Busy just being there…
Mircea Cărtărescu (1956-), one of the leading figures of contemporary Romanian literature, lamented once that while Jorge Luis Borges had Buenos Aires to inspire him, he only had Bucharest. Be as it may, the city motivated several of Cărtărescu's books. And he is not the only one to benefit from the impact. Bucharest seems to have a way of inflicting itself on writers and wreaking havoc with their senses like the proverbial grain of sand irritating the oyster and thus driving it to build a defensive pearl around it. Many pearls have resulted from this love-hate relationship between the city and its writers. Filip Florian and Matei Florian, Daniel Bănulescu, Ion Manolescu, Bogdan Suceavă, Stelian Tănase, Doina Ruşti, Claudiu Komartin, Maria Manolescu, Călin Torsan, Cosmin Manolache, Ana-Maria Sandu, to name but a few, have contributed their fair share of prose and poetry encapsulating the idiosyncratic Bucharest mood. Still alive and kicking after long decades of chaotic communism and a head-on collision with capitalism, Bucharest is such stuff as literary dreams are made on – elusively stolid and brutally candid, it never fails to inspire.
Romanian Literature on Wikipedia
Bucharest on Wikipedia
'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.
Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.
At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.