marți, 8 ianuarie 2019


Slechts een ontmoeting

soms ontmoet je een verwante ziel
uit het niets in een vliegtuig of een trein
de buitenwereld doet er niet meer toe
het innerlijk tikt precies de woorden

beiden lezen hun eigen verhaallijn
in levens zo vreselijk uiteen zo ver
van hun eigen levenspad afwijkend
al is hun geest hier samengevloeid

niettemin weten beiden ook
slechts eenmaal en nooit meer
dan een gestolen momentum
van aantrekking voordat iets

ook maar een zuiverheid kan breken
het lot heeft gebracht en genomen
maar in hun harten zal er altijd
een ogenblik van de Eenhoorn zijn


Accidental meeting

sometimes you meet a like-minded soul
out of the blue in a plane or a train
the outside world no longer matters
the inner types the words just right  

both read their own storyline
in lives so desperately apart
deviating so far from their own life path
though their spirits have merged together here

nevertheless both also know
just this once and never more
than a stolen momentum of
attraction before anything

could break a pureness
fate has brought and fate has taken
but in their hearts there will always
be one moment of the Unicorn


Întâlnire întâmplătoare

se întâmplă uneori din senin să întâlnești
un suflet asemănător în avion sau în tren
lumea din afară încetează să mai conteze
iar cea dinăuntru rostește cuvintele potrivite

amândouă își citesc povestea de până atunci
în viețile atât de îngrozitor de separate
îndepărtându-se de cărarea destinului lor
deși spiritele lor s-au întâlnit aici

și totuși amândouă știu
doar o singură dată și niciodată
doar această clipă furată
a atracției și înainte ca altceva

să poată tulbura o puritate
soarta a dat-o și soarta a luat-o
dar în inima lor va fi mereu
clipa aceasta a Unicornului


(from Opera omnia by Kees van Meel, Bibliotheca Universalis, 2018)

For decades, Kees van Meel has been as active as Dragomirescu. Not only is he a poet, but also an organiser of numerous events, especially poetry meetings. For years, he was the city poet of Breda. In addition, he writes theatre reviews and curates local cultural radio programmes.
He did not run any risk but worked with John Irons, one of the best literary translators, who contributed to Poetry International in that capacity for years.
Van Meel in his poetry is much earthlier than Boer. In general he is also more elaborate and better at varying the tone of voice ranging from lighter to darker. In his trilingual collection Dwalen in woorden / Wandering in words / Hoinar în cuvinte he dedicates a poem to Hans van de Waarsenburg, born in Helmond, North Brabant. His work and meaning had been brought to Van Meel’s attention thanks to, again, Dragomirescu.

Albert Hagenaars in Brabant Cultureel, 2016/12/22

Kees van Meel a fost la fel de activ ca Dragomirescu, timp de zeci de ani. Nu doar ca poet, ci și ca organizator a numeroase evenimente, în special cercuri de poezie. Ani de zile a fost poetul orașului Breda. În plus, scrie critică de teatruși moderează programele culturale de radio din localitate. Fără să-și asume riscuri, a lucrat cu John Irons, unul dintre cei mai buni traducători literari, care a contribuit la Poetry International ani la rând.
Van Meel e mult mai pământean în poezia sa decât Boer. În general introduce variații mai complexe ale tonului, de la ușor la întunecat. În volumul său trilingvDwalen in woorden / Wandering in words / Hoinar în cuvinte îi dedică un poem lui Hans van der Waarsenburg, născut în Helmond, Brabantul de Nord.

Albert Hagenaars în Brabant Cultureel, 2016/12/22

Romanian version by Monica Manolachi
University of Bucharest

sâmbătă, 29 decembrie 2018





Forgotten in prison

Although it had seemed certain, Vlad's departure to China was postponed a few weeks, and so Niculescu-Buzeşti's son felt it was his duty to get involved in the public campaign for the support of the Declaration. He took part in a series of group meetings in academic institutions and schools and met Western ambassadors sent to Bucharest. Then, one day, he had the idea of going to a few prisons, in order to open a communication channel in this direction. Informed by his intention, the leader of the Party had nothing against it and sent him to Piteşti, Gherla and Aiud, accompanied by an assistant from the Direction of the Prisons. On his return he had a double surprise. He found Felicia home with the baby and received a letter from a citizen in Bucharest, whom he did not know. A simple  humble hair-dresser whose name was Iosif Tudan. The sender of the letter asked him to plead for the release from prison of his only son, Victor, who happened to be one of the students arrested in 1956 by the regime, after the Hungarian revolution and the attempt, by the students at the University of Bucharest, to organize a demonstration. No one knows why, the former student was still behind bars, in spite of the amnesty decrees that had been given. The name of the political detainee seemed vaguely familiar, but only when Felicia told him he was a former faculty colleague, did Vlad realize the true dimensions of the situation. Felicia also told him that the father of the former student had visited her in his absence, in order to ask for her help and finally asked him directly if he intended to do anything for him.

Vlad read the letter again and reassured her calmly that he was going to do everything in his power. He went through the letter again, then he folded it back, put it in the pocket together with the envelope in which it had arived and left immediately to the Party leader, without announcing his visit. Like last time, he found him at the table in the courtyard, this time alone. He was smoking a cigarette and sipping cold coffee from a small cup, while flipping through some typewritten documents.

“What?! A student from 1956 who was not granted amnesty? Ohhh... This damned Agariciu! This cannot go on, after all we will have to get rid of him, together with Cizmărescu, they have been conspiring against us!” Dej burst out in anger, as soon as he found out. Without thinking, the leader of the Party went to the short line and called Agariciu, to ask for explanations, directly from the source, about how amnesty had been granted. From his office the minister launched a complicated and interminable explanation that sounded like a discourse from a party school in front of the beginners. Although he could not hear very well what he was saying, Vlad could somehow suspect that the minister of internal afairs was invoking all the impediments that were crossing his mind in order to justify why, at that time, a number of political detainees that had not been released, like the others, in spite of the amnesty decrees, were still in prison. As Agariciu's explanations were getting longer and more twisted, the leader of the Party lost his patience and hit the tabletop with the palm of his left hand so hard, that the few empty glasses on a stainless steel tray started buzzing as if there was an earthquake.

“Listen, inspector, who's the boss here, you or me?”

The firmness of the tone and the name of “inspector” made the minister fall suddenly silent. Softening his tone, the Party leader asked him to tell him loud and clear what the situation of young Tudan was and why he had not been released from prison. The minister said something that made Dej angry again.

“I can see that we're talking but not reaching an understanding, inspector! Yes, in '56 I gave an order to arrest the students and put them into prison. Now I order you again to release everybody, do you understand? Stop giving me lectures and complaining that you're stepping on Cizmărescu's toes. If next week I order a control and find any detainee in any prison, I release  them myself and put you in their place... I hope I made myself clear!... My decision should be enforced as soon as possible. One of these days Vlad Niculescu will come to see you, I have put him in charge of solving this case.”

Oublié en prison 

En dépit du fait qu’il avait paru certain, le départ de Vlad en Chine fut ajourné pour quelques semaines, aussi le fils de Niculescu-Buzeşti se sentit contraint de s'impliquer dans la campagne de soutien public concernant la Déclaration. Il prit part à une série de réunions organisées par des institutions de l'Enseignement et de l’Académie et il partagea des rencontres diverses avec des ambassadeurs occidentaux à Bucarest. Ensuite, un beau jour, il lui vint  l’idée de visiter quelques prisons, pour éclaircir la situation en ce domaine. Informé de sa décision, le Chef du Parti ne vit aucune raison de s'y opposer, aussi le dépécha-t-il spécialement à Piteşti, Gherla et Aiud (les trois plus grands centres d’extermination de la Roumanie communiste entre 1948 et 1964), accompagné par l’Adjoint de la Direction des Pénitenciers. A son retour, une double surprise l'attendait. Il trouva à la maison Felicia et son enfant nouveau-né et reçut une lettre de la part d’un citoyen de Bucarest, qu’il ne connaissait pas. Un simple coiffeur nommé Iosif Tudan. L’expéditeur de la lettre sollicitait de lui qu'il intervienne en faveur du relâchement de prison de son fils unique, Victor, qui faisait partie des étudiants arrêtés par le Régime en 1956, après la révolution hongroise et la tentative faite par les étudiants de l’Université de Bucarest d’organiser une démonstration de solidarité. Pour une raison inconnue, l’ancien étudiant se trouvait encore derrière les barreaux, en dépit des décrets successifs d’amnistie émis jusqu’à ce moment. Le nom du prisonnier politique lui parut vaguement connu, mais aussitôt que Felicia lui eut dévoilé qu’il s’agissait d’un ancien collegue et ami de faculté,  Vlad réalisa les réelles conséquences de ce cas. Felicia l'informa également que le père de l’ancien étudiant l’avait visitée lors de son absence, en lui demandant son appui et, en conséquence, elle voulait savoir s’il avait l’intention de faire quelque chose de concret pour lui.

Vlad relut la lettre tout en assurant Felicia qu’il allait faire tout ce qui dépendait de lui, puis mit  le pli dans sa poche et partit tout de suite chez le Chef du Parti, sans s’annoncer par un coup de téléphone préalable. Comme la dernière fois, il le trouva assis devant la table de la cour de sa maison, mais, cette fois, seul. Il fumait et buvait du café en une petite tasse, tout en feuilletant un document tapé à la machine.

− Et comment cela ?! Un étudiant de 1956 qui n’a pas bénéficié d’amnistie ?!  Aaaaaah... Sacré  Agariciu !... Les choses ne peuvent plus continuer comme ça, finalement je serai obligé de le mettre à la porte, bras dessus, bras dessous, avec Cizmărescu, car tous les deux nous occasionnent toujours beaucoup trop de problèmes ! explosa Dej très fâché, quand il fut mis au courant. Sans davantage réfléchir, le Chef du Parti décrocha le récepteur du téléphone au fil court (téléphone assurant la communication directe entre les hauts dirigeants communistes) et il appela Agariciu, pour apprendre, directement à la source, comment s'ordonnait la situation concernant la mise en oeuvre de l’amnistie. De son cabinet, le Ministre de l’Intérieur se lança dans une explication interminable et compliquée, qui lui parut digne d' un discours à l’Ecole du Parti, pour des novices. Quoiqu’il n’entendait pas bien ce qu’il disait, Vlad put soupçonner que le ministre invoquait tous les prétextes lui venant à l'esprit, pour justifier, de cette manière, pourquoi il subsistait  encore dans les geôles du Régime, à l’heure actuelle, un nombre assez important de prisonniers politiques, en dépit de ces décrets d’amnistie. Comme les explications d’Agariciu se prolongeaient et devenaient confuses, le Chef du Parti perdit sa patience et frappa de sa main gauche son bureau, si fort que les quelques verres vides sur un petit plateau, commencèrent à émettre un bruit ressemblant à un tremblement de terre.

− Écoute, Commissaire, qui est le chef ici, toi ou moi ?...

La fermeté du ton et l’appellation de “Commissaire” firent se taire le Ministre subitement. En adoucissant le ton de sa voix, le Chef du Parti lui demanda de lui révéler clairement et sans périphrases  l'identité du jeune Tudan et pour quelles raisons il n’avait pas encore été relâché de sa geôle. Le Ministre ajouta quelque chose qui de nouveau irrita Dej.

− Je vois que nous parlons, parlons, sans réellement nous comprendre, Commissaire ! Oui, en 56 ce fut bien moi qui t’ai ordonné d’arrêter les étudiants et de les jeter en prison. Et c’est toujours moi qui t’ordonne aujourd'hui de les relâcher tous, compris ?!... Cesse de me refaire la théorie des allumettes et de te cacher au coin du bureau, car tu risques de marcher sur les pieds de Cizmărescu, ton bon complice. Écoute donc, si la semaine prochaine je réalise un contrôle, et si je trouve un seul prisonnier politique oublié dans tes geôles, je le relâcherai de mes propres mains pour te jeter à sa place, au fond du trou... J’espère que nous nous sommes bien entendus !... Nos décisions doivent être mises en pratique rapidement. Ces jours-ci,  Vlad Niculesacu, qui a reçu comme mission de ma part de solutionner ce problème, va te visiter ! 

Uitat în închisoare

Deşi păruse sigură, plecarea lui Vlad în China se amână cu câteva săptămâni, astfel că fiul lui Niculescu-Buzeşti se văzu şi el dator să se implice în campania de susţinere publică a Declaraţiei. Participă la un şir de adunări prin instituţii de învăţământ şi academice şi avu diverse întrevederi cu ambasadori occidentali acreditaţi la Bucureşţi. Apoi, într-o bună zi, îi veni ideea de a se duce şi în câteva penitenciare, ca să deschidă o punte de legătură şi în această direcţie. Informat de această intenţie a sa, şeful Partidului nu avu nimic împotrivă personal şi-l trimise special la Piteşti, Gherla şi Aiud, însoţit de un adjunct de la Direcţia Penitenciarelor. La întoarcere avu o dublă surpriză. O găsi pe Felicia acasă cu copilul şi primi o scrisoare din partea unui cetăţean din Bucureşti, pe care nu-l cunoştea. Un simplu şi umil frizer pe nume Iosif Tudan. Expeditorul scrisorii îl ruga să intervină în favoarea eliberării din puşcărie a fiului său unic, Victor, care se întâmpla să fie unul dintre studenţii arestaţi de regim în 1956, după revoluţia ungară şi încercarea de organizare a unei manifestaţii de către studenţii mai multor facultăţi ale Universităţii din Bucureşti. Dintr-un motiv necunoscut, fostul student încă se mai afla după gratii, în ciuda decretelor de amnistiere date pâna atunci. Numele deţinutului politic i se părea vag cunoscut, dar numai când Felicia îi spuse că era vorba de un fost coleg de facultate, bun prieten, realiză Vlad adevăratele dimensiuni ale situaţiei. Felicia îi mai spuse că tatăl fostului student o vizitase în absenţa lui, ca să îi ceară ajutorul şi în final îl întrebă direct dacă avea de gând să facă ceva pentru el.

Vlad mai citi o dată scrisoarea şi o asigură calm că va face tot ce depindea de el. O mai parcurse o dată, apoi, împăturind-o la loc, o puse în buzunar cu plicul în care venise şi plecă imediat acasă la şeful Partidului, fără să se anunţe printr-un telefon prealabil. Ca şi rândul trecut, îl găsi la masa din curtea casei, dar de astă dată singur. Trăgea dintr-o ţigară şi bea cafea rece dintr-o ceaşcă mică, răsfoind nişte documente bătute la maşină.

−Cum aşa?! Un student din 1956 care n-a beneficiat de graţiere? Aaaaaa... Mama lui de Agariciu!... Nu se mai poate aşa, până la urmă tot o să trebuie să-i facem vânt, de gât cu Cizmărescu, care e mână-n mână cu el şi ne bagă beţe-n roate! răbufni Dej supărat, imediat când află despre ce era vorba. Fără să mai stea pe gânduri, şeful Partidului puse mâna pe telefonul cu fir scurt şi-l apelă pe Agariciu, ca să se lămurească mai bine, direct de la sursă, cum stăteau lucrurile cu aplicarea amnistierii. Din cabinetul lui, ministrul se lansă într-o complicată şi interminabilă explicaţie, care semăna cu un discurs de la şcoala de partid ţinut în faţa unor novici. Cu toate că nu auzea bine ce spune, Vlad putu să bănuiască oarecum că şeful internelor invoca toate impedimentele care îi veneau în minte, pentru a justifica de ce, la ora aceea, se mai afla încă în puşcării un anumit număr de deţinuţi politici, care încă nu fuseseră eliberaţi ca toţi ceilalţi în ciuda decretelor de amnistiere. Cum explicaţiile lui Agariciu se lungeau şi se încâlceau, şeful Partidului îşi pierdu răbdarea şi plesni cu palma mâinii stângi în tăblia biroului atât de tare, încât cele câteva pahare goale de pe o tăviţă de inox începură să zbârnâie ca la un cutremur.

−Ascultă, comisare, cine e aicea bulibaşa, tu sau eu...?     

Fermitatea tonului şi apelativul de “comisar” îl făcu pe ministru să amuţească subit. Îndulcind tonul, şeful Partidului îi ceru să-i spună clar şi răspicat ce era cu tânărul Tudan şi de ce nu i se dăduse până atunci drumul din puşcărie. Ministrul spuse ceva care din nou îl irită pe Dej.     
−Văd că una vorbim şi başca ne-nţelegem, comisare! Da, în ’56 eu ţi-am dat ordin să-i arestezi pe studenţi şi să-i bagi la puşcărie. Acum tot eu îţi ordon să le dai drumul la toţi, ai înţeles?... Nu îmi mai face mie teoria chibritului şi nu te mai da după colţ, că-l calci pe Cizmărescu pe picior. Dacă săptămâna care vine fac un control şi mai găsesc vreun deţinut politic în vreo puşcărie, îi dau drumul eu cu mâna mea şi te bag pe tine în locul lui... Sper că ne-am înţeles!... Ce-am hotărât trebuie pus în aplicare rapid. O să vină zilele astea la tine Vlad Niculescu, care a primit sarcină de la mine ca să rezolve cazul ăsta.

(from the book in progress Grădinile Olimpului. Olympus’ Gardens)

English version by Roxana Doncu

Version française par Noëlle Arnoult

duminică, 23 decembrie 2018

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Heureux Noël et Bonne Année!

joi, 20 decembrie 2018


Note to the fourth edition

This work aims at keeping a record of the Romanian and foreign authors – poets, prose writers, critics, essayists – who contributed to the magazine “Contemporary Literary Horizon” between 2008 and 2018. It is an intercultural dictionary which includes about 150 authors from Romania, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Croatia, the United States of America, Canada, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Brasil, Mexico, Angola, Nigeria and other countries, out of a total of over 300 authors. Of course, the selection of those who have been published over this interval has not been mechanical. The number of all the authors ever published in our magazine is much bigger. On the other hand, this edition does not include those authors who have not got involved in any way in our activity and were published by chance, not because this was their declared intention. There was no point in including in our collections those contemporary authors, some of them very well represented in the public space (Ana Blandiana, Omar Lara etc.), who do not owe anything to our magazine. Unfortunately, this category includes internationally renowned authors, who do not live anymore and whose works reached the pages of our magazine because of recent translations (Ion Barbu, Eugene O’Neill).

In contrast, we have maintained those who are still directly and actively connected to our intercultural work (they are still many), which is both complex and difficult. Our selection has taken into account, among other details, the frequency of their contribution to the magazine “Contemporary Literary Horizon” over the years, the publication of one or more of their books in the “Bibliotheca Universalis” collection, their literary and cultural activity in their countries, their prizes and distinctions, their belonging to art unions, cultural associations or to the academic environment, their reception among critics and readers, and, in general, their more or less significant connection with us. Some are better known, other are less known, but all of them deserve adequate, which means better, appreciation. Their contribution to the life of our magazine has mattered a lot, even though some are anonymous authors (or apparently irrelevant), whose work appeared in a corner of a page.

However, thinking beyond any (aesthetic and extra-aesthetic) criteria and scores, we must specify that this book is not a critical history of the contemporary literature, because it cannot be. Being a dictionary, it is the result of a general inventory which includes those who have contributed to the “Contemporary Literary Horizon”. From this point of view, it can serve as a future bio- and bibliographic source for the literary criticism and history and it simultaneously plays the role of a photograph with a certain group of authors and contributors that have been part of our intercultural project for a decade. At the same time, the dictionary intends to demonstrate that, in spite of the generally unfavourable mass media environment and despite the lack of any financial support from the state, the magazine “Contemporary Literary Horizon” and the collection of bilingual books published in the “Bibliotheca Universalis” series have benefited the contemporary culture. It has been a two-fold project: on the one hand, it has promoted Romanian culture abroad and, on the other hand, it has promoted world culture in Romania. It has also built communication bridges between people from different cultures, countries and continents. We believe that our magazine and book series justify their existence from this point of view and ignoring them becomes, in fact, ignorance.

Translated by Monica Manolachi

Note pour la quatrième édition

Notre ouvrage se propose d’enregistrer les auteurs roumains et étrangers – poètes, prosateurs, critiques, essayistes – qui ont collaboré à la revue “Horizon littéraire contemporain” pendant la période 2008 – 2018. Il s’agit d’un dictionnaire interculturel dans lequel sont indexés, formant large contingent, environ cent-cinquante auteurs de Roumanie, France, Belgique, Royaume-Uni, Grande-Bretagne, Italie, Espagne, Hollande, Suède, Finlande, Allemagne, Croatie... Aussi des États-Unis, du Canada, comme du Chili, d'Argentine, Uruguay, Brésil, Mexico, ou Angola, Niger et bien d’autres pays. Bien sûr, nous n’avons pas enregistré automatiquement tous ceux ayant été publiés dans la revue durant cette période. Le nombre de ceux publiés notablement par nous s'avère bien plus important. D’autre part, dans cette édition, nous avons renoncé aux auteurs non impliqués de manière persuadée dans notre activité, arrivés quasiment accidentellement ici, et sans procéder d'une volonté affirmée. Par ailleurs, il n’existait aucune raison d’attacher à notre répertoire personnel des auteurs contemporains, en en incluant quelques-uns déjà fameux (Comme Ana Blandiana, Omar Lara etc.), mais qui n'auraient été redevables en rien à nos publications et actions. À cette catégorie, implicitement, nous n'ajoutons pas non plus d' auteurs célèbres, en Roumanie ou sur le plan mondial, décédés depuis longtemps et qui se sont vus invités au sein de notre revue, à travers de modernes publications ((Mihai Eminescu, Ion Barbu, Eugene O’Neil, Tennessee Williams).

Nous avons retenu, en échange, ceux qui ont été (et beaucoup le sont de manière continuelle) directement liés à notre travail interculturel, complexe et difficile. Notre sélection a donc tenu compte, entre autres, cependant principalement, de la fréquence de la collaboration de ces auteurs à la revue „Horizon littéraire contemporain” au fil du temps, de leur publication d'un ou plusieurs livres dans la Collection „Bibliotheca Universalis”, de leurs activités littéraires et culturelles dans leur pays, des prix et des distinctions obtenus, de leur appartenance à des Unions d' écrivains ou Associations culturelles, au monde académique, de la façon dont ils sont perçus par le public ou côtés par la critique et, en général, de leur relation, plus ou moins étroite, avec nous. Certains d’entre eux sont davantage connus par le public avisé, les autres moins, mais tous méritent l'appréciation la meilleure. Elle a été d'importance, la libre participation de ces divers participants à la vie de notre revue, même dans le cas de certains auteurs anonymes ou paraissant sans importance notable, mais que nous avons pourtant retenus au coin d’une page.

Néanmoins, au-delà des critères et des scores (d’ordre esthétique ou extra-esthétique), il faut noter que cet ouvrage ne constitue pas une histoire critique de la littérature contemporaine et ne saurait même pas l’être. En tant que dictionnaire, le résultat tient d' un inventaire général des collaborateurs de la revue „Horizon littéraire contemporain” et, de ce point de vue, il peut servir dans l’avenir de source biobibliographique, du point de vue de la critique et de l’histoire littéraire et, en même temps, il tient le rôle d’instantané photographique, en lequel nous avons immortalisé un groupe bien défini  d’auteurs et de collaborateurs ayant contribué à la réalisation de notre projet interculturel, tout au long d’une décennie. En égale mesure, le Dictionnaire vise à démontrer que, en dépit d'un statut encore relativement récent et en absence de tout appui d’ordre matériel de la part de l’État, la revue „Horizon littéraire contemporain” et sa collection de livres bilingues et trilingues de „Bibliotheca Universalis” ont apporté et apportent en continuité de bons services à la culture contemporaine, en une double direction : d’un côté, par la promotion de la culture roumaine en universalité et, d'autre part, par la promotion de la culture universelle dans l’espace roumain. Tout comme par les ponts de communication que la Revue et la Bibliothèque réussissent à établir entre les gens provenant de cultures, pays et continents différents. Certes, nous pensons que, du moins de ce point de vue, la Revue et la gamme Bibliotheca Universalis justifient parfaitement leur existence, et que vouloir les ignorer confinerait à l’ignorance.

Traduction par Noëlle Arnoult

sâmbătă, 1 decembrie 2018


Romania in the Year of the Centennial

Daniel Dragomirescu

The Romanian people has existed on the territory bordered by the Danube, the Carpathians and the Black Sea ever since its formation. As a modern European people it is as old as the French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese peoples and older than the Latin peoples that surround it. Yet, unlike other Latin people, because of specific reasons, the Romanian people could not organize itself into a state in the first centuries of its existence, following the retreat of the Roman Empire from Dacia (271 AD). Once organized into a powerful kingdom, that of the Dacians, the Carpatho-Danubian-Pontic territory came out of the Roman era without kings or emperors, without a proper administratrive and territorial organization, without state institutions and an army, as the old Dacian state had been destroyed by Traian and replaced with the state structures of the Roman Empire, and after the retreat of the Roman administration and army to the south of the Danuble there was a generalized collapse. The Dacian state could not be rebuilt, because, more than 160 years after the disappearance of the Dacian kingdom, the traditions of the indigenous state were lost, and the people (a mixture of Dacians and Roman settlers) no longer identified with the age of Burebista (as the Galo-Romans could no longer identify with the age of Vercingetorix), while an alternative model of state organization did not exist and could not be borrowed from our geographical neighbours, which were themselves in a state of anarchy or primitivism. During one generation, all the civilisation of Roman Dacia collapsed, the cities were abandoned and the Dacian-Roman population was forced to go back, in just a few years, to the primitive age. Emperor Aurelian should have left in Dacia an indigenous political leader supported by a local army, which should have ensured the organization of the abandoned territory and should have defended it. Thus, lacking the force and cohesion to form their own state, the proto-Romanians and then the Romanians were forced to accept, starting with the invasions of the Carps and the Goths, their rule and had to experience, throughout the centuries, all kinds of pre-statal organizations and put up with all kinds of Asian tribe leaders pretending to be military and political leaders over their national territory.

A phenomenon that was to leave a profound mark on the Romanian psychology started to take shape. The invasions of the migratory tribes continued, their rule succeeded one another, yet the Romanian people managed to preserve their identity. One way or another they assimilated the migratory people left in the Carpatho-Danubian space. They became neither Avars, Visigoths, Pechenegs and Cumans, nor Slavs, Turks or Fanar Greeks, to the disappointment of the great neighbouring powers which, like fault lines, were colliding on the Romanian territory.

The Ottoman Empire suffered defeats as a result of these collisions between geopolitical plates and had to gradually limit its area of influence, while the Habsburg empire took over Bukovina and the Russians managed to get Bessarabia, extending their sphere of influence over these parts of our national territory. This wouldn't have probably happened if the Romanian principates had not been ruled, back then, by princes appointed by the Ottomans. This was a situation which repeated itself, which Romanians had already gone through before, during the early Middle Ages, when they had not appeared on the Byzantine maps as a separate state, because they found themselves under the rule of strong migratory tribes. In Wallachia and Moldavia there were the Cumans and in Transilvania the Magyars that had come from Altelcuz. Being originally migratory and warfaring peoples, the Cumans and the Magyars had a better political and millitary organization than the sedentary indigenous Romanians, who were an agragrian-pastoral people dissipated across the land and lacking a political and administrative centralization as well as an army that should have protected them.

With the endless waves of Goths, Visigoths, Huns, Gepids, Avars, Pechenegs, Bulgars and others that roamed from the east to the west over the Romanian territory, it would have been impossible to lay the foundations of a Romanian state, without it being destroyed overnight, like in the legend of the Master Manole. Helped by favourable circumstances in the early Middle Ages, the Magyars settled not just in Pannonia, but also on a vast part of the Transylvanian territory, which after a few generations they came to consider as part of their national territory. Their bad luck was that, unlike the Romanized population they found in Pannonia, the Romanian population in Transylvania could not be magyarized in a significant percentage. Less lucky, the Cumans, who were in brotherly relations with the Magyars, were violently dislocated by the Great Tatar-Mongolian invasion in 1241, and on the Byzantine maps there was no longer Cumania instead of Wallachia. On the other hand, the Magyars, although they were also dislocated by the new Asian invaders, and their kingdom was almost totally destroyed, as it is attested, among other sources, in Monk Rogerius's “Carmen miserabile”, still managed to re-establish their kindgom, which was to last for a couple of centuries, until 1521, when it fell prey to the Ottoman Empire during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, a sultan whose particular ambition was to turn all Magyars into Turks, in order to extend Islam into the heart of Europe. Yet the Turks encountered, as the Magyars had done in Transylvania, a stubborn nation, which they could not convert or ethnically assimilate, thus being forced to abandon their Central-European pashalik, which could not overlap with Saint Steven's crown.

The union of the Romanian principates (24th January 1859) was the result of a normal historical development in an international politically favourable context (the Anglo-French-Turkish policy of blocking the Russian expansion towards the Balkans, which led to the defeat of the Czarist Empire in the Crimean wars 1853-1856). Thus, Romanians managed to lay the foundations of their national state, which, starting with 1866, came to be called Romania and was recognized as such internationally. At that time roughly in the West other national states were formed, Germany and Italy, though a similar process of unification. No one can claim that Germany and Italy are recent phenomena on the map of Europe. Italians and Germans, as well as Romanians, have always existed on their national territories, where they have gone through various forms of state organization, from provinces and principates to unitary national states in the modern period.

The first World War, dubbed by the pre-communist historiography The War for the Reunification of the Country, led, by a historical determinism, to the formation of Great Romania, by the successive union of Bessarabia (March 1918), Bukovina (November 1918), Transylvania and Banat (1 December 1918) with the Old Kingdom, which also comprised Southern Dobruja (the Cadrilater). Outside the country were left a few small territories inhabited by Romanians, such as the Serbian Banat and the northern part of Maramures. And besides its current neighbours, Great Romania had a border, in the north, with Czechoslovakia and Poland, two states that reappeared on the world map, after a long period when their national territories had been divided among neighbouring empires.

Romania's entrance in the war on the side of the Entente in August 1916 proved to be a correct and responsible choice, because, although the kings of the country belonged to a German dynasty (The Hohenzollerns), everything pleaded in favour of our country's alliance with France. The whole forty-eight generation had been educated in Paris, and the Union of 1859 was accomplished with the aid of Napoleon the 3rd. The ascension of Prince Carol on the Romanian throne in 1866 had been also due to the advice of the French emperor, who wanted a powerful kingdom at the mouth of the Danube, a kingdom which would strenghten the French influence in Europe. Unfortunately, the insufficient military training with which Romania came into the war on the side of the Entente and the strategical errors that some of our military leaders had made ended the campaigns on the Danube and the Transylvanian fronts and allowed the enemy troops, led by general Mackensen to occupy, in a short time, the southern part of the country, with the capital, up until the Siret. It is true that this defeat occured as the Czarist army contributed only slightly to the war in which it had engaged, and after the Kerensky goverment came to power started to disband, thus turning into a real danger for the Romanian soldiers behind the frontline. Taking refuge in Jassy together with the Romanian army and government, king Ferdinand ruled for two years over only one third of the initial kigdom, as it had been when Romania had entered the war with the high hopes of seeing its territory reunited with Transilvania following a rapid and successful offensive.

It was a miracle that the King and the government managed to learn their lessons from the disaster of the year 1916 and managed to keep the Central Powers along the line of the Siret, while bringing the army to an efficient state, with the help of valuable millitaries such as Alexandru Averescu, Eremia Grigorescu, Constantin Prezan and others. In the 30s, when he came back to visit Romania, Marshall Mackensen remembered the spectacular resurrection of the Romanian army, which “ seemed to have disappeared” before (during the fights in Oltenia and Wallachia). An important role in this reorganization was played by the French millitary mission, led by general Henri Mathias Berthelot and the combat force of the Romanian soldiers, who, in the battles at Mărăşeşti, Mărăşti and Oituz, literally put into practice the order “One should not pass this point”.

Even if these victories on the battlefield could not lead to the immediate liberation of Romania from under foreign occupation, because of the Treatise of Brest-Litovsk, where the Central Powers and Lenin's goverment agreed to come to a separate peace, they prevented the enemy from occupying the rest of the country and allowed the army to re-enter the war at the end of 1918, when the German and Austro-Hungarian empires collapsed, due both to the failures on the Western front, and to the resistance that the two great powers met with in Romania, which forced them to make more millitary and financial efforts than they had imagined they could put up with.

Far from being a miracle or an accident, the forging of the national state on the 1st December 1918 was the reward that the Romanian people deserved naturally and logically for its continuous existence and persistance on the national territory, in spite of the hardships of history.

La Roumanie dans l’année du Centenaire 

Le peuple roumain existe depuis toujours sur le territoire circonscrit entre le Danube, les Carpates et la Mer Noire. Comme peuple européen, il est aussi ancien que les peuples français, espagnol, italien, portugais et bien plus ancien que les peuples non-romaniques qui l’entourent. Mais, par différence avec les autres peuples romaniques, par des raisons particulières, le peuple roumain n’a pu s’organiser en une formation d’Etat plus importante dès ses origines, suite à l’abandon de la Dacie par l’Empire Romain (271 av. J. C.). Jadis organisé sous la forme d’un royaume puissant, celui des Daces, le territoire de la Roumanie est issu de l’époque romaine sans rois ni empereurs, sans institutions d’Etat, sans une armée, parce que l’ancien Etat dace avait été demantelé par Trajan et remplacé à tous les niveaux par des structures d’Etat de l’Empire Romain et que, après la retraite de l’administration et de l’armée romaine au sud du Danube, il se produisit un effondrement général, pour lequel la population romanisée n’eut pas de solution alternative, ni de remède, au rapide remplacement des structures impériales romaines par des structures autochtones. On ne pouvait plus reconstituer L’Etat dace, parce que, plus de 160 ans après la disparition du royaume des Daces, les traditions constituant l’organisation de l’Etat dace avaient été perdues, la population (un mélange de Daces et de colons romains) ne pouvait plus s’identifier aux temps de Buerebista et Decebal (tout comme les Gallo-Romains ne pouvaient plus s’identifier aux temps de Vercingetorix) et un modèle different d’organisation de l'Etat n’existait pas et ne pouvait non plus être emprunté aux voisinages géographiques se trouvant eux-mêmes dans une configuration anarchique ou primitive. Il eût été davantage intéressant que l’Empereur Aurelianus laissât en Dacie un chef politique autochtone aidé par une armée locale, qui eût pu assurer l’existence d’Etat du territoire abandonné et le défendre.

Ainsi, le peuple roumain dut s’accommoder aux nouveaux temps mais, manquant de force et de la cohésion nécessaires pour se donner une organisation d’Etat propre, se vit obligé d’accepter, à partir des invasions des Carpes et des Goths, la domination de ceux-ci, dut experimenter, pendant des siècles, toutes sortes de désorganisations, supporter toutes sortes de chefs de tribus asiatiques aux prétentions de maîtres politiques et militaires ainsi que sur leur propre territoire. De la façon dont put se dérouler l’existence des Roumains tout au long de ces tristes siècles, il n’existe pas, malheureusement, un seul “Carmen miserabile” pour nous faire bénéficier d' un temoignage, cependant, d’une manière ou d’une autre, ils réussirent à survivre, à se developper, de manière continue, comme peuple de souche romanique dans la marge orientale du continent européen.

Ainsi, de cette façon, se déroula, plus ou moins, l’histoire des Roumains pendant des siècles. Les invasions des migrateurs s'étendirent sur de longues périodes aussi, et leurs différentes formes de domination se succédèrent sans cesse, mais le peuple roumain ne disparut pas de l’histoire. Il assimila, d’une manière ou d’une autre, tous les migrateurs restés sur le territoire carpatho-danubien. Les Roumains ne devinrent ni Avares, ni Vizigoths, ni Pécénegues, ni Coumans, ni Slaves, ni Turcs, ni Grecs de Phanarion, à la déception des pouvoirs voisins (Autriche, Turquie, Russie) qui, comme des plaques tectoniques, se heurtaient sur le territoire roumain.

De ces collisions de tectonique politique, l’Empire Ottoman souffrit de plusieurs défaites et dut restreindre progressivement sa zone d’influence, tandis que l’Empire Autrichien gagna la Bucovine, et les Russes réussirent à leur tour à s’emparer de la Bessarabie, en élargissant leurs sphères d’influence sur le territoire national. Peut-être que cela ne se serait pas passé ainsi, si les pays roumains n’avaient pas été conduits par les princes phanariotes, nommés par la Porte Ottomane. C’était la répétition de la situation connue par les Roumains au début du Moyen Âge, quand ils n’apparaissaient pas sur les cartes byzantines comme habitants de leur propre État, se trouvant sous la domination de certains peuples migrateurs - Dans la Wallachie et la Moldavie, La Coumanie et les Coumans, et dans la Transylvanie, les Magyars venus d’Atelcuz (sud de la Bessarabie). En étant à l'origine des peuples de migrateurs guerriers, les Coumans et les Magyars disposaient d’une organisation politique et militaire meilleure, en comparaison, par rapport aux Roumains sédentaires et autochtones, cependant demeurés en état de dissipation agro-pastorale, sans une centralisation politique et administrative, ni une armée défensive.   

Avec les vagues incessantes des Goths, Vizigoths, Huns, Avares, Bulgares etc., qui traversèrent, d'est en ouest le territoire roumain, il eut été, à proprement dit, impossible d'empiler une brique sur l’autre en une construction roumaine d’Etat, sans qu’elle ne soit détruite pendant la nuit, comme dans La Légende du Maître Manole. Les Roumains de toutes les provinces ne prirent néanmoins pas la fuite vers les montagnes et forêts, en laissant un pays abandonné derrière. Non, ils restèrent dans leur village et s'adaptèrent aux conditions de vie toujours en évolution dans l’ancienne Dace romaine.

Ainsi les Magyars s'imposèrent et se fixèrent, non seulement dans la Pannonie, mais aussi sur une large aire du territoire transylvain, si bien qu'ils finirent, après quelques générations, par les considérer comme une partie de leur territoire national. Leur malchance fut que, par distinction de la population romanisée qu’ils avaient trouvée dans la Pannonie, la population roumaine de Transylvanie jamais ne fut, elle, magyarisée en pourcentage signifiant. Les Coumans se trouvant dans des relations de fraternité avec les Magyars, furent disloqués de manière violente par la Grande Invasion Tartaro-Mongole de 1241, si bien que, sur les cartes des Byzantines, la Coumanie cessa d’apparaître, au lieu de la Wallachie. D’autre part, les Magyars, bien qu’ils fussent aussi brisés par les nouveaux envahisseurs asiatiques, tel que le témoigne le moine Rogerius dans son “Carmen miserabile”, réussirent pourtant à récupérer et à refonder leur royaume, qui continua d’exister encore quelques centaines d’années, jusqu’en 1521, lorsqu’il fut anéanti par l’Empire Ottoman, pendant le règne de Soliman le Magnifique, un sultan dont l’ambition bien particulière fut de transformer tous les Magyars en Turcs, pour étendre l’Islam jusqu’a Vienne. Mais à leur tour les Turcs tombèrent, comme les Magyars dans la Transylvanie, sur une nation résistante, qu’ils ne réussirent pas à assimiler, se voyant obligés d’abandonner leur pachalik central-européen qui ne pouvait pas se superposer à la couronne de Saint Étienne.    L’Union des Principautés Roumaines (datant du 24 janvier 1859) a été le résultat d’une évolution historique normale, en un contexte politique international favorable (la politique anglo-franco-turque de neutralisation de l’expansion russe dans la région des Balkans, qui a conduit à la défaite de l’Empire Tsariste dans la Guerre de Crimée, 1853-1856). Les Roumains ont réussi de cette manière a poser la pierre angulaire de leur État national qui, en 1866, a reçu le nom de “Roumanie” et a été reconnu comme tel au plan international. Approximativement dans la même période, en Occident, sont apparus comme États nationaux l’Allemagne (Empire) et l’Italie (Royaume), par un processus similaire d’unification. Personne ne saurait affirmer que l’Allemagne et l’Italie constituent des apparitions de date récente sur la carte d’Europe. Les Italiens, les Allemands et les Roumains ont existé depuis toujours sur leur territoires nationaux, où ils ont connu différentes formes d’organisation – des provinces et principautés aux États nationaux de l’époque moderne.

La Première Guerre Mondiale, nommée par l’historiographie roumaine d’avant la période communiste “Guerre de Réunification de la Nation”, a conduit par un déterminisme de l’histoire à la fondation de la Grande Roumanie, suite à l’union de la Bessarabie (mars 1918), de la Bucovine (novembre 1918), de la Transylvanie et du Banat (le 1er décembre 1918) avec l’Ancien Royaume, qui comprenait aussi la Dobrogée méridionale (Le Quadrilatère). Sont demeurées en-dehors du pays quelques petites régions habitées par les Roumains, tel que le Banat yougoslave et la partie de nord de Maramures. Et hormis ses voisins actuels, la Grande Roumanie côtoyait, au nord, la Tchécoslovaquie et la Pologne, deux États qui réaparaissaient sur la carte du Monde après une longue période d'existence, cependant que leurs territoires nationaux se trouvaient partagés entre les empires voisins.

L’entrée de la Roumanie dans la guerre à côté de l’Entente en août 1916 s’est avérée une option droite et responsable, car, bien que les rois du pays appartenaient à une dynastie allemande (de Hohenzollern), tout plaidait en faveur de l’engagement du pays aux côtés de la France. Toute notre génération de révolutionnaires de 1848 s'était formée à Paris et l’Union de 1859 avait été réalisée grâce au soutien de Napoléon IIIème. Même la venue du prince Carol en Roumanie en 1866 résultait toujours des conseils reçus de la part de Napoléon III, qui souhaitait à l’embouchure du Danube un royaume puissant, de nature à renforcer l’influence française au niveau européen. Malheureusement, la formation militaire insuffisante au moment où la Roumanie entra en guerre aux côtés de l’Entente et les erreurs d’ordre stratégique ont arrêté l’offensive sur le front de la Transylvanie et permis aux armées ennemies, commandées par le Maréchal Mackensen, d'occuper, en quelques mois, la Capitale et toute la partie de sud du pays, jusqu’à la rivière de Siret ; il est vrai que cette défaite a pu avoir lieu dans des circonstances péjoratives, selon lesquelles l’armée tsariste disposait d' une faible contribution dans les combats et, aussi puisque après l’installation du gouvernement de Kerenski, s'est produit un processus irréversible de décomposition, aboutissant à un réel danger guettant les militaires roumains de l’arrière. Réfugié à Yassy avec son armée et le gouvernement du pays, le roi Ferdinand se vit régner, pendant deux années, sur un royaume réduit à un tiers de ce qu’il avait été au moment de l’entrée du pays dans la guerre, lorsque tout le monde, très optimiste, s’attendait à voir la récupération rapide de la Transylvanie par une action militaire à la Napoléon.                  

Tout à fait remarquable fut le fait que le Roi et son gouvernement réussirent à tirer des conclusions positives du désastre de l’année 1916, à figer les armées de la Triplice sur la ligne de Siret et à reconstituer en quelques mois l’armée roumaine, dirigée par des militaires de valeurs, tel que les généraux Alexandru Averescu, Eremia Grigorescu, Constantin Prezan et autres. Pendant les années 30, revenu en visite en Roumanie, le maréchal Mackensen se souvenait de cette spectaculaire résurrection de l’armée roumaine, qui auparavant avait failli “disparaître”. Un rôle important dans cette réorganisation fut joué par la Mission Militaire Française d’Henri Mathias Berthelot et la force de combat des militaires roumains qui, au cours des batailles de Mărăşti, Mărăşeşti, Oituz, ont appliqué ad litteram l’ordre “Par ici on ne passe pas”.      

Bien que ces victoires obtenues sur le champ d’honneur n’eussent été de nature à conduire tout de suite à la libération de la Roumanie de l’occupation étrangère, à cause du Traite de Brest – Litovsk, où les Centrales et le gouvernement de Lénine ont convenu de conclure une paix séparée, elles ont empêché l’ennemi d’occuper le reste du pays et nous ont permis surtout de conserver notre armée pour qu’elle revienne sur le champs d’opérations militaires à la fin de 1918, quand les empires allemand et autrichiens-hongrois se sont effondrés, à cause de leur défaite sur le front ouest, mais aussi en raison de la résistance que les deux grands pouvoirs ont rencontré en Roumanie.

Loin d’avoir été un miracle ou un hasard, la réalisation de l’État roumain national unitaire du 1er décembre 1918 a été la récompense que le peuple roumain a bien mérité pour sa permanente existence et persistance sur son territoire national, en dépit de tous les adversités de l’Histoire.

Traducere în limba franceză de Noëlle Arnoult
Traducere  în limba engleză de Roxana Doncu

sâmbătă, 24 noiembrie 2018



Daniel Dragomirescu, “România în anul Centenarului. La Roumanie dans l’année du Centenaire”, p. 3

Bibliotheca Universalis
Ramona-Elena Dună (România), “Să fim copii pentru Dumnezeu”, p. 5

Orizonturi critice
Gheorghe Glodeanu (România), “Aventura spirituală a romanului”, p. 7
Gilvaldo Quinzeiro (Brazilia), “O trágico é não se conhecer”, p. 9
Francisco da Cunha Silva Filho (Brazilia), “Wars that have proven to be useless”, p. 10

Orizonturi epice
Carlos M. Federici (Uruguay), „Accidente de ruta”, p. 12
Daniel Fernández Corchs (Uruguay), “El muro”, p. 15
Arturo Hernández Fuentes (Mexic), “Para este momento ya me ha olvidado”, p. 18

Orizonturi poetice
Raymond Walden (Germania), p. 19
John Tischer (Statele Unite-Mexic), p. 21
Michael White (Statele Unite), p. 21
Donald Riggs (Statele Unite), p. 23
Gregory Vincent St.Thomasino (Statele Unite), p. 24
Paul Mein (Regatul Unit), p. 26
Mike Bannister (Regatul Unit), p. 27
Kees van Meel (Olanda), p. 29
Wild Roberts (Canada), p. 30
Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić, p. 31
Haris Adhikari (Nepal), p. 32
Eduardo Sanguinetti (Argentina), p. 33
Leonard Ciureanu (România-Italia), p. 35
Ana-Maria Oncescu (România), p. 36
Elena Ţăpean (România), p. 38

Orizonturi franceze, p. 39 - 67
Noëlle Arnoult, Marie Cholette (Canada), Frédéric Fort, Gérard Angaud, 
Philippe Barbier, Olivier Lechat, Pierre Montfort, Georges de Rivas, Jean Taillabresse
Dana Lang, Pascal Dague, Boulmé Romain, Ernest Koffiga Kavege (Togo – Gabon), 
Josette Gallou, Jean-Sylvestre Thépenier, Jacklynn Beckman, Rosa Favella, 
Souhila Chidiac, Jean-Claude Sartelet, Cicéron Angledroit

Index 2018, p. 68

Roxana Doncu, Elena Ţăpean, Laura-Mihaela Stan, Daniel Dragomirescu, 
Noëlle Arnoult (Franţa), Željka Lovrenčić (Croatia), Raymond Walden (Germania)