The Fifth Impossibility
Essays on Exile and Language
Imprint: Yale University Press
Among pieces on the cultural-political landscape of Eastern Europe and on the North America of today, there are astute critiques of fellow Romanian and American writers. Manea answers essential questions on censorship and on linguistic roots. He unravels the relationship of the mother tongue to the difficulties of translation. Above all, he describes what homelessness means for the writer.
These essays—many translated here for the first time—are passionate, lucid, and enriching, conveying a profound perspective on our troubled society.
~David Mikics , New Republic
“Manea demonstrates that he is an indispensable analyst of what it means to be a Romanian, and a Romanian Jew, and a writer, under fascism and communism. . . . The Fifth Impossibility [is] an ample offering of his work, his memories, his wise and acute challenges.”—David Mikics, New Republic
“Engaging, well-crafted, and at times striking . . . timely and insightful essays on writing, politics, and exile.”—Publishers Weekly
“Compelling subtlety and insight.”—Reginald Gibbons, TriQuarterly~Reginald Gibbons, TriQuarterly