Greenpoint, October, 2015

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rinocerului! Emancipata! Trofeelor!

Saul Steinberg, Milano via Pasoli in 1936,
Do we suffer from a poverty of street names in New York? This passage from Norman Manea's memoir, recounting a conversation about Bucharest with fellow Romanian exile Saul Steinberg, suggests we do:

The site of the magic circle was not far from where I am [visiting Budapest]. It had been swept away by the dictator's bulldozers and is now in New York, living on only in the memory of the old artist [Saul Steinberg] living on Manhattan's Upper East Side. I can hear his melodious voice as he recites the archaic names: "Palas Street, Antim, Rinocerului, Labirint, Gentilă Street, Concordiei, and right next to it, Discordiei! Here we have Trofeelor, Olimpului, Emancipata. Listen to this, Emancipata! Isn't it wonderful? And Rinocerului, Labirint, Gentilă, Gentle Street! And Cuțitul de Argint, Puțul cu apă and Tutitul de Argint--the Water Well and the Silver Knife!"

-The Hooligan's Return, Norman Manea (tr. Angela Jianu)

No comments:

Post a Comment