Cornel George Popa


Cornel George Popa is a prose writer, playwright and director. Born on 6 July 1957 in Popricani, Jassy County, he graduated from the Faculty of Construction (Jassy, 1986) and the National University of Theatre and Cinematography (Bucharest, 1997). He worked for ten years as a journalist (Opinia Studenteasca, Zig Zag, Timpul) and then in television, theatre, film and advertising. The author of ten books — short prose, novels, plays, essays — he has been awarded the Liviu Rebreanu Prize (Fifty six Flashes and Other Stuff, Institutul European, 1992) and the UNITER Prize for Best Romanian Play of the Year (My Sexual Life, Unitext, 2005). Stupid Mosquito (Cartea Romaneasca) and The Vulgarian (Masina de Scris) were among Cuvintul magazine’s top ten books of 1996 and 1997. His...

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Novel, Ego.Prose series, Polirom, 2016, 200 pages

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What can a man do once he has reached the age at which life seems to enter its final phase ? Should he resign himself, like a prisoner on death row, waiting in the antechamber to the next world ? No. At the age of seventy three, Mihnea Pascal, a former librarian, a widower now almost wild with loneliness, thinks obsessively about the life he has lived and the life still left to him, the same as he thought obsessively about suicide in the years of his youth, as an unhappy virgin. Having reached a venerable age, he manages to overcome his fear of death, which lurks around the corner, and transforms himself from an upstanding pensioner into Pascal the Madman, the “neighbourhood loony,” a controversial figure who, among many other things, visits young ladies and has them visit him. In his behaviour and actions he ignores social norms and defies eternity itself. He does not wish to depart for the next world without a fight, nor does he wish to miss out on any little pleasure : when he does die, he will do so on his own terms. Those Who Die and Those Who Will Die is a moving novel about the rejection of old age, about how life is worth living, especially when society and its rules force you to think constantly about death.


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