I ruminate on a novel, like chewing grass. I ruminate only on the novel, all day long, leisurely and contentedly. I discard nothing. My taste has become too corrupted not to savour every milligram. I can recognise a favourite brand, even in a bookshop, from just two or three phrases. I have long since sampled them all. Most are British, American or Spanish in origin.
Dora Pavel was born in Sintandrei, Hunedoara County, on 26 June 1946. She studied Philology at the Babes Bolyai University in Cluj, graduating in 1969. She taught Romanian literature in Alba Iulia and Deva and went on to become a researcher at the Institute of Linguistics and Literary History in Cluj. Since 1990 she has been an editor for the Radio Cluj Territorial Studio and a...
Novel, Fiction LTD series, Polirom, 2013, 184 pages
A forest near a small town in the mountains. In the forest, a kidnapper and a hostage. The kidnapper is an armed psychopath, who has escaped from a mental hospital. The hostage is a young gay man, who works as a receptionist in an out of the way hotel. Are we to expect a classic case of Stockholm syndrome? It is a limit situation, which provides the young protagonist with an opportunity to look back on his life and take stock. It is a flight from the present, which, far from quenching the bodily desire he has been nurturing for the man he has been obsessively, ravishingly in love with for a number of years, only inflames it all the more. Written in the first person, in the form of a brutal confession – a hallmark of the author’s prose style – Do Not Cross is a disturbing psychological thriller, which speaks uninhibitedly about sexuality and the body’s mysterious choices, about being different in a world that keeps your intimacy under surveillance at every moment, a world equally vitiated by moral prohibitions and a thirst for the sensational.
Novel, Fiction LTD series, Polirom, 2010, 248 pages
Vlad Carasiniu, a young art restorer, awakes from clinical death in the middle of the night. Managing to escape from the cemetery chapel, he wanders until morning, in a dramatic attempt to re-find himself and re-adapt to the world of the living. Once “contaminated” by death, nothing will ever be the same for him again. He refuses to have any contact with the people he formerly knew, his family in particular, out of a mixture of shame and guilt. The shock of coming back to life triggers in him a crisis of conscience and a series of flashbacks: his short, failed marriage, the suicide of his young wife, Graþia, and his platonic love for an older woman, Davida. His meeting with lawyer Teo Caba, a former champion racing driver and his rival for both women, will elucidate many unknowns. For the first time, he will undertake an unsparing examination of his professional life, where he has proven to be an imposter, abusively altering the paintings he restored. In the morning, he is witness to an accident, an explosion that kills Davida, with whom he has just been talking. Wishing to lay the body of the woman he revered in the coffin from which he has so recently escaped, he finds there two other carbonised bodies. He is filled with indignation and disgust. Rejected by death, abandoned to the mercy of a new life, Carasiniu creeps into the cemetery and lies down on his mother’s grave, where he falls asleep.