The fellow named in the title, generally known simply as Pastorel (little shepherd) in Romanian, is a somewhat famous bon-vivant of the pre-WW2 period. He enjoyed some enforced obscurity during the soviet-socialist colonization of the country because of his effectual National-socialist propaganda before and during the war, and some "natural" obscurity during the Roosevelt-socialist colonization of the country because of that socialism's (rather Roman) burning hatred for any sort of native quality within its colonized "allies".
Let's peruse some of his productions as they've reached the day and age (and bearing in mind that the man's principal contributions were of presence and oral, he's a kind of Rochesteri not a kind of Proust).
Refuz ca micul meu volum pentru neghiobi si gura-casca pe banderola sa-l rezum. De vor sa stie ce si cum, sa faca bine sa-l citeasca!ii
"Si cum de n'ai zis nimic pina acum ?"
"Da ci? Sa ma supar cind vre el? Ma supar cind vreu iu!"iii
Intrebat cit este ceasul de colegul de pupitru, i-a raspuns dregindu-si glasul "patru far-un sfert de litru".iv
Minulescu, om hazliu, a scris cu pana-i inspirata romante pentru mai tirziu si piese pentru niciodata.v
Cuprinsa de colectiva epilepsie verticala a Rumbei, o masa compacta de dansatori se agita frenetic si mai mult pe loc, ca tiparii intr'un borcan prea mic pentru numarul lor, deabia gasind mijlocul sa-si invirteasca partenerele imbujorate si decoltate la extrema limita. Fara jazz si vazuti de departe, oamenii acestia ar da impresia exacta a calatorilor disperati de pe puntea unui vas in naufragiu, pe-o mare agitata.vi
Nu vreau pe nimenea sa-nghimp cind la ziar vor sa ma cheme ; dar pentru "Vremea" nu am timp, si pentru "Timpul" nu am vreme.vii
Scoala = Totalitatea regulelor care tind la organizarea mediocritatii in vederea unui maximum de armonie sociala.viii
Cind pretinzi unei femei frumoase si violent solicitate de barbati sa ia parte la suferintele domniei-tale sufletesti, tocmai in ziua in care croitoreasa i-a gresit rochia de bal, nu inseamna ca femeia e insensibila, ci ca domnia-ta n-ai tact.ix
Ideile noi nu cistiga drept de viata decit in clipa in care devin prejudecati, adica tocmai atunci cind isi pierd viata.x
Voi, moralisti ilustri, ginditu-v-ati vreunul ca opere eterne, antume si postume, n-ar fi luat fiinta de n-ar fi fost pe lume femeia, treponema, alcoolul si tutunul ?xi
Nici Afrodita, cea in solduri lata, nici Joe cu alaiul lui ceresc nu s-au ivit din bolta instelata, ci dintr-o amfora cu vin grecesc.xii
Doua lucruri mai alina al meu chin si a mea boala : damigeana cind e plina si femeia cind e goala.xiii
Veronicai Porumbacu, la aparitia versurilor "O, Europa, te simt in mine, te simt adinc in mine!"
Mult stimata Veronica, eu credeam c-o ai mai mica, dar marturisirea-ti clara din Gazeta Literara dovedeste elocvent ca in chestia matale cu-adincimi fenomenale intra-ntregul continent.xiv
De se da cum se zvoneste pamint celui ce-l munceste da ce oare nu s-ar da via celui care-o bea ?xv
Unul bea ca-i bautor, altul bea ca-i bestie. Numai eu, ca am umor, beau asa, de chestie.xvi
De ti-ai face testamenul tu sa nu-mi lasi mii de franci. Nasule, lasa-mi obrazul, ca sa-mi fac din el bocanci.xvii
Stimata doamna si distinsa, cind ati fost profund atinsa erati calare sau intinsa ?xviii
N-am venit ca am venit, am venit ca n-am venit.xix
Voi, creatori ai artei pure ce stati acuma la padure, sa fiti atenti cind va plimbati sa nu calcati in ce creati!xx
Nu contrazice voia sortii si nu sfida stihiile. Asa fu scris : cei morti cu mortii, iara cei vii cu viile.xxi
Cind injosesti prin rodul ei chiar via si cu sifon spurci vinul pe care va sa-l bei nu te gindesti tu oare, misel intre misei, ca pingaresti natura si compromiti betia ?xxii
Am primit un plic c-o noua lucrare : e Stefan cel mic de Iorga cel Mare.xxiii
Cind doarme invatatul domn trei stenografi il urmaresc, caci tot ce spune Iorga-n somn apare-n Neamul Romanesc.xxiv
Fie neamt, chinez, hindus omul din maimuta vine ; numai Iorga stim preabine ca se trage din Larousse.xxv
Astazi stie orisicine chiar de nu-i un om prea cult ca Xenopol a scris bine iara Iorga scrie mult.xxvi
Din Craiova pina-n Iasi se resimte lipsa sarii fiindca cei mai multi ocnasi au ajuns la cirma tarii.xxvii
In guvernul Groza, cel de concentrare, s-au primit trei membri pentru completare. Insa, ca sa fie-un cabinet etern imi bag si eu membrul in acest guvern.xxviii
Afla, bind paharul mic dar venerabil, ca nu-i vin Cotnarul. E soare potabil.xxix
Soldate rus, soldate rus, te-au inaltat atit de sus ca liberasi popoarele sau pen'ca-ti put picioarele ?xxx
Invitat fiind la crama am raspuns, ca bun crestin, printr-o scurta telegrama : Vin!xxxi
O sa intru in pacat, sfinte Doamne tine-ma : pentru vin nu am ficat, pentru apa, inima.xxxii
Beau baietii harnici de cu seara-n zori. Unii sunt paharnici, altii turnatori.xxxiii
Sa cred nu stiu in care Dumnezeu si cui sa ma inchin nu am habar ; dar am crezut si crede-voi mereu in Arta, in Moldova si-n Cotnar.xxxiv
Profund si vast ca un Atlantic el nu se-ncurca-n prozodie. De cum a inceput sa scrie, a scris in chilometru antic.xxxv
Mai Ilie Pintilie, spune cum sa-ti zic eu tie : Bonaparte Pintilie sau Napoleon Ilie ?xxxvi
Am trimis la mauri un ministru nou, printre atitia tauri sa fie si un bou.xxxvii
In cinstea ta Staline m-am asezat pe vine si ce-am facut sub mine sa stii ca-i pentru tine.xxxviii
Sadoveanu filorus sta cu curu' la apus, ca s-arate-Apusului care-i fata rusului.xxxix
Cind te vad asa, pe garduri si cu raze imprejur mai ca-mi vine sa te-asemui cu o gaura de cur.xl
Cite stele sunt pe cer toate dimineata pier, numai una ca o proasta sade pe uzina noastra.xli
Pompeia, mingiindu-si mut iubitul isi potriveste salba de la git. "De ce l-ai omorit ?" "Era urit."xlii
There's a lot more material, or at least was -- mostly, buried in memories, by now mostly under ground ; otherwise buried in obscure periodicals, like the ineptly named "Tara" of Sibiu ; finally buried in unadvertised editions because in spite of the evident public appeal who would advertise him ? And yet he's written one of the best if not the best Romanian play for children, and other notable things.
- Technically, he's more of a Caragiale continuator than anything, I suppose, albeit with a serious alcoholism problem
- "I refuse to summarize my work for the benefit of the vaguely-interested jwzs. If they want to participate in the life of the spirit, let them fucking read it!" [↩]
- "Why didn't you say anything before ?"
"What, I should be angry when he chooses ? Ima be angry when I choose!"
The context is a strangely-brave coward (Bercu Leibovici) of modest social standing becoming unexpectedly belicose over long past transgressions to the point of throwing his modest clerk's inkwell at the director of the bank employing him. [↩]
- Asked as to the time o'clock he answered after a cough that it's a quarter liter to four. [↩]
- "Minulescu, a funny man, produced by his blessed pen poems for somewhat later and plays for absolutely never."
The man (Ion Minulescu) is principally known as a poet, but he did tempt the fates as a playwright as well. His "Romante pentru mai tirziu" ie poems in (technically) the (Spanish) romance meter but more practically vaguely romatico-erotic "for later" are well known ; his plays haven't survived.
The assault is particularily truculent seeing how the author is just as much and just in the same way a failed playwright himself. [↩]
- "Taken by the collective vertical epileptic fit of the Rumba, a compact mass of dancers stirs frenetically and rather in place, like lampreys stuffed in a small jar, barely finding the means to spin their blushing partners, decolletee'd to the extreme limit [presumably, of the nipple]. Without jazz and seen from a distance, these people would give the exact impression of the passangers on a ship sinking on angry seas." [↩]
- There's two ways to say "time" in Romanian : timp, on Latin filiation, and vreme, on slavic filiation. Because yes, that's the advantage of whorishness -- exogamy makes better sons and Romanian has more vocabulary.
Pastorel then proceeds to exploit these : For The Times he's got no время and vice-versa.
This note should explain why the man is a genius. It's not that "what he says is funny", a bar too high for the various two bit provincial aspirants (one of which "intelligently" proposed that instead of Pastorel the man should be called Paharel hahaha ce-am mai ris) that dedicated him trillions of "epigrams" over the years in a baseless attempt they might end up associated. It's that what he says under the guise of being funny, items he produces that pretend to minority are in fact readily and evidently rescue-able a century later, and directly applicable to the situation in the field such as it is. Or, this is precisely the mark of genius in art : that forms once produced remain permanently and immediately meaningful throughout the passage of time. In this only sense that matters Pastorel is very much like say Goethe.
- "School is the sum total of rules that attempt to organize mediocrity towards a maximum of social harmony".
The funny part here is that in a hundred years this statement turned from offensive and scandalous to the tritest banality. [↩]
- "When you demand of a beautiful woman that's effervescently courted by men to take part in your soulfoul agitations the very day her seamstress ruined her ball gown it doesn't follow the woman is insensitive, it follows you've no tact."
There are things more important than the internal life of spurious dicklets. Ball gowns generally qualify. [↩]
- "New ideas do not have a claim to life except from the moment when they become preconceptions, which is to say once they're lifeless." [↩]
- "You, illustrious firebrands, ever stop to think that eternal tomes, anthumous or posthumous, would never have been born if there wasn't here already woman, syphilis, alcohol and tobacco ?" [↩]
- "Neither wide-hipped Aphrodite nor Jove and his celestial cortege came out of the star-lit sky but out of a measure of Greek wine." [↩]
- "Two items still solace my torturous disease : dame Jane when she's full and any other dame when she's bare."
Literally, dame Jane, a carboy. [↩]
- To Veronica Porumbacu, upon publishing the verse "Oh, Europe, I feel you inside me, I feel you deep inside me!"
Muchly esteemed Veronica, I had thought you tighter, but your plain confession to the Literarry Gazette eloquently proves that in your thingee of phenomenal depths the whole continent could fit." [↩]
- "If it were true what's said, that land will be given to he who works it, why then shouldn't the vinery be given to he who drinks it ?" [↩]
- "One drinks for he's a drinker, another drinks for he's a beast. Only me, for my good humour, drink just so, ironically."
- "When you write your testament don't leave me sums of money ; leave me your cheek, so I might have a good pair of boots."
Written for Mihail Sadoveanu, universally reviled antinational-socialist of some dubious literary merit. [↩]
- "Esteemed lady and distinguished, when you were profoundly touched were you astride or supine ?"
Addressed to a circus horseback rider and prize recipient who declared herself "profoundly touched" by the affair. [↩]
- "I didn't come because of my income, I came because of my lack of income." Evidently this pun works better in Romanian. Like all the others. [↩]
- "You, creators of pure art now detached to the side of the forest : be careful when you take walks lest you step in your created matter."
The context for this being that the communists had repurposed an old regal hunting lodge as a "creative retreat" for regime-friendly authors. [↩]
- "Do not contradict fate and do not provoke divine wrath. It was so written : the dead with the dead, and they alive with the vineries."
Technically the feminine form of the implicitly masculine "cei vii" would be "cele viele" (somewhat in the manner of cel rau / cea rea / cei rai / cele rele) but the form is rather defective in common usage due to complicated phonological considerations and i/e are somewhat ambiguous in Romanian thereby making this a very workable pun. [↩]
- "When you debase through its product the very vinery by defiling with water the wine you're about to drink do you not stop to think, rascal above all rascals that you besmear nature and dishonour drunkedness ?"
The common (Austrian, and thereby Transylvanian) habit of drinking wine with (mineral) water (aka spritz) was not well received in Moldavia. At issue is the following conflict : the Western habit works exceedingly well for the flavourless, light and airly Zinfandels the Plattdeutsch drink ; but rather poorly for the extremely complex pearl of Eastern vineyards, the wine of Cotnar. [↩]
- "I received a new work of literary fiction : Stephen the small by Iorga the Great".
Nicolae Iorga was enormously popular and enormously productive ; consequently he was politically powerful and readily identified by the youthful rebellions of a whole generation of more-or-less intellectuals who didn't perceive in their own fathers enough material to satisfactorily play Laius. The implication here is that Iorga's writing makes the foundational Moldavian ruler's exploits seem minor by comparison to the author's, roughly the same as saying "Here's a book on Ivan the Hesitant by Mircea the Terrible". [↩]
- "When the learned gent sleeps three stenographers stalk him, for everything he speaks in his sleep appears in Romanian Nation".
- "Be he German, Chinese or Hindu man originates in monkey ; with the exception of Iorga, who originates in Larousse." [↩]
- "Today everyone knows, even if not much of an intellectual, that Xenopol wrote well whereas Iorga writes lots."
A. D. Xenopol was a noted historian of the same period, also one of Nicolae Iorga's principal preoccupations. [↩]
- "From East to West there's a salt shortage due to relocating so many criminals in Parliament."
Obviously, salt mines were worked with convicts. [↩]
- "The Groza cabinet received three extra members. To make it eternal, I'll stick my member into it as well."
At the time the Soviets invaded, Romanian socialism was altogether very ideologically unbolshevic and in any case unfermented revolutionarily. Communism was entirely inexistent. Entirely inexistent. The expeditious way forward was found in co-opting Dr. Petru Groza, a rather popular agrarian, pretending he won a majority of votes (which wasn't the case, though he probably got close), then pretending the government he formed was "of concentration" which is to say "national union" or whatever you call it these days, then directly applying force to the individual members to swerve them sufficiently red for Stalin's needs.
- "Find, drinking the small but venerable glass, that Cotnar doesn't make wine. It makes Sun potable." [↩]
- "Russian soldier, Russian soldier, did they plant you so high up there because you liberated the peoples or because your feet stink ?"
The context is some badly designed statue employing an excessively tall postament for excessively irrelevant matter. [↩]
- "Upon being invited to the wine cellar I answered like a good Christian in a short telegram : Coming!"
In the original, "I come!" ([eu] vin) is entirely ambiguous with "wine" (also vin). [↩]
- "I'm well fucked, oh help me Lord : for wine I've not the liver, for water I've not the heart." [↩]
- "The productive boys are drinking from evening till morn. Some hold the glasses, and the others pour."
"Turnator" literally denotes one who pours, but it is also how you say stoolie in Romanian. The place here described is the "Writer's Union" hall during soviet occupation, so... [↩]
- I don't know what god to follow and whom to worship, but I've always put my faith in Art, in Moldavia and in Cotnar wine. [↩]
- "Vastly profound like the Atlantic, he masterfully handles prosody : ever since he started writing, he wrote in antique kilo-meter." [↩]
- "Yo Ilie Pintilie, what should I flatter you with, Bonaparte Pintilie or Napoleon Ilie ?"
The named fellow, dead 1940, was a railroad worker active in labour organisation during the 20s and 30s and supposedly a (mostly, retroactive) communist. He died "heroically" when the prison housing him collapsed during an earthquake. The communists named lots of streets after him, including the major Bonaparte boulevard in Bucharest (now Iancu de Hunedoara). [↩]
- "We sent over to the Moors a new ambassador, so they have an ox among all those bulls."
In Romanian "bou" (castrated bull, ox) is the superlative dumbness in males, the equivalent of "vaca" (cow) for females. The intension is muchly preserved in English as well, by eg "a rather bovine sensibility" and so on. The compliment's recipient is one Ioan Theodor Florescu, a political migrant briefly Justice Minister in 1922 and Romanian ambassador in Spain (where his activity was rather subversive towards the Spanish republican government with which he was accredited). [↩]
- "In your honor, Stalin, I bent over and what I made, let me say, is all for you."
Stalin was deeply impopular in Romania, to a degree Hitler never managed. [↩]
- "Sadoveanu, pro-Russian, moons the West, to show the Westerners what a Russian face looks like." [↩]
- "When I see you on all the walls and with rays about I am tempted to compare you with an asshole"
The electoral sign of the communists was a sun. [↩]
- "All the stars in the skies have the common decency to go away with the dawn, just this dumb one on our workplace sits and won't leave already".
The communists were fixated on stars, red or otherwise. [↩]
- Pompeia, mutely caresses her lover and adjusts her necklace. "Why did you kill him ?" "He was ugly." [↩]