Authors: Manuel Badescu, Dan Mironescu Foreword: Basarab Nicolescu
“Outstanding Romanians far and wide” shows a collection of drawings photographs, archival documents, biographies of essential thoughts of personalities from Romania, which were noticed abroad, such as: Dimitrie Cantemir, Dora D’Istria, Emanuil Gojdu, Eudoxiu Hurmuzachi, Haricleea Darclée, Constantin Brâncuși, Traian Vuia, Mircea Eliade, George Emil Palade, Marcel Iancu, Constantin Silvestri, Dinu Lipatti, Sergiu Celibidache etc.
“What you are about to read is not an exhaustive writing on remarkable native Romanians who lived abroad and deservingly earned more or less international acclaim for their outstanding creativity. This is a subjective choice, assumed as such by the authors. At the same time, this book constitues the remembrance of fifty outstanding Romanians that passed away, some of them being undeservingly forgotten or misjudged. From now onwards, the number of these new forms of appraisal for the talent and innovation of personalities either misunderstood by contemporaries, or unfairly banished from the country or the collective memory will be on the agenda of the Romanian Cultural Institute.
I will never how excited I was when I saw the atelier of Brâncuși exhibited for the first time after the great sculptor’s death. My excitement was plainly visible.
One of the guardians of the exhibition in Palais Tokyo could not understand my reaction and asked me where I was from. I told him I was from Romania. I was revolted by his question! What do you, guardians, know about BRÂNCUȘI anyway? This is why I welcome you to read through this small guide and reminisce these remarkable Romanians together with one of the greatest Romanian scholars of our times, French professor and Romanian academician Basarab Nicolescu, who generously agreed that we republish one of his remarkable essays – On Romania’s Public Image.
The question of a country brand is false. Any of the personalities herein, each of their works could stand as our country brand. Their value builds the everlasting Romanian value..” (Radu Boroianu, President of Romanian Cultural Institute)
Despre imaginea României
“It is more than obvious that Romania’s public image is not good. Certainly, I do not have a recipe that can miraculously fix that. However, I can think of a couple of ways to improve it in the following years.
Much too often, I get to hear or read discussions on the marginal character of the Romanian culture, on the insignificant role it plays in the international context, on its lethal submission to the laws of market economy. Such discussions are not only wearing, but also false, from an epistemological perspective. Spirituality cannot be measured in kilograms or the number of books. Spirituality cannot be small or large. Spirituality simply is. By nature, spirituality is universal. The change in Romania’s public image is conditioned by the reform of our cultural representations….
During the totalitarian regime, a large number of people chose the solution of a definite exile. In general, such people made big efforts to integrate in their adopting countries. Whether they were renowned personalities or not, they contributed to the cultural, scientific, and economic growth of their new countries and at the same time, consciously or not, they preserved the memory of their country of origin – Romania, and the memory of their personal suffering. The memory of suffering ensures that its meaning will span tomorrow’s Europe.
The Romanian Diaspora is not only the keeper of the memory of suffering. One must not forget the accomplishments made abroad before 1989 as well as ever since then. Romania’s culture spans far beyond its frontiers. The Diaspora can play an important role in giving prominence to this cultural memory… All the great Romanian creators experienced the act of transgression – the transgression of conventional cultural norms, the transgression of language, the transgression of deeply rooted beliefs. However, their transgression did not have an aggressive essence. It was a constructive transgression. To the exasperation of all guards – guards of knowledge and culture, Brâncuși, Ion Barbu, Eliade, Lupasco,
Cioran, Tzara, Gherasim Luca, Vintilă Horia, Andrei Șerban, they all transgressed the boarders of different knowledge fields and cultures. This gift for transgression should be highlighted, underlined, and set as an example. I believe that in tomorrow’s Europe cultural crossbreeding is inevitable. The Romanian Diaspora is one of its forerunners. Cultural crossbreeding does not imply cultural homogenization and loss of national identity. Its purpose is to create a new culture – a European culture that will coexist with other national cultures. Unity in diversity and diversity in unity – this ancient saying of the human wisdom should guide our steps.
At the crossroad between the East and the West, between the Balkans and Western Europe, Romania’s culture is the mere result of such crossbreeding, isn’t it? This is where its force and unique destiny comes from. From this perspective, we should probably consider building a cultural strategy on the Bucharest-Paris-Athens axis; in the evolution of tomorrow’s Europe, I find it crucial… If Romania was once sadly seen as Europe’s Breadbasket, now it stands a chance to become Europe’s California.” (Basarab Nicolescu)
“For a writer exile is a technique of knowledge. For me, love, exile and death are the three keys of knowledge.” (Vintila Horia) Order the album