Monthly Archives: August 2016

Tu ce ești?

Se dă următoarea situațiune:

La solicitarea Aufsichts- und Dienstleistungsdirektion Rheinland-Pfalz, a trebuit să mă duc să examinez niște elevi de la un liceu german din Mainz, Frauenlob-Gymnasium. Elevilor de etnie română li se permite să dea examen la limba maternă ca doua limbă străină. Cel puțin în landul Renania-Palatinat. Cum aici nu ne interesează aspectele tehnice, trec rapid la redarea dialogului pe care l-am avut cu una dintre elevele neastîmpărate, dornice să termine cît mai repede examenul.

Eu: D., povestește-mi puțin de unde vii, care e istoria ta, ce alte limbi mai cunoști…

D.: Bine. Eu cunosc mai multe limbi, în afară de limba germană și de limba română. Mai vorbesc turcă, persană, engleză și spaniolă. Părinții mei sînt din Teheran, de acolo sînt amîndoi de origine. Iar eu m-am născut la Cluj, în România.

Eu: Și tu ce te consideri… ?

D.: Cum adică? Româncă. Ce altceva aș putea să fiu?

Eu: OK, mulțumesc.

Cosmopolitul din mine nu mai are nimic de adăugat…


Just listened: The Pineapple Thief – Your Wilderness (Kscope, 2016)

The highly awaited and anticipated album from Bruce Soord & Co. has arrived today: Your Wilderness. I am more than happy in finding out that on drums plays Gavin Harrison. I would say, if I am allowed, is a new album from Gavin Harrison & Co. So strong is this album moulded by the rhythmical section lined-up here:  Gavin himself and bass-player Jon Sykes. But also by the outstanding vocals of Bruce Soord. If you missed Porcupine Tree in last 6-7 years, you can now listen something very similar; and in saying that, I do not want to discredit The Pineapple Thief. I’d rather say they have the most mature sound developed on an album.  Not so haunting as Magnolia or Someone Here is Missing, but it has that feeling of a melancholic trip. And, yes, the touch of Gavin Harrison is deep. And the clarinet (John Helliwell) on Fend For Yourself sounds more than adequate. And you have also choir and strings to listen… The Final Thing On My Mind is the favourite song from this album of Bruce Soord. I understand why, and you should listen it. As for my part, after the first encounter I prefer Tear You Up.

Happiness is not so distant

Happiness is when you realise that you made no mistake in not buying a book. In this case, Franco Moretti’s Distant Reading (2013). Why? It seems that I actually don’t like iconoclasts, as I stated some time ago. Just look at those last words:

Face to face with so many difficulties, European literature has stalled: finding itself – for the first time in modern history – an importer of those formal novelties that it is no longer capable of producing. In fact, the very autonomy of Europe is now in doubt, reshuffled as its culture is by the world network that has replaced it. For some of the major European literatures, intercontinental, extra-European exchanges have quickly become the most important ones; as for intra-European relationships, a continent that falls in love with Milan Kundera deserves to end like Atlantis.

Franco Moretti, Distant Reading, London: Verso Books, 2013: 42.

I don’t agree, but I still have to read the intriguing  book. Because I want.

For our critics

I know some Romanian academics from my homeland university who can perfectly be described as complaining, fault-finding, grumpy, grumbling, querulous, quarrelsome… They are real cavillers, let’s face it. And for them I have a quotation from a relative recent study of Laura Martin:

To argue, therefore, that Kafka read in English is a travesty is to falsely reify or idealize the relationship between reader and that which is read. This is by no means to argue that we should not continue to promote the learning of languages: it is to say that we can supplement our teaching programmes to cater to a wider audience, thus capturing more interest in the languages and cultures under question.

Laura Martin. “Reading the Individual: The Ethics of Narration in the Works of W.G. Sebald as an Example for Comparative Literature”. In Comparative Critical Studies (The Journal of the British Comparative Literature Association), vol. 11.1/2014: pp. 29-48

P.S. Instead of English you may think of Romanian, French, Spanish, Hindi, Farsi or any other translation…

Din nou despre ”majoritatea are” și ”majoritatea au”


Se pare că ”majoritatea băieților este blondă”, ”reclama asta o întrece pe majoritatea”, ”Somitățile din România sunt speciale. Marea lor majoritate este somitate doar în România.” și Ion Coteanu nu-s de ajuns, așa că plusez cu ”Gramatica limbii române”, vol. II ”Enunțul”, Editura Academiei Române, 2009, p. 355. Poate, poate.

”(b) Acordul după înțeles și prin atracție (O mulțime de oameni au fost strânși în curte.)
[…] acordul predicatului se face cu substantivul oameni, interpretat drept centru de grup, în timp ce colectivul anterior [o mulțime de] este doar cuantificator. Centrul de grup poate fi șters și atunci numele colectiv îl înlocuiește și își procură referința anaforic sau cataforic [adică înțelegi la ce se referă din ce s-a zis înainte sau din ce se zice după]: (Dintre elevi) o mulțime mi-au răspuns., O mulțime (de elevi) mi-au răspuns. Echivalentul semantic al acestui tip de substantive…

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New Addition: ACT Trail 30 daypack

A new addition to my collection of Rucksäcke: Deuter ACT Trail 30. The version 30 is for men, 28 SL is for women. I was looking for a versatile rucksack, with a high built quality, for day hiking (I use sometimes poles), but also for urban hiking, as in last two years I travelled a lot on urban… paths. I was also nicely impressed – and tempted! – by a Marmot Eiger 32 (a climber’s choice, with the best design ever) and a Vaude Brenta 25 (neat and sleek, indeed). In my opinion, the best choice would be a 28 litre daypack (yes, there is a Marmot Aquifer 28, but it seemed more adequate for alpine attacks). So, after half an hour of testing, I decided myself for the Bavarian Deuter, for its smart pockets, design, material quality (coating is welcomed!). During my test it seemed very comfortable (due to technologies Deuter patented). And of most importance: some people say it can be taken as a carry-on baggage in plane.

I have to admit I had no idea about reviews or ratings. But, as you may find on web, all the reviews are extremely positive, doubled by 5-star ratings. My intuition is good, isn’t it? Just check in videos below.

“Transcendence”, the new album from Devin Townsend

Beware! A new album from Hevy Devy aka Devin Garret Townsend is ready to be launched on 9 September: Transcendence. It can be pre-ordered from here. I don’t know how “massive”  sounds, but certainly and definitely sounds at least great. It is indeed heavy, with familiar riffs, but now we may hear beyond intense sonic punctuation some serious and harmonious melodic developments. Produced by InsideOut and recorded in The Armoury Studios from Vancouver.

Failure is the single we can find on YouTube: