For my Romanian readers

In Romania I have been received so warmly that the regional press even published a long article about me, my life and my travels:

Vocea TransilvanieiIt’s quite handy that I can’t speak any Romanian because I don’t like reading articles about myself. But it’s good to know that “happy hermit” translates as “pustnicul fericit”.

About Andreas Moser

Travelling the world and writing about it. I have degrees in law and philosophy, but I'd much rather be a journalist, a spy or a hobo.
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8 Responses to For my Romanian readers

  1. well, now you’re famous here!

  2. Gregor von Rezzori says:

    Willkommen in Rumänien Andreas! (pardon my German)

    I would recommend my book “Memoiren eines Antisemiten” (pardon my title, not very inspired, I agree) as an introduction to Rumania. Of course many things have changed in Rumania since the ’30s, the people foremost, but the gypsies and many buildings are virtually unchanged still…

    Reading your posts I don’t think that you will enjoy it (both the book and the country) as we have different personalities but you said that you like a good book or two from time to time and I was once considered, without false modesty, one of the best German writers of the 20th century. Tschüss.

    • Thank you very much for the welcome!

      And you will be surprised (and hopefully honored) to learn that your book has been on my wishlist of books indeed. Maybe you still have a copy that you could send me?

      I do enjoy Romania very much actually, so you might err about my appreciation of your book as well.

      • Gregor von Rezzori says:

        From where I am now only by a miracle I could send you my book. But if you were to believe in miracles the next morning after reading this text you will find my book with dedication on your bedside table…

        Bollocks, isn’t it? Too bad, too bad, because miracles do happen! How else can I write to you even though I am supposed to be dead since 1998…?

        Reading your books wishlist I’ve noticed many books written by Jews or having Jewish subjects. Why is this? Are you a Judenknecht, to use an old-fashioned term? Or maybe a Mischling? Hmm.

        Anyway, myself I’ve written my book just to mock the Jews – a people that adamantly hate being mocked by goys! But my mocking was subtle, ambiguous, smart and that made them even more mad. Look what the chauvinist and paranoid Jewess Deborah Eisenberg wrote as an introduction to the American edition of my book:

        http://assets.nybooks.com/media/doc/2010/02/16/memoirs-anti-semite-introduction.pdf

        She concludes:
        “Rezzori keeps his nerve; he ensures, that his “I” has no idea what the year “1933” is, or the year “1938” – what those numbers will mean to the reader, or, indeed, will mean to his future self. And in doing so, the author also ensures that just before – or just after- we dismiss the feckless young narrator as an idiot [verpiss dich, Schlampe!], a question inserts itself: What year is, for example “2007”?”

        Indeed, indeed, maybe a year when another massacre of Palestinians happened…?

        Another Western author, who wrote a similar autobiographical novel about their life in Rumania (Bucharest) in roughly the same period, is the English Olivia Manning with her:

        http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Balkan-Trilogy-Fortune-Friends/dp/0099427486

        (Only the first two books are happening in Bucharest).

        She came to Rumania when I had moved already to Austria so our books are somewhat complementary especially as she covers more of the political events in Rumania to the run up of the WWII. Furthermore, she is more candid with the Jews than I am so maybe you will like her books more. However, she is such a bad writer, bah… Moreover, in contrast to me she didn’t like Bucharest at all. She was in fact a UKIPer avant la letter…

        It is interesting how the British expat community in Bucharest after the start of the war thought of ways to serve their country in Rumania even by planning sabotage actions!
        I wonder, Andreas, if you had been in Rumanian at that time would you have served our Vaterland in the same way? Our Vaterland at that time I mean – Das Dritte Reich… Of course you would! Of course you would! Remember meine Andreas – Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, immer!

        Here is a German propaganda film on Bucharest made in 1941 that will give you some taste of my and Manning’s Bucharest:

        At 1:04 in the far distance is the Hotel Athenee Palace.

        BBC made a TV series out of her trilogy in 1987 starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, so there is an easy and pleasurable way to get Manning’s story without tormenting yourself with her dreary prose…

        (Very good description of interwar Romania I must say, if not in the details in spirit then. However the film is shot in Ljubljana not in Bucharest).

        In the first episode the character of the singer Floricica (Little flower) is supposed to have been based upon Maria Tănase.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_T%C4%83nase

        She made her debut after I had left Romania so I hardly remember her.

        Herta Muller likes very much Maria Tanase:

        http://www.srf.ch/sendungen/passage/die-edith-piaf-des-ostens-maria-tanase-1913-1963

        Here is a video of her in youth:

        Here is her funeral:

        Mentioning Herta, her former husband Richard Wagner (no connection) is also a German writer from Rumania. And if you don’t enjoy Herta’s style (nobody would blame you) you might enjoy instead his novels which are written in normal German and are light-hearted in nature (no wonder that they divorced).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Wagner_(novelist)

        Another German writer from Rumania is:

        http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dieter_Schlesak

        Because you like Jews (not my cup of tea…) here is a Romanian-Jewish author, Norman Manea who has written another semi-autobiographical novel whose action takes place in Bucharest, of the 1980s now:

        http://www.amazon.com/Black-Envelope-Margellos-Republic-Letters/dp/0300182945

        It will remind connoisseurs of Saul Bellow’s “The Dean’s December”. In fact Manea is a chauvinist Jew just like Bellow, Elie Wiesel, Deborah Eisenberg, etc, etc.

        Another (half) Jewish author who wrote a semi-autobiographical novel about interwar Bucharest is the Swiss Christian Haller:

        http://www.amazon.de/Die-verschluckte-Musik-Christian-Haller/dp/3630620531

        Lastly, the latest “interwar Bucharest” novel in German is by Jan Koneffke:

        http://www.amazon.de/Die-sieben-Leben-Felix-Kannmacher/dp/3832195858

        His novel is entirely fictional though well documented. However, even if he is not a Juden he is the PC, liberal type of German. Like you. To show how enlightened he is he even married a (beautiful) Rumania (white) woman… Again, not my cup of tea, to be polite (those type of Germans, I mean).

        So Andreas, whether you yourself will live life to the full in Rumania (more precisely in Bucharest) like myself and these authors or their main characters did is entirely up to you. But remember Andrea what a rabbi from Buhusi advised me long ago: Have no regrets because whatever you will do you will regret it. Tschüss.

      • All your assumptions about me without knowing me tell us much more about yourself. Not that much could have been expected from someone who is hiding behind the name of a historical figure and is then even too stingy to send me the book that he recommended.

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