Gellu Naum: Zenobia (Zenobia )

The latest addition to my website is Gellu Naum‘s Zenobia (Zenobia ). Naum was a Surrealist poet and this is very much a Surrealist poet’s novel. Our hero is called Gellu Naum. While visiting Mr Sima in the country in the depths of winter, he meets and immediately falls in love with Zenobia, the name he gives her – we never know her real name – and his love is reciprocated. The pair set off together and go and live in a burrow like moles with Dragoş, an old, an almost inanimate man. After surviving the winter, Gellu explores the swamps before the threesome set off for Bucharest. Dragoş will go off with Empedocles as a child, while Gellu wanders the streets of Bucharest, meeting many dead people – he admits to not being able to tell the difference being the dead and living – and the pair will live in surrealistic but relatively happy harmony before returning to the swamps. The book is full of surrealistic images – death and animals abound – and strange behaviours but is interesting reading if you do not expect the conventional.

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