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tearing the rag off the bush again

Our contributor Andrei Molotiu writes: „Looking on an old hard drive, I found about three pages of my own Romanian version of Georges Perec's "Je me souviens"--which I wrote one night, though fully realizing that the project was completely pointless, quixotic.  As I may have told you, I left Romania at fifteen (almost sixteen), in 1983.  So, really, all the memories of Romania I can invoke are from the late seventies, early eighties.  On one hand, because I left and no new memories (in Romanian) came to replace them, they're totally frozen in time.  On the other, they mean absolutely nothing to any American, and probably very little to any Romanian too--since, if they never left, the various things I recall will probably have a very different resonance than they have for me.  Perec--despite his life of loss, especially the loss of his parents--never lost his culture, lived in Paris his whole life, and so could count on people with the same experience as his responding to his obscure cultural memories.  I--well, I don't really have that at all.  I realize that, since you came here in the '60s, some of these references may mean nothing to you either--but I think you may get a few glimpses of recognition, which is significantly more than 99.9999999% of possible readers might get out of it.  (And please excuse the lack of diacritics!)”

Editor’s Note: We found Andrei Molotiu’s reminiscences quite poignant, in and of themselves, but also because he references the form as having been invented by Georges Perec, while we believed all this time that it belonged to Joe Brainard and his immortal „I Remember” (Kulchur). The very interesting transmission of Perec (French) to Brainard (American) to Molotiu (Romanian) makes this a tri-lingual delight. We are publishing it in Romanian (sans diacritics, as A.M. notes,) and hope to encourage writers in other languages to do their own „Je me souviens/I Remember/Imi Aduc Aminte,” for publication in the Corpse.

LATE BREAKING NEWS: this just in: "
A couple of precisions/corrections: I was writing very late at night:  I wrote "Perec" because that was my first acquaintance with the "I remember"--I'll switch and call it "je me souviens"--genre, but of course Joe Brainard came first.  As I understand it, Perec learned about it from his friend Harry Mathews, but began writing his version without having actually seen Brainard's book.  So, he got it a little bit wrong, or different.  While Brainard more or less used the "I remember" conceit to write a fragmentary autobiography, Perec was not so much concerned with his own biography but with the cultural memory of his period--so he wrote much less about his own experiences, and more about little tidbits of forgotten culture, tidbits that could evoke a frisson of recognition from his contemporaries.  Little Proustian madeleines, in a way.  I think mine are more in the Perec mode, though perhaps not entirely.
One more thing:  having left Romania at fifteen, not only are my memories frozen in place, but my mastery of Romanian may be too, so I don't know how correct much of my grammar or word choice is.  I was going to ask you to proofread it but, again, maybe it's better this way:  the stilted phrases going along with the half-remembered facts.  Which leads me to another point:  I'm sure there are mistakes in what I remember.  But I'll follow Perec's example and leave the mistakes be, not check them.  This is about my memory, faults and all, not about historical truth.  Or at least it's about the historical truth of my own memory.

Editor's Note 2: In view of the late breaking news above, we call on a) literary history to reformat itself correctly, and b) can a Romanian poet enter the diacritics and correct (corijeze) what might be linguistically unspeakable in 2009, and send us the diacriticalised & corijized text in Word attachment? Multzam.

Imi aduc aminte de Testilica Wasserman

Imi aduc aminte ca un bilet de cinema era 4 lei, 8 lei la panoramic, si 16 lei la Sala Palatului

Imi aduc aminte de Iosif Sava pe programul 2

Imi aduc aminte de Ciresarii:  un caz intro-o cabana pe un munte inzapadit, un caz la un Luna-park, un caz avind de-a face cu mormintul lui Ovidiu (care reiesi sa nu fi fost decit o iluzie optica)

Imi aduc aminte de Pliznoti

Imi aduc aminte de „Mai e state?”  „Nu stiu, lady, buim noi.”

Imi aduc aminte ca cineva credea ca „buim” avea de-a face cu Boeing-ul.

Imi aduc aminte de „labele poc”

Imi aduc aminte de Semnal M

Imi aduc aminte de oracole

Imi aduc aminte de Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wasa Banga

Imi aduc aminte de securistul care a venit sa ne spuna ca ne putea auzi cind strigam „Pula!  Pula!” in loc de „Ura!  Ura!” in timpul visitei oficiale a lui Mobutu Sese etc.

Imi aduc aminte de Bjorn Borg si John McEnroe

Imi aduc aminte ca Bjorn Borg s-a casatorit cu o Romanca

Imi aduc aminte de Lancia lui Ilie Nastase

Imi aduc aminte cind Elena Ceausescu a pornit o campanie impotriva Meditatiei Transcendentale

Imi aduc aminte ca ea insasi, se spunea, aprobase introducerea Meditatiei Transcendentale in Romania, ca „va da intelectualilor ceva de facut”.

Imi aduc aminte cind Elena Ceausescu a pornit o campanie impotriva balcoanelor inchise, si ca cica cineva a facut infarct cind a venit macaraua si i-a distrus balconul

Imi aduc aminte ca Ilie Nastase era unul dintre primii oameni din Romania care aveau o masina de raspuns la telefon

Imi aduc aminte de toaleta pe plaja la Mamaia (sau poate la Neptun) care, intr-una dintre partitii, avea o gaura prin care puteai vedea in toaleta femeilor

Imi aduc aminte ca fiecare saptamina trebuia sa ma duc la posta, sa culeg Pif-Gadget de la post-restante, fiindca nu incapea in cutia noastra de posta

Imi aduc aminte de boxe, la parter

Imi aduc aminte ca nu trebuia niciodate sa cumperi bomboane de la tigani, pentru ca ei le faceau in acelasi lighean in care isi spalau picioarele

Imi aduc aminte de editiile romanesti ale cartilor lui Jules Verne, cu coperte albe, cartonate

Imi aduc aminte de „biblioteca copiilor”

Imi aduc aminte de Winettou si Old Shatterhand

Imi aduc aminte de Angela Similea si Corina Chiriac

Imi aduc aminte de Paunescu si Cenaclul Flacara, si de rivalul cenaclu „Evaporia” care l-am inceput impreuna cu citiva prieteni cind eram in clasa a noua

Imi aduc aminte de cum dansam „blues-ul” la „ceaiuri”

Imi aduc aminte de Nantes contra St. Etienne

Imi aduc aminte de Olanda contra Germania

Imi aduc aminte de spitalul Sahia, si spitalul ORL, si spitalul Elias, si spitalul municipal.

Imi aduc aminte de stelisti si dinamovisti

Imi aduc aminte ca portarul de la Rapid avea 40 de ani si era cel mai batrin jucator din intreaga divizie A

Imi aduc aminte cind Rapidul cazuse in divizia B

Imi aduc aminte de handbal

Imi aduc aminte de cafetaria de linga Televiziune

Imi aduc aminte de prima si ultima strofa de la „Trei Culori”

Imi aduc aminte ca capacele de bere Tuborg erau printre cele mai valoroase capace.

Imi aduc aminte cum puneam capace de bere be sirele de tramvai, sa le faca plat.

Imi aduc aminte de Bula, si de Itig si Strul.

Imi aduc aminte ca microfoane puteau sa fie in telefoane, sau in lampi, sau in ziduri.

Imi aduc aminte cum oamenii vorbeau mai incet cind spuneau ceva despre Ceausescu.

Imi aduc aminte la petreceri, cind lumea incepea sa vorbeasca mai tare, pina cind nu le pasa ce spuneau despre guvern, si strigau „Ne simtim bine!” la posibilele microfoane.

Imi aduc aminte de fondul plastic

Imi aduc aminte de Emil Botta si Hajdu Zoltan

Imi aduc aminte de revista Urzica

Imi aduc aminte de Eruption, si de Smokey, si de Suzy Quatro

Imi aduc aminte de geanta cu Peanuts care mi-a trimis-o matusa mea din America, cind eu habar n-aveam cine erau Peanuts, si de licorice-ul care mi l-a trimis (nu mi-a placut)

Imi aduc aminte de Shopuri

Imi aduc aminte de jumatati de fermoare cusute la tivul de la blugi (purtati cu saboti)

Imi aduc aminte de Radio Europa Libera, si de Vocea Americii

Imi aduc aminte de „o camera sofata”

Imi aduc aminte ca daca aveai numar mic la masina, insemna ca erai stab

Imi aduc aminte cum toata lumea era amuzata de Village People—ce aiureala, unu sa fie cowboy, altul indian, altul politist!

Imi aduc aminte de „Sint pionier la sapte ani” si (mai tirziu) de Soimii Patriei

Imi aduc aminte de cursurile de „apararea patriei” (predate de tineri ofiteri care ne spuneau cum sa te orientezi intr-o padura bazat pe unde sint muschii linga copaci, sau ne spuneau de toate armele chimicale din care si un miligram e destul sa omoara mii de oameni), si de cursurile de „rezistenta materialelor”

Imi aduc aminte de biserica Anglicana, linga teatrul Bulandra, care era tot timpul inchisa

Imi aduc aminte de Casata, care s-a prabusit in cutremurul din 77.  „Casata s-a casat!”

Imi aduc aminte cum, cind a inceput cutremurul, cica lumea a fugit din salele de cinema si de spectacole urlind „ne bombardeaza Rusii!”

Imi aduc aminte de Sergiu Nicolaescu

Imi aduc aminte de Ratoiul Mac, si de „pumna reta pumna pii tapi tapi reum jigri!”

Imi aduc aminte de „Pierduti in Spatiu” si „Tunelul Timpului” si „Planeta Gigantilor” si „M-am Casatorit c-o Vrajitoare” si „Un Serif la New York” si  „Radacini” si „Compania Petroliera Ewing”

Imi aduc aminte ca toate Nemtoaicele si toate Suedezele erau curve

Imi aduc aminte de Olimpiada de matematica, si de Olimpiada de engleza

Imi aduc aminte de balul mascat de la Casa Tineretului, unde am cistigat premiul doi pentru un costum de cowboy primit de la matusa mea din America

Imi aduc aminte cum plateai un pachet de Kent ca cineva sa-ti inregistreze pe o caseta cel mai nou disc al lui Pink Floyd sau Queen.  Daca le dadeai o caseta prea buna (BASF), iti furau banda din ea si o inlocuiau cu o banda de caseta ieftina.

Imi aduc aminte ca Johnny Weismuller era din Timisoara

Imi aduc aminte de magazinul de jucarii din Lipscani, plin de modele de avioane si vapoare de construit

Imi aduc aminte de „Ardelenii in America” sau „Ardelenii in Vestul Salbatic” sau asa ceva

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