‘The History of Romanian Literature – A compendium’ written by George Călinescu fades confronted with “Approximate adventures” written by Vlad Mușatescu. Not to mention that it does not have the same charm. Reading recommendations, writers, poets, literary critics, everyone – whether famous or not or people who would have had all the chances to become famous but luck decided otherwise – is mentioned here. My first reading of “Approximate adventures” found me not totally ready to understand the literary value of these jewels of books. Today, I read them once again and take notes. I write the names of those mentioned in these books, and then I will search and read their works. Vlad lives on! Not only through his wonderful work, but also through the inheritance of literary recommendation he has left us.
Enjoy the fragment below:
“He was not alone. Beside him there was an old, pale and anxious man, covered by the fumes of old age, a little bit crooked despite the height that exceeded the normal and who was resting his hand on the shoulder of a gentle little girl with bright eyes, which color I could not determine.
Acknowledging his rudeness, Tătălici hurried to introduce me to him, differently than how it should have been:
‘Petre Bellu and his niece!...’
I am not sure if I remember correctly; if he said niece or daughter. Well, it has no importance now, after so many years. As soon as I heard his name, my motors started to work. And had the visualization of the covers of some books from the ’15 lei collection’: “The Defender may speak now” and “The Case of Mrs.Predescu”. At the date when they were published, they caused quite a commotion, and Petre Bellu swiftly became a celebrity.
Being a little moved by the situation, I warmly shook hands with him and I stated with infinite admiration:
‘Master, Mr. Bellu, you can’t begin to imagine how happy I am to meet you! And still alive… I thought you were gone. For so many years, quite an eternity, nobody has mentioned you. Well, it’s normal considering your honorable age!...’
‘Oh. So how many years do you think I am, dear sir?’, asked me the popular novelist, showing some surprise.
‘In any event, not more than seventy, seventy-two, the most!’
Actually, I cut some years from the age I thought he looked like.
‘Oh my! Do I look that good?!, exclaimed Petre Bellu. Well, good for me, dear sir! This year I’ll turn fifty-four years old. It’s good, isn’t it?!
In that moment, I felt my vocal cords paralyzing. And, obviously, I couldn’t utter a word. Bratoloveanu had turned yellow, I turned red, and the little gentle girl was panting, ready to start crying. I had dropped a brick.
Petre Bellu, noticing the ridicule of the situation that I had so unskillfully created, with my own sensible and appreciative antennas, threw me a rope. He uttered a sour chuckle and kindly invited me.
‘Well, come with me, sir, and I’ll show you to the villa assigned for your publishing house. Even though I seem to you to be a million years old, I will help you with your luggage. Where is it?’
‘I left it in front of the composers’ villa!’
‘Perfect! They do not steal. Or maybe they do, but rarely. And only songs they hear on the radio. I realize that every time I switch the radio for London, Paris or Rome broadcasting stations. And lately, for Moscow, too.’
Guided by Petre Bellu, Tătălici Bratoloveanu and the girl, I finally arrived to the resting villa assigned for The State Publishing House.”