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 graduated with a Degree in Literature. She is a member of the Union of Romanian Writers and the Union of Romanian Professional Journalists. Her first published works were four collections of poetry Naraţiuni întîmplătoare (Chance Narratives) (1989), Poemul deshumat (The Exhumed Poem) (1994), Creier intermediar (Intermediate Brain) (1997), and Muncile lui Don...
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.