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Ciprian Voicilă

A little while after watching the movie I found Between God and My People (1992) at a stall, a book containing some of Petre }uţea?s interviews and writings, edited by Sorin Dumitrescu at Anastasia Publishing House. That used to cost one hundred lei, quite a lot for my schoolboy pocket. In order to get the money, I sold my Sven Hassel collection to Bogdan, a ?bookseller?, one living on the selling of books. And I bought Between God and My People. I was especially fascinated by the photo on the cover. }uţea?s eyes were shining and he was holding a finger up, towards God.

There had followed six years when I devoured all inter-war writers? books. A particular category was represented by the books that subconsciously created me a level of aspiration which I was going to become conscious of only later. Eliade?s The Shortsighted Teenager?s Novel, The Conversations with Cioran, Liiceanu?s Păltiniş Diary and H.R Patapievici?s Flight Within Arrowshot. Eliade, ?The Shortsighted Teenager?, proved fascinating to me due to the exercises for educating the will he used to practise on him, due to the conscience of a mission, to an amor fati. A tension of virility, a teenage energy in search for its manifestations was especially vibrant in the novels ?The Return from Heavens, The Hooligans, The Valentine Night-and in his essays from Oceanography. Liiceanu?s Păltiniş Diary (first edition 1983, reedited in 1991) was describing an autonomous Castalia where a master wasn?t teaching his students some kind of meta-language like in The Game with the Glass Beads, but the idioms of pure philosophy. The master was Constantin Noica, who between 1949 and 1958 had been submitted to house arrest in C├ómpulung-Muscel, while being a political prisoner between 19581964.

Since I had no money to buy it, during a summer vacation, I transcribed half of the volume of Conversations with Cioran on a Mathematics notebook, using a lead pencil. Cioran was gathering proselytes by means of his outspoken nihilism. He was promoting the suicide, declaring that in Răşinari village, where he was born, his model had been the village drunkard who had inherited a fortune and he was drinking like a fish, hanging around with a fiddler while in the afternoon running into the thrifty peasants who were going to work their land. Finally, Flight Within Arrowshot (Humanitas, 1995) was putting together the biography of a young self-taught intellectual who had discovered on his own account a technique of survival during communism: ?I don?t know how others managed to preserve their integrity during communism, but I was redeemed due to my friends (? ) friends of ideas. I saw culture as alchemy, and the most difficult philosophy (Hegel, for example) was perceived by all of us, full of emotion and enthusiasm, as initiation in a model of human being closer to the perfection we all aimed at from our neophyte position.? (H.R. Patapievici-Flight Within Arrowshot, Humanitas, Buc., 1995, 5-6)

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