Precum o catedrala gotica, precum soarele Toscanei


Una dintre cele mai frumoase povesti ale adolescentei mele, minunat scrisa, am citit-o de cateva ori: “Ape vor seca în albie, si peste locul îngroparii sale va rasari padure sau cetate…” Finalul este magnific, l-am recitit azi de cateva ori, este solemn ca o catedrala gotica si fierbinte ca soarele Toscanei…

15 ianuarie…


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

Bucharest, January 25, 1956: Two of the greatest voices ever…


Bucharest, January 25, 1956: Two of the greatest voices ever. Orchestra and Chorus of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic of Bucharest, conductor Constantin Silvestri. He defected in 1958 and died in England in February 1969. Precisely a month after this great performance, in Moscow, Nikita Khrushchev delivered the Secret Speech in which he dealt a mortal blow to the Stalin myth. The year 1956 marked the beginning of the breakdown of Marxism-Leninism as an institutionalized utopia. In June, strikes in Poznan were fiercely repressed. In October, Poland engaged in a real attempt to liberalize the system. On October 23, the Hungarian Revolution erupted. It was ferociously smashed by Soviet tanks. Stalinism persisted in Romania until December 1989. I remember a New Year’s eve party in the late 1960s at my cousin Olga’s place. Among the guests, Emilia Petrescu Cironeanu’s son. If memory helps me, his name was Vali, from Valeriu or Valentin…

Un superb rondel de Leonid Dimov



Rondelul semnului ceresc

Mi-ai îndreptat şuviţa de pe frunte
Şi gulerul cămăşii, auster,
Eram elev intr-un liceu de frunte
Iar tu croitoreasă în cartier.

Venisem să te duc la noi, la munte,
Unde domnea un împărat de fier
Mi-ai îndreptat şuviţa de pe frunte
Şi gulerul cămăşii, auster.

Ţi-am spus să-ţi pui ilicul prins în funte
Pantofii galbeni, mantia de jder…
Când am trecut apoi de burg, de punte,
Iar semnul l-am văzut pe cer,
Mi-ai îndreptat şuviţa de pe frunte.


One of the most beautiful paintings of all times comes back to Washington


Twenty tears ago, in full blizzard, we went to visit the Vermeer exhibition at the National Gallery, Christina Zarifopol Illias, Mircea Mihaies, and myself. Mary stayed home with Adam who was a few months old. My sister Vicky and her husband Nicu stayed with them. The weather was terrible. Flights were cancelled. Fights over budget had shut down the federal government., Mircea and I spent ten days putting together the volume “Balul mascat.” At the Vermeer exhibition, I watched very carefully an elder gentleman who seemed enthralled with the paintings. He was Robert McNamara. For years thereafter I have been wondering what was in his mind contemplating the immensely peaceful images, the perfect tranquillity of Vermeer’s masterpieces. Was he thinking about Vietnam? Or about the frailty of human economic and social arrangements? About the inescapable passing of time? I can’t wait to see again “The Woman in Blue”…


Vermeer's 1663 work, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, is back on display at the National Gallery after its first visit 20 years ago.

Adieu to a Gauguin masterpiece!


At the Phillips Collection, a great exhibition (“Gauguin to Picasso”) with magnificent paintings from Basel. Among them Modigliani, Chagall, Soutine. But for me the gem of the show is the $300 million “NAFEA faaipoipo (When Will You Marry?),” the world’s most expensive painting purchased by a private collector and shown publicly here for the last predictable time. I saw it first in May 1988 when I came especially from Philadelphia to see “The Art of Paul Gauguin” exhibition at the National Gallery. I bought then the exhibition’s poster of this painting. I had it framed and it has followed me ever since. It is still there watching over my private office.…/d99ca072-6c55-11e5-9bfe-e5…

Donna, donna: Winging swiftly through the sky


For Adam

I was 20 when I first heard Donovan singing this wonderful song. I was told that it was a song of the Warsaw Ghetto. In fact, it was composed in 1940, in New York. In 1960, Joan Baez recorded it, then, Donovan added to the fame with his 1965 recording. A few years ago, my friend, the philosopher Mihail Radu Solcan, blessed be his memory, wrote me that in the German Wikipedia is is suggested that Donna could be an abreviation from Adonai: “As face un salt de la Buber la “Donna Donna”. Idis este o limba cu multe subtilitati, care mie evident imi scapa. Pe pagina in germana a Wikipediei scrie ca “Dona” ar fi o forma scurta de la “Adonai”. Adica pe romaneste ar fi “Doamne, Doamne”. Suna insa prea patetic asa spus in romaneste. In idis ar fi doar o aluzie fina. Foarte interesant este ca pagina vietnameza a Wikipediei are si o versiune in franceza. Nu prea are mare legatura cu textul idis (asa sunt traducerile frantuzesti !). Este vorba despre un copil. Cand creste ‘il a decouvert la vie / Les amours decues, la faim et la peur’.”

On a wagon, bound for market/There’s a calf with a mournful eye/High above him, theres a swallow/Winging swiftly through the sky

How the winds are laughingThey laugh with all their mightLaugh and laugh the whole day through/And half the summers night/Donna donna

Stop complaining, said the farmer/Who told you a calf to be?/Why dont you have wings to fly with/Like the swallow so proud and free/Calves are easily bound and slaughtered/Never knowing the reason why/But whoever treasures freedom/Like the swallow has learned to fly

Donna donna


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