23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023
Portrait Constantin Virgil Banescu
© Mika Natri

Constantin Virgil Banescu

Constantin Virgil Bãnescu was born in Târgoviste, Romania, in 1982. He studied Communication and Public Relations at the National School for Administrative and Political Studies in Bucharest. Since his early youth, he has always enjoyed poetry, and when he was ten years old, he wrote his first poem – in French. His poems appeared in numerous magazines, among them “Ziua Literara”, “Literatorul” and “Viata Romaneasca”. They were translated into Slovenian, German, Spanish and English. In the German translation, by Oskar Pastior, they were published in literary magazines such as “Manuskripte” and “Schreibheft”. His first volume of poetry “Câinele, femeia si ocheada” (t: The dog, the Woman and the Glance) appeared in 2000 and was received by critics with enthusiasm. For his debut, the young writer was awarded the renowned Prize of the Bucharest Writers Association. He published his second volume of poetry “Floarea cu o singura petala” (t: The flower with the Single Petal) in 2002. Constantin Virgil Bãnescu’s lyrical cosmos appears both tender and frightening. While in a love poem such as “ocheada (vino)” a gentle seduction by cajoling cadences is practised, in poems such as “Câinele” and “Femeia” he indulges in violent fantasies of possession and power, as if a godlike creator. He forms verbal spaces that often open up surprisingly towards the surreal and nightmarish. Some of the poems from his second volume he arranged in accordance with the Hindu principles of “Jagrat” and “Svapna”. “Jagrat” refers to the “state of being awake”, whereas “Svapna” is the Sanskrit term for the “dreamy consciousness of sleep”. Sleep, as the space of dreams, is the most important precondition for accessing an ephemeral, secret world defined purely by individual experience. For the poet Constantin Virgil Bãnescu too, dreaming is inhabited by a special creative potential that has to be harnessed. As he writes in his poem “svapnagata (I Sleep to Dream)” quote: “just / my soul returns / back to my body. / just  / I see myself / writing on some of hills / waiting for the wings / in the secret of / a wall of water. / just / I saw / I sleep to dream / sleep only to dream / just sleep.” Constantin Virgil Bãnescu was awarded the Hubert Burda Prize for young poets from the South and South East of Europe. He lives in Bucharest.

© international literature festival berlin


Câinele, femeia ši ocheada
Lasi, 2000

Floarea cu o singurǎ petalǎ
Lasi, 2002

Übersetzer: Oskar Pastior