The Hole in the Flag: A Romanian Exile's Story of Return and Revolution

Andrei Codrescu, Author William Morrow & Company $21 (249p) ISBN 978-0-688-08805-7
Poet and National Public Radio commentator Codrescu ( Belligerence ) was born in Romania, left as a teenager and returned to observe the shocks and joys of revolution from December 1989 to January 1991. This report of his homecoming, jubilation and disenchantment makes an excellent companion volume to Codrescu's early memoir, The Life and Times of an Involuntary Genius . The first book was a lyric portrait of the artist as a raffish would-be poet in rural Transylvania; the one in hand is an equally sly but more worldly meditation on politics and personal history. The author opens on a note of sobriety, recounting the apparent end of despotism. The remainder of the book bears a more individual imprint, as Codrescu revisits scenes from his past, tries to look up old friends and offers thoughts on ``cultural genocide.'' His outlook is summed up with the words, ``I have never been able to abide either authority or bureaucrats. That is why I'm a poet.'' And thus, he finds enough still to rail against in Romania, questioning the veracity of the revolution itself as a series of ``staged media events'' possibly brought about by an elite conspiracy. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-380-71373-8
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