Amos Oz: For me Romania is not entirely foreign country

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Amos Oz, one of the most important Israeli writers, told a press conference on Monday that for him Romania was not an entirely foreign country.

Saying ‘Shalom’ in greeting, Amos Oz said that in 2002, when he came to Romania for the first time, he got much help from the influence the ‘Little Romania’ in Jerusalem exerted on him. Oz confessed that then he used to go to a confectioner’s shop, whose owners were Romanian Jews, who, at that time, ‘furiously loved Romania.’

He said that the Romanian language, the body language and the sense of humour characteristic of the Romanians were already familiar to him in Neptun (south-eastern Romania) in 2004, when the Writers’ Union of Romania awarded him the Ovidius Prize for the value of his literary work and for his contribution to the assertion of the freedom of speech and interethnic tolerance.

Oz eulogized the Romanian audience, which is ‘enthusiastic, open,’ the ‘wonderful publishers,’ who made the dialogue very easy.

The Israeli writer said that in his books there was a great deal of fantasy and invention, which express the uncertainly of the childhood he spent in Jerusalem. He spoke of the terrible fear of the destiny he and his family might have had during the Second World War.

‘I knew what it was like to kill a man and a book, but I wished as a boy to be a book. Fortunately, I became a man and I became a writer, not a book,’ said Amos Oz, who added that he had been writing ‘not about happy people, but about unhappy people, about unhappy families.’

Lili Oz, the writer’s wife, also attended the above-mentioned event.

The famous writer is in Bucharest on Monday and Tuesday at the invitation of the Humanitas Fiction Publishing House, which issued most of his books in Romanian, and of Israel’s’ Embassy in Bucharest.

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