Youth, Stupidity and Marin Preda  

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For the longest time I've been meaning to write an article about how youth is not a virtue in itself, but a time when you're actually pretty dumb, and though in your older age you might look back with regret, that does not (or should not) make youngsters gods.

20130812 18 11 00-screenshotA few days ago, I got the following email from a neighbor.


I'm sorry for emailing you out of a sudden. This is K, living in [..] 30. (Ryan in your house gave me your email address).

I think my room is connected to yours. And I guess the isolation of the houses is quite bad, so recently I could frequently hear music/movie (sometimes pretty loud) from your room (?), like right now.

I'm wondering if it's you playing music/movie. And if it is, I wonder if it's possible for you to turn down the volume a bit? It would be much appreciated.

I sometimes also play music as well and am not sure if it has caused any trouble to you. If it has, please do let me know. Thanks!

If it's not you, then I'm sorry for this email. Have a nice day.


Turns out that the music wasn’t all that loud, as she eventually acknowledged (it’s actually calming and low key, such as Laughter Crescendo, Little Fluffy Clouds, Morcheeba, DJ Food), but I’m not going to go into all the details - I posted the thread elsewhere. I was tempted to answer with the photo above (“if the music is too loud – you’re too old”), but I decided not to. And no, I don’t listen much to the newer, mainstream hipster fare.

What really bugs me though is how a suggestion that “you’re old” is a behaviour inducing strategy and seems to have replaced “you smell” (you know the British obsession with cleanliness) as the most widely deployed regular insult in the anglosphere.

Craig Ferguson is a comedian whose show I sometimes watch. Former (?) alcoholic, he’s a British man in New York (or another American city) and he’s a cool mix of intensity and dementia. Here’s him going nearly conspiracy-Keanu in his regular monologue:

  • the Mad Men figured out that it’s best to sell to young kids, for they’ll keep buying for the rest of their lives
  • in a race to the bottom, society has come to glorify youth
  • youth is a time of stupidity, so now we glorify stupidity as well

It so happens that a week ago I posted on my tumblr a few quotes from Marin Preda. He was a very popular Romanian novelist who died in mysterious circumstances and before continuing with the quotes I’ll be forgiven, I hope, for the following aside.

* * *

First, I learned from one of Dennis Deletant’s books that Preda was instrumental in rehabilitating Antonescu.

It was also outside Romania that the propaganda section of the Central Committee arranged for the publication of the regime’s official response to the book. Writing under the pseudonym of Petre Moldoveanu, Constantin Giurescu, the most distinguished Romanian historian at the time, was asked to produce a polemical pamphlet refuting Lazarev’s claims. Entitled How to Falsify History, it was printed in Milan by Constantin Dragan, an Italian millionaire of Romanian origin, under the imprint of his publishing house Nagard (Dragan spelt backwards) in 1975.

In Soviet Moldavia itself, reviewers gave an uncritical validation of Lazarev’s views, with one sycophant even hailing the book as ‘a major contribution to Soviet historiography’ [M. Sitnik, review in Codri, no. 12 (1974), p. 137]. This sparring over Bessarabia continued throughout 1975 and was fuelled by the rehabilitation of Marshal Ion Antonescu, the wartime dictator who had led Romanian forces in the joint attack with Germany upon the Soviet Union in 1941 in the hope of regaining Bessarabia. Previously regarded as a taboo figure, Antonescu’s success in reconquering Bessarabia and northern Bukovina was judged by the propaganda section of the Romanian Central Committee to be too sensitive a subject to be treated in a work of history, and therefore the Marshal’s re-entry into the public domain was entrusted to a novelist, Marin Preda (1922-80). In Delirul (Delirium) Antonescu is presented as a tragic figure who sees Romania’s only hope of retrieving Bessarabia in an alliance with Germany. For a Romanian public starved of all but Communist propaganda about Antonescu, the novel was like a breath of fresh air and its print-run of 35,000 copies sold out immediately. The partial vindication of the Marshal was roundly condemned in the Moscow Literaturnaia gazeta, and as a result Preda was instructed by the Central Committee to produce a revised edition, giving more emphasis to the struggle against Fascism in Romania during the war. This edition had a print-run of 100,000 copies. [25]

Still, the claim that Deletant makes regarding Preda may not be entirely true. Communist propaganda vilified Antonescu and “rehabilitating” him would’ve been contradictory. Is it not the nationalist tendency and “reunification” desire and misunderstood patriotism, common to most Romanians, including Preda, a better explanation for the publishing of that book?

After all, Preda was fighting his own demons (evz sotii – slightly corrected Google Translation).

Being a successful author, the [Stalinist] repressive apparatus saw him as a "cultural good" of the people and [“]took care[“] of him.

First informative note comes dated September 9, 1952 and was published in the journal of culture "Altitudes", in May 2006, “the aforementioned individual will continue to be monitored to gather information and evidence in order to be regimented into a work cell.”

The writer confirms that authorities had an eye on him in the volume of essays "The Impossible Return": “By 1952 I was in Tusnad, in the first real vacation in my life. A friend very uneasy in his conscience, uneasiness I still don’t understand to this day, warned me in May of that same year that if I do not immediately write something to disperse the clouds of a disease that had been contracted to my name (naturalism!) and in which I floated unknowingly I was going to be kicked out of the Writers Union and this Literary disease will turn into a Political one. And that would be serious...  He had managed to turn me anxious as well.'” Marin Preda escapes the long arm of the political police by writing the story "Deployment", having as subject the collectivization.

"Jewish circles"

The second time when he falls under Securitate’s intense scrutiny is in 1965, when he married Eta Wexler, his second wife and Jewish literary critic. This marriage is not seen well in the eyes of the party and the political police, which considers that Marin Preda fell under the influence of "Jewish nationalist circles."

In the file with the number of 11.119 from Fund "D" of the Romanian Intelligence Service Archive is registered: “At the recommendation and arrangement of some Jews, Marin Preda married a Jewess, gradually getting to be surrounded and guided in literature and in life, almost exclusively by Jewish nationalist elements, such as Ovid S. Crohmalniceanu literary critic, hostile element, Paul Cornea, associate professor, hostile element, Horia Bratu, literary critic, Nina Cassian, writer, Tertullian N. literary critic and others.

The negative influence exerted on Marin Preda and especially that of Ovid S. Crohmalniceanu is observed especially in his attitude towards literary creation, toward the problems troubling the majority of writers, in the position he has toward our popular-democratic regime.” Following this report, in the home of Marin Preda they install listening devices. The writer escapes this time again, divorcing Eta and publishing the second volume of "Morometii" [movie1, movie2, movie full, text 1, text 2], which many critics consider a political compromise.

Theses of July

A third time the writer is tracked informatively by Securitate is in 1971, soon after the release of “July Theses”, used by Ceausescu to brutally disrupt freedom of speech and introduce censorship.

The dossier "Editor", as the report is code-named, is closed on March 19, 1973, with the conclusion: “Following discussions party organs have had with Marin Preda in December 1972, he improved his activity, increasing his standards in terms of quality and content of the works published at the publishing house he leads.”

We will never know if it was his conscience, his drinking or his tall friends with blue eyes who brought his end closer, at only 58 years of age (wiki-marin).

In 1980, Marin Preda published his last novel, Cel mai iubit dintre pamânteni ("The Most Beloved Earthling") [movie, Vol 1, Vol 2], regarded as a violent critique of communism. After a few short weeks on the market, the novel was withdrawn from all public, university, and school libraries and all bookshops. It was not much later, on May 16, 1980, that the novelist died at the Writers' Mansion of Mogosoaia Palace. The autopsy, which took place 24 hours after his death, showed that his blood alcohol concentration was 3.5 BAC, enough to fall into a coma. The official cause of death was asphixiation.

* * *

The first one is about love and has 3 likes / reblogs (zamoca-t):

The danger a man who loves a woman totally and completely finds himself in is like that of a man who touched a high voltage wire and who if he does not struggle, if the instinct did not help him free himself in the very moment when he was first shaken, dies there hanging helplessly.

The second was ignored:

Youth is an ego trip, rarely is a value.

Should I have translated “trufie” with “pride” or “repletion” rather than “ego trip”?

LE: Also, above, should I have translated "element dusmanos" / "hostile element" with "suppressive", the term used by the Church of Scientology?

Suppressive Person, often abbreviated SP, is a term used in Scientology to describe the "antisocial personalities" who, according to Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard, make up about 2.5% of the population. A statement on a Church of Scientology website describes this group as including notorious historic figures such as Adolf Hitler.  The term is often applied to those whom the Church of Scientology perceives as its enemies, i.e., those whose 'disastrous' and 'suppressive' acts are said to impede the progress of individual Scientologists or the Scientology movement.

One of the reasons Scientology doctrines portray Suppressive Persons as such a danger is that they are supposed to make people around them become Potential Trouble Sources (abbreviated PTS). Scientology defines a PTS as "a person who is in some way connected to and being adversely affected by a suppressive person. Such a person is called a potential trouble source because he can be a lot of trouble to himself and to others." PTSs are said to make up 17.5% of the population.

Sources / More info: zamoca-t. music2loud, wiki-craig, wiki-marin, /news/soundtransparency, evz-sotii,

Thank you for reading (mulţam fain pentru cetire)! Publicat Tuesday, August 13, 2013 . Similar articles under the following categories (poţi găsi articole similare sub următoarele categorii): (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe), (Subscribe) . Dacă ţi-a plăcut articolul, PinIt-uieste-l, ReddIt-eaza-l, stumble-uieste-l altora, trimite-l pe WhatsApp yMess şi consideră abonarea la fluxul RSS sau prin email. Ma poti de asemenea gasi pe Google. Trackback poateputea fi trimis prin URL-ul de sub Comentarii.
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