Aura Christi










Translated by Antuza Genescu




Dedicated to NICOLAE BREBAN,

the novelist


Merciless words are crying in my brain…

George Bacovia, Dozing


If I am dead, they cannot be alive, they can only be dying. And if they are dead, then I am preparing to die, which means that I am still alive, that there are diseases lasting a lifetime and taken for life itself.

Nicolae Breban, The Road to the Wall




Reveal yourself. Come with me.

Come out of the dull, fruitless sadness

out of the imperceptible poverty of the spirit

that widens the desert defiantly.

Put aside the lies of the body, of the time,

the things you love out of idle utility,


and come with me on the island where the sun is born

from each moment’s womb like a Russian doll from another doll…

Follow me on this new earth where innocence lives

and pulsates lonely among old millennia

like the undergrounds of parallel mirrors between the two countries.


Here everything sets and rises from the untouched insane desire to exist

like in deep dreams, pubescent dreams, like in thoughts

that were buried above us while we lived in the unconscious

temporary moments in our mother’s womb. Here the rotten, alienated silence

goes along with the idea flowing from its own embryo.

Here the smell of dawn, of unfinished day, is eternal.

What is never to happen in the immediate non-reality is about to happen here.

If you are thirsty come with me and drink the Living Water, the Bride’s Water,

come to the intangible place towards which

I drag myself out of my million deaths – a nest assaulted by locusts –,

for death has forever forgotten me. Come with me.

Reveal yourself for everything that means Beginning,

promises of the great future that will come like a son,

a lucid, wise son, wasting his stupid hopes

among the crosses covered with ivy in the graveyards.

I am thinking of what to tell you about me.

For some years was secluded into myself. Now

I keep on watching myself in the depth of the Self,

at the end of the nights that become ever lonelier

after I have deceived them with my sleep.

I come from the long Siberian defeats, from the satanic unknown places

from the memories of the eyes longing after their beloved one

like the eyes of the swan on the vitalized water.

I come from the foreign land of my exile,

from the rough wilderness of Self-awareness.

I come from the mutable darkness of becoming a Being,

from the serene landscapes, form the heavy silence of the mountains.

I come from the temperate symphony of the waiting that was determined

to kill me. I choose between death and solitude

doubtful like the wave devouring seconds between the shore and the sea.

I am the burning weakness of those who watch theit faces insensibly

in the Living Water. I am the solitary wolf of the promises that

have gone with the wind like dandelion seeds in the lustful summer heat.


How is it that I run away from darkness while walking through darkness?

How is it that I am in the habit of walling myself

in every place that death comes to?


I love every letter of the curse that masters me

until my shadow follows me like a useless victory.

I listen to the shadow crying in the desert.

I would not want to frighten you when fear, yes, fear, is our king,

guiding our deeds, our steps, and our faults. Do not be afraid.

Come with me. I write to you so shyly. I use Living Water.

I have an intuition: if you give up, my beloved, my forbidden,

my unknown lover of my dreams,

after I have tamed the fire, the inferno of knowledge,

the distances, the darkness, the separations,

after I have not been able to stay with myself only,

water, air, wind, end, and beginning will take me into you.





A dull, colorless beginning – the morning

anchored in the common permanence, juicy

like pears in late November.

The self-utterance of the void

gives birth to the desire

– an invisible Boa

that crawls everywhere –

suddenly stopped

like the traffic on the thoroughfare in a metropolis

during the rush hours,

like a dying man’s life

after disconnecting

the life maintaining apparatus…

Nevertheless, comfortably seated in the skull

like a louse under the skin, like the curse

discovered in temptation behind time,

lies the glorious, nonsensical desire to know,

to taste, to ruminate over

the image of the Sexless Being (a child angel

that has crouched on the cross to wait for the Moment)

ubiquitous, changing,

whose mean however kind eyes

watch me from everywhere,

from the oscillating hollows of the void,

who approaches me with great care

but never comes too close

as if guided by an ancestral spasm.





I am waiting for myself with great fear.

The soul or something else

as graceful, as intangible,

depends on one question,

as Madonna’s smile on her infant’s wisdom

prematurely worn away by the spleen.


Not a word about me.

With an awkward, cruel muteness,

I keep silent as if I want to seal

a lot of shameful sins

that I cannot protect in another way.


To love life so much

that you protect your victories.

Somebody inside me shivers in the thought

as the doubt in a perfect, bodiless god.

Only the unspoken could justify me

in all that is confused, incomprehensible…


After a hard, necessary, arid death

how easy the resurrection was!

I entered myself as in a lost war

after the enlightening. Everything seemed unknown.

The distances alienate and bring together

from the same instinctive calculation.


You need not come, I repeated to myself while waiting

for another thousand unknown factors to release

and draw me closer to myself

in the music of that lonely, mysterious twilight,

like the great poems left without their words

leaving me a taste of superstition.





No. There is no exit. My memory is setting traps for me

in a sensual landscape. The flower hunters.

A feast for a lonely wolf. I am lonely being.

I fall in the glass, steep void alone.

And from my falling I taste.


A divine feast. I embrace myself and take myself

in the hostile, rough realm of the Self-awareness,

beyond nine seas and nine countries. To my place. Inside myself.

The black angels know me after the old signs.

God does not help me. Nobody helps me.


I search for words to bite from my flesh.

I search for the words to hang my solitude from the sky.

I tell outrageous lies. I play with them like a banished disabled creature,

taking heart like a cold reptile.

And I walk sleeplessly towards The Last Supper

to ask to become myself an offer.


1 am hungry with death. I should devour myself,

remnants of the sacredness – desecrated, devastated, feverish.

There must be some mirrors that have not reflected my face yet.

And the nightmare after which the decline begins.

I know: the sun on a frosty day on my head must be allowed.


I am not sure that I shall be able to bear my own light.

I am too weak, two unimportant in the all glorious universal whimper.

But I carry it within myself as if it were an orphan who does not want to be still ­born

and who postpones his revealing from the primordial shelter

by repeating bitterly sweet: NO.

It cannot be useless. Useless…





Remember the black door of silence

over which flutters the thin flesh

of mute never confessed desperation.

Mother, refined accomplice, I beg you:

do not open the door, do not.


Leave me behind the black doors

like an exotic, rare feline

coiled up in its own body.

And dream with serenity my gloomy crimes

that I committed out of extreme solitude.


Do not come closer! Any movement is degradation!

I am covered in the cold coat

of my skin. As the damp air in the cellars rises

in the torrid noon, so does the cold inside me.

Do not kiss my hands. Do not call me home.


Remember the black doors, the black doors

brutally shut in the barren light.

Daughter and mother, ubiquitous Madonna, her arms

stretched to the infant, her god – and no tears.

Not a word about solitude. Go away. Forgive me.





The prophets were roaring with laughter; they gave up waiting, seeing.

The demons were waltzing – they had finished their work.

Violently I was tearing off happenings from everywhere.

Angrily I added to the perfect voids

new voids to cross them fearfully.


Let’s see, let’s see, I kept on saying like a treasure seeker.

Like a threatened bride the spring was coming. And the sky was so cloudy.

The thoughtful gods moved from the sandy paths

in the trees. The angels were debating the disintegration principles

and ran by turns into the sky. There they shivered with cold.

Oh, the wasted eternity in my blind face!

I would calm down my follies that gave birth to cold, to chaos. Sometimes

in ray dreams my dead ones showed me unforeseen voids to cross,

listening to the prophets roaring with laughter – a sign from eternity

and the happy little angels echoing old songs of rest.





I choose between the carnal and the fine, burning matter.

The angels tell me the mysteries of birth. I am unborn.

My parents are somewhere behind mc. It is late.

Spirits gather inside me, they smell


one another in the learned dance of love… The beautiful petrifies me.

The ugly empties me. Of, my theories, carnivorous flowers

devouring for dinner my longing to check my option again:

after you are left alone the only chance is perfection.


The beautiful freezes me. The ugly empties me. There are gods

and their treaties about the advantage to be unborn.

There is also the mystery that blinds me to swallow me.

There is also the heart and its vague, absolute nostalgia.





I have remembered: that cry of a bird, long and piercing,

called me back to myself in the nights. My god drew blue circles

on my ethereal trembling shadow…

After that (a little dizzy)

he sent vivid, raging flashes after me.


In the severe light, in the night light a sonorous void took shape.

I had to kill very very slowly the danger of losing sight,

ray pubescent fear of waking up differently

from the imaginary journeys or from sleep

and the disquiet of a lonely child

that nothing will ever happen while the darkness was struggling while God was saying poems of love and the moon on the sky was delirious behind the clouds.

The black light was crawling, growing younger, growing brighter…


And came towards me from everywhere like a raging hurricane.

I fighting against it, became stronger and lonelier.

And my destiny became overwhelming in the severe light, in the granite light.


Later I remembered a part of my being:

the ceaseless shriek of an owl had thrown me within myself

a repeated shriek in the night, long and piercing, like the flashes

sent by my raging god after me.





He was the first to be wrong.

He sculpted his ethereal body

in one thought only

annoyingly precise

and quasi-unknown.

He wanted to believe

to the bitter end

to the sweet end

that the new world has begun.


And he was wrong, constantly wrong –

until the confused millennia

changed his mistake into myth

letter by letter.


But he did not stop.

All the time he tasted the icy halo

of the same delightful

almost unknown thought,

he was the only to take part

in the sad performance

of the old world that had not sheltered him.

Darkness was his home, his hermitage

where he directed the performance

of the new world that did not understand

how one should live

among the dead, among the living,

what to do and how to move,

how long to resist and where to stop,

what to dream, how to become mad,

how long to sleep, how to love

so that hour by hour

century by century

you can die convincingly

in sight of everybody

oh, Lord, so alone,

so tiring, so thrilling

that like him you choose

to die again endlessly

for ever and ever

in the constantly lying body

of the same thought

through which blood flows infallibly

the legendary mistake

of the tragic,

wonderful dreamer

in your sight, in their sight

to the next century,


before he walks

crookedly, heavily,

he the first guilty one

the first to be wrong

pride of his past

ceaselessly dying

close to his tomb.





Like a monk, like a monk, like a monk

the night prisons opened for him only,

prisons with walls of black, black words,

and beds, and windows, and spoons, and strong waiting


he met me at the end of the sleep, at the end of the darkness,

that he could and could not stand

and asked me to read some of my recent lines.

Later I would confess to him: « They were written for you. »


He smiled like a saint after his first disillusion

suddenly he slapped me on the face

turned my tearful eyes to himself

and in a cold voice he ordered: – « Kiss my hand! »


And I kissed every part of his hand…

« Do not forget. Do not forget », he said. « Keep this in mind:

you will come here millions of times. Do not tread under your foot

all that has been given to you by birth. »


And I would read my lines on and on

embarrassed, frightened, indifferently proud,

as if in front of a firing squad afraid

of my violent, insane tone,


to which I listened myself – stunned and lost,

waiting for my torture to be over…

But the words I spoke rolled down savagely

shaking my heart, my mind, my mouth…


At the end of each poem I was punished

by that monk who, after loving me for a long time,

walled me in black, black, black words

and imprisoned me in every letter so that I could not escape.


And he called the executioners to torture me and then

to set my clay body in roses.

Red, black, red, black were the roses when that man,

kissed all over and quasi-unknown, was hitting me.





Hungry dogs might have crossed the sleep of the flesh

like a virgin forest by packs of hunters

roused by the smell of blood of the first killed beasts,

like the silence that bears fruit in the purr

of a feline after the unwilling confession is over;

The silence of the flesh might have been; little by little it suspends everything,

doubts the existence, the body, the idea,

like the drowned man removed from water before dying;

the nightmares might have been the visions of flesh in the vague, white desert,

its long-winded treaties on how useless it was to tame the great frost,

on the metaphysical scandal caused by the angels

who eavesdropped how the latent springs of temptations were released

like the secret channels of the huge but shy femininity

– Aphrodite’s dream.


What might have been? Oh, what might have been?

Somebody from me would have wanted to be the fall from danger –

the sleeping heart gives birth to the infallible torturer.

Somebody else wanted a cold birth in the deep

fear of solitude. Somebody pretended to…

I took pains to rise towards you

from the ooze of the light, facing the animal stench of the world,

its savage curiosity, the heretical honey secreted by

your echoing steps, by my sole.

I mastered myself while sipping from the cup of warm ambrosia

coming from you. The danger of the invading cold

was watching me playfully.


If I could have let you know without speaking

about the shadow land, about the failure land

where I came from, after I understood the generous selfishness

of the end to offer me another chance

like a curse, like a useless guillotine,

throwing lances at me through the fog.

The refined failure creature disclosed

their perfect indecent forms above the red skies at dawn.


The flood worshipped the love. I should have hidden in my own self

to search on and on until I became sick.

The sleep of the flesh, deep and dreamless,

was tortured by unwitnessed visions.

In the dream of the sleep I waited for the butcher – to hit

him with forget-me-nots. The maids of the phantasms

had prepared me a huge feast of dilemmas –

what a variegated world, what a carnival for courage stirred by doubts!

the king of the lost euphoric waiting was to come:

a fish maddening the shore, a freak cheating his hopes,

a messenger sent to the kingdom devastated by the plague.

The king was to come like an absent-minded, diabolic bridegroom,

like a demon that was to protect me from the evil and the good.


What might have happened to me? Where is the past that the large hands entrusted me to?

The faith – an atrocious reticent prolongation of the things that

are not seen, a burning nostalgia, a migraine of light,

an encouraged vice.


Where is the sleep? Where is my death?

You knocked at all my doors. You opened all my windows.

The distances devoured you. I begged you. I was burning. The delays

threw me in a fertile anxiety. You were coming. The king of the waiting was

coming, after they said, stressing each syllable

as if speaking in a foreign language:

Love your body as Jesus loved His Church.


Sensual delirium of the heart painfully recreating the Feeling

– abandage to cover the Creature’s open heart –

in life’s dark room rented

to the ambiguous, cruel, serene gods. Oh, wound, what a miracle

that you are, sighs the Angel.

Oh, the run from and to the natural, too human:

« I missed you. Where have you been? It is cold. Come in. »





Small gods may easily take me for

somebody else, as your frozen lips,

when dreaming, repeat other names,

like a stag freezing in front of the headlights,

like the virgin who dreams about the incest,

waking the woman in the elaborated welters.


The voice, the progress of the poem are fit for the crouched

god like a placid monster in my brain.


The end is in myself. The fault is mine.

Wrong, unreal sorting. Magnetic shipwake that has sealed

my existence, threatened by the degradation sun,

revealing my strength ceaselessly guided

against myself. Falling is very necessary.

(How many times I have had the feeling

that I am rolled in the mud!)


I have chosen the hours that spit their void, their wilderness.

I have chosen the frozen cry of what I am.

I have chosen the body, the fear, the ethereal self-destruction,

the moments when I did things that are not in me to do,

moments against which I shall seclude myself within myself.





Time is flowing through me,

through me thick veins

through my nonsensical hair

blown by the wind, corrupting the horizon

as the lime tree in blossom – the placid desert,

a red, intermittent light on an abandoned road –

corrupts the confused darkness.

Time passes through my heart

as through a faulty sand glass:

there is always something that hangs in the upper side,

there, where it hurts most.

I repress my temptation to make a move

the way to sleeping is so long!

What sleep? What sleep? I wonder while floating

on the suspiciously deep waters of the night.

(Doubts tear off my imagination

as the soldiers whip the dress of the cateress

who has served them.)

There are millions of dark, dark, dark moments,

that steal my substance; hungry murderers –

bad moments, lusting for death.


Why, why am I so sick when time passes

through me with a howl. I am cold. I sense I shall never escape

from the burning fountains of darkness.

There everything is sealed by the elaborated system

of shadows of immaculate meanings,

the frozen embers of the desires,

the stigma of the monsters coming in my sleep

from the dream of the strangled dreams.

There the past has sealed everything.

And what else is the past

but an encyclopedia of prophecies about me,

about all those I want to be loved by,

after I have written a long, long letter,

late in a morning with a full moon that will spy

the warlike visions in my adolescence.

– mountains with the roots smartly poked in the sky –

visions in which you will recognize your face in great surprise!


…I am cold when time passes through me

like worms, digging tunnels through the paradisiac apple,

like the hermit – in places that the angels

entrapped by temptation have sealed.

I am cold and restless.

« Bear your cold like a royal cloak.

Forget. Forget. Forget. Remove the black sun

from your memory and walk on »,

my brother told me hiding

his cunning looks behind his eyelids.

How can I forget? the moon, a smiling viper

sniffing around the neck of the night; the night, a continent for nightmares

in which I learn how to tame death;

the Dionysiac cowardice of hands, hair, looks – all passing through me…


I rummage through the dreamy galleries overwhelmed with darkness.

A smile forgotten on my lips, love prepares the guillotine for me.

the grain of faith of the flowers; the wind, a lunatic escaped from the asylum;

the angels, the demons that make terrifying confessions;

the darkness, the guard of the equilibrium;

the tubercular clouds, the phthisical lead of October;

the leaves preparing the autumn exile

are on my side forever.

I have allies everywhere. And they

can be brought from the sleep of the night

of fire, air, water and time.













Aura Christi is a poet, novelist and essayist, born in Chişinău (Republic of Moldova), on January 12, 1967. She received her A-Level Certificate from the “Gh. Asachi” Romanian-French High School (1984) and has a degree in Media Studies from the State University (1990).



1983 was the year of her debut;  ten years later, she moved to Bucharest. In 2009 she settled in the legendary Mogoshoaia from the suburbs of Bucharest, with its Brancoveanu Palace, dedicating her life exclusively to literature. She is one of the most important and most challenging contemporary Romanian writers, and a contributor to the country’s most prestigious reviews and publishing houses. Her poems have been translated and published in Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Russia, the United States of America, Bulgaria, Albania. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Contemporanul review, one of the oldest in Romania (1881), which she has revived as a successful monthly. In 2006 Aura Christi launched an Appeal for the Salvation of the Living Romanian Culture, signed by approximately 900 Romanian personalities throughout the world.

In 2003 she co-founded, with Andrei Potlog, her brother, the “European Idea” Cultural Foundation and the European Idea Publishers. She was also one of those who engineered the birth of EuroPress Association and EuroPress Publishers – two institutions of  national repute which have helped maintain the Contemporanul review at the forefront of present-day Romanian literary life. In 2010 Aura Christi entered her name on the list of the Contemporanul Association’s founding members. She is a member of the English Writers’ Union and of the PEN Club.

Reputed publishers outside Romania brought out books by Aura Christi, such as: Geflüster/Soptirea (Whispering), a bilingual German-English collection of poems, translated into German by Christian W. Schenk, Dionysos Verlag (Germany), 1994; Elegien aus der Kälte/ Sfera frigului (Sphere of Cold), trans. Edith Konradt, Pop Verlag, 2008 (Germany); Arkitektura e natës/ Arhitectura noptii (Architecture of the Night), Kopi Kyçyku, 2008 (Albania).

In The Letters’ Symposium, Aura Christi interviews personalities of Romanian culture. As an editor, she has published Colloquies on the Romanian Novel (2001), Breban · 70 (2004),  The Shock of the World-Changing Crisis (2011), etc. In 2012 she launched a literary Manifesto, entitled “The Resurrection of Modernism”, in which she is pleading for the rebirth of Romanian literature through a return to its modernity. She has published over twenty books.




On the Other Side of Shadow, 1993

Against Myself, 1995

The Rite of Going Blind, 1996

The Kings’ Valley, 1996

Touch Me Not, 1997, 1999

The Last Wall, 1999

Imperial Lilies, 1999

Elegies of the North, 2002

The Book of Temptation, 2003

Devouring Eye, 2004, 2010

Sphere of Cold, 2011



Bits of Being, 1998

Exile’s Labyrinth, 2000, 2005

The Other Side, 2005

Religion of the Living, 2007

Three Thousand Signs, 2007

Exercises in Destiny, 2007

Hunger of Being, 2010

Nietzsche and the Great Noon, 2011



Night Eagle, a Tetralogy.

● Vol. I: The Sculptor, 2001, 2004;

● Vol. II: The Stranger’s Night, 2004;

● Vol. III: The Big Games, 2006;

● Vol. IV: The Lambs’ Snow, 2007;

House of Darkness,  2008

Savage Circle, 2010


Albums of Glossed Photographs:

Europe at Home (2010)

The Planet Israel (2010)

The Great Gorduz (2011)


Literary Awards:

● The Arts Ministry’s Award for Poetry, 1993

● The Romanian Academy’s Award for Poetry, 1996

● The Romanian Writers’ Union Award for Poetry, 1997

● The Vinea Publishers’ Award for Poetry, 1997

● The Moldavian Writers’ Union Award for Essay Writing, 1998

● The “Ion Şiugariu” Award for Poetry, 1999

● Awards for Fiction (The Sculptor, a novel) from the “Tomis” review and from the Dobrudja Romanian Writers’ Association

● Poetry Award from the Antares review, 2003

● Fiction Award for The Stranger’s Night, a novel, from the Convorbiri literare review, 2004

● The “Author of the Year” Award from the Romanian Association of Literary Reviews and Publishers, 2007

● Fiction Award for House of Darkness from the Poesis review, 2008

● The “Opera Omnia for Poetry” Award of the Romanian-Canadian “Roland Gasparic” Festival, 2009



● Member of the Writers’ Union of Romania

● Member of the Romanian PEN Club

● Member of the Writers’ Union of Moldova


Further reading

● Sorin Alexandrescu, Une anthologie de la poésie moldave, transl. by Odile Serre and Alain Paruit, English version by Cornelia Golna, Paris: L’Esprit des Péninsules, 1996

● Nicolae Ţone, Aura Christi, Nu mă atinge, second edition, Ed. Vinea, 1999

● Marin Mincu, Poeticitate românească postbelică, Ed. Pontica, 2000

● Ion Bogdan Lefter, Scriitori români din anii ‘80-’90. Dicţionar bio-bibliografic, Ed. Paralela 45, 2001

● Henri Zalis, O istorie condensată a literaturii române (1880-2000), Ed. Bibliotheca, 2005

Dicţionarul general al literaturii române, Ed. Univers Enciclopedic, 2006

● Aurel Sasu, Dicţionarul biografic al literaturii române, Ed. Paralela 45, 2006

● Ion Ianoşi, Marile jocuri, postfaţă, Ed. Ideea Europeană, 2007

● Irina Petraş, Marile jocuri, postfaţă, Ed. Ideea Europeană, 2007

● Irina Petraş, Cărţi de ieri şi de azi, Casa Cărţii de Ştiinţă, 2007

● Irina Petraş, Literatura română contemporană. O panoramă, Ed. Ideea Europeană, 2008

● Ion Rotaru, O istorie a literaturii române de la origini până în prezent, Ed. Tempus, 2009


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Critical References



(Romanian) “Aura Christi attacks the serious and eternal themes of poetry head-on, with the awareness that the experience she has gained provides her with the depth and authenticity necessary for the success of this attempt. (…) Beyond time and fads, fervently acting her life and living her poems against her own self, Aura Christi – who could always come under attack exactly because she is so formidable – may be one of the survivor-witnesses of a world undergoing constant degradations; a consequence of this survival will be that given her intractable self, she will resume her role as the slayer of all things shallow.” (Ioan Es. Pop)

(Romanian) “Aura Christi is a poet, novelist and essayist of remarkable originality, who has become a household name over the past two post-communist decades. She writes eclectic poetry, reviving classicism, mannerism, the baroque or romanticism and anchoring herself in modernism, albeit without all the exclusivisms of contemporaneity. While turning a blind ear to the rhetoric of intolerant, metonymic postmodern poetry, Aura Christi continues to offer the reader a metaphorical feast by using the rhetorical criterion as a beacon and revealing how a trope can come to impose a poetic model. Psalms coexist with a harsh, expressionist vision. The universe and the language have tragic twists in poetical narratives that are both crude and fabulous, quasi-mythical. Death is a familiar presence, poignant in terms of sight and smell. Myth is present here as a self-fashioning game.” (Marian Victor Buciu)

(Romanian) “Here is, in the words of Aura Christi, flowing abundantly from hidden sources, the vivifying fluid of poetry, so we should not be afraid of the rhetoric of capitalization, of great Poetry.” (Nicolae Balota)

● “Many of Aura Christi’s commentators have pointed out the ‘explosive rise’ of the poet. Penetrating, Aura Christi had the chance to be seen in the Bucharest milieus. But beyond her valuable substance, the poet’s merits also reside in her tenacious self-construction, bent on programmatically promoting ‘the schism’.” (Adrian Dinu Rachieru)

(French) “Aura Christi is one who possesses the deepest sense of the tragic. Her lyrical discourse, of exceptional verbal and imaginative force, does not avoid pathos, found to a lesser extent in the texts chosen here, making thus an exception from the general rule detected for the 1980s’ generation. The exile of the individual and that of the spirit overlap: ‘I come from the Siberiad of defeats, from the Satania of the unknown,/ (…) I come from the foreignness of my own exile,/ from the excruciating wilderness of self-awareness’.” (Place intangible). (Sorin Alexandrescu)

(Romanian) “Proudly titanic, the Elegies written by Aura Christi probe the divine identity of the poet, of the being in relation to the self, and they are never separated from a subjective participation, even if it is one that engages an ahistorical subject. (…) Most often, however, this subjective participation is raised onto the pedestal of an incandescent idea. These poems about God, death and poetry are all written under the sign of a somewhat instinctive participation in the mystery of existence itself, of positioning oneself in pain. In all, a hymnal, solar, solemn poetry, with rough syntactical seams, as if deliberately refusing shallow rhythms, and being grounded on the cornerstones of devotion and of a creed that is fervently upheld, almost to the point of fanaticism. Throughout Aura Christi’s poetry, which is unique in terms of its themes and expression, and in which the self adheres to an elevated didacticism, attitudes materialize in a Titanism in which divine praise and self-dissolution are the face and the reverse of one and the same discourse. This is why in their severity, the statements sometimes sound brutal, revealing that her entire lyrical work is written as poetry of conception (…).

In all, a poetry whose lyricism is deliberately carved in stone with a chisel, spouting forth an interrogative-hymnic lyricism, a heroic engagement of the self that assists in the metamorphosis of any absence into presence and of any nostalgia into exultation.” (Mircea A. Diaconu)


Critical References


(Romanian) Dostoyevsky – Nietzsche is an essay that, along with others, though not too many, from here or elsewhere, connects us to the imperial past of Europe, that ‘Kingdom of the spirit’ that Faustus invokes. And its author, a romantic in classical garment, a sovereign among the sovereigns of her time, who prophesied for the first time Europe’s cultural unity.” (Nicolae Breban)

(Romanian) “Descended from Bessarabia, from a family in which bilingualism was a fruitful tradition that enabled the powerful effluvia of Russian literature to mould her subconscious, Aura Christi has assumed her exile as a royal chance to walk among the elect: ‘I come from the foreignness of my own exile,/ from the excruciating wilderness of self-awareness’.” (Tatiana Radulescu)

● “The last chapter […] , which focuses on a mystery of eerie charm, the mystery of Mishkin’s ‘idiocy’, may be called a masterpiece without any doubt or reserve. The essayist dares to change the perspective on a famous and cryptic character, covered in overlays of exegesis, often forgotten by the new generations of European critics, and surprises her readership through unexpected associations and revisions in sharp contrast with dry academic discourses. Admirable are also her candour and irrepressible need to understand values which are symptomatic features of the authentic, creative mind. Eternal and permanently modern values, actual and also outside time, defying fashions, passing trends concocted mostly in universities, filled with their stuffy air and finding release in naive and improvised positions. The need to put an end to confusion, to decadence and the decay of values in Continental art and science will now and then force overt protests through clenched teeth and muted mouths. This is an essay which, along with a few others, connects us with that past of Imperial Europe, that ‘kingdom of the spirit’ mentioned by Faustus, as well as with the author, the romantic in classical guise who prophesied the cultural union of Europe for the first time”  (Nicolae Breban, România literară, nr. 46, 2012).



Critical References




Presentations ● critical references (selection)


The tetralogy Night Eagle

● Vol. I: The Sculptor, 2001, 2004

The first volume of the novelistic tetralogy Night Eagle features, at the heart of the narrative, the sculptor Andrei Rogujiv, who is working on the anniversary portrait of a famous professor. The atmosphere is tense, the air is thin, and the protagonists are caught in the middle of an identity crisis, as they attempt to regain their balance in a society that has lost its bearings.

The four novels – The Sculptor, The Stranger’s Night, The Big Games and The Lambs’ Snow – form a tetralogy entitled Night Eagle. Although they are part of a vast narrative structure, each novel represents a distinct narrative entity.



♦ “Aura Christi has many virtues. The force of a many-tiered composition. Her personal impact, for she is well read and exhibits a vigorous inventiveness. Lithe means of characterization. A style adapted to expressive needs.” (Ion Ianoşi)

♦ “The novelistic body is marked by originality and – the biggest gain – it has a style of its own. It is unclassifiable in terms of Manolescu’s Doric-Ionic-Corinthian triad. But, unlike other recent writings, it makes all three of them throb.” (Nicoleta Sălcudeanu)


● Vol. II: The Stranger’s Night, 2004;

The tetralogy focuses on a Renaissance theme: the master-apprentice relationship. The subject is anchored in the reality of post-communist Romania, which has been marked by a transition oftentimes undermined by false issues and false crises, while the real crises (for instance, those of values ​​or models) lie in hiding, lurking and causing havoc. The Stranger’s Night begins with a disconcerting story. The novelist confesses that a few years ago she glanced at “the first page of a Romanian daily which reproduced, in less than twenty lines, in a column, the story of the fall of a psychology student. Having been left alone at home, his parents being absent, a student who was in his final year, apparently, at the Faculty of Psychology dug a tunnel… in the house, without using a spade. Without resorting to anything that might have aided him in his incredible undertaking. He dug with his hands, with his nails, out of despair, for about seven meters, after having dismantled the floor, piece by piece. He was later subjected to a psychiatric examination, the specialists noting that the young subterraneanist was… perfectly sane. The news, at that time, dug a hole through my head. It was unbelievable. I reread it several times with the feeling that I was dreaming; and the more I make an effort to wake up, the more the result turned out to be exactly the opposite of what I expected: I sank further and further down into the unseeable waters of that dream, starting too, amazingly, to dig my own underground. My own underground. With the feeling I had become, overnight, the ruler of an empire. The story of Theodor Volceakovsky – a parabolic novel – with which my novel The Stranger’s Night begins is real; in vain have I tried to explain to a few friends of mine that this is not a fantastic novel. The story seems to tell itself, with the underground tunnel Theo digs, around a motif that returns obsessively, like a musical phrase: ‘Where their hatred stops, my foreignness begins.’”



“An indisputable literary destiny. A destiny Aura Christi assumes. Furthermore, she builds it herself, whatever the sacrifice.” (Nicolae Balotă)


● Vol. III: The Big Games, 2006

A novel about murder, debauchery and pathological eroticism, which founders – in Stoic-like manner – in a suicide regarded as fulfillment through death. A dark novel, with culprits lost in the thickets of immorality, with incestuous siblings and saints who are defeated by the death of their loved ones, yet chanting, nonetheless – from the Dostoyevskian underground – about the will to power, the will to believe in a decrepit world, lost in the valley of an endless decline.



“Through its third and penultimate volume, Night Eagle reveals itself as an ambitious Bildungsroman, with vast outstanding passages about the complicated master-disciple relationship; about the need for autonomy being as acute as that of belonging – the young man being equally hounded by the murky callings of his unfinished being and the need to walk on a safe trail; about art as a modus vivendi, about the auroral and the crepuscular, about dyingness and its words, about the always weightless ties of blood and thought. Against the backdrop of a neatly woven, thrilling plot, the reader will be able to discover, with the delight that only story-telling may impart, that Aura Christi’s big games are, once again, overwhelming.” (Irina Petras)


● Vol. IV: The Lambs’ Snow, 2007

The entire novelistic corpus is packed with stories strewn with the unpredictable, both real and fantastic at the same time, with suicides, dramas, insoluble situations, sudden reversals that exceed all calculations, and destinies turned upside down. Aura Christi proposes epic-scale narrative projects, approaching motifs like the master-disciple relationship, for instance, lifedeath, love, and sacrifice – all major themes of literature.



♦ “Although she writes polyphonic novels, Christi does not exclude spectacular stories with a tense plot, filled with suspense, and told alternatively from the perspective of the protagonist-narrator and from that of the character-reflector. The novelist excels at portraiture, her diverse characters being characterized through lithe, refined means. The descriptions lend the landscape poetic notes (…). Through evocations and vast emotional recollections, the author goes down the other side, exploring the human in its innermost recesses. The stylistic register of maximum expressiveness absorbs all the resources of language and of the literary genres, the narrative, the lyrical, the dramatic, the epistolary (…). A modern, perfectionist novelist, vacillating between the serene and the tragic, between the serious and the playful, between the Apollonian and the Dionysian.” (Ironim Muntean)

♦ “From a would-be outsider of the 1990s’ generation, Aura Christi has turned out to become an overtowering figure among her congeners, recuperating (literary) ground through rather a spectacular coming of age.” (Mihail Galatanu, Flacara, March 2008).


House of Darkness, 2008

This is the history of Matei Naidin, a post-adolescent, fatherless young man who refuses regimentation and chooses Semion Ruda, a professor and a specialist in the history of mentalities, as his master. A mock detective novel, with a classic scenario of initiation, packed with biblical symbols, a novel that is read with bated breath, focusing on a major theme, the master-apprentice relationship, and probing the essential reality of being. When it came out, the novel had contradictory reviews, ranging from denial to unconditional praise, which has ensured its success.



“Aura Christi’s novel House of Darkness is not necessarily a romance, at least not in the current sense of that kind of… story. It is much more. In it the author speaks about moral failure and decay, purification and exorcization, about today’s man acquiring identity and dignity. It is a novel about the discovery of the individual’s pure inner life, beyond all the derisory pitfalls of the morally defiled society in which we live today.” (Constantin Cubleșan)

♦ “Daily life is interiorized, and the suspense-generating tensions are channeled towards the same urgent need to become. Aura Christi’s heroes are creatures in between worlds, in between ages, in between shores.” (Irina Ciobotaru)

♦ “The author’s manifest intention is to explore the characters to the depths of their being, so it is not the plot that takes center stage, but the characters.” (Bogdan Mihai Dascălu)

♦ “A text written by a scholar with readings from Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Jung and Dostoevsky, whose works she has explored in depth, thoroughly. Consequently, it is a novel in which symbols appear everywhere, encoded in the text, with the technique of a hermeneutic modernism that cannot be removed from the equation (…). From a purely technical standpoint, this is a Bildungsroman  grafted on a classic scenario of initiation: the young Matei (all the names are taken from the Bible…) internalizes, in heartrending, dramatic fashion, the premature death of his father, David, dead in a car accident on the Olt Valley, and is in open conflict with his mother, Riri, a pragmatic woman who is nonetheless afflicted by a shortage of human warmth, masked by nervousness. Matei channels his entire affection onto the compensatory figure of his grandfather, Grig, who also dies towards the end of the novel, and on that of Professor Semion Ruda, a refined, elevated, aristocratic fellow-citizen and ‘surrogate father’. It is to the latter, ultimately, that the novel’s protagonist – the future student in philosophy – owes his intellectual revival and literary training as a novelist, as he discovers his compensatory talent for writing somewhat without premeditation or incentives from outside, as the inner effervescence of his own being.” (Stefan Borbély)


Savage Circle, 2010

A dramatic novel about a young woman who, sensing that she exists is a savage circle, spends her life in atrocious loneliness and has a few limit-experiences, eventually resorting to suicide as a last attempt to save her inner purity. The gesture of Diana Belinsky, the heroine of the book, is a refusal to become like the others around her, to accept this game in a circle of aggressive, self-sufficient mediocrity. The novel probes the individual subconscious of a young woman who exists at the limit of endurance, it scours the abysses of being, and is written ​​in an original key, following in the footsteps of the great masters of the modern novel: F. M. Dostoevsky and Proust. The novelist wrote the novel with her first cousin in mind, Angela, who committed suicide when she was about 36 years old.



♦ “Perhaps herein lies the huge merit of the Circle… It subjected me to the rather difficult exercise of spouting forth reasons why life is worth living. And not before a man who hates life, bewildered or disgusted by what life appears to be. But before this girl-woman, Diana, who looks for the deeper meaning, who loves flowers, water, and art. So full of life is this creature of yours that this fullness consumes her and hurls her into death. Diana shows that it is not easy to live at this high altitude of the hunger for life, of the huge power of living. Her thirst for life and beauty and tranquility exposes her, making her vulnerable… Her shipwreck is caused by the murky, dark waters of a careless world, indifferent to the point of being physically aggressive… A world of beasts, in which no one protects the cubs. A greedy world where butterflies and fawns are slain, gobbled up, as if… Maybe that’s why they were born … Maybe God is calling them unto him … Or maybe not! Maybe a huge responsibility should be taken off my shoulders and not just off mine! Perhaps beautiful people, like Diana, have unsuspected strength in their fragility. Perhaps nothing can be done for the teenagers who choose death … Perhaps nothing can be done against death…” (Irina Ciobotaru)

♦ “A mystical Dostoyevskian halo hauntingly envelops the protagonists’ destinies in Aura Christi’s novel, Savage Circle (…) It is, in its way, a novel of couples that are made and unmade, lasting, for a while, as best they can, by virtue of automatisms through which love is sought, mimed, betrayed, always remaining an illusion or a virtual hope, between life and death. Much is said about death in this novel. Existence itself is spent under its sign.” (Constantin Cubleșan)

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