duminică, 24 aprilie 2016



Daniel Dragomirescu, “The Day when Time Stopped in Bucharest”

Matthias Erdbeer (Germania), “Im Zentrum des Spektakels: Poetologie als Attraktion”
Raymond Walden (Germania), “Intelligenz tötet nicht”
Chokri Omri (Tunisia), “The Syrian Refugees in Tunisia”
Douglas Lipton (Marea Britanie), “Ludvig Holmdahl, To be in Balance”
Roxana Doncu (România), “The Hidden Meanings of Adversiting”
Daniel Dragomirescu (România), “Un poet elegiac”
Monica Manolachi (România), “Limba la control: Mi-am zugrăvit casa”
Gheorghe Glodeanu (România), “Urmuz şi poetica antiromanului”

Mike Bannister (Marea Britanie), “Love and War in Worcestershire” (2)

Sally Evans (Marea Britanie)
Caroline Gill (Marea Britanie)
Morelle Smith (Marea Britanie)
Neil Leadbeater (Marea Britanie)
Paul Mein (Marea Britanie)
Donald Adamson (Finlanda)
Donald Riggs (Statele Unite)
Dan Mircea Cipariu (România)
Isa Guerra (Spania)
Rocío Espinosa Herrera (Spania)
Antonio Arroyo Silva (Spania)
Sonia Rabinovich (Argentina)
Joan Fort Olivella (Mexic)

“Horizonte literario contemporáneo”. Una mirada retrospectiva
Mesaje pentru “Primăvara Interculturală Bucureşteană 2016” – Peter Thabit Jones, Neil Leadbeater, Graham Fulton, Anne Stewart, Katherine Gallagher, Morelle Smith (Regatul Unit), Donald Riggs, Valerie Fox (Statele Unite), Kees van Meel (Olanda), Juana Castillo (Spania), Luis Benitez (Argentina), Ettore Fobo, Claudio Sottocornola (Italia)

Marianna Piani (Italia), Raymond Walden (Germania), Iulia Andreea Anghel, Roxana Doncu, Ioana Tabarcea, Diana Dragomirescu, Monica Manolachi, Elena Carmen Bobocescu, Florian D. Mirea, Elena Ţăpean, Ana-Maria Oncescu, Ana-Maria Voicu, Aurelia Voicu


sâmbătă, 16 aprilie 2016


The day when time stopped in Bucharest

by Daniel Dragomirescu

  On April 4th 1944, as a major event of World War II, the British-American air forces bombarded for the first time, the Romanian Capital. Until August 23rd 1944, two bombardments a day were registered. It was then, that the King decided to set Antonescu aside and withdraw from the Axis (made up of Germany, Italy and Japan). After Rommel had lost the war in North Africa, the allies disembarked in Europe and continued the battle in the territory of its enemy. The Allied Aircrafts were leaving from an airbase in South Italy, they were crossing the Balkan Mountains (both protected by their hunting aircrafts) and not only were they dropping their bombs over Bucharest, but over other cities as well, especially, over Ploiești and over the petroliferous areas. The Eastern Romanian cities were also bombarded by the Soviet air force, but compared to the British-American, the Soviets had a weaker air force and, therefore, the damages had not been that important.
  Not only were the British-Americans bombarding military objectives, but civilian ones as well – and this was not a simple coincidence, but a deliberate action meant to generate terror among the people (Wikipedia even calls them ‘terror bombings’) and to weaken the troops’ resistance offered to the enemy. And, at that moment, Romania’s sole enemy was the Red Army, that had again occupied Bucovina and was reaching for Bessarabia as well. The Americans were bombing Bucharest during the day (generally at noon), while the British completed the Americans work during the night. Everything very well planned and executed.
  My mother was working as a shop assistant at the well-known ‘Sora’ store, the one near the North Railway Station, an area aimed at by the 4th of April Bombing. Luckily, she was not there when the bombs were released. She faced the disaster the next day, when heading, as usually, towards the store, she could no longer advance because of the disaster provoked by the bombs. In the railway station, there were laying hundreds of Bessarabian refugees who paid, with that occasion, a bloody tribute. They had died, being burnt alive, crushed or turned into pieces on the rails, in the proximity of which they were found, on the platforms or in the waiting rooms. There were old people, women with children that had come to Bucharest in railway carriages, on railway carriages and under railway carriages, in such conditions that were dramatic beyond our imagination, just to save themselves. According to someone’s confession, in this horror journey, a woman travelled for hundreds of kilometres on some wood boards under the railway carriages and she had to see her youngest child dying, crashed by the  wheels of the train. We are still mourning the Syrian boy drowned in the Mediterranean Sea and we think that the evil comes from one part only, because we have taught ourselves to judge unilaterally. The Bessarabian refugees feared that if they had remained in the occupied area, the special troops of NKVD, representing the Red Army, (which were similar to the German famous Einsatzgruppen, but more powerful and feared than these, since Stalin was not risking a  Nürnberg after the war) would have killed them or would have deported them in cattle railway carriages to the Siberian working camps just because they were Romanians. No western eco-pacifist organization would have protested for their cause. This was also the story of those ten thousands Bessarabians, who could not leave their country. Those who were more successful, almost never came back. All Russians’ actions were hiding a real genocide. The extent of it is still unknown and will, probably, remain so forever.
  Sometimes, as soon as the bombings ended, the air crafts did not return to Italy, but firstly, they headed to the Soviet Union, where they were provided with airports for refuelling. Back over the same objectives, they were again releasing bombs, while reaching for South Italy from where, they were coming back to drop even more bombs over Romania. During my childhood, a distinguished old man, who had been working in the USA, but had returned to Romania, had a house on Griviței Street, near to the rail ways that were connecting the North Railway Station to Basarab Railway Station, was showing me a wooden table which he kept in his small yard besides a wall of a destroyed house, telling me that there had fallen a bomb.
  In 1944, my father’s youngest sister and her fiancée were studying at the Conservatory. Next autumn, she would have probably, become a Music teacher, but on the 4th of April, she was eating at a students’ canteen near the North Railway Station. When the alarm went off, she and her fiancée found refuge in a closed-by anti-aircraft shelter which they shared with hundreds of other people. But that day, the bombs of Arthur Harris, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, (also known as Bomber Harris or Butcher Harris, 1892 - 1984) worked without mistake and destroyed everything in their way. One bomb was dropped over a building under which laid the anti-aircraft shelter. The remains of that building covered the only air duct of the shelter and all the people hiding there (mostly students) died asphyxiated. ‘Universul’ newspaper published during the next days, lists with the names of the hundreds and thousands of dead people in the destructive British-American raid.
  Commemorating 72 years that have passed since that event, I have found, this month, some document photos from April 1944. One is downloaded from the Internet and it manages to depict very well the aftermath of the bombing in an area near Herăstrău Park, shortly after the 4th of April raid. The other two were taken with the occasion of my father’s sister funeral. It took place two weeks later, on April 20th, close to Bucharest, where she was born. On the faces of the participants at the funeral – many peasant women and peasants’ children, whose fathers were fighting on the front line, dead, alive, disappeared or taken as prisoners – you could read one thing: Romanians deep lack of hope in an era when the war started shredding the lives of people without any consideration. Even though, they were all saying that they were fighting for people’s sake.  

Traducere de Iulia Andreea Anghel
Universitatea din Bucureşti

marți, 29 martie 2016


Waiting in the Rain

Sometimes you wait a long time for buses,
in the rain.
Sometimes they won't come and –
they just won't come
and you walk on and they leave you
absurdly lonely.
Thinking all the street thoughts
and the wild ones
and the dancing ones and the ones
you hope that no-one else can see.

Buses are deep blessings
in the night.
Remember the feeling
of searching an empty street,
to find out if the bus
has left without you,
as if it did not know
it had a rendezvous with you –
or is still in the future,
on its way to meet you.
Come on street night, you say,
tell me if the bus
has passed this way already,
or is yet to come.

Aşteptând în ploaie

Câteodată aștepți mai mult după autobuze,
în ploaie.
Câteodată nu vin și –
pur și simplu nu vin
și o iei pe jos și te simți
foarte singur.
Gândești toate gândurile străzii
și pe cele mai nebunești
și pe cele care parcă dansează și pe cele
pe care speri că nimeni nu le vede.

Autobuzele sunt binecuvântări misterioase
în noapte.
Îți aduc aminte de simțul
de a cerceta o stradă pustie,
de a afla dacă autobuzul
a plecat fără tine,
ca și cum nu ar ști
că aveți o întâlnire –
sau poate e încă în viitor,
în drumul lui spre tine.
Vino pe strada nopții, zici tu,
spune-mi dacă autobuzul
a trecut pe aici deja,
sau trebuie să vină.

Morelle Smith, a Globe Trotter of Nowadays

  Morelle Smith was born in Edinburgh and studied English and French at Edinburgh University. She has worked as an Adult Education Tutor of English as a Second Language, French, and Creative Writing, and has been an aid worker in the Balkans.
  She writes poetry, fiction, non-fiction and travel articles. She has been awarded Writers Residencies in France, Switzerland and Serbia. She has been published in various print and online magazines and anthologies in the UK, Canada and Europe. Most recently she has contributed to The Evergreen, Chester Poets, Scottish Review, Times Literary Supplement (UK), Emails from India (Canada), New Eastern Europe (Poland), Recours au Poème (France), Contemporary Literary Horizon (Romania) and Terra Poetica (Ukraine).
  She recently took part in the Drini Poetik Festival in Prizren (Kosovo) and the Terra Poetica Festival in Kyiv, Rivne, Ostroh, and Zytomyr (Ukraine), where she received the Audience Award.
  She has published several books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction, the most recent being Gold Tracks, Fallen Fruit (poetry, 2011), Tirana Papers: An Albanian Journal (non-fiction, 2013) and The Definition of Happiness (poetry, 2015).
  She is also a free-lance editor and translator, and her translation from the French text of Dora d’Istria (Elena Ghika), Land of the Thunderbolt Mountains, will be published by I. B. Tauris (London). 
 She recently published "Open Roads and Secret Destinations" (her second book in "Bibliotheca Universalis" Collection), translated into Romanian by Monica Manolachi, who is presenting it in Bucharest, at the Open Art bookshop, in April 2016. 
  Morelle Smith has been a honorary contributor of "Contemporary Literary Horizon" since 2012.

Traducere. Translation: Elena Ţăpean
Corespondent special la Marea Neagră. Special correspondent at the Black Sea

miercuri, 16 martie 2016

OLC. CLH. HLC 50 / 2016

“Horizonte literario contemporáneo”.
Una mirada retrospectiva

por Daniel Dragomirescu

El año que pasó fue para nosotros un paso adelante en una dirección de evolución ascendente. Como importantes logros nombramos la quinta edición de la Primavera Intercultural de Bucarest en abril 2015, donde tuvimos como invitados colaboradores de marca del país y del extranjero (Lucian Chişu, Dan Mircea Cipariu, Anna Rossell Ibern, Matthias Erdbeer, Ronnie Smith, entre otros) y las lecturas públicas de “Open Art Library”, que tuvo como invitados y protagonistas al poeta y editor Paul Sutherland de Gran Bretaña (abril 2015) y al poeta y profesor universitario Andrés Morales de Santiago de Chile (octubre 2015). Las seis publicaciones de nuestra revista que fueron programadas en 2015 (desde las ediciones 45 hasta las de 50) fueron realizadas a tiempo y en buenas condiciones. Con el número 6/2015 tuvimos la satisfacción de celebrar no menos de 50 apariciones del HLC desde mayo 2008, la fecha del nacimiento de nuestra revista, en Yassy y Vaslui y hasta los fines del año pasado. En los siete años de existencia, la componencia de nuestro equipo editorial ha sufrido una serie de cambios inherentes por un período tan largo. Algunos colaboradores y amigos no pudieron llevar más el compás y se retiraron (Anna Elsner, Rodolfo Chavez, Peter Hart, Rosetta Savelli, Alina Miron, Lidia Vianu), pero otros les tomó el lugar: Monica Manolachi, Roxana Doncu, Iulia Anghel (Rumanía), Zelkija Lovrencić (Croacia), Dante Gatto, Gilvaldo Quinzeiro (Brasil), Leone D’Ambrosio (Italia), Kees van Meel (Holanda), Matthias Erdbeer (Alemania), Ludvig Holmdahl (Suecia), Martin Sosa Cameron (Argentina), entre otros. Nos alegra el hecho de que HLC sigue siendo una revista de todas las generaciones, así como no muchas revistas de hoy en día pueden serlo. En HLC no existe un maniqueísmo de las generaciones, así como tampoco existe una dictadura de una doctrina literaria que solo quiere reconocer lo que aparece como la cama de Procusto, manierista y estilístico, olvidándose que los modelos de cualquier tipo son efémeros, destinados a satisfacer vanidades coyunturales y que queda solo lo que es auténtico, tratándose de un bien material o espiritual. Junto con nuestros seniores y venerables, a los que estimamos y queremos (los octogenarios o casi octogenarios Martin Bates, Katherine Gallagher, Sally Evans, Mike Bannister, Julia Gil Lopez, Ion Lazu, Gabriel Dimisianu, Jean Taillabresse, BurtRashbaum, Peter Storey) nos alegra muchísimo la sincera y entusiástica adhesión de unos autores, amigos y colaboradores que están al principio de sus carrera, que encontraron en nosotros un ambiente abierto y un lugar donde hacerse conocidos, como Daniel Bărbulescu (poeta principiante, estudiante en la Facultad de Letras en Bucarest y traductor), Iulian Trandafir (traductor), las estudiantes hispanistas Ana-Maria y Aurelia Ionela Voicu; y del extranjero, Charlotte McDermott (Gran Bretaña ), Portia Burton (estudiante en Cambridge y poetisa), Julian de la Torre de Buenos Aires (poeta con un libro ya publicado y estudiante), entre otros que siempre vienen de atrás. De la generación media , HLC disfruta igualmente de la colaboración y amistad de muchos autores (poetas, prosadores, ensayistas, periodistas, traductores) del país y del extranjero. Cabe una especial anotación para esos redactores colaboradores, cuyos nombres han aparecido en las casillas editoriales desde hace mucho tiempo, como prueba de una manera constante y profesionista de actividad. Aunque ninguno de ellos no es el nieto de un gran filántropo del planeta, nuestra revista les debe de manera importante el apoyo y la persistencia. Por la forma ejemplar de la que han contribuido al progreso de la revista, los profesores universitarios y los autores Peter Thabit Jones (Universidad de Swansea, Gran Bretaña), Donald Riggs (Universidad de Drexel, Philadelphia, Estados Unidos), Dante Gatto (Universidad de Estado de Mato Grosso, Brasil) y Andrés Morales (Universidad de Santiago de Chile) se han convertido este año en directores honoríficos, junto con el hispanista, el poeta y el prosador Mihai Cantuniari, fondador de la revista, Tatiana Rădulescu (poetisa, prosista y miembro de USR - la Unión de los Escritores de Rumanía), Luis Benítez (poeta, prosador y crítico de Buenos Aires) y Gilvaldo Quinzeiro (Caxias, Brasil). Es un lugar exótico el que ocupa, entre nuestros amigos del mapamundi, el señor Manzoor Parwana, periodista de inspiración cívica y líder político de GBUM (Gilgit Baltistan United Movement, un movimiento del este de Pakistán, que lucha para la independencia de la provincia Gilgit Baltistan, desde las cumbres de las montañas Himalaya), que se interesó por nuestra revista y ha sido publicado en ella muchas veces. Dirigimos un pensamiento pío en respeto a la memoria del poeta holandés Hans van de Waarsenburg (1943 – 2015), famoso en su país y del escritor mexicano Manuel Ameneiros González (1949 – 2013), que fueron a nuestro lado hasta en los últimos días de sus vidas, aunque nunca pudimos encontrarnos físicamente en ninguna de nuestras manifestaciones interculturales, organizadas empezando con 2010. Pero aún en estas condiciones, ellos fueron una presencia muy viviente dentro de nuestro equipo. El espacio limitado y la paciencia fatalmente limitada de los lectores no nos permite mencionarlos aquí a todos los colaboradores y nuestros amigos del país y extranjeros que aportaron y siguen aportando una contribución de mucho valor en nuestra opera de la prensa y editorial, pero les remitimos nuestro más sincero agradecimiento. Es un verdadero honor tenerlos a nuestro lado y los aseguramos de que los estimamos a todos a su valor justo.

La colección de libros “Bibliotheca Universal” publicados bajo la égida de nuestra revista, tuvo un remarcable desarrollo en 2015. Si en la segunda parte del año 2014 fueron publicados 14 libros de unos autores del espacio europeo y fuera de él, en 2015 fueron editados 56 de volúmenes bilingües (en rumano, italiano, francés, español, portugués, alemán, inglés y hasta en catalán y escocés) con estudios introductorios y todo el aparato crítico necesario. Estos volúmenes se difunden en todo el mundo, fueron mostrados en varias presentaciones de libros y fueron el tema de unos artículos, recensiones y entrevistas de la prensa internacional. Desde 2014 hasta los fines del año pasado, bajo la égida de la colección “Biblioteca Universal” ya habían aparecido 70 libros, entre las cuales “ Histories and Happenings. Historias y hechos” de Donald Adamson (Finlandia), ‘’La primavera del poeta” de Martin Bates (Gran Bretaña), “A Suffi Novice in Shaykh Effendi’s Realm .Un novato sufista en el reinado del jeque Effendi” de Paul Sutherland (Gran Bretaña), “ Over Fifty Billon Kafkas Served. Más de Cinco Billones de Kafkas Servidos” de Alex Kudera (Estados Unidos), “Die Fallstricke des Interimsmenschen. La trampa del hombre pasajero” de Raymond Walden (Alemania), “Alma escarchada” de Anna Rossell (Cataluña), “Santiago bajo cero ” de Theodoro Elssaca (Chile, el Premio Internacional de Prosa “Mihai Eminescu” en Craiova), “Musiche per l’oblio. Música para el olvido” de Ettore Fobo, “A Ferida e outros poemas. La herida y otros poemas” de Dante Gatto (Brasil), “Bleeding Reliefs. Relieves ensangrentados” de Albert Hagenaars (Holanda), “Open Roads and Secret Destinations. Caminos abiertos y destinos secretos” de Morelle Smith (Gran Bretaña), “Made of Words. Hecho por palabras” de Donald Riggs (Estados Unidos), “Brownian Life. Vida browniana” de John Tischer (México – Estados Unidos) y otros a quienes ya no podemos mencionar aquí para que no convirtamos este presentación en una larga letanía. Pero evidenciamos el valor por encima de la media de la mayoría de los libros que hemos editado hasta en el presente, respectivamente de los que los escribió. El hecho de queestas cosas son menos conocidas y apreciadas por un largo público no se debe a nosotros sino a las posibilidades mediaticos y de diffusion reducidas. Las revistas y los libros publicados en tirados sacados en el principio de la gota china se publicaron y se han distribuido y se distribuyen en varios países. Disfrutamos de una gran admiraciónen Gran Bretaña, en las Islas Canarias, en México, Brasil, Argentina y Chile. Tras la representación cultural del Ministerio Rumano de Asuntos Exteriores de Santiago y la colaboración del consejero cultural Dan Florescu, hemos seguido en una buena relación con la Fundación Iberoamericana de la capital del estado suramericano. En el verano del año pasado, en la ciudad Callander de Escocia Neil Leadbeater, Sally Evans y Morelle Smith se juntaron para presentar al público sus libros de la “Biblioteca Universal”, y la ayudante Monica Manolachi, redactora de nuestra revista fue presente, también durante el año pasado, 2 veces en Londres, donde se encontró y realizó una entrevista con la poetisa britanico-australiana Katherine Gallagher. En Italia, Michela Zanarella y Claudio Sottocornola disfrutaron de la atención del mass media de la Peninsula, que publicó artículos de sus libros aparecidos en la “Bibliotheca Universalis”. Caroline Gill de Gran Bretaña publicó una recension del volumen “El hombre verde” de Mike Bannister. “Diario de Caxias” de Brasil, relacionado con el periódico “Obiectiv de Vaslui”, publica incesante notas y artículos dedicados tanto a la revista, como a nuestro colaborador, Gilvaldo Quinzeiro, que logra promovernos de una manera excelente, incluyendo tras la television y el colegio donde el da clases, junto al público local.

El proyecto de la “Bibliotheca Universalis” sigue tambiénen el año 2016, cuando va a llegar a cien libros publicados. En el otoño va a ser una manifestación interesante dedicada a los Días Culturales Rumano-Croatas, dentro de la cual, junto con la Sociedad de los Escritores de Croacia y la hispanista Željika Lovrencić de Zagreb, presentaremos el libro “El Tigre. Tigrul” del venerable poeta croata Tomislav Marijan Bilosnić, él también publicó en “la Bibliotheca Universalis”. Mientras tanto, va a ser publicada también una antología de los poetas croatas, en rumano, croata y español. Más cerca del presente, la sexta edición de la Primavera Intercultural de Bucarest será el 9 de abril – bajo la égida de nuestra revista y del Museo Nacional de la Literatura Rumana – , donde van a ser presentes tanto autores del país, como también los autores Matthias Erdbeer (Alemania) y Morelle Smith (Escocia), que presentarán sus libros de “la Bibliotheca Universalis” a nuestro público (y así nos damos cuenta de que este denominación es un leitmotivo).

Pero los que piensan que somos un club algo exclusivista y que producimos cultura como exporte no tienen razón. En las páginas de nuestra revista han sido, desde el principio, publicados y promovidos varios poetas del país (conocidos o en proceso de ser conocidos) y la “Bibliotheca Universalis” está abierta también para ellos. Los esperamos a todos con pan, flores y sal en Bucarest, en la Primavera Intercultural 2016.

Bucarest, Diciembre de 2015

Traducere de Ana-Maria Voicu și Aurelia Ionela Voicu
Universitatea din Bucureşti

sâmbătă, 12 martie 2016


The Misfortunes of War

  That summer, Charles began major excavations at the foot of the garden. A pit appeared, 5 or 6 foot deep, with vertical sides. The days were rainy and damp.
  One afternoon, while he was away ‘at work’ in the hospital, I peered over the brink, and was interested to see how many frogs had found their way down there. Dozens of them, green and yellow, immobile, wide‐eyed stared back at me. I crawled forward for a better view; and then ‐ catastrophe. I felt myself falling through space, to land upside down and with a jarring thump on cold clay.
  I was alone and badly shaken, staring, close‐range now, at the silent froggy company. I began to moan. After what seemed like ages, Bert Hickson, came from Number 9, his beloved briar pipe clenched in his jaw. He peered at me awhile, then said, in his
Lancashire way, “Eeh ! Sausage, you’re in trouble, wait a while”.
  I stopped moaning. He vanished, then reappeared, ladder in hand. Soon I was rescued, carted up to the house and put into the bath, to a mixed chorus of comfort and scolding from a distracted Marcella.
  Day by day, the Frog Pit was transformed. It became a corrugated steel Anderson Shelter, with a sloping ‘L’ shaped blast‐proof entrance, and a soakaway beneath a stout planked floor. There was a brown handled entrance door leading to 3 steps down. Inside were 2 bunk beds, a chair, a chanty (potty), and a box of candles. The walls were painted with deep green paint, intermixed with sawdust for ‘texture’ and to limit condensation. Above, this secret cell was heaped over, with earth and sandbags. What was it for, exactly? I would soon be left in no doubt.
  The bombing of cities and harbours had, by this stage, well and truly begun. Night after night the drone and whistle of aircraft, and missiles, became commonplace things. At the Danillo Cinema in Longbridge and on the wireless, we were educated into the realities of war. On ‘Pathe Pictorial’ newsreels I saw fire consume the East End of London. Whole buildings aflame and falling forward.
  Once we stood on Cofton Park, and looked across to see Birmingham, our own City, on fire with falling planes, barrage balloons in flames, and tracer bullets cutting through the red smoke‐haze. The noise was fearful on every side; pandemonium on the loose. This was not Pathe film, or make believe. It was the real destruction by fire, of the world I was only just getting to know. The whole experience was a living nightmare. The effect of such violence, on the green minds of young people, then as now, seems never to have been worked out.
  Heading south from sorties on the industrial heartlands, ‘enemy’ bombers would sometimes discharge their lethal cargoes close to home. One dreadful night after the Air Raid Warning siren had sounded, Dave and I were rushed from our warm beds, down the garden path, to The Shelter. The bunks were made up. Candles were lit, and our sleepy eyes began to adjust to the gloom. Elsie Marcella went back home again to fill the thermos flask, and Charles to collect more cushions.
  Sometime after they left us, there was a thundering blast close by. Everything shook, jolted, as if an earthquake, suddenly, had come and gone; for a terrible instant, I re‐imagined the burning horror of the Pathe News. Where were they, our Mom and Dad ? Had they burned alive out there? I wailed. Brother Dave tried to calm me. Then the shelter door swung back, and to our relief, Mom appeared, flask and sandwiches in hand. There was silence and a long delay, then some muffled grumbling in the entrance tunnel. Charles appeared in full Bud Abbot mode. He dropped his bundle and clowned, ruefully, about how the blast had hurled him into his precious flower bed, had squashed his beautiful Delphiniums, and plastered the seat of his best striped pyjamas with thick red mud. He was incensed, ‘UP IN ARMS’ (literally) and ‘THAT B****Y ADOLF’ was to blame !! Out of our confusion, he won some tired giggles. We settled down to a late supper, and waited for the dawn of day (...)

Nenorocirile războiului

  În acea vară, Charles a început sa facă săpături majore în capătul grădinii. A apărut o groapă, adâncă de 5 sau 6 picioare, cu pereți verticali. Zilele erau ploioase și umede.
  Într-o după-amiază, în timp ce el era plecat „la muncă‟ la spital, mi-am  aruncat privirea peste marginea gropii, fiind interesat să aflu câte broaște își găsiseră drumul spre fundul ei. Duzini de batracieni, verzi si galbeni, nemișcați, se holbau la mine cu ochi mari. M-am târât înainte pentru a vedea mai bine, și apoi – catastrofă – am simțit cum mă prăbușesc în gol și am aterizat cu fundul în sus, cu o bufnitură dură pe lutul rece.
  M-am trezit singur și bine zguduit, holbându-mă, acum de aproape, la compania tăcută de broaște. Am început să gem. După o perioadă de timp care mi s-a părut enormă, Bert Hickson a ieșit de la Numărul 9, cu fălcile încleștate pe multiubita lui pipă de măceș, și a zis, în  stilul lui de Lancashire:
   - Hei! Cârnatule, ai dat de belea, așteaptă nițel.
  Am încetat să mai gem. A dispărut, ca să reapară  apoi cu o scară în mâini. În curând am fost salvat, cărat pe sus în casă și pus în baie, într- un amestec de alinări si dojeni din partea unei Marcele tulburate.
  Zi după zi, Groapa Broaștelor era transformată. A devenit un Adăpost Anderson de oțel ondulat, cu o intrare antideflagrantă în forma de L înclinat și un puț de drenare dedesubtul unei podele de scânduri solide. Era o intrare maronie cu clanță, ce conducea la 3 trepte în pantă. Înăuntru se aflau două paturi suprapuse, un scaun, o oliță de noapte și o cutie de lumânări. Pereții erau zugrăviți cu vopsea verde-închis, amestecată cu rumeguș pentru textură și pentru reducerea condensului. Deasupra, această celulă secretă era acoperită cu pământ și saci cu nisip.  La ce folosea, exact? În curând aveam să aflu negreșit.
  Până în acel moment, bombardamentul orașelor și al porturilor începuse la modul cel mai serios. Noapte după noapte,  huruitul și șuieratul aparatelor de zbor și  rachetele au devenit lucruri obișnuite. La cinematograful Danilo din Longbridge și la radio eram educați despre realitățile războiului. La jurnalul de știri de la Pathe Pictorial am văzut cum focul a mistuit cartierul East End al Londrei.
 Odată stăteam in Parcul Coftoon și privind de-a curmezișul am văzut Birmingham, propriul nostru oraș arzând, cu avioane ce se prăbușeau, baloane de baraj în flăcări și cartușe trasoare străbătând ceața roșie fumegândă. Zgomotul era înfricoșător din toate părțile –  un haos complet. Acesta nu era un film Pathe sau o ficțiune. Era distrugerea reală, prin foc, a lumii pe care abia începusem s-o cunosc. Întreaga experiență era un coșmar real. Efectul unei asemenea violențe asupra minților fragede ale tinerilor, atunci ca și acum, pare să nu se fi șters niciodată.
  Îndreptându-se spre sud din raiduri asupra ținuturilor industriale, bombardierele inamice își aruncau uneori încărcătura ucigașă aproape de casă. Într-una din nopțile teribile, după ce sunase sirena de avertizare contra raidurilor aeriene, Dave și cu mine am fost luați rapid din așternuturile  noastre calde și duși, pe aleea grădinii, la Adăpost. Paturile suprapuse au fost pregătite. Lumânarile au fost aprinse și ochii noștri adormiți au început să se adapteze la întuneric. Elsie Marcella s-a întors din nou acasă să umple termosul, iar Charles să strângă mai multe perne.
  La ceva timp după ce ne-au părăsit, o explozie asurzitoare s-a produs în apropiere. Totul s-a zdruncinat, zgâlțâindu-se ca și când un cutremur, brusc, ar fi venit și trecut; într-o clipă cumplită, mi-am amintit de ororile focului din știrile de la Pathe. Unde erau mămica și tăticul nostru? Arseseră de vii undeva afară? Am început să bocesc. Fratele meu Dave a încercat să mă liniștească. Apoi ușa adăpostului s-a deschis din nou și, spre ușurarea noastră, mămica s-a ivit cu termosul și sandvișurile în brațe. A urmat o tăcere și, într-un târziu, un mormăit înfundat la intrarea tunelului. Charles și-a  făcut apariția, exact în stilul lui Bud Abbot (actor, comic și producător american, n.1897 –  m. 1974, n.tr.). A lăsat să-i cadă bocceluța și s-a văitat, maimuțărindu-se, despre cum fusese azvârlit de explozie în straturile sale scumpe de flori, cum frumoșii săi nemțișori fuseseră striviți și turul celei mai bune pijamale în dungi, înglodat cu noroi gros și roșu. Era înfuriat –  „LA ARME‟ (urla în mod literal) și „ACEL B********T DE ADOLF‟ era de vină! Din cauza confuziei noastre a obținut câteva chicote obosite. Ne-am așezat la o cină târzie și am așteptat zorile zilei.  (...)

Traducere de Elena Carmen Bobocescu
Universitatea din Bucureşti

Read more in CLH 2 (52) / March-April 2016