Petru Cimpoesu

Excerpt from

Critics about

Novel, "Fiction LTD" series, Polirom, 2007, 312 pages, format 130 x 200 mm

Copyright: Polirom

Translation rights sold to: Dybbuk (Czech Republic), Alberto Castelvecchi Editore (Italy), Icaria editorial (Spain), Colibri Publishers (Bulgaria), Znanje (Croatia)

Critics about

“Nothing of the sludge of the inner-city style, of the omnipresent sexual allusions and jokes, filters from the reality of our mass media into this novel written with talent, esprit and literary verve. In an eight-storey block on Sheep (formerly Euler) Street in Bacău, plenty of things happen, if there is someone to observe and relate them. This novel of irresistible tenement-block and metaphysical humour would make an excellent television serial ; and then, not only the narrower reading public, but also the wider audience of image consumers would be able to climb the stairs, with heavy steps but a light heart, towards the divine miracle on the eighth floor.”

(Daniel CRISTEA-ENACHE, Adevărul literar şi artistic)

“The trumps of Petru Cimpoeşu’s novel are irony and humour. The author manages to create comic scenes almost from nothing, skilfully wagering on the prejudices and tics of his characters. His irony changes its timbre according to the situation. It can be caustic, but not so much so that it turns the characters into imbeciles. The characters are naïve, credulous, libidinous, grasping, dreamers, but never idiots. Simeon the Liftite is a novel that makes you laugh aloud and forget about the tragic side of life as you read. It is a book such as has never before been written in our language, which shows us just how comic, grotesque, bizarre and pitiful we often are in our day-to-day life.”

(Iulian COCAN, Contrafort, Republic of Moldova)

Simeon the Liftite : Novel with Angels and Moldavians was a revelation, which has spectacularly brought Petru Cimpoeşu to the forefront of post-revolution prose. Almost unanimously regarded by the critics as the ‘long-awaited novel of transition’, ‘a memorable image of life in a housing block’, and so on, a book of allegorical realism, brimming with humour of metaphysical dimensions, a book that has accumulated the maximum number of points in the category of ‘the fiction of national identity’, an expressive miniature image of post-1989 Romania.”

(Paul CERNAT, 22)

“Petru Cimpoeşu daringly imagines a limit situation. The most shocking : during the Romanian presidential elections, seeing that the Romanian people can not, of their own will, tear themselves from promiscuity and indecision, Jesus Christ Himself decides to descend into their midst, just as he had not long ago, for three days in December 1989. What is blasphemy for some is not so in the artistic vision of Petru Cimpoeşu. The Saviour stands as a candidate in the Romanian presidential election, sacrificing Himself for us once again, in the humiliating position of running against Mr Ion Iliescu. In the end, the book is about a small world, with its comical and innocent convulsions during a time when everyone seems to have gone mad, a world of incipient freedom, of mimicking the civilising rules and norms of democracy as a clumsy initiation into its effective practice. It is about our Romanian world at the beginning of this century and millennium. It is in a certain sense a post-Apocalyptic world.”

(Vasile DAN, Familia)


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