Nicolae Avram

Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Ego.Prose series, Polirom, 2016, 216 pages

Copyright: Polirom

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Critics about

“‘Ever since I was little I’ve liked to eat shit’ is the very first sentence of the novel, and the most innocent—what follows will turn you inside out, not just because of the horrors that come one after the other in a hallucinatory kaleidoscope, but because of the power with which the author, himself a product of an orphanage, articulates them, the way he gives birth to them, in a language that is half slang, half poetry, a language of primordial cruelty. (…) And that terrible sentence, which sums up so well these notes not from the underground of the communist regime, but the underground of being itself : ‘As I open my eyes, I feel all the light around me becomes a torment.’ A novel of shadows, Mamé, at the end of which you will feel like crying out, like Goethe : ‘Light ! More light !’” 


“One of the most powerful and impactful texts I have read for a long time. Mamé is a desperate text, written breathlessly. An extraordinary book, with multiple openings, multiple possibilities of interpretation. It is also a book about communism, with the potential for parabolic readings. The teacher as the image of the petty dictator—here is a memorable character. It is a prose poem about horror. But also about salvation. A special, atypical, courageous book (it takes great aesthetic courage to risk such a format).” 

(Bogdan CRETU)

 “Mamé is in fact an enormous and hallucinatory poem, an abnormal poem, to be more exact, in the sense that it infringes absolutely every imaginable norm : not only the norms of linguistic prudery, but also, above all, the norms held as ethical both in public and private. It is hard to find a taboo that the terrifying imagination of Nicolae Avram does not transgress in this account of the hellish experiences of the almost mythical orphans who were said to have been trained to become Nicolae Ceausescu’s most devoted and fanatical personal soldiers.” 

(Radu VANCU)


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