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Nichita Danilov

Self-portrait

When I wonder how I started writing I remember one scene from my childhood. I was in the yard. My older brother climbed a tree and fell on his head. I burst out laughing, then crying. When he came back to his senses, he told me he felt he had been falling from heaven. Then he showed me the roof of the house: "If you want to feel the same, jump off there". I

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Biography

Nichita Danilov (b. 1952) graduated from the Faculty of Economics and the Professional School of Architecture in Jassy. He has published seven collections of poetry : Fîntîni carteziene (Cartesian Wells, 1980), Cîmp negru (Black Field, 1982), Arlechini la marginea cîmpului (Harlequins at the Edge of the Field, 1985), Poezii (Poems, 1987), Deasupra lucrurilor,...

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Excerpt from

Novel, "Fiction LTD" series, Polirom, 2005, 264 pages

Copyright: Polirom Publishing House

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

The demonic, the rational and irrational, the fantastical and the derisory all join hands in this novel by Nichita Danilov, in order to reconstruct a universe that is in appearance extremely logical, but where any truth can become possible. Structured as a dialogue between Masha, an ordinary woman, and the Extraterrestrial, a strange and highly original being, who has come down from the world of essences and “pure alcohols,” as he himself says, the novel speaks, sometimes with humour, sometimes with great sadness, about a recent history of the brutalities and atrocities of totalitarianism. The Extraterrestrial, a charismatic and often extremely surprising, omniscient character, although one who is at the same time eager to discover new meanings in the stories he is told, initially appears in Masha’s eyes as a kind of shadow of the Antichrist, if not the Antichrist himself. However, as the dialogue between the two develops, we discover in the Extraterrestrial a witness implicated in the recent past and in a present not yet free of the shadows of the Twentieth Century. The slippage into the fantastic, spiced with a hefty dose of humour in places, is a necessary and welcome safety valve to release the pressure of the absolute evil the story on no few occasions describes. Babulya Tatina, Hippolit Subotin, who are like the spirits or mad gods of the place, Gligore, old Bertha, Fevronia and Nikanor, as well as a number of fabulous animals, to which can be added the Increate and his twelve rats dressed in apostle’s garb, constitute part of the gallery of characters who, with simple humour, with irony and absurdity, counterbalance the tragic in this breathtaking novel.

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