Trying to Establish a Literary Canon in Romania After the Cold War

Richard Wagner in the Neue Zürcher Zeitung (translated in

In December 2006 a group of Romanian intellectuals submitted a petition to the Culture Ministry in Bucharest requesting the rehabilitation of the writer Vintila Horia. Among the signatories of the petition were poet Ana Blandiana, the Paris-based writer and dissident Paul Goma, literary critic and editor Monica Lovinescu, and Ion Caramitru, an actor and cultural policy maker.

Who is Vintila Horia? In 1960 the Prix Goncourt jury selected him to receive the Prize for “God Is Born in Exile,” his novel about Ovid (published well before Christoph Ransmayr’s “The Last World” – review). Horia’s book was translated into 14 languages, including German, and ultimately appeared in Germany as a Goldmann paperback. But the Prix Goncourt was never actually awarded to Horia. Shortly after the jury’s selection was announced, the newspaper L’Humanité, mouthpiece of France’s Communist Party, launched a campaign against the Romanian author, who wrote in Romanian, French and Spanish.