Mircea Cărtărescu: Solenoid

The latest addition to my website is Mircea Cărtărescu‘s Solenoid. This is Cărtărescu’s masterpiece. Partially it is the story of a man who tries and fails to become a writer and ends up a teacher of Romanian in a quasi-Dickensian school in Bucharest. We follow his life – his failed marriage his struggle with is job, his literary interests, his colourful colleagues and his house shaped like a ship but, above all, we see Bucharest, the city designed to be a ruin according to the narrator, which hides great wonders beneath its surface which our narrator slowly and often accidentally discovers. These are palaces of marvels, surrealistic scenes, strange contraptions, biological oddities, all concealed except to a select few including the Pickets, the group he joins which demonstrates against death, despite the opposition of the Romanian state. It is wonderful novel, highly imaginative, highly creative , full of surprised. Sadly it is available in five other languages but not English.

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