Autoportret intr-o oglinda sparta: A Memoir by Octavian Paler
Autoportret intr-o oglinda sparta (Self-portrait in a broken mirror) is a book by Romanian writer, journalist and editor Octavian Paler, published in 2004 by Polirom. It is a collection of personal reflections, memories and anecdotes that reveal the author’s life story, character and destiny.
In this book, Paler asks himself what he has left behind: a biography or a destiny? He admits that his life was not spectacular, but rather marked by a somnambulic state between reality and dream. He wonders if his destiny was shaped by his heredity and his flaws, or by seemingly trivial details that he overlooked. He tries to answer these questions by using scattered events from his past.
Paler also confesses his introverted nature and his inability to escape from his own self. He writes with honesty, irony and self-criticism, revealing his thoughts on politics, culture, society and human nature. He also shares his admiration for some of his literary idols, such as Camus, Eliade and Cioran.
Autoportret intr-o oglinda sparta is a captivating and insightful book that offers a glimpse into the mind and soul of one of Romania’s most respected and influential intellectuals of the 20th century.
If you want to read this book, you can download it in PDF format from various online sources[^1^] [^2^] [^3^]. You can also buy it from online or physical bookstores.
Octavian Paler was born on July 2, 1926 in Lisa, a small village in Brasov County. He attended the Spiru Haret High School in Bucharest, but he had to leave it after a conflict with his uncle and the school headmaster. He then moved to the Radu Negru High School in Fagaras, where he excelled in literature, philosophy, Latin and Greek. He graduated with honors in 1945 and enrolled in the University of Bucharest, where he studied Law and Philosophy.
Paler had a long and prolific career as a journalist and editor. He worked for various newspapers and magazines, such as Romania Libera, Ziua and Cotidianul. He was also the vice-president of the Romanian Radio and TV Broadcasting committee from 1965 to 1970, and the president of the Romanian Journalists Council in 1976. He was known for his sharp and critical views on politics, culture, society and human nature.
Paler was also involved in politics, but he faced persecution and censorship from the communist regime. He was a substitute member of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party from 1974 to 1979, and a member of the Great National Assembly for the Vaslui constituency from 1980 to 1985. However, he was not loyal to Nicolae Ceausescu and his policies, and he expressed his pro-western orientation and dissidence. He was placed under house arrest and banned from publishing or participating in cultural events.
After the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the fall of Ceausescu, Paler continued his anti-communist activity as a founding member of the Group for Social Dialogue, along with other prominent intellectuals such as Ana Blandiana and Gabriel Liiceanu. He was an outspoken critic of the post-communist politicians and politics, denouncing corruption, nepotism, populism and demagogy. He advocated for democracy, human rights, moral values and civic responsibility.