(October 31, 1920 – July 14, 2002)
My father left hundreds of handwritten pages, in Romanian, not dated. The handwriting is so neat, I uploaded them hoping that someone will find them interesting.
I organized the essays and notes by subject (one subject – one blog) as best I could, given that there is a lot of overlap between them. The notes are on a separate site, privatenotessite.
If I found any of the titles of the essays or even notes in the bibliography that appeared in the volume “Lauda diferentei”, Aritmos, 2001, pp. 223-283, dedicated to my father on his 80th birthday, I added that information, although I was not always able to verify that the handwritten pages were the ones actually published.
Some titles appear more than once at different times and in different publications, as my father liked to refine the same ideas, to the annoyance of both his friends (who would have liked him to tackle broader issues) and enemies (who accused him of plagiarizing himself).
The notes are probably outlines for lectures or for articles or just notes for future reference. I thought it would be interesting to include them.
The picture above appeared in “Adevarul literar si artistic”, 8 Iunie, 1999, with his essay “Menirea rasului”.
When I was asked to choose an epitaph for my father’s gravestone I didn’t know he would have liked it to be “Asta nu mi s-a mai intimplat”. I just noticed it recently on the back of “Lauda diferentei”. I remember he mentioned this particular epitaph many years ago: he probably saw it, read or heard about it, but it wouldn’t have been his own, even with the addition “Asta nu mi se va mai intimpla!”. I chose something else, but I think a better one would have been “Eu am zis numai ceea ce voiam sa contra-zic”.
He wrote in response, often in opposition to something or someone, as behooves a true dialectician. He repeated himself because he thought his message was worth repeating and to as many people as possible*:
- In a country in which the collective was considered more important than the individual he wrote about the importance of the individual.
- In a totalitarian country he emphasized the importance of dialogue and dissent (“saying NO”).
- In a world in which people were killed in the name of an idea he wrote about the supremacy of “Man”, of the “Man” as the “supreme goal”.
- In a society that preached egalitarianism he wrote about hierarchies (“primordiality”, “superiority “, “originality” and “unicity” are frequent words in his papers) and being different.
- In a world that discredited Marx and communism he declared himself as marxist and communist.
- In an antisemitic world he declared his Jewishness and, as an atheist, wrote about Judaism.
- In a humorless culture he wrote about the importance of humor and was famous for his puns.
He was above all else a contrarian.
He was full of contradictions himself.
* He believed that an intellectual’s obligation is to question the mainstream ideas and counteract them with different (even opposing) points of view and this is what he did. If he repeated himself it’s because the mainstream ideas were persistent. He reminds me of the Hassidic story about the Jew who begs people to mend their ways, day after day, year after year. When someone asks him, why he is doing it, given that people are not changing, he says: “I know that. I do not want them to change me.”