Bucharest’s Cervantes Institute will host on Thursday, June 11, at 7 p.m., a debate titled “El Levante, una reconstruccion de los estilos poeticos rumanos,” focusing on the Spanish-language edition of Mircea Cartarescu’s “Levantul,” an edition published in February by Impedimenta, the prestigious Madrid-based publishing house. The book was translated by Marian Ochoa de Eribe and its prologue is signed by poet Carlos Pardo. “El Levante” received an extraordinarily warm welcome from literary critics immediately after being published, as well as unanimously positive reviews in the Spanish and South American press.
Apart from Mircea Cartarescu, the event will be attended by Marian Ochoa de Eribe, Impedimenta Publishing House Director Enrique Redel, Humanitas Publishing House Director Lidia Bodea and Cervantes Institute Director Rosa Maria Moro de Andres. The debate will be followed by a book-signing session at the Humanitas Library at Cismigiu.
“If asked to recommend a single one of these books, I would unhesitatingly recommend El Levante because it’s an impossible book. It’s a book that could not have been written by anyone else except Cartarescu himself. As Marian Ochoa de Eribe, its excellent translator, explained in an interview, the book published in Spain is based on a Romanian translation that Cartarescu decided to come up with when realizing that his original Levantul, written entirely in verse and dotted with references to Romanian literature, was untranslatable. In order to ease its translation and circulation in other languages, he transferred most of the text in prose, and so the book lost its most experimental part indebted to James Joyce’s “The Oxen of the Sun” chapter in “Ulysses.” However, in what concerns this indebtedness to tradition, while Joyce was listing the narrative styles in English literature, Cartarescu reconstructs poetic styles in Romanian literature,” writer, poet and critic Vincente Luis Mora wrote.