This will be the first Romanian book I’ve read since I started doing Top of the Pile. I couldn’t find an English translation, so I chose to use the author’s name in titling this post. But Rosetti’s title roughly translates to What I Heard From Other People. Memories., and it’s what attracted me to the book to begin with. I got it during my Romanian book shopping spree this winter, and it’s been sitting on a shelf since, under a pile of six or seven other Romanian books I bought then and have yet to make time for.
I picked it as my new read for the week following the impression Orhan Pamuk’s Istanbul has made on me. The melancholic images of the city following the fall of the Ottoman Empire, for some reason brought back countless dear memories of the time my mother and I lived in Bucharest in my childhood, and I found myself craving for Romanian literature of the past. Rosetti was a historian, genealogist and writer born in a high ranking Moldavian family of the 19th century, his grandfather having been the final ruler of Moldavia before it joined Romania in 1859. His memoirs tell a story of Romanian (Moldavian) society between 1790 and 1840.
I may not have mentioned this about me, but even though I have the worst memory in the world and I’ll never ever remember dates and geographic coordinates, and I ABSOLUTELY HATED History in school, well, in spite of all that I’m very much into historical literature, so I’ll surely be writing more historical book themed Top of the Pile posts in the future.