Marin Sorescu

(1936 - 1996 / Bulzești, Dolj County)

Biography of Marin Sorescu

Marin Sorescu (29 February 1936 - 8 December 1996) was a Romanian poet, playwright, and novelist.

Marin Sorescu was a poet, playwright, prose writer, essayist and translator. His works were translated into more than 20 countries, and the total number of his books that were published abroad rises up to 60 books. He has also been known for his painting, and he opened many art exhibits in Romania and abroad. He occupied the position of Minister of Culture within the Nicolae Văcăroiu Cabinet, without being a member of any political party, after the Romanian revolution of 1989 (from 25 November 1993 to 5 May 1995).

Born to a family of farmworkers in Bulzești, Dolj County, Sorescu graduated from the primary school in his home village. After that he went to the Buzesti Brothers High School in Craiova, after which he was transferred to the Predeal Military School. His final education was at the University of Iaşi, where, in 1960, he graduated with a degree in modern languages. His first book, a collection of parodies in 1964 entitled Singur printre poeţi ("Alone Among Poets"), was widely discussed. He himself called them "sarcastic and awkward". Ten volumes of poetry and prose followed, having a very rapid ascension in the world of literary, as a poet, novelist, playwright, essayist. He grew so popular that his readings were held in football stadiums.

On his poetry, Sorescu said, with characteristic irony: "Just as I can't give up smoking because I don't smoke, I can't give up writing because I have no talent." He often claimed a sense of alienation, saying "the spoken word is a crossed frontier. By the act of saying something, I fail to say many other things." On censorship, he said, after his last, post-1989 Revolution volumes were delayed, "we have won our freedom, so I mustn't complain. O censors, where are you now?"

Sorescu's collection of Censored Poems comprised poems could not be published until the end of the Nicolae Ceauşescu Communist dictatorship; of these, the best known is House under surveillance.

He disappointed some of his admirers by allowing himself to be made Minister of Culture by the unpopular National Salvation Front government between 1993 and 1995.

Ill with cirrhosis and hepatitis, he died from a heart attack at the Elias Hospital in Bucharest, aged 60. Updates

The Sacred Flame

Throw a few more logs
on to the sun,
in a few billion years,
they say, it will
go out.

When there's no firewood left
you can use the meadows

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