Nika at prettylittlebibliophileweb.wordpress.com has posted a glowing review of Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel. I am tremendously happy when my book touches so many chords with a reader, and I’m especially thankful for hearing from readers like Nika who say my book changed their life in some way.
“So when it was conceived,” Alice began again, “The Kiss was about Paolo Malatesta and Francesca da Rimini, contemporaries of Dante who appear in his Divine Comedy, in Canto V of his Inferno. While in reality they carried on as lovers for years, in Dante’s Inferno they were surprised one day by Francesca’s husband as they kissed each other for the first time while reading about Lancelot and Queen Guinevere’s first kiss. Francesca’s husband, who was Paolo’s older brother, killed them both, condemning them along with other lustful sinners to the raging storm winds of the second circle of Hell.”
. . .
“I was browsing the other day through Rodin on Art and Artists: Conversations with Paul Gsell,” Alice said, “that Dover edition from 1983 Har gave me for my birthday last year, and it was wonderful to read, in Rodin’s own words, how he looked at Greek Classical art, how much he admired it for the way it answered to both nature and one ideal form or another, for being rooted in close observation of the particular as well as in a quest for the essential. He saw the academic art’s disdain for the truth of the flesh as misguided, leading not to beauty but to cold sculptures, devoid of life. Besides, for Rodin showing beauty meant showing spirit, character.”
Henriette took a drink from her mug. “Yes, the marble version of The Kiss is certainly more than a knickknack. I wonder why he called it that. Did he see it as too decorative—not arresting enough?”
“I think it was his way of saying that his sculpture presented a kiss too superficially, yes. That it didn’t capture enough expressions of deep feelings, that it didn’t do enough to invite the imagination to explore narrative dimensions,” Alice said, basking in the gentle glow of autumnal morning light. “But I think quite the opposite is true. Sustaining this representation of a passionate embrace is the great arc of Rodin’s art, with the transformations his own passion and intellect operate in order to show inner truths: the truth of a kiss withheld for a long time, of passion marrying the tender feelings of love, and of an embrace that tells a story, not least because you can easily see it in motion.”
“In motion?” Henriette asked. “Various poses? Many sculptors did that.”
“Yes, they did,” her sister answered. “In Rodin on Art and Artists Rodin describes how he, too, conceived his figures by putting together fragments of various poses normally seen in sequence, and I think you see here how Paolo and Francesca turn to each other. You see the tightness of his leg muscles under the impact of intense, heart-stopping desire, when she first moves towards him, you see his hand resting gently on her thigh, his arm muscles firm so he doesn’t lay too much weight on her, and then you see him bending his neck to kiss her and abandoning himself to his emotions.”
Read this and more about Rodin’s Kiss and other works of modern and contemporary art in Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel, this weekend only $0.99 and £0.99! Enjoy! 🙂
Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, lives for her work and her dalliances—until she loses the one man she truly loves. Ela, a piano teacher, meets dashing Pamfil, a violinist, and discovers the confusing taste of passion. A bittersweet story of love and friendship for fans of D. Nicholls’s One Day.
Earlier this month I saw Ion Iancuț’s personal exhibition Light Seekers (sculpture and pastels) at Senso Gallery here in Bucharest.
Most of the works were quite memorable, as I expected. Here are some of them.
Light Seekers, 2017
44 x 77 x 6.5 cm (17.32 x 30.31 x 2.55 in)
Look how these Light Seekers seem to rest on their walking sticks, as if they had found something like Archimedes’s fulcrum (“Give me a lever long enough, and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world”).
Alternatively, I see them pointing down from the sky with sticks like diving rods—rods which point us to the light hidden in our earthly lives, under our worries, disbelief, and general lack of interest in higher forms of existence we could embrace . . . if we only paid attention to the many fulcrums in our paths which could help rise us aloft.
17.5 x 47 x 42 cm (6.88 x 18.50 x 16.53 in)
The Archers, 2017
78.5 x 35 x 49 cm (30.90 x 13.77 x 19.29 in)
Tired Angel, 2017
43 x 32 x 10 cm (16.92 x 12.59 x 3.93 in)
Star Seeker [n.d.]
Pastel on colored cardboard
70 x 50 cm (27.55 x 19.68 in)
Ion Iancuț was born in Răducăneni, Iași county. He graduated from the Nicolae Grigorescu Institute of Fine Arts in Bucharest in 1974.
Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel is a book about the beauty and blindness of several Romanian artists who search for love, happiness, and passion. The story finds them on treacherous journeys, where they are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things.
PAL is on sale for $0.99 until February 15. Enjoy!
Watercolors by Ioana Nicoara, AnnArt Gallery, Bucharest, November 2017
Upon seeing them, I had the sense right away that they visualize inner life. Inner life of the cells, or, barring that (we think of cells as contained and never quite imagine them at further microscopic levels), the life of our emotions permeating us like breaths or whooshing over us, coming together with neurons that fire sparks of thought—and cells responding to all that energy, electric . . .
Dumitru Radu, Echo, [year?], Senso Art Gallery, Bucharest, December 2017
Bronze and marble
30 x 30 x 30 cm
This figure doesn’t move inside the bell, so it’s not quite a bell clapper, but with its trumpet and openings in its body suggests to me someone who has embraced a certain space of meaning—certain themes from the past, for instance—and turns to that space—that of the bell—to amplify his concerns in a certain way, his voice growing in the echo of others who have worked before him (in this respect, to me the bell he’s echoing into could be the trumpet of a predecessor like him).
This type of bell is, in fact, in Dumitru Radu’s oeuvre some kind of funnel, one that brings us in and out of existence, and also a musical instrument through which the music of God resonates. For more about this approach see this presentation by Luiza Barcan at Simeza Art Gallery in Bucharest in 2014. (The talk is in Romanian but the video shows many of Radu’s recent sculptures.)
The Bookworm at thebookwormspeaks.wordpress.com posted her review of Poets, Artists, Lovers, and she asked me to feature it here as well.
So here’s from The Bookworm:
With Poets, Artists, Lovers: A Novel, Mira Tudor takes us on a journey through a tangled web of romance-ridden lives that starts and ends with Henriette, a talented sculptress and “beautiful redhead”, who finds herself drawn to Pamfil, a pianist/Casanova known for his monthly parties. This all despite her relationship with Haralambie, a writer.
The dialogue-heavy narrative might seem hard going at times, but it is actually quite apt, as the story primarily features middle-aged girlfriends drinking what seems to be endless cups of peppermint tea and talking about not only those oh-so-relatable things such as weight gain, boy troubles and minor existential crises, but sharing shrewd and interesting perceptions on art and society. The reader is also treated to a raw and authentic yet, despite its many philosophical digressions, accessible glimpse into the Romanian art scene. On the surface, it might just seem to be a close group of bohemian artists hanging out at parties and warbling about art but there is some provocative substance underneath.
About friendship, love, and passion, tenderly, in a manner reminiscent in parts of David Nicholls’s One Day. A book about the beauty and blindness of several Romanian artists and musicians and their treacherous journeys to love and happiness.
Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, seems to find more joy in her feminist-inspired work and her piano playing than in the people who care about her. Ela, a piano teacher turned book reviewer, hopes to discover the key to happiness and a more meaningful life through studying the workings of the mind and crafting poems about emotions she trusts will lead her to a better place. Joining them in beauty and blindness is Pamfil, a violinist who dabbles as a singer and lives mostly for the moment and his monthly parties. As they follow their passions, they find themselves on treacherous journeys to love and happiness, and are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things.
“I felt I’d had a virtual trip to Romania and am now ready to take one live! An inquisitive and personal literary bouquet” –Mari Carlson, Midwest Book Review
“This book felt like a philosophical version of Friends” –Annika Stanger
Studious Creatives nominated me for this award yesterday. It was a nice surprise. Thank you!
So here’s how this works. The Rules:
Thank the person who nominated you and link their blog
Share seven things about yourself
Nominate others (up to 15)
Include this set of rules
Inform your nominees
Seven Things About Me
I place great value on my friendships, and I nurture them.
I once wanted to become an art history professor. As that didn’t happen, I’m now looking to share my love of art with other people through this blog and my novels.
I treasure encounters with warm, generous contemporary artists, and you wouldn’t believe how many of them are so, happy to make your acquaintance and see you engage with their works (and guide you through them), whether you know much about art or not.
I once did a semi-independent course in painting, and while my grade wasn’t that great, every few hours that I worked on my project I entered an immersive state of flow which gave me an inner perspective on an important element that gets artists hooked to their art. I did try other artistic pursuits before and after that, but neither of them have been that rewarding.
My favorite month in Bucharest is September. Temperatures are in the mid and high twenties, and every year I look forward to spending more time outside in the early afternoon, as the golden light and the colors of the vegetation are wonderful. Much of it stays that way until mid-November. I am including some pictures for reference. Somehow I don’t have September photos from recent years; the ones you see below are from October and November.
I’m a strange ambivert. I derive energy from people . . . and then I get really tired.
I don’t have a favorite place on earth, but I do have great memories from many places; and I am trying hard to discover ever more of what Bucharest has to offer.