Flying Against the Arrow: An Intellectual in Ceausescu's Romania (Central European Library of Ideas)

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9789639116573: Flying Against the Arrow: An Intellectual in Ceausescu's Romania (Central European Library of Ideas)
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The 'unbearable 80s', as the last decade of the Ceausescu era has been called in Romania, are in the focus of this quasi-autobiographical work. The book vividly portrays the difficulties encountered by a young intellectual trying to shape himself under the oppressive regime and provides a stark depiction of a man's intellectual suffocation under hard-line socialist rule.

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From the Publisher:

Central European Library of Ideas is a new series of books that will shape and fuel current Central European debates. The series editor, Sorin Antohi will select the most innovative and challenging titles that set the intellectual agendas of whole societies, or which take issue with central concerns in the region. The series will be of interest to anyone concerned with the current ideologies shaping the future of Central and Eastern Europe.

From the Author:

This book is typical of the atmosphere in which part of my generation educated itself. Our quest for "the original" and the feeling that we were living among "copies", the belief in that imminent historical turn which would trigger the transformation of human nature, our rejection of the public arena and contempt for official politics, our inflation of the religious notion of a meaningful life, the pre-eminent role which we accorded to culture-all of these certainly admit of a more artificial construction: we had indeed endowed culture with all the hopes which people in healthier societies place, next to culture, in religion, economics and politics. Nonetheless, Flight against the Arrow is also, essentially, an answer, part of a dialogue which was passionate and enraptured and of which only a trace remains in the hands of today’s reader. I wrote this book because I was hungry for intelligence, knowledge and life, and because I loved my friends. Without this love, several of my books, which were not written in order to be published, would never have been written at all. Certainly, the physical effort involved in writing it was considerable. I was working at that time in the laboratory of a factory located in Bucharest’s chemical belt (the village of Catelu). Work began at 6.30 and it took me a whole hour to reach the place by means of two awkward changes of bus. The work at the office was thoroughly taxing and I could think of what I was going to write at home only on the bus on the way home: during that hour I would sketch out the work plan for that evening on the pages of a pocket book. Back home, I would eat something quickly and then sit down, my coffee beside me and cigarettes close to hand, in front of the typewriter, and I would sink into my writing as though in a trance, and without a break, until around ten p.m, at which point I would collapse, felled by the day’s exertions. The next day was exactly the same, and on I went in this way for three whole months.

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