LitBirthdays July 19, 2010

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Monday July 19

Norman Manea

Norman Manea (Photo: Isolde Ohlbaum)

Norman Manea (b. 1936) – Romanian essayist, novelist – The Hooligan’s Return (2005)

Read about Norman Manea here and here

Read Manea’s essay “New York, the Dada capital”

Romania is often called the Land of Dada, not because one of its sons, Tristan Tzara, was a founder of Surrealism, but because of the absurdity and paradoxes of its daily life, particularly in its politics. In exile, I immediately identified with another capital of Dada, the “cosmic republic, that speaks all languages in a universal dialect,” as Johannes Baader put it. Here, the old and the new are accomplices in celebrating life “in all its incomprehensibility” – exactly the subversiveness that the Dadaists loved.

A famous map painted by my friend and compatriot Saul Steinberg depicts the global village as seen from Manhattan: the distance from the Hudson River to the Pacific Ocean is the same as the distance from Ninth to Tenth Avenue on the Upper West Side …

Read excerpts from Manea’s memoir The Hooligan’s Return


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