Le don de l’amitié: In Memoriam Mariana Ioan

 We have been very close friends since our college years. It was thanks to her that I met Tita Chiper, Stefan Banulescu, Domnica Moruzov Gheorghiu, Florin Gabrea, Viorica Bucur, Roxana Pana, Stanca Cionca, to name just a few. I will remember forever our conversatiuons about the Spanish and Greek civil wars, about Rosa Luxemburg and Hannah Arendt. As a matter of fact, she gave me as a gift Hugh Thomas’s book on the Spanish Civil War that she had received from a Swiss friend, a sociologist doing research in Romania. It was in 1975. Any expression of nationalism gave her the creeps. She was proud that, on the mother’s side, she was Greek (Constantinidi). She execrated anti-Semitism. As a matter of fact, if I ever met a cosmpolitian intellectual, her name was Mariana Ioan. Rootless? Give me a break! Like Hannah Arendt, she loved her friends, not abstract entities.

Mariana had a contagious passion for freedom, a burning yearning for truth, and an irepressible desire to help the downtrodden. She despised hypocrisy and abhorred cynicism. She never completed her dissertation under Pierre Bourdieu’s guidance, but the chapters she wrote on the ideological reproduction of the Ceausescu regime are outstanding. In the monumental “Dictionnaire des intellectuels français” coordinated by Jacques Julliard and Michel Winock, Mariana authored the entry on Ionesco. She was like a family member, if you want, my third sister. I kept learrning about her condition from her first cousin, my friend Cristina Gaginsky. On two sad moment, she put flowers for me: at the burials of Olga Boico, and then, of her mother, Cristina Luca. It was to her that my aunt dictated her memoirs. Mariana Ioan, a genuine mensch, suffered a lot, may she rest in peace…

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