Press & Critics

maria orban
Rodica Draghincescu is one of the most spectacular figures in the new Romanian literature of the 1990s. She made her debut in 1993 with the verse collection 'Nearly Warm'. She is the recipient of numerous prestigious national literary prizes and awards, and the literary press has labeled her both the Romanian Nathalie Sarraute and the postmodern Simone de Beauvoir. Very well received by critics and represented in all the most important anthologies of Romanian poetry and literary encyclopedias, her poems, essays, and translations have been published in France, England, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. She is a correspondent for Phréatique, the journal of the Polypoétique research center in Paris, the Belgian Plume Libre, and the Italian Goccia di Luna. She has published two novels: 'The Distance Between a Dressed Man and a Woman the Way She Is' (1996), which received the Romanian Writers Union Award; and 'Craun' (2000).
Definitely a poet’s novel, 'Distance' displays at its best an alert style with short, syncopated, poetic sentences (paralleled by the recurrent ringing of the telephone), while at its worst it follows symbolist techniques unimaginatively: 'J’écris. Et je m’écoute écrire.' The major themes include the single woman’s condition, the situation of the woman writer, and experimentation in both poetry and the novel.
Distance is a puzzling novel, difficult to pin down. Overcrowded with references ranging from Plato to Bergson and Kierkegaard (with French literary figures very well represented), it makes them all part of everyday life, very much like the Romanian realities, contemporary cultural and literary circles, or the author’s friends. Perhaps one of its most interesting aspects is the way Draghincescu defies the traditional novel form, blurring the limits between epic and diary by breaking down the boundaries between the outside reality and her interior reality. She makes the reader not just a witness to the process of writing the novel, but a participant in that process every step of the way, sharing in all her insecurities, difficulties, and failed attempts, up to the final stages when she sends the typescript to her editor. The use of the first-person narrative gives the text the look and feel of a confession, as was the author’s intent: 'Mon intention est de relater quelque chose. La performance de la confession, la provocation'... At the same time, by a kind of passive recording of everything that happens to her, everything she sees, thinks, and writes, she turns herself into a passive observer, just like her readers.
A complex work offering many possible levels of interpretation, 'Distance' will not disappoint readers who like an intellectual challenge.
World Literature Today, Spring 2002

mircea mihaies
Ambiguous and exalted, with a rage that itself became the guidance of creation, Rodica Draghincescu's prose springs from the tradition of a 'lost generation', which seems to be uninterested in its own history. The mocking vocabulary, the raw sentence, the gesture not to be misunderstood (and often acutely naturalistic) give her texts a truth nearly unbearable: a crude tension and expressiveness, an aggressive, hunting animus. The main obsessions of the author are fixed on searching a truth, which first of all does not aim the reality or the universe as she is conceiving them – through lenses that deform into grotesque –, but a truth of writing. A truth of the hand, which pitiless and greedy imposes its own vision upon the brain. Rodica Draghincescu is the Amazon of the Romanian literature, meant to be victorious where so many men hesitate, get confused and fail: in the confrontation with the perverse labyrinth of the word that lacks any cultural connotation and in the power to render viscerally the imperceptible shakings of human being.
Craun (Vagabond), Postscript, 1999

nicolae tone
No matter if she writes poems with a textual touch, if she traces a path through the 'biographical jungle', if she throws (im)possible loves into our sight (and forces us to read with several pairs of glasses) or if she really offers us 'texts with cranks and butterflies', in everything she writes Rodica Draghincescu is true to her own self. With her whole person she breathes an authentic poetry. She is much more than one of the leaders of the new generation, which captivated the public interest as 'The Generation of the Nineties'. She became famous as a creator of a singular universe. In fact poetry runs in her blood and she succeeded by taking the front door to step into the arena of today's outstanding Romanian lyrics.
Ah!, Postscript, 1998

mircea barsila
Entirely remarkable: the lexical power and the untamed perception of this rebelling poetess, who in her fury tries to convince us that charm itself was meant to compromise femininity.
Calende 19, Ploiesti, 1997

aurel pantea
Originally, Rodica Draghincescu feeds on the sources of sincerity. A fact clearly to be seen in her first poetry volume. There are to be read experiences in confession activated by the mythical plus. And not only these, but first of all the disposal of a keen sensibility to conceive the act of writing as a hallucinating cruel experience, which enables her to confess totally and to empty her whole interior by repeatedly trying out this process so strange like exorcism.
Apostrof 1-2, Cluj, 1997

mariana codrut
Written with the nerves of a pamphleteer and the shamelessness of a surgeon, as if proposing us to uncover the collective subconscious full of 'photographs we are ashamed of', Rodica Draghincescu's poems cut your breath.
Orizont 13, Timisoara, 1996

daniel vighi
There's nothing feminine, in the common usage of this word, to be found in Rodica Draghincescu's poetry, which seems to be outright original, with poems of best quality especially where the author does not care about literature, about the obligation to trace the poetical effect or to place the metaphors for poetical images, but confesses herself without any 'warnings'.
Orizont 6, Timisoara, 1995

ioan moldovan
'The fingering of the poetess' – to quote from the poem 'The Detail' – is using the whole keyboard of poetry with hallucinating passion and a nervousness which unveils the inner panic. As a result, on the screen of the poem the text comes into being by agglutination, by accumulation of notations, in which the codes of interior life and exterior world are mixed up in a way not to be anticipated.
Familia 5, Oradea, 1995

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