Eminescu’s coffer – Translated by George Anca

All are old and all are new.
Ladies and gentlemen, we continue with a collection of pieces: Eminescu’s coffer.
We have starting price of 5000 EUR, who offers 5000 EUR, at number 18
5200. 5200 EUR once, 5200 twice at 120
We have 5500 EUR. 5500 once, 5500 twice at 170
6000 EUR. 6000 to 210. We continue
6300 EUR. 6300 to number 84.
We go on with 6500. At number 100 there at the end.
6800 at a time, 6800 twice. At number 18. Thank you. We continue.
7000 EUR. 7000 at a time. 7,000 twice. 7000 EUR adjudecate.

His wonderful shape is, still today, in my mind. I did saw him. A striking beauty. It was impossible to appear in a hol without attracting by his person even those who did not know him. He was extremely cheerful. And hommed when coming from his walks in Vienna park.
After an iniatory and bohemian periplus, along with various theater bands, where Eminescu was accompanied by a travel bag taken from his father, a coffer in which   he kept some books he often read, the young man was sent to Vienna as a student. Here, the coffer begins to host a series of notebooks, which are increasing from year to year.
You, old Vienna, you, ancient cradle emperors. Do you hear, at the gate, the hero’s hard step?
Long live the nation!

Eminescu was enrolled as a student at the old university of Bäckerstraße and lived in several homes between 1869-1872 when he left Vienna. He went to the Trolley café at Vollzeite, where other Romanian students were gathering. There he came daily and ordered beer, oranges or Viennese coffee. And at the requirement of the Romanian students, Eminescu held conferences with his voice full of verve. In the beginning, Eminescu always took part in debates, and he was always able to forget both the time and the self, when the object about was passionate. He also accepted the opponent’s opinion with some restrictive amendments in political, ecclesiastical and social matters. But it was implacable up to fanaticism in terms of history, philosophy and aesthetics.
Mr. Michaelis Eminescu, an eternal doctoral student in many non-useable sciences, a former librarian when he preyed the library, former reviser at the girls’ school, a former editor in chief of the Stewardship Sheet and other unreaded and of other journals collabortor.

On the pages of the 2257 manuscript there is the concept of a telegram to his father, obviously Mihai Eminescu asking for the money to be sent monthly, and on the 103rd street is the address of the National Hotel in Leopoldstadt, where the Romanian Juni Society Ball took place. Eminescu reports details about this ball.
It is known that the Society of Romanian Students in Vienna gives each year a splendid ball that enjoys a certain reputation with its elegance and beauty. Last Monday (February 14), the Society Committee composed of drd. Stihi (president), drd. Ciucu and Popazu were received in audience by His Emperor. On this occasion, His Majesty welcomed to ask for detailed information about the progress of the Romanian student society and more about the reading cabinet; he promised that, forgiving his circumstances, he would come to Bal. The ball itself was set on yesterday, Saturday. On this occasion, Mr. Strauss, Director of the Imperial Court Balls Music, dedicated the Society to a polka-francaise entitled „Snow Flake”.

Here seems to be the ball where Mihai Eminescu and Veronica Micle met.

Great room is bright, / table is white, lot of guests, / sweet talk to listen ever / and its endeared light / by gloss eyes, by many eyes
here some stay în laziness / and they dream and think / others there are yelling / and women with long eyelashes / laugh in secret and watch.
One feigns that doesn’t see / and her head is bent / wile her enamored eyes / their rays are fast / to the sad stranger
To the stranger with pale brow / and with hair like of the raven / her red lips sips / now in arms then on the lap / blind love sleeping.

Trying to re-edit Eminescu’s translation from Kant, I came across a miracle: the 44 poet’s notebooks. This miracle wos met by others in passing. But it’s good to say every story from the beginning. Open the 2258 manuscript containing the 24-year translation of the heaviest book of Kant. Go to the manuscripts 2255, 2264, 2306, all with philosophical notes, and suddenly the magic formlessness, the larval, the primary envelops you and takes you to the rest. Forget that you are pursuing a simple matter of specialty. That you are neither good at the other. That trained hands and pious minds have gone over these manuscripts, pulling out or standing to get the best of them, and you say to yourself: beyond what can get out of Eminescu is Eminescu himself. There are these notebooks, of which he did not split – and you would not want to break up, you reader, even for a while.
This is not about Eminescu’s works. About his culture. About his projects. Of his variants. The retained platonic treasures or the possible philosophical systems – it’s all about it. This extraordinary spectacle that gives you a culture of openness to everything.
Death is the extinction of the consciousness of numerical identites.

It is not perhaps to see in other culture a document as impressive and complete but Leonardo’s notebooks. It is not easy to mention any culture consciousness that – at a very often naive level – it is right – to attempt to encompass so much (in fifteen years compared to Geothe’s 60 years of assimilation and creation) to risk so much and to miss so much.

God is an atom, a mathematical point, the common point where all the powers of the earth melt to form the body of laws, the cosmic system.
How to be thanked only for the 90 poems published during the lifetime or those of the Maiorescu edition? For those of today, the culture is not any more just a finished work. No genre can name these books of Leonardo or Eminescu. All I can say is that more than in the opera, it’s about Leonardo himself, or Eminescu himself.
So what will we meet in the notebooks? Everything together. For example, at the beginning of the 2255 manuscript, we will see German notes and then notes about principium rationis sufficientis, then literary prose, then math exercises and philosophical thoughts again, with a judgment on Kantian antinomies.
And then … who knows if it is better / To be or not to be … but everyone knows. / That what is not, does not feel pain, / And many pains are but few pleasures./
To be? Madness and both sad and empty; / The ear lies to you and the eye deceives;/ What a century tells us the others denies. / Than a flat dream, better nothing.

But the party under delight of language is not all in the 2257 manuscript. The economist can also take part in the banquet. And not only the economist is served, but also the beekeeper, because on a few tabs is spoken on the bee’s birth is. The biologist and the chemist, with about 20 tabs on the living organism and some chapters of chemistry ; the historian with more than 20 tabs on „ideas to Machiavelli ; even the philologist with about 11 Greek words. For the last pages to talk about the immaterial substance in the universe.

After whot everithing was taken out from these notebooks, all that seemed like a work, as a sketch of work, as a variation, thoughts and sketches of thoughts, you found that all the notebooks remained intact. Not only has it not been deciphered yet, that it was possible to escape interesting thoughts and projects, that the eye of a great critic – like Calinescu – could read other things on the pages over which he had passed;

Our earth is poorer in geniuses than the universe in fixed stars. It is easier to create a new solar system in the vast valleys of chaos than a genius on earth.
But you find that everything that has been given to the printing has taken on an ordinary face, while the chaos in which the works and notations of all sorts are here, the writing of Eminescu, the joining of the unexpected situations and thoughts, everything makes the image the unusual way the pages of the manuscript give you, to exert a magic that, unlike Paul Valery’s notebooks, can not be lost.

Without Me, there is no time, there is no space, no God, no Eye is no light, no Hearing is no song – The eye is light, Hear is the song, I am God … My nation is the world; How without me is not God, so without my nation is not the world. What were the Romanians while I was not? What will they be, while I will not be? What a fading head without a zenith.
Faced with the leonard’s fantastic nature, Eminescu’s poetic or prose descriptions of other worlds, shattered, thrown in time, or with the time taken out of the woods, projected from the past to the present, when no end-of- beginning with the world, all have a fantastic character of spirit and culture rather than a naturalist.
On Tomorrow’s Sunday: 4 shirts, 2 collars, 4 pairs of jewels, 1 nightcloth, 1 pillow …
About the destiny of these manuscripts there has been a lot of ink flowing over the years. There are still inaccurate things about the route after 1883 of these manuscripts, when Eminescu was interned. Eminescu’s few things, including manuscripts and books, were taken by Simțion, an intimate friend of the poet. Then they went over to Chibici-Ravniceanu.

From Ober-Dobling (Vienna), Eminescu, worried, wrote to Chibici on January 12, 1884:
Beloved Chibici, what I want to know from you is if my books and my coffer are safe and if I can hope to see them again. … I do not have where I put my stuff, it would be good if you kept my so-called crate for some time, though I suppose this is not quite pleasant. Please, however, take the box from Simțion if it is no longer possible to stay there until my condition is correct, if it is possible to ever go.
The coffer with manuscripts and books will reach Maiorescu.
On November 20, 1887, his sister, Harieta, wrote to Cornelia Emilian: Eminescu lacks reading books, he wrote to Mr. Maiorescu to send his library, but so far he has received no answer. On February 27, 1888, again, Harieta writes to Cornelia Emilian: Eminescu is very upset about Mr. Maiorescu, that he wrote it recommended, praying him very warmly for his library and some manuscripts he would haunt. And no answer has been received so far. If I could, I would bring her books from Bucharest, but who knows what they are and is not wasted much.
Maiorescu gave no answer and kept them in his custody for almost 20 years. He donated them to the Academy on January 25, 1902, the inventory being: many manuscripts, part of the published poems, part trials, fragments and variants of published poems, part studies, translations and prose articles „, which he had from Mihai Eminescu. And it goes on: „All these manuscripts, as they are: cartons, sewn notebooks, and flyers, I send them together and give them to the Romanian Academy to serve those who will be in the future with more in-depth research on the life and activity of our great poet. „

I love this good, gentle, human people, on whose backs the diplomats are carving out the charters and the wars, they are painting kingdoms about whom does not even pass through.
The Eminescian treasury kept at the Academy Library is now up to 15,000 pages, out of letters and archival documents. They were retained as they were submitted by Maiorescu, except for the notebooks, which were not related and which received the respective cartons.
How many flowers are on the ground, all go to vow …
Some of the notebooks, especially Rhime Dictionaries, less researched and less used, still retain original links today. The idea of preserving these manuscripts appeared since the 1930s, because Nicolae Iorga wrote that „No Eminescu line must remain unpublished”.
– But time? But the time ..
– Oh, that damned time, that’s when it’s long, short, but it’s the same, at least the remontorium says it … When someone’s waiting at the gate of some sweetie his sweetheart … and she’s not coming. and waiting … and she still does not come … what’s the time? An eternity. And when someone reads a beautiful book … thousands of paintings unfold before the eyes … what’s the time? One minute. Who has never had a whole novel in mind, whose normal reality would be a whole life or a whole youth? … in his dream he can have one man’s whole life in one night. And why of a man? Why not all those who turn around him? And how long? Seven eight times. But what’s a tragedy or something else? And, indeed, if such an interest is concerned, you do not even squeeze as long as it has passed. To take the criterion of normality, to wipe out all the esclusiveness of a conventional and flattering possibility and to place another equally right in the home. Then let’s just say: this is only possible and only possible, but we say: As soon as our head reaches, it is … but the hell knows if it could not be a thousand times different …

But it seems to me that where there is a problem is at same time its solution. Kant. Most people, however, ask questions, sometimes comical, sometimes unruly, sometimes full of meaning, sometimes deserted.
Then Constantine Noica pleaded for the publication of these manuscripts, elaborating in 1968 a manifesto: Make the Eminescu manuscripts faint! The dream of philosopher Constantine Noica was not possible in the 1970s. Presented on October 2, 1984 in Botoșani and Ipoteşti, Noica raises the issue of facsimilation of Eminescu’s manuscripts, leaving to Ipoteşti 11 Eminescu worksheets for facsimile. Noica speaks of „a miracle” (the existence of notebooks) and the new miracle that should occur: meeting the 14,000 pages with the spirit of younger generations. He thinks it is a national obligation to provoke this meeting and awaits a lot of it. He has an example: publishing the 29 notebooks of Valéry. He consulted a few volumes and, if he had any skepticism about it, he heals: facsimilation can be done. Hard work is being done to copy the manuscripts from microfilms at the Academy Library.
Until December 7, 1986, all the films from the Academy Library had been copied, being photographed, according to the original films, all the manuscripts on the film, leaving the missing pages filled up and the whole material multiplied. On April 1, 1987, the first notebooks were given, and on October 1, 1987 Noica returned to Botosani and saw the 31 photographed Eminescu worksheets, of which 16 were already copied in 3 copies. Every man is a question put back to the spirit of the universe.
The martyr, the hero and the wise are forms of one and the same substance: the truth.
At the 155th anniversary of Eminescu’s death, the Romanian Academy launched the first volume of the famous facsimile manuscripts by Mihai Eminescu. On January 15, 2006 volumes II – VI were launched, and on January 15, 2008, a further 12 volumes were released from the facsimile edition of the Eminescu manuscripts. They numbered almost 2,600 pages. In 2009, the editing of all eminescian facsimile manuscripts will be finalized.

The word comes from Conventus, a gathering of people, says Eminescu. How many still know it? How many are looking for their ultimate truth, their community beings, how many love their word and search for it?
Most scholars who have used them have taken research only those interested: prose or poetry manuscripts, those with historical, economic, philosophical or scientific notes. The whole was not interested because it did not seem to be a whole. Undoubtedly, it is not the whole of a work, not even of a destiny; but it’s the whole of a culture consciousness.
Eminescu’s notebooks can not be crossed entirely, with the feeling that you are in front of the full man of Romanian culture.
These notebooks are a kind of diary of Mihai Eminescu’s life. But a very special diary, which no one has ever done, and which we no longer meet in the universal literature, because here we find Eminescu’s creation, we find his thoughts, we find his everyday life, with its good and bad parts, with its responsibilities. We find the most beautiful thoughts that a Romanian has ever had. Like the most beautiful lyrics. The fact that Mihai Eminescu studied in Vienna at that time a kind of healthy positivism, which reigned in philosophy, studied history as well as mathematics, astronomy, economics. Medicine is also studied. And we find Eminescu in notebooks scribbles from all these domains. And what is interesting, besides the fact that he transcribed many works, bigger or smaller, because at that time there were no other means of multiplication, but on each occasion he had his own notes. So his own thoughts about what he was reading. And interesting is the fact, especially in connection with the writings of history and psychology – at that time the peoples’ psychology was fashionable – and each time Eminescu read a paper, he said: „That is also the Romanians. And this in Romanian has the same meaning, that is. Such events also took place in the history of the Romanians. „So he constantly referred to the Romanians, to the Romanians’ history and to our culture.

No more delight as moving once / Stories and lyrics, riddles, heresies, / Brightening my childhood forehead was, / Hardly understood, but full of meanings – / Vainly your shadows now surround me, / O, hour of the mystery, o, sunset even.
To pluck a sound from past of life, / To do it, soul, to tremble again / With my hand în vain I glide on lyre ;
Lost it all in the horizon of youth / And moves its sweet mouth of other times, / And time grows behind me … / I get dark!

Translated by George Anca

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