Radu Cosasu is one of Romania’s most highly regarded writers. Between 1973 and 1989 he published a six volume cycle of novels entitled Survivals (Cartea Romaneasca), inspired by his political and literary experience, employing consistent self criticism pushed to the point of self irony. After 1989, the Survivals cycle, without having been subjected to opportunistic post revolution alterations, was republished in chronological order, allowing a new reading of the work, in the classic sense of the “sentimental education” and also in the postmodern sense of the auto fiction. Since 1997, he has written a weekly column for Gazeta Sporturilor. In 2007, the Writers Union awarded him its National Prize for Literature. Polirom has published the following series of works by...
Novel, Fiction LTD, Polirom, 2016, 352 pages
In transition period Romania, Radu Cosasu carries on an epistolary dialogue with his non existent son, who has emigrated to Greenland. He talks about films, literature, politics, the glaciers melted by global warming, and the painful episodes that split the family and whose memory still haunts him. Inserted among their letters are other letters from the non existent mother, friends (real and unreal), and even acquaintances, who make interpolations and additions. The letters are the preamble to the second, unusual part of the book, in which Radu Cosasu becomes Oscar Rohrlich (his birth name) once more, the addressee of a collection of letters from Artur Reznicek, Romania’s former censor in chief. The retired censor is prompted to write after reading an article about him by Oscar Rohrlich, who feels the need to begin a correspondence with him “who for forty years has been trying without success to stifle writer Radu Cosasu from Bucharest.” His life revolves around his daughter, who has completely embraced capitalism ; his best friend and former assistant censor, who is now ill ; and Oscar Rohrlich, who does not hate him and whom he cannot hate; and the confessions he sets down oscillate between self criticism and self exculpation, open accusation and resignation. The tragedy, mystery, self irony and subtle humour familiar to Radu Cosasu’s readers are abundant in The Life of Fiction after a Revolution, a book like a dressing for a wound that remained open throughout the years of the survivals.