Despre Ilya Grigorievici Ehrenburg: Cameleon si eretic

03/02/2016

Avant-garde writer, social critic, intellectual firebrand, friends with Mayakovski, Modigliani, Picasso, Soutine, Gide, Malraux, Nizan, Bukharin, Babel, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Tsvetayeva, Mandelstam, Aragon, Elsa Triolet, Koltsov, Hemingway, Diego Rivera, Anna Seghers, Titsian Tabidze, Eisenstein, Roman Karmen, Viktor Shklovsky, Lily Brik, Vasily Grossman, Pablo Neruda, Julian Tuwim, maverick journalist, Stalinist propagandist, survivor, chameleon, after Stalin’s death champion of liberalization, demonized by the cultural hacks. Immensely engaging, albeit frustratingly incomplete, his memoirs led to the rehabilitatiion of many murdered and slandered personalities. Things started earlier: in January 1953, Ehrenburg was among the very few prominentt figures who refused to sign the infamous “Jewish Statement,” beggiing the despot to forgive Jews for their alleged lack of loyalty. This was too much for Ehrenburg to swallow. He execrated anti-Semitism in any form whatsoever. He was tired to act like a slave.

Portrait of Ilya Ehrenburg  - Marevna (Marie Vorobieff)

Ilya Ehrenburg by Marevna (1956)

When Boris Pasternak was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958 for his novel “Doctor Zhivago” and Soviet authorities started a protest campaign, Ehrenburg refused to participate in it. When Yevgeny Yevtushenko came under attack for his poem “Babi Yar” in 1961, Ehrenburg rose to his defense by writing a letter to the editor of “Literaturnaya Gazeta.” Ehrenburg lent support to younger writers. He signed a letter in support of Iosif Brodsky, counseled Andrey Voznesensky on how best to avoid complications, protested against the sentences given to Sinyavsky and Daniel and expressed positive views about Solzhenitsyn. Highly recommended, Joshua Rubenstein‘s “Tangled Loyalties: The Life and Times of Ilya Ehrenburg,” Basic Books,1996. I reviewed it, when it came out, in “The Village Voice.”

Portrait of Ilya Ehrenburg – Marevna (Marie Vorobieff), 1956


Exercitiu de iubire

31/01/2016

Pentru mine (si sunt convins că si pentru multi altii), anul 2016 este anul Mihai Șora. Am scris si voi continua să scriu despre acest admirabil ganditor, moralist, editor, eseist erudit si pasionat, maestru neintrecut a ceea ce Constantin Noica numea rostirea filosofică romanească.

Reiau acum un fragment din articolul sau “Despre ură, ură-de-sine, resentiment…” inclus in volumul “Anatomia resentimentului” pe care l-am coordonat la Curtea Veche Publishing. Ilustratia copertei, de maxima elocventă ideatică si grafică, este semnată de Devis Grebu: “Raportata la iuresul negativitătii care-i serveste urii drept suport, resentimentul este stătut. Stătut si retractil. Pasiv. Uneori, chiar intors asupră-si. In sensul ca, in loc de a-si anihila obiectul, isi (auto)devora subiectul. Aveu d’impuissance–, dar nu si asumare a neputintei: a-ti asuma (recunoscanduti-o) neputinta inseamnă deja a da dovada de curaj–de n-ar fi decat intelectual”.


Ales Debeljak RIP

29/01/2016

I can’t believe, it’s absurd, it’s revolting! Ales Debeljak is a dear friend, I refuse to use the past tense. A great poet, a noble spirit, a genuine Central European intellectual. I just learned about this news from Ajla Terzić. Like her, I feel devastated.

 

I first met Ales in Warsaw in 2004, at a conference on the idea of Europe organized by Rob Riemen’s Nexus Institute, then we saw each other frequently, he sent me his books, I sent mine. A few months ago he lectured at Yale, invited by Marci Shore. Ales has written illuminating essays on modernism and post-modernism, nationalism, and the Yugoslav bloody debacle. The Romanian publishing house Polirom published an original collection of his essays with the movingly telltale title “In cautarea nefericirii” (The Quest for Unhappiness). I was honored to write an endorsement for the jacket of his book “The Hidden Handshake”…


15 ianuarie…

14/01/2016

In amintirea marelui, neasemuitului eminescolog care a fost Petru CREŢIA (1927-1997)


Aisbergul mizeriei sau despre prostitutie in Romania zilelor noastre

09/01/2016

Dezgustator! Ce universitati isi dau girul intelectual pentru borfasi? Care sa fie pretul injosirii? Ce poti spune cand un profesor de stiinte politice de la principala universitate din capitala Romaniei il crediteaza academic pe “razboinicul luminii”? Ce-ti ramane sa spui cand un profesor de la ASE garanteaza stiintific incontinenta productie de dupa gratii a lui Felix? Universitati obscure, dar si unele prestigioase, y compris a mea alma mater, participa la acest sport al nesimtirii absolute.

Fie-mi îngăduit să citez din superbul poem “Sfânta sfintelor” din volumul Hanibal de Eugen Jebeleanu

“Și cine-i cel care ne ia la țintă?
O, Doamne! Atâtea întrebări…
Cine-i acel? Ei bine,
e cea mai sfântă dintre toate sfintele,
Prea Sfânta Nerușine…”

Un comentariu care merita citit de cat mai multa lume, din partea domnului Gr Arsene, directorul general al Curtea Veche Publishing si presedintele Asociatiei Editorilor din Romania: “Vladimir, astea trei sute si ceva de titluri sunt doar varful unui urias aisberg de mizerii. Noi spunem de mult un lucru usor de verificat: apar in Romania aproape 25.000 de titluri noi pe an (dupa cate ISBN-uri da Bibl. Nat), dar in reteaua de distributie nu sunt mai mult de 9-10.000 de titluri noi. Ce-i cu restul? Tot felul de pseudo-carti pentru avansari in grade didactice preuniversitare si universitare, tot felul de veleitari ce isi fac CV-uri pompoase si cate altele”.

http://www.hotnews.ro/stiri-esential-20714763-document-profesorii-universitari-care-coordonat-lucrarile-stiintifice-ale-puscariasilor-lista-editurilor-care-publicat-cartile-scrise-puscarii.htm


La Multi Ani, Mircea Mihaies!

01/01/2016

Mircea este prietenul total. Niciodata, dar absolut niciodata, nu m-am indoit de angajamentul sau inoxidabil in favoarea principiilor in care credem amandoi. Niciodata, dar absolut niciodata, increderea mea in el nu s-a clatinat. Am scris carti impreuna, vom mai scrie.

A fost, ramane si va fi intotdeauna un privilegiu pentru mine sa stiu ca acest carturar nepereche, specialist in Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Joyce, Chandler, Trilling etc, este fratele meu spiritual. L-am evocat aici, aseara, cu prieteni comuni. Mircea Mihaies, ca si Mircea Cartarescu, tot un prieten total, l-a cunoscut pe Adam de cand s-a nascut. Ieri vorbeam la telefon despre intelectualii din New York, despre Susan Sontag, Leon Wieseltier. Edith Kurzweil. Irving Howe, Tony Judt, Adam Kirsch. La Multi Ani, Mircea!


In Memoriam Benedict Anderson (1936-2015)

13/12/2015

In this age of neo-tribalism, nationalist furies, and populist hysteria, Benedict Anderson’s writings serve us to understand and to explain. This is what social science is about. His concept of imagined communities, very often quoted and frequently misunderstood, changed the way we think about nations and nationalism. His writings, together with those of Isaiah Berlin, Rogers Brubaker, Ernest Gellner, Leah Greenfeld, Ertic Hobsbawm, Elie Kedourie, Hans Kohn, Anthony Smith, inspired me when I wrote “Fantasies of Salvation.” If the rite of passing away can be beautiful, professor Anderson’s farewell to his beloved Indonesia is one of those instances. May he rest in peace…

 

http://www.versobooks.com/books/60-imagined-communities


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