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Frumoasele Straine: A Collection of Essays by Mircea Cartarescu
Frumoasele Straine (The Beautiful Foreigners) is a book of essays by Mircea Cartarescu, one of the most acclaimed Romanian writers of his generation. The book was published in 2010 and contains 21 essays that cover various topics, such as literature, art, culture, politics, travel, and personal experiences. The essays are written in a witty, poetic, and sometimes provocative style, reflecting Cartarescu's wide-ranging interests and erudition.
The book's title refers to the foreign women that Cartarescu encountered during his travels around the world, as well as to the foreign influences that shaped his literary vision. Cartarescu writes about his admiration for authors like Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera, and Salman Rushdie, among others. He also shares his impressions of cities like Paris, Berlin, Istanbul, Buenos Aires, and New York, as well as his native Bucharest. He discusses the challenges and joys of being a writer in post-communist Romania, as well as his views on democracy, nationalism, globalization, and multiculturalism.
Frumoasele Straine is a book that showcases Cartarescu's talent as an essayist and a public intellectual. It is a book that invites the reader to explore the world through the eyes of a passionate and curious writer. It is also a book that can be downloaded for free from the Internet Archive[^1^], or purchased from online platforms like Microsoft Sway[^2^] or Piese Utilaje Agricole[^3^].One of the most remarkable features of Frumoasele Straine is the diversity of genres and forms that Cartarescu employs in his essays. He mixes autobiography, criticism, fiction, poetry, and journalism, creating a hybrid and original style. He also experiments with different formats, such as letters, interviews, dialogues, lists, and collages. He plays with language, using puns, neologisms, metaphors, and quotations. He blends humor and irony with seriousness and emotion, creating a rich and complex tone.
Another aspect that makes Frumoasele Straine a fascinating book is the way Cartarescu relates his personal life to his literary work. He reveals intimate details about his childhood, his family, his love affairs, his dreams, and his fears. He also explains how these experiences influenced his creative process and his artistic vision. He shows how his imagination is shaped by his memory, his culture, his education, and his travels. He also reflects on the role of the writer in society and the responsibility of the artist in times of crisis.
Frumoasele Straine is a book that offers a glimpse into the mind and soul of Mircea Cartarescu, one of the most original and influential Romanian writers of the 21st century. It is a book that celebrates the power and beauty of literature, as well as the diversity and complexity of the world. It is a book that challenges and inspires the reader to think critically and creatively about themselves and their surroundings. 248dff8e21