure to check them out. I need some new authors to read.

  7. Silvia, I heard Mr. Codrescu speak in Dallas not that long ago. He was really personable and funny. I enjoyed every minute of his lecture/interview. Thanks for the literary list!

    • Denise, wow … what a treat that must have been. I’d love to hear him in person, but he never comes this far west. I hear him on NPR now and then, and that’s great too.

  8. I’ve probably heard Andrei Codrescu, since I listen to NPR sometimes, and the name does sound familiar. I don’t know why I never became familiar with the great Romanian writers, since I’m so into a lot of other great writers and poets from Eastern Europe.

  9. Hi Silvia. Visiting from A to Z. I am humbly embarrassed to say that I am unfamiliar with these Romanian writers. So thank you for the introduction. You have peaked my interest to check them out. I really enjoyed reading your ‘about’ me link. You have a beautiful, honest style in your writing that makes me want to read more. I am glad I came by. Thanks. Maria, http://www.delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/

  10. You’ve certainly put a good teaser out for us to want to read all of these authors. I’m going to bookmark this post and come back to it after the A to a, when I’ll have time to read more. :-)

  11. thank you for broadening our horizons. Your post reminded me that we in North America read mostly North American (or British) authors. Maybe if we were exposed to a variety of different authors we would read them (yeah I know sentence doesn’t make sense – been a long day)

  12. Nichita Stanescu–I loved “kiss the arch of your foot”. Such tender and passionate thoughts. So lovely.

  13. I really do wish I had more time to read literary works. It’s definitely an enriching experience.


  14. What a fun post for “T”! I’m late on my “T” post! LOL. :D I will have to check out some of these writers–thank you for sharing them as I might not have discovered them otherwise!

  15. Thank you for the intro to new writers. :) I will check them out…in May!
    Loving the A2Z maggie@expatbrazil

  16. Thanks for the recommendations! I didn’t know any of them. “The Hunger Angel” is now on my library list so I will be checking it out soon :)

  17. I love adding new books to my to-read list. Hunger Angel sounds interesting.

I welcome your thoughts.

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