„I came back with fresh energies. I have always kept a pleasant souveneer of this enchantind land, which is not know and either understood as it should be. ” (James William Ozanne, Vintage Humanitas)
It is so exciting to buy a new book in which I will read an Englishman’s opinion about the Romanian lifestyle, culture, geography, governemnt system, church and so on. There are 18 chapters that journalist James William Ozanne dedicated to Romania in the years he visited it 1870-1873. Among memoirs and journals, the travelling diary is one of favourite reading choices, because it is personal and authentic, and it takes the reader directly to the center of the period described in the book.
Here are the opinion of some important Romanian cultural personalities about the book.
Georgeta Filitti, specialist in modern and contemporary Romanian history: In the nineteenth century there are 47 English authors that have written the Romanian lands before James William Ozanne. I recommend you to buy this book and to read it and without being aware you will catch this comparison disease. The moment we start comparing ourselves to others, things do not always end up in our favour. Also justice cannot be in our favour at all times.
Vintilă Mihăilescu, author, publicist, psychosociologist and cultural antropologist: The book starts very colorfully and romantically. It has a very interesting reference and well outlined – The Romanian peasant is very fond of how he works, which is both true and false. This is a quote that is also applicable nowadays.
Constanţa Vintilă-Ghiţulescu, historian: The author menions in a passage from the book about the Romanian’s preferences to work as a clerk rather than to work for an employer. There is a very interesting story regarding the clerk’s uniform. You should check it out in the book.
Iulia Vladimirov, translator: As a translator and as a reader, I enjoyed this book for its concise and clear writing style. The author does not lose himself in details. His descriptions are very brief and very suggestive. especially when he outlines landscapes. The way the foreigners describe our picturesque lands has always been fascinanting to me.
Sandra Ecobescu, Fundația Calea Victoriei: I thought it was very interesting this attempt of an Occidental to describe the features of the Romanian people, its cultural life, the social life of Bucharest between the years 1870-1873. I expected to discover a strict author coming to an exotic country, but I found him to be quite touched by the Balkan spirit.
Dan C. Mihăilescu, literary critic, literary historian and essayist: We, Romaninas, have what all foreigners notice: this fastidious manner of going onward in history. It resembles the architecture in Bucharest. Another thing the author observed is the Romanian’s changing character and their disgust to any type of authority. The Romanian is one of the most obediant mutineers I know.