Press & Critics
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
A complex work offering many possible levels of
interpretation, 'Distance' will not disappoint readers who like an
World Literature Today, Spring 2002
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
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
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
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
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
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
'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