Romanian Literature: A Festival in Berlin | EUROtoday

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AIn the start there have been the images: a photograph exhibition by Elena Stancu and Cosmin Bumbuț marked the opening of the week-long pageant “Don't look back!” on Romanian literature organized by Literaturhaus Berlin. The journalist and the photographer have been touring by way of Europe in a camper van for years and interviewing Romanian and Moldovan migrant staff. These thousands and thousands of Eastern Europeans are confronted with the very existential query of the selection, usually long-delayed or by no means determined, between a brand new starting and return. The departure of a lesbian couple to Scotland due to the homophobia in Romanian society represents a liberation, however the enslavement-like working circumstances of the ladies hunched over the vegetation in large Spanish strawberry fields coated in plastic are much less so. The accompanying textual content states: “None of the women will stand up until 10 kilogram boxes are filled with strawberries. The women only sit up 15 times in a typical working day.”

Its dangerous motto provided the occasion, cleverly composed by Ricarda Ciontos, productive areas of friction: By delving into the nation's little-known historical past, the author Jan Koneffke, who lives in Romania, deconstructed the failure to look again as a deadly act of repression in Romanian society – it applies to the Holocaust as properly different oppression and distress. For literature, nevertheless, remembering is a central aesthetic requirement. From the typically anti-Semitic phantasms of the “national poet” Mihai Eminescu to Celan's determined confrontation with the trauma of the extermination of Jews and Roma to Emil Cioran's Nietzschean tabula rasa, Koneffke made the not solely literary ambivalences of the pageant motto seen.

Reckoning with the daddy

Migrations produce their very own tales. In Gabriela Adameșteanu's trilogy about her heroine Letitia Betea, within the remaining quantity “The Trevi Fountain” there may be already discuss of a partial return of the aged former pupil and author as a result of she actually desires her inheritance again. The narrator subsequently seems to be into historic depths and the reminiscence of a lady whose portrayal makes Romanian historical past clear in its impact on folks.

While Carmen-Francesca Banciu dissected the household constellations of the socialist “New Man” in her “Trilogy of Optimists” as a reckoning with the daddy, the explanations for the emigration of the German minorities from Romania after the autumn of the Berlin Wall are troublesome to place into phrases. Not not like the indecision of at the moment's migrant staff, lots of the Transylvanian Saxons and Banat Swabians nonetheless return to their villages and homes in the summertime. For Iris Wolff, this eager for Romania, the language, the sunshine, and the landscapes of her protagonists turns into narratively productive. Looking again is a necessary a part of her writing; her new novel “Lichtungen” tells its story backwards.