How did you find the reader ?
I found an interested reader, especially by the exoticism. There are of course a lot of readers that do not touch my books
mostly because they speak about Romania and Eastern Europe. Romania means nothing in the psychological landscape
of a Swiss reader. Those who come to my readings are the interested ones, they visited Romania, they helped,
they want to go again because of an emotional or another type of contact. This is the public I have on my side.
Besides, Romania plays no important role here. There is very little published and written about it. Yesterday the
Neue Zürcher Zeitung (n.red. one of the most important
newspapers in German speaking Switzerland) published an excerpt from a Romanian writer but in general there are few
traces of Romanian culture here. In part this is Romania’s problem and in part Western ignorance. But of course,
the West does not need Romania. Once in a while, there are articles about specific problems like the anti-Semitism
of some Romanian philosophers (Cioran and Eliade), or a trip in the Carpathian Mountains where a small minority
- the rutens - is living, and that’s all. When I, as an Eastern European writer, try to picture in German language
Eastern European landscapes, the interest can be big but it concerns only a small amount of individualists
in search of good literature.
When was your second book „The Short Way Home “ published ?
Six months ago, actually the title sounds better in German than in Romanian. It talks about an inner, psychological way and
not a distance that would let itself be measured in kilometres. It is a measureless way from a diaspora, an exile,
and an emigration in Switzerland to the native country. There are two young men, 22-23 years old, who are called
here „secondos“, the second generation as a foreigner. In 1990, when travelling to the East becomes possible, they
leave and become characters of an urban, realistic tale in Vienna, Budapest, Timisoara to the Black Sea, in search
of their roots.
And their adulthood maybe ?
Sure, this trip symbolises psychologically the journey to adulthood. On the way, they ripe because they are confronted with
decisions that - in the 1990 Zurich - they were not able to take. They were living here in a rich society, with
drugs, this cancer of a generation narcotising itself every day. In a place where people narcotise themselves they
cannot become adults. That’s why this trip was necessary. They enter the Eastern societies right after the changes
and they experience the massive transformations. They also experience the substance that is being lost, they see
contradictions, cities that breath already the new age but in the same time are being distroyed, people can hope
after so many hopeless years but at the same time they live with tomorrow’s fear. The book was well received.
Some people told me that the second book would awake less interest. Fortunately, this was not true. It continues
to receive good critics, and it is regarded as more developed, maturer than the first one.
Do you feel more mature, more developed ?
Yes, I think I am more mature as a person and as a writer. I entered a public space where I must have opinions, write articles.