Translated by Alistair Ian Blyth
236 pages: $18.00
From the Afterword by Marius Conkan:
Ruxandra Cesereanu’s novel Angelus raises a series of questions regarding the society in which we live, offering, at the same time, possible solutions to (or at least, hypotheses on) the revitalisation of the sacred and the resurrection of symbolic depth for a (post)humanity characterised by the atrophy of imagination and the hypertrophy of pragmatic reason. Taking as her iconographic model Andrei Rublev’s Holy Trinity and proposing a postmodern reply to Mikhail Bulgakov’s masterpiece, The Master and Margarita, Ruxandra Cesereanu, in her parable-like novel, begins with the following question: what would happen if angels were to descend upon a Metropolis one day?
I have mentioned on various occasions that I generally do not enjoy the navel-gazing novels that seem to be particularly in vogue at this time but much prefer a novel that has a thoroughly original and, preferable, complex story, that is totally unpredictable, that discusses a realm of interesting ideas, that delves into the dark recesses of the human (and, at times, extra-human) mind and raises as many questions as it answers. If you share my view, you will thoroughly enjoy this novel. You will get lost. You will wonder what is going on but you will also smile, you will be surprised, you will have much food for thought and, above all, you will have a first-class read.
—John Alvey, The Modern Novel
Into the Metropolis and into the Zone fall three angels to challenge the authorities with their muteness and their incorruptible natures. Through this trio, Ruxandra Cesereanu turns a lens on dictators, the military-industrial complex and urban reality in general. Her weapons are truth and the kind of imagination that spawns garbage-collecting flamingoes, a reimagined paradise and Seraphic chocolate. Buoyant, comic and finally apocalyptic, Angelus reminds us that, as in The Master and Margarita, the supernatural is sometimes hard for us humans to bear.
—Lawrence Norfolk, author of Lemprière’s Dictionary and The Pope’s Rhinoceros