Diana Adamek


Diana Adamek was born on 26 April 1957 in Baia Mare. She graduated with a Degree in Literature from the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj and currently lectures in the Comparative Literature Department of the same university. She made her debut in 1995 with a collection of essays with the title Trupul neindoielnic (The Indubitable Body; Debut Prize of the Cluj branch of the Union of Romanian Writers) and went on to publish Ochiul de linx. Barocul si revenirile sale (The Eye of the Lynx: The Baroque and its Recurrences, 1997, second edition, 2004), Castelul lui Don Quijote (The Castle of Don Quixote, 2002), Transilvania si verile cu polen, Clujul literar în anii 90 (Transylvania and Summers of Pollen, Literary Cluj in the 1990s, 2002, Literary History and Criticism Prize of the Cluj...

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Novel, Cartea romaneasca, 2011, 392 pages

Copyright: Cartea romaneasca

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 Rudolf (Roro), a brilliant pastry chef afflicted by a mysterious illness, inherits his mother’s all-consuming passion for elephants and a stigma from a strange alchemist with whom he refuses to make a pact of immortality, choosing instead to be the ruler of a realm of momentary miracles born from the oven’s flames. The descendent of an ancient family of Transylvanian counts, but born in Brittany, Roro will travel east to Vienna on the trail of the elephant dreamed of by his mother. His fame as a patissier-enchanter first takes him to the court of Maximilian II, where he will meet Princess Anna of Habsburg, to whom he will be bound by the tension of a forbidden love until the very end. The painter Arcimboldo, puppet masters, Venetian glassblowers, Katherina the witch, the mother of astronomer Johannes Kepler, the hunchbacked Duke of Mantua, a female midget, and a she-wolf are just some of the characters that will accompany this monstrous-bodied genius back west, to the coast of Portugal, now overrun by Spanish armies, where the encrypted text of his destiny will be fulfilled.
The Sweet Tale of the Sad Elephant is a surprising novel, in which narrative charm combines with the sumptuousness of fine quality baroque writing. It is a sweeping, captivating Bildungsroman, written in an aestheticising manner, and at the same time a parable that reflects upon alterity and the magnetism exerted by the different, the unusual, the exotic.


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