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Ankara Milli Kütüphane, Yunus Emre Salonu
Mircea Cărtărescu, who was born in Bucharest in 1956, taught Romanian in a school for nine years before working as the editor of a literary magazine. Since 1980, he has published 25 works, including poetry collections, novels, short stories, essays, articles and audiobooks, which have been translated into more than 14 languages. He has been honored with Romania’s major literary awards – most recently, the 2008 Romanian State Award – as well as the Premio Letterario Giuseppe Acerbi prize in Italy and nominations for the Prix Médicis and the Prix Union Latine de Littératures Romanes in France. Today, Cărtărescu is a professor at the University of Bucharest.
De ce iubim femeile [Why We Love Women]
In all of his works, Mircea Cărtărescu, whose powerful novel Orbitor has been celebrated as a “masterpiece of literary Mannerism” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung), circles around a mysterious and essential experience, that of “nameless emotion”. This is a wave of feeling that is triggered by women, as well as the pain of a lost or unrequited love; it is a sense of being touched by life itself, which is occasionally “shot through with the crazy flashes of a great and true happiness”.
In this novel he writes about Irina, a student of literature from Brasov, who introduced the young poet-narrator to the works of Nabokov and D.H. Lawrence and then allowed herself to be recruited by the Romanian secret police, the Securitate. And about the Romanian woman from Hermannstadt (Sibiu), who lives with an Algerian in Paris and tries to seduce the poet into spending a night with the two of them. The narrator himself, Mircea, is extremely sensitive and intoxicated by beauty. At times we see him as a pale, dreamy, quite inconspicuous young man making the scene in the Bucharest of the 1970s; at other times he is a long-haired youth in a leather jacket on the trail of Ferlinghetti and Kerouac in San Francisco.