3 C
January 19, 2022

Stelian Tanase: I’m the Bucharest prisoner

“Decades will be needed to remake that Bucharest world from yesterday,” the writer concluded.

Bucharest has preserved up to now the character it had in the past as a crossroads, a crossing and a passage, writer Stelian Tanase tells an interview with the Agerpres, National News Agency for the ‘MY CITY, BUCHAREST’ project. In the interview he talks about his memories with the Bucharest capital-city, his favourite places and of the fact that at some point he was tempted to leave Romania. ‘I would have liked to go and live my last part of life somewhere else, I believe it would have helped me with my writing, would have helped me to see better the Romanian history if I put a certain distance. This was the lure’, Stelian Tanase confesses.
“It’s a historical accident my being born here. It was my parents’ will. I’m a Bucharester. I’m born on Avrig Street. I spent my first childhood years in Obor, on Popa Lazar Street, in the back of Halele Obor, nearby the Saint Nicholas Church. I grew in the yard of that church until I went to school and my image of Bucharest keeps very much with the market’s image, with the busy places, with the shopkeepers. I’m born in 1952 and in the ‘50s, when I used to play on the sidewalk in front of my house, on Popa Lazar no. 5, the marketplace was not entirely ruined, meaning the peasants and the merchandisers were not seized absolutely all of they’ve got, so that it still had that aspect the Obor had probably had in the inter-war period. My image on Bucharest is one of a very colourful city, very noisy, very intense, strong, picturesque. There was Eliade’s field. (Mircea, the writer of the History of Religions – editor’s note),” the writer further noted.
Stelian Tanase said also he was  thinking of leaving Romania. “I was ready to leave it in 2008, I was even on the verge to purchase an apartment or rent one, these were the two options and, if it wasn’t with the crisis of which we all know and ruined us all, including myself, I would have left. Left in the sense of currently leaving, when one could come back anytime, with no Berlin Wall, it’s not a leave, one could have been born here, publish one’s books here and could live in another country or another city. That total fracture which existed until 1989 exists no more. This is why we should change the paradigm a little. I wished I went to live my last part of life somewhere else, I believe that would have helped me to my writing, would have helped me to see better the Romanian history if I had put a certain distance in-between. This was the temptation. I couldn’t make it to leave because, financially I couldn’t survive.”
The writer would  like to changed the people’s character. “The people, the individuals are the bad, ugly part of Bucharest. (…) Everybody used to talk about the Bucharesters in the inter-war period as of happy, joyful, intelligent people, who felt that joie de vivre, who knew to live and that was it. The communism unfortunately has had a devastating effect. First of all Bucharest has become an alluvial city, it has been assaulted by the communist industrialization by tens, hundreds of thousands of people, the population of Bucharest mixed in a hurry, without allowing them to get a sufficient, urban education. They’ve populated at first the outskirts, have entered schools, then have entered the offices, the factories, they have become the majority population of Bucharest and the city’s aspect has changed a lot. This human aspect is not the best thing for Bucharest. Decades will be needed to remake that Bucharest world from yesterday, “ the writer concluded.

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