Ruxandra Cesereanu

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Ruxandra Cesereanu
Photo: Catalina Flaminzeanu, copyright © 2015

Ruxandra Cesereanu was born in Cluj, Romania, in August 17, 1963. Over the last two decades, she has established herself is an important Romanian poet and prose writer who has been awarded a number of literary honors. She is also Professor at the Faculty of Letters (Department of Comparative Literature) in Cluj, member of the staff of the Center for Imagination Studies (Phantasma) and director of the Creative Writing Workshops on poetry, prose and movie scripts.

Cesereanu’s prolific literary achievements begin with eight books of poetry: Gradina deliciilor / Garden of Delights (Cluj: Echinox, 1993); Zona vie / Live Zone (Cluj: Dacia, 1993); Cadere deasupra orasului / Fall Over the City (Sibiu: Transpress, 1994 – awarded the Prize for Poetry of the Writers Association in Cluj); Oceanul Schizoidian / Schizoidian Ocean (Timisoara: Brumar, 1998, and 2nd edition, Bucharest: Vinea, 2006); Venetia cu vene violete. Scrisorile unei curtezane / Venice with Violet Veins. Letters of a Courtesan (Cluj: Dacia, 2002); Kore-Persephone (Bucharest: Vinea, 2004 – which won the Prize for Poetry of the Writers Association in Cluj); Coma (Bucharest: Vinea, 2008 – awarded the Prize for Poetry of the Writers Association in Cluj); California (pe Somes) California (upon Somesh) (Bistrita, Charmides: 2014). Cesereanu has also published two bibliophile editions: The Body–The Soul (in an edition of 20, 1998, with the artist Calin Stegerean) and California (pe Somes) California (upon Somesh), 2014 (in an edition of 77 signed copies).

Cesereanu has also participated in producing a pair of experimental co-authored books: Submarinul iertat / Forgiven Submarine, written together with Andrei Codrescu (Timisoara: Brumar, 2007), translated in English in 2009 by Andrei Codrescu (Boston: Black Widow Press, USA); and Tinutul Celalalt / The Otherland, written together with Marius Conkan (Bucharest: Cartea Romaneasca, 2011).

Three books of Cesereanu’s poetry have appeared in English: Schizoid Ocean (translated by Claudia Litvinchievici, Binghamton: esf publishers, 1997); Lunacies (translated by Adam J. Sorkin, Claudia Litvinchievici and the poet, New York: Spuyten Duyvil / Meeting Eyes Bindery imprint, 2004); and Crusader-Woman (translated by Adam J. Sorkin, Claudia Litvinchievici, Madalina Mudure and the poet, Boston: Black Widow Press, 2008).

Books of her poetry has been translated into Italian (Coma, translated by Giovanni Magliocco, Rome: Aracne, 2012) and Hungarian (Keresztesasszony / Crusader-Woman, translated by Visky Zsolt, Koinonia, 2007).

Ruxandra Cesereanu also writes fiction and has published seven books: Calatorie prin oglinzi / Voyage Through Looking Glasses (novel, Cluj: Dacia, 1989); Purgatoriile / The Purgatories (short stories, Bucharest: Albatros, 1997); Tricephalos (novel: Cluj, Dacia, 2002; second edition, 2011); Nebulon (short stories, Iasi: Polirom, 2005, Prize for Prose of the Lions Club); Nasterea dorintelor lichide / Birth of Liquid Desires (short stories, Bucharest: Cartea Romaneasca, 2007); Angelus (novel, Bucharest: Humanitas, 2010); and Un singur cer deasupra lor / One Sky Above All (novel, Iasi: Polirom, 2013). One book of her prose has been translated in Hungarian: Utoferfiak / Post-Men, translated by Selyem Zsuzsa, Pecs, Jelenkor Kiado, 2009.

Angelus is her first novel to be published in English.

Cesereanu also has been notable for producing major research and critical monographs, with seven books of non-fiction published in the first decade of this millennium: Panopticum. Tortura politica in secolul XX / Panopticon. Political Torture in the 20th Century (Iasi: Institutul European, 2001, Prize for Essay of the Writers Association in Cluj; second edition, Polirom, 2014; translated in English by Carmen Borbely, Bucharest, Romanian Cultural Institute, 2006); Imaginarul violent al romanilor / The Violent Imaginary of the Romanians (Bucharest: Humanitas, 2003); Decembrie 1989. Deconstuctia unei revolutii / December 1989. Deconstruction of a Revolution (Iasi: Polirom, 2004; second edition, 2009); Gulagul in constiinta romaneasca. Literatura si memorialistica inchisorilor si lagarelor comuniste / The Gulag Reflected in the Romanian Consciousness. About Literature and Memories of Communist Prisons and Camps (Iasi: Polirom, 2005); Naravuri romanesti / Romanian Bad Habits (Iasi: Polirom, 2007); GOURMET. Céline, Bulgakov, Cortázar, Rushdie (Cluj: Limes, 2009); Biblioteca stranie / Weird Library (Bucharest: Curtea Veche, 2010).

Ruxandra Cesereanu’s poetry has also been selected for many anthologies in English, German, Hungarian, French, Chinese, Armenian, Flemish, and Spanish. Her attainments have been noted in Who’s Who in Contemporary Woman’s Writing, edited by Jane Elridge Miller (London and New York: Routledge, 2001) and Harold B. Segel, The Columbia Literary History of Eastern Europe since 1945 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008). A more recent full-scale portrait of Cesereanu and her work can be found at Wikipedia.