European Year for Innovation and Creativity

Pericle Martinescu or the XX century




In the interview made by Joaquín Garrigós, the most important romanian translator into spanish to Pericle Martinescu (11 February 1911- 24 December 2005), almost all the text is written around the question Have you met?: Have you met Mihail Sebastian, Mircea Eliade, Emile Cioran?, asked Garrigós, as if he was interviewing to a crononaut. Pericle Martinescu, who would die one year later at the age of 95, has many opinions about a Romania that in the 30’s reached its golden century in the literature, with names that even today are well known.  A generation that after the unification of the 1918, made history.

The XX century will be well known for the refundation of the novel and thanks to the diaries as the subjective mirror of history. But one thing is clear in Romanian literature: Martinescu, wrote along fourty years his diaries: 1935-1984) and he will be remembered both by the ones which were published: 7 ani cît 70 (Diary 1948 - 1954), Editura Vitruviu, 1997; Confesiune patetica, pagini de jurnal intim (1936-1939), editie îngrijita de Ioan Popisteanu, Ex Ponto, Constanta, 2004; Uraganul istoriei, pagini de jurnal intim, anul 1940, editie îngrijita de Ioan Popisteanu, Ex Ponto, Constanta, 2005, and for the one that will be published. 

Martinescu is witness of many things: the government of Hitler (un adevarat nebun, mânat orbeste înainte de o fatalitate apocaliptica) and the evolution of erotism; Sebastian and his role as journalist, playwright, dweller of little flats in Bucarest running away from kafkian martyrs; Eugen Lovinescu (anatomy of melancholy in Wikipedia: He was, perhaps, one of the earliest followers of Eugen Lovinescu); how tried both legionaries and communist brought him close to them, etc.

Martinescu es is the face of a generation that will be remembered not only by the things they won, but for the ones they lost. Many of them finished in full stop: Max Blecher (dead by  Pott ‘s disease the 31 in May of 1938); Benjamín Fundoianu (dead in Auschwitz, the 2 or 3 of October of 1944); Mihail Sebastian (knocked by a Red Army lorry down the 9 of May of 1945); or Ilarie Voronca (he killed himself after finishing antes Manual of the Perfect Happiness, the 8 of april of1946). Jews that, in a subterranean solidarity died together to the ones of Bucarest, Iasi, Maramures or Transnistria. Other won not only the success, but all the suspicion, like Eliade o Cioran; or like Camil Petrescu, who in a first period renovated the novel according the influence of Proust and in a second one was loyal to the communist authorities.

Or Alexandru Vona, the forgotten (another one more) sephardit. Both are two faces of the same coin. Pericle Martinescu is part of Vona’s shadows. He doesn’t speak about Vona , but his speech is close in the results:

Acuma am un sentiment de regret că am rămas singurul dintre toţi prietenii din generaţia mea. Uitîndu-mă în urmă, deşi am trecut prin foarte multe evenimente, revoluţii, asasinate, revolte, războaie am impresia ciudată că nimic nu s-a întîmplat fiindcă nu mai există oamenii pe care îi iubeam, îi întîlneam, cu care discutam zilnic. Trecutul, deşi dens, mi se pare ireal! Mă simt singur.