Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Marin Sorescu

Marin Sorescu (February 29, 1936 - December 8, 1996) was a Romanian poet, playwright, and novelist.
Born to a peasant family in Bulzeşti, Dolj County, Sorescu was educated at the University of Iaşi, where, in 1960, he graduated with a degree in modern languages. His first book, a collection of parodies in 1964 entitled Singur printre poeţi ("Alone Among Poets"), was widely discussed. He himself called them "sarcastic and awkward". Ten volumes of poetry and prose followed; he grew so popular that his readings were held in football stadiums.
On his poetry, Sorescu said, with characteristic irony: "Just as I can't give up smoking because I don't smoke, I can't give up writing because I have no talent." He often claimed a sense of alienation, saying "the spoken word is a crossed frontier. By the act of saying something, I fail to say many other things." On censorship, he said, after his last, post-1989 Revolution volumes were delayed, "we have won our freedom, so I mustn't complain. O censors, where are you now?"
Sorescu's collection of Censored Poems comprised poems could not be published until the end of the Nicolae Ceauşescu dictatorship; of these, the best known is House under surveillance.
He disappointed some of his admirers by allowing himself to be made Minister of Culture by the unpopular National Salvation Front government between 1993 and 1995.
Ill with cirrhosis and hepatitis, he died from a heart attack at the Elias Hospital in Bucharest.

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