October 27, 2010

A stormy night, for Romania...

Want to know things? Look at them closely. 
Want to love them? Look at them from outside" - Ion Luca Caragiale

Ion Luca Caragiale

Ion Luca Caragiale (30.01.1852 - 10.06.1912) is often considered The social voice of Romanian Literature.
He remains one of the most original and great comic playwrights in Romanian literature, his vivid and ironically works reflected the language, people, and concerns of Romania and  was elected post-mortem as member of the Romanian Academy. 
Twenty years ago, one of the characters from his plays gave the name for Catavencu Academy / Academia Catavencu, a satirical weekly magazine ("weekly heavy manners" / Saptamanal de moravuri grele).

I.L. Caragiale was an apprentice for his uncle's company (Iorgu Caragiale) in the theater's world when he was young, then worked for some newspapers, wrote for the conservative paper "The time / Timpul" and the literary "Youth / Junimea" . Together with other intellectuals, he established satirical magazine " The Romanian Nonsense / Moftul Roman" and the literary magazine "The Hearth / Vatra". He wrote, also "1907, From Spring to Autumn / 1907, Din primavara pana in toamna", an patriotic essay in which he made a social and political analysis of that period and condemned the agrarian policies of Romanian Governments, later on using these social themes in a series of fables.

His comedy stories and playwrights "A stormy night/ O noapte furtunoasa", "A lost letter / O scrisoare pierduta", "Carnival Stories / D-ale carnavalului", "Mr. Leonida Faces the Reaction/ Conu Leonida fata cu reactiunea" were put on stage since then in many theaters or by independent troupes worldwide.

In "A stormy night/ O noapte furtunoasa" and "A lost letter / O scrisoare pierduta", Caragiale ridiculed more  than a century ago the corruption, demagogy over superficial culture and the false liberal values of the politicians. These plays are hits for the public even today and somehow their social criticism remain valid in the emerging modern Romanian society with its conflicting political machines.

Political speeches are memorable and should be the motto these days, " Of two things we will have to make one choice, allow me: That it should be revised, I agree! but nothing should be changed, or that it shouldn't be revised, so be it! But in this case,it should be changed here and there, that is... in its essential points. This is the dilemma one cannot escape...I said it / Din doua una, dati-mi voie: Ori sa se revizuiasca, primesc! dar atunci sa se schimbe pe ici pe colo, si anume in punctele... esentiale... Din aceasta dilema nu puteti iesi" 

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