Cezar Paul-Badescu

Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, Top 10+ series, Polirom, 2012, 216 pages

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: All rights available

Critics about

 “Anti-literature, Ferdydurkism, an ingenuous look at the Ceausescu period: it is impossible to talk about Cezar Paul-Badescu’s book and ignore such features. But nor am I under any illusion that I have exhausted the subject. The text also contains (nomen odiosum!) something ineffable, something the critic will not be able put his finger on, but which the reader will fully sense. It is the charm of the text, the solidarity you immediately feel when confronted with naked simplicity, devoid of pretentiousness and pretentions. It is a poor book that enriches you, a sad book that makes you happy.” 


 “Cezar Paul-Badescu sets the risk of sincerity, kept within the limits of artistic licence, in opposition to everyday existence. He alternates a young man’s linear and ironically amused narrative with the magical realism of a child who seems to embody the universal experience of that age. Sarcasm interweaves with nostalgia for a realm of symbolic links, and the self-centredness, cruel serenity, and sadism of a strange imagination are counterbalanced by the generosity of emotional attachments that linger in the mind even after the ‘divorces’ of growing up.”


 “A novel about the personal past of a narrator whose vocation is that of an anti-hero, an example of anti-literature or ‘not-at-all literature’, as Paul-Badescu would call it, The Childhoods of Daniel Abagiu is nurtured by a spirit that is shared by all those intellectuals who grew up with one foot in a dictatorship and the other foot in post-communism. It is a book which, at least in theory, ought to open up a whole new way of thinking about literature and, at the same time, about the arche-theme of the recent past.” 


 “If read intelligently, the book provides important hints about the development of fiction in the postmodern period. And whatever they might say, this is already a stake worthy of note.” 

(Tudorel URIAN)


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