Simona Sora

Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Ego. Prose series, Polirom, 2012, 272 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: Bozicevic (Croatia)

Critics about

 “Hotel Universal is an extraordinary novel, with slow, sinuous, ambiguous (somnambulant?) sentences that are also highly precise (such sentences are rare in Romanian writing), upon whose shoulders Simona Sora has constructed a unique, ravishing world, a century (and longer) of matriarchy (in which even the men are sooner women), a subtle, profound, sensuous, phantasmal and spiritual text, an epoch bathed in melancholy, and a world which is simultaneously harmonious and out of kilter. The sensation I got from reading the novel was one of ravishing beauty, although we should not forget the complexity and multiple layers of this world, and their profound human and historical relevance.” 

(Sanda CORDOS)

 “I strongly believe that in Simona Sora can be found a prose writer of acute feeling, with a taste for psychological mystery poured into the alembics of ardent sensuality. The author feels too much, too subtly and too well among the arcane of textual corporeality for one not to glimpse a writer of deep passions lying silently in wait behind the crowded files of the hermeneutic scribe.” 


 “Dense and elegant writing, the ductus of well-outlined thought, the ability to project a vision, to maintain it under the reader’s eyes, lading each chapter with new literary facts, a certain sympathetic intolerance combined with a macho turn of phrase that is unforgiving and unsparing, and a profound understanding of the male/female soul make Simona Sora a writer of the first order.” 


 “Hotel Universal is the well-tailored work of an author who has hitherto been known for her solid academic research and penetrating literary criticism. It is therefore a surprise that is all the more pleasant when we discover in Simona Sora a writer in the true sense of the word, weaving a fine plot and memorable portraits with talent and ease. We find ourselves in a predominantly oriental world, whose symbolic and geographic centre is the geometric locus of our passions: old Bucharest, or Gabroveni Street to be exact. And the unit of time is precisely the epoch that has survived in the memory of the stones since the eighteen hundreds. From this point of view, Hotel Universal is one more building block in the mythology of a place that many people imbue with a holiness that is all somersaults and fainting fits. A crossroads and dead-end of a world, as you can see. Such a setting for a novel should not be treated without humour, humour being the hardest test of a writer’s maturity, and Simona Sora passes with flying colours.”



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