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Octavian Soviany

Biography

Octavian Soviany was born in Brasov on 23 April 1954. He studied Philology at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj (1975-79). He was awarded a Doctorate in Philology by Bucharest University in 2008. His first published work was The Apprenticeship of the Old Alchemist (Dacia, 1983). He has published numerous collections of poetry, including The Book of Benedict (Vinea, 2002), Other Old-fashioned Poems (Pontica, 2004), Letters from Arcadia (Paralela 45, 2005), Dilecta (Cartea Romaneasca, 2006), Powder, Dust and Revolution (Casa de Editura Max Blecher, 2012), and Magellan’s Heel (Cartea Romaneasca, 2014). He is also the author of the novels The Texts from Monte Negro (Pontica, 2003; second edition, with the new title The Monte Negro Archives, Cartea Romaneasca, 2012), and The Life of...

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Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Prose series, Cartea Romaneasca, 2015, 488 pages

Copyright: Cartea Romaneasca

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

Siegfried, the Solitary, MK, Gunter: who are these men that live under the implacable sign of heredity? “Without our realising it, we inherit from our forbears not only the colour of our eyes and hair, but also their stories...” These words are more than merely an observation. They are a warning. The tenebrous labyrinths of the brain, the historic dimensions of human alienation, obsessions, fatality, the whole gamut of degradation, the myth of predestination, and the death-inducing anguish of creation are ingredients destined to augment an apocalyptic story, whose socio-historical dimension can be divined in its very opening lines, but whose true temporal and moral sweep, shockingly revealed in the novel’s finale, can only be comprehended once the last word has been read. The Death of Siegfried is a novel full of meanings and symbols. Here perhaps more than anywhere else Octavian Soviany’s aesthetic is linked to the conviction that the letter kills, while the Spirit gives life. A profession of faith – a solid foundation for his writing – and a permanent guide: the meaning is between the lines, never in them.

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Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Cartea Romaneasca, 2011, 416 pages

Copyright: Cartea Romaneasca

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Book presentation

In the nineteenth century, the young Kostas Venetis, who spends his childhood as a novice in a monastery in Greece, undergoes a spectacular transformation: a demonic invert (with the hauteur of a Nietzschean superman), he travels through colourful worlds, experiencing the squalor and fascination of Istanbul, the picturesqueness of Bucharest, the effervescence of revolutionary Paris, the splendour of Vienna, and the melancholy of Venice, mingling with all social classes, from tavern dregs to the nobility. His descent into Evil, in which sodomy and intertextual play, violence and exquisite aestheticism, cabbalism and conspiracy theory, fiction and historical fact, murder and the Oedipus complex all combine to form a narrative of initiation masquerading as a thriller, situating The Life of Kostas Venetis in the tradition of the nineteenth-century decadents.

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