Dumitru Tsepeneag

© Sarah Moon, P.O.L.
© Sarah Moon, P.O.L.
Dumitru Tsepeneag


Vain Art of the Fugue

İzmir Ege Üniversitesi, Yabancı Diller Bölümü
Sinema Salonu
16.03.2010, 14:00

İzmir Milli Kütüphane
17.03.2010, 17:00

İzmir Dokuz Eylül Üniversitesi, Buca Eğitim Fakültesi, Alman Dili ve Eğitimi, Mavi Salon
18.03.2010, 14:00


Born in Bucharest on February 14, 1937, Dumitru Tsepeneag is a Romanian novelist, essayist and one of the founders of the Romanian Oniric literary movement. Established in the mid-60s, the Oniric group was inspired by surrealism and built an aesthetic platform centered on dreams. As one of the only Romanian counter-cultural literary movements at that time, the Oniric Group was largely suppressed. With Ceaucescu’s rise to power, the movement was banned entirely. Tsepeneag’s Romanian citizenship was officially revoked in 1975, at which time he immigrated to France. Since the fall of communist Romania in 1989, Dumitru Tsepeneag has split his time between Paris and Bucharest.

Text: Michael Zelenko, The Rumpus

Selected works
  • La belle Roumaine, 2004
  • Au pays du Maramureş, 2001
  • Pont des Arts, 1998
  • Hotel Europa, 1996 (English : Hotel Europa, 2010)
  • Le mot sablier. Cuvântul nisiparniţă, 1994
  • Nunţile necesare, 1992 (English: The Necessary Marriage, 2009)
  • Pigeon vole, 1988 (English: Pigeon Post, 2008)
  • Roman de gare, 1985
  • Zadarnică e arta fugii, 1973 (English: Vain Art of the Fugue, 2007)
Vain Art of the Fugue

Clutching a bouquet of flowers, hurrying to catch his bus, and arguing with the driver once he’s on, a man rushes to a train station platform to meet a woman. This sequence of events occurs and recurs in remarkably different variations in Vain Art of the Fugue.

In one version, the bus driver ignores the traffic signals and is killed in the ensuing crash. In another, the protagonist is thrown off the bus, and as he chases after it, a crowd of strangers joins him in the pursuit.

As the book unfolds, the protagonist, his lovers, and the people he meets become increasingly vivid and complex figures in the crowded Bucharest cityscape. Themes, conflicts, and characters interweave and overlap, creating a book that is at once chaotic and perfectly composed.