About Gellu Naum: Gelu Naum was a prominent Romanian poet, dramatist, novelist, children’s writer, and translator. He is remembered as the founder of the. . Gellu Naum has 72 books on Goodreads with ratings. Gellu Naum’s most popular book is Zenobia. One of the best-known novels by prolific Romanian avant-garde writer Gelu Naum, Zenobia is the evocation of the singular quest of a Surrealist knight-errant .

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Zenobia by Gellu Naum. The complete review ‘s Review:. Gellu Naum rose to some prominence in the late s and early s. He returned to Romania from France in along with Gherasim Luca — who, however, returned to Paris inworking as a censored poet, writer of children’s books, and translator, continuing to be productive even if little heard from outside his native Romania.

Lost in the Balkans Naum’s work has been less influential and less read than it deserves to gllu. Zenobia is a novel, an unlikely sustained effort from the avant-gardist Naum.

Stylistically it is considerably more approachable than much of his poetry; still, it’s no simple read.

Naum himself figures as the first-person narrator, leading the reader through the maze of the novel. He falls in love with a girl who he names Zenobia names are not firmly fixed in Naum’s world — “You can call me whatever zfnobia want, it doesn’t matter” he tells a friend early ona stunning beauty who seems his perfect mate.


She is a remarkable, if slightly otherworldly figure: For Zenobia there is nothing unimportant or common: They live as lovers, their affair intimate and ethereal, real and elusive.

Zenobia – Gellu Naum – Google Books

He never fully understands or knows slippery Zenobia. Life itself is also unreal, with an odd mix of realistic elements — bits of normality, of recognizable day-to-day life — grounding zenobla. Later he admits to Zenobia as an invention, imagining her first appearance, ultimately willing her into existence.

She is as much a literary inspiration — a muse and an amusement — as a reality.

Books by Gellu Naum

She is, ultimately, whatever he makes of her, fading and returning as he needs her. Naum constantly asks the reader to review zenibia has been written, emphasizing the fiction, shifting the focus occasionally misleadingly.

The writer always makes his presence felt, but like the Naum in the text he does not seem to be in complete control, or aware of all that is happening. The random acts even his own senobia encounters seem as much out of the writer’s control as that of the character. The novel is presented in numbered sections, each of which is one or zenoboa few paragraphs in length, 15 to 20 per chapter, episodes that follow in a general chronological order.



There are seven chapters, beginning with The Swamps and ending on The Plank. There are also occasional “newsflashes” interspersed in the text, strange little items such as: At the Nairobi airport, a Boeing with passengers aboard ran into a hyena, and the flight had to be canceled.

Much of the book is a literary gellu. Cleverly done, much comes across even in the translation.

The surrealist Naum is never an easy read, but there is a lot here that is worthwhile — pieces, rather than a whole here. Often puzzling — and often engrossing — Zenobia will not be to everyone’s taste.

Zenobia | Northwestern University Press

It is, however, a good and interesting read, a book that can be dipped into gellk perused over an extended period of time or swallowed whole in one go. Some patience — and a somewhat open mind — required, but worthwhile. And haven’t you always wanted to say that you’ve read a Romanian avant-gardist novel?

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