Writer. Author – Scriitor. Romanciera. Autor roman contemporan. Carti, romane, recomandari
Articles in English
Articles written in English.
Natasha Alina Culea is a Romanian writer of Ukrainean origins, born in Tulcea, a cosmopolitan harbor town on the banks of the Danube. Since 2010 she published six remarkably original novels, sold in thousands of copies in Romania and Moldova. Some of them are already translated in English and Spanish, sold worldwide.
1. The Harlequin
2. Dreams never sleep
3. Nights in Monaco
4. Wolves of the past
6. The men and the psychoanalyst
7. Rusalka of the Danube – work in progress
There is no story without a storyteller. The first thing a storyteller learns is that nobody cares about the truth. Besides, if the truth doesn’t help you in any way, why caring about it? People want to be beautifully lied. This is the first law.
We are terrible at loving. This is the second law. Not to mention how terrible we are at breaking up.
All people say: I’m not like all the others. And they are all right. This is the third law.
We see only ourselves. That’s why we borrow Gods our flaws. It is easier to love an imperfect being. This is the forth law. We wouldn’t admit it, but we laugh of them inside us, believing that in this way we are better. We need to be better. This is the fifth law.
Do not dare to be happy, nobody will forgive you! This is the sixth law.
Nobody wants the best for himself, everybody wants to feel alive. When everything goes well, you cannot enjoy anything, you become numb. This is the seventh law.
The realistic people laugh at the idealistic ones, because of their way of seeing world as it can be. The world as it can be laugh of the realistic people. This is the eighth law.
Isn’t it amazing that my first trip abroad is to China? That far-off land, with winged dragons, large rice fields and wind chimes, that land I often dreamed of, as a child, my imagination giving birth to nomadic desires. In my mind, China smells of jasmine tea served in delicate porcelain cups and has the color of the red silk road; it is a country of contrasts, where civilization and tradition intertwine, in a song too subtle for the ears of the Europeans; its incredible progress resembles pure alchemy; the speed with which China adapts to modern times overwhelms us, and yet it is the same country where the rickshaw is pulled by one man carrying another, the same country where families have 3 members or less, the only child, as dictated by law, the one who does not know the meaning of brother, nor sister, being either a solitary child, or having the whole world as its family – hard to tell…
I see China as being drowned in the present, but feeding on a past that does not pass.
These are my thoughts on that evening of December 5, 2000, holding the ticket of certainty in my hand, a blue ticket, winged with the Tarom logo. I am exalted at the thought that tomorrow I will sip my coffee in China; animated by the natural enthusiasm of my just turned twenty-two years, I reflect near the packed luggage. It seems like I have everything I could desire, I tell myself and I recap: a relationship of about two years with a handsome young man who loves me – Denis Dumitru by his full name -, a comfortable and relaxing life, I’m young and I’m about to head out to China! I also have a collection of CDs from the 60’s-70’s, a dressing room packed with clothes and shoes, a dog, which, theoretically, is more Denis’s than mine, a crystal globe, where it snows if you give it a good giggle, a library with old books, bought from fairs, which I love with all my heart and… a wooden spoon, with strawberries painted on it, which my grandmother gave me, before leaving and never coming back.
But am I what I have? Am I happy or do I just think I am? There was no cloud on my sky, undisturbed by world`s turmoil; there is nothing missing from the peaceful happiness landscape in which I live. What else is there to find in this world that I hold in my hands?
Enough about me, let’s talk about Denis, my boyfriend, a practical and organized young man, dedicated to tangible things, a guy who does not let himself be dragged into sentimental outbursts, these being my exclusive concern. Denis has an innate sense of measure, doubled by common sense, acquired through the severe education given by his parents. Denis always knows what he wants, and two years ago he told me he wanted me, and I was happy because I never imagined a better partner. He is now twenty-six, four years older than me, though his seriousness makes him seem more mature than he is. Denis may at times seem a bit demanding in his expectations, in general, but to me he shows a great deal of indulgence. Over time I tested his patience, like those times when I was taking money from home and going out to buy something for dinner, coming back with a poetry book or a painting that inspired me at the time.
“Food for the soul, Denis!” I used to tell him and jump in his arms, thus avoiding being lectured for my ignorance.
Denis manages various businesses inherited from his parents, including a chain of clothing stores, and, for the first time, sends me to China instead of going himself, to supply the stores with new merchandise, especially as December is a very productive month, and what he had bought was quickly selling out. Anyone working in the field of trade knows that this is the most prosperous time of the year. Of course, this trip is not very creative, because I have the route already set by Denis. I took note of the places where I need to go, the people I need to contact, the phone numbers I will need and so on. In conclusion, I have everything planned in advance. The plane ride will go directly to Beijing and will take about nine and a half hours. Once there, I will stay at Jing Lun hotel, where I have a room booked, and I will get in touch with Mr. Li Hua Chen, also known to the Romanians as Max, so it’s a bit easier to pronounce and remember. Like when you’re an artist and you get a stage name, even though Mr. Li is not an artist, at least not from the information in my notes. I check my agenda again, taking my responsibility of a blonde Bucharest-Beijing and Beijing-Bucharest emissary very seriously.
“Did you memorize everything I told you?” Denis asks me. He seems a little worried. “Anyway, if you have any questions, call me on Luana’s phone, as I still haven’t been able to understand what’s wrong with your roaming service.”
I hug Denis instead of nodding, still holding the agenda with black covers.
“It’s time to go, right? I can’t wait to get on the plane, Denis! I will miss you so much!” I exclaim and open the door to the cold outside, which immediately whips our faces.
We both leave the house, and Rex, noticing the agitation going on, jumps with its big paws on my white coat.
“Rex, sit, Rex!” I shout at the dog who refuses to get down. Although well trained, he still does not accept directions other than the ones given by its big heart, as he weighs a lot for his size, I worry. “Denis, I think you should start running through the park with Rex, isn’t he a bit chubby?” I ask him without actually waiting for an answer.
“Alina, let’s get in the car!” laughs Denis. “We’ll talk about Rex’s increased cholesterol when you come back.” We both laugh and Denis gets behind the wheel, while I sit on the right seat, which is slowly starting to warm up. I never liked leather seats, they are freezing during winter and too hot in summer. Yes, this is what I do whenever I have a task to fulfill; this trip had blocked me, so I clung to all the useless details like Rex’s weight, the buttons on my white coat which I now count for the first time, the texture of the car seats, even the weather in Guatemala, although I don’t intend to go there. Some people that are faced with a concrete fact mobilize quickly and become efficient; not me though, on the contrary, I spread my attention in all directions with great care. I am super excited, like a bow that has little more to burst from its most vulnerable spot. I can’t wait to take off. With all the thoughts going on in my head, I do not focus on the journey itself, but on the emotion of the important event about to happen in my life…
There are just two kinds of music: all the other – on which the body can dance, and classical music – on which the soul can dance. While I was listening Rachmaninoff the flood came at my door. So they climbed two by two on the Arch. Not the birds. The birds cannot crawl or climb, that’s why they always arrive in time. ~ People crawl. ~ So they floated one year and ten days until Ararat. Life bloomed in two. If it wouldn’t be that simple! Two times simple! The drops of rain, two by two, are listening to my music on the other side of the window, before being absorbed by the silence of the earth. But the human is music and flood. Divided in two. Good, and bad. And divided. When inside of himself, when outside of himself. And he is sometimes late. Just the birds and the rain come in perfect time. Is it raining outside of your inside too?
The woman with secrets, and the man without shadow
It is easy to believe a woman has secrets, but almost nobody believes that a man without shadow can exist. From this point of confusion we start our story. Even stories are not what they used to be with “once upon a time” Actually, most of the stories in our lives repeat themselves, all of them are a modified version of the first story we lived. If I have to be totally honest, most of the stories should have less lies. Of course, lies are not bothering as much as the truth, especially the one thrown in the face likes a white glove. Take the lies in one story, and you’ll see how people will growl at you. Well, our story has no lie in it, but neither some truth. How is this possible? Very simple. Because this story is written on the thin line between the truth and lie.
Our woman with secrets was walking on this line like a ballerina in full storm on the sea. No storm is passing without wreckage, so we have: a shoe without laces, a clock without tongue, a bottle with no message, a cake with no cherry, a bench with no old people, a story without an ending, and, of course, a man without shadow. The man had no shadow because he ran so much and so fast that his own shadow couldn’t keep up with him anymore and left the man alone, like any guardian angel. The woman had more secrets than a dog had fleas, although her secrets weren’t jumping from here to there, but were as mute as fish. Because of the weight of her secrets, she couldn’t walk, out of the question to be able to run. Can you imagine her surprise when she saw a man who could only run? Luckily, the time stopped, out of respect for the watch without tongue, and both of them stood on the bench and ate the cake. The shoe with no lace had no problem with this lack, because many years ago he went in the prison for shoes, and he was all the time worried not to hang himself with his own lace while sleeping. You already understood that this story has no end, so probably you wonder what happened with the bottle without message. I cannot tell you what happened afterwards, because it is one tiny truth in our story, and that is nobody ever knows what will happen next.
The accomplishments of one person show how much he invested in certain areas of his life and how much he neglected all the others.
Sometimes happiness is math. If you wonder how much sex matters in a relationship, think of how much time you spend making sex.
No one can lie to you so well as they lie to themselves.
If you want to cover up a violent truth, you add a layer of humor, and call it irony. Irony is the weapon of smart people.
Hate is unrequited love.
You look into the past only not to make the same mistakes again. You cannot remain in it, not matter how wonderful the past was. The past passed.
You have to become a champion in getting quickly out of negative situations, because life will not spare you of them.
Life is a dog you are used to play with by throwing him a stick. You are used to the game, you trust the dog, but one day it doesn’t come back with the stick. Another day even the dog doesn’t return. The man is a master who finds out too late he owned no dog.
The divorce was invented so you’ll not have to sleep with a mistake your entire life.
And how hard it is to let go the ones who make you unhappy!
When you are with somebody who hides being seen with you, you are worse than alone. Even you are not with you.
Fidelity is often just a lack of options.
Life is a comedy to which we are all crying.
We are preparing ourselves to write the story of our life, but without love we live only the draft of it.
Some people don’t need the others’ approval. They build themselves a pedestal and they climb it. One stupid person is enough to admire them, and you cannot escape their greatness.
Don’t ask me who I am. Ask yourself who you can be next to me.
You see, the world is not enough satisfying for a writer. The world doesn’t fit the writer, the world’s design is for him like a straitjacket. The writer is a human, at least physically he looks like all other humans, but he is unsatisfied, gaunt and silent. He creates a world of his own, one to reflect all of him. He is getting rid of this world as a serpent gets rid of his skin. Between the covers of the book he plays God and molds humans of paper. And he is punishing them or creating them wings, as he considers. Some he kills with bare hands, not because they were bad people, but because they did bad things, and he leaves others to die by themselves. And then the writer realizes that revenge doesn’t exist, and that death is not a penalty, or if it is, is the same for everybody. Did God feel that way in the beginning of everything? Did the creation, the world, the water, the muse, the island, the sunrise, the stones came out of discontent? Out of an unbearable loneliness? God created the human and the horse. They were both free. The human created the whip and stole the freedom of the horse. Because he felt unbearably alone.
The gloomy November morning gathered
a flock of crows on the little patch of burnt grass, settled in the Primăverii neighborhood. The
buildings, still moist after a light, but persisting rain, like multicolored
pieces of Lego, merged unexpectedly, rise defiantly on the tongue of the
The windows begin to light up one
after the other, illuminated in hues of dirty yellow and silver; with curtains,
with blinds, others are just bare windows inviting you to discover their loose
With a step forward and one backward,
always between yesterday and tomorrow, we live in a question without answer:
does the night end or the morning begin? And if it is a day when we can change
everything, why don’t we see it, although our eyes are wide open?
Bucharest wakes up. The arteries of
the city gradually begin to be crossed by cars with drivers who are searching
for something, half asleep. Their automatic gestures reveal the monotony in
which they bath like in a warm muddy puddle, like a drop of water in the
fractured asphalt, sometimes dreaming of being a drop of ocean.
Every man tells two stories: one to himself, and one to the others. Most of the time, these two stories do not bare resemblance to one another. Most of the time, we wake up and wish we were in another story.
This is how the story of The Harlequin, yet untold, begins…
Superstar Angela Gheorghiu, the most glamorous and gifted
opera singer of our time, was born in the small Romanian town of Adjud. From
early childhood it was obvious that she will become a singer, her destiny was
music. She attended the Music School in Bucharest and graduated from the
National University of Music Bucharest, where she studied with the remarkable
music teacher Mia Barbu. Ms. Gheorghiu’s magnificent voice and dazzling stage
presence have established her as a unique international opera superstar. SOURCE
Gheorghe Zamfir (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈɡe̯orɡe zamˈfir] born April 6, 1941) is a Romanian pan flute (nai) musician.
is known for playing an expanded version of nai, of 20 pipes to 22, 25, 28 and
30 pipes to increase its range, and obtaining as many as eight overtones (additionally
to the fundamental tone) from each pipe by changing the embouchure.
is known as “The Master of the Pan Flute”. SOURCE
Ciprian Porumbescu (Romanian pronunciation: [t͡ʃipriˈan porumˈbesku]; born Ciprian Gołęmbiowski on October 14, 1853 – June 6, 1883) was a Romanian composer born in Shepit, Putyla Raion|Șipotele Sucevei in Bukovina (now Shepit, Putyla Raion, Ukraine). He was among the most celebrated Romanian composers of his time; his popular works include Crai nou, Trei culori, Song for the 1st of May, Ballad for violin and piano, and Serenada. In addition, he composed the music for the Romanian patriotic song “Pe-al nostru steag e scris Unire” (“Unity is Written on our Flag”), which was used for Albania’s national anthem, “Himni i Flamurit”. His work spreads over various forms and musical genres, but the majority of his work is choral and operetta. SOURCE
Eugen Doga ([e.uˈd͡ʒen ˈdoɡa]; born 1 March 1937) is a Soviet-born Moldovan composer.
He writes music in all kinds of genres and styles, which makes
him one of the most prolific and versatile composers. He has his own easily
recognizable style. A creator of three ballets “Luceafărul”, “Venancia”,
“Queen Margot”, the opera “Dialogues of Love”, more than 100 instrumental and
choral works – symphonies, 6 quartets, “Requiem”, church music, and other, plus
music for 13 plays, radio shows, more than 200 movies, more than 260 songs and
romances, more than 70 waltzes; he is also the author of works for children,
the music for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympic Games in 1980
is considered a geniusand one of the most romantic] composers;
he is also included on the list of the twenty best and most frequently
performed composers of the twentieth century.
…with already mentioned Gheorghe Zamfir:
George Enescu (Romanian pronunciation: [ˈd͡ʒe̯ord͡ʒe eˈnesku] (listen); 19 August [O.S. 7 August] 1881 – 4 May 1955), known in France as Georges Enesco, was a Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor, and teacher. He is regarded by many as Romania’s most important musician. SOURCE
Ion Ivanovici (alternatively: Jovan
Ivanović, Iosif Ivanovici, Josef Ivanovich) (1845 –
28 September [O.S. 16 September] 1902) was a Romanian military
band leader and composer of Banat Serbian origin,
best remembered today for his waltz Waves of the Danube.
was born in Timișoara, Austrian Empire. His interest in music began
after he learned to play a flute given to him when he was a child.Later,
he enrolled in the 6th Army Regiment, where he also learned to play the clarinet.
His talent for music soon led him to become among the best musicians in the
regiment, and he continued to study with Emil Lehr, one of the most
prominent musicians of the latter half of the nineteenth century. Ivanovici
later became a bandmaster, and toured Romania. In 1900, he was appointed
the Inspector of Military Music, a position that he held until his death next
Constantin Dimitrescu (Romanian pronunciation: [konstanˈtin dimiˈtresku]; 19 March 1847 in Blejoi, Romania – 9 May 1928) was a Romanian classic composer and music teacher, one of the most prominent representatives of the late Romantic period. There he studied cello and composition with some of Romania’s best-known music teachers. Funds were subsequently made available for him to continue his education in Vienna and then later in Paris where he studied with, among others, the famous cello virtuoso Auguste Franchomme. SOURCE
Michael Cretu (Romanian: Mihai Crețu, pronounced [miˈhaj ˈkret͡su]; born 18 May 1957) is a Romanian-German musician, singer, songwriter, and producer. He gained worldwide fame as the founder and musician behind the German musical project Enigma, formed in 1990. SOURCE
Johnny Răducanu (born Răducan
Creţu; 1 December 1931 – 19 September 2011) was a Romanian jazz pianist
of Romani ethnic background, whose family has a long musical
tradition dating back to the 17th century.
was born in Brăila and started playing the double bass at the age of
19 before switching to piano. During his musical career, some of his many
collaborations outside Romania were those with Art Farmer (trumpet)
and Slide Hampton (trombone), and Friedrich Gulda(piano). In
1987, Răducanu received an honorary membership in the Louis Armstrong Academy
in New Orleans. He was the founder of the Romanian Jazz school, and during
a musical career spanning over half a century, he discovered, nurtured and
trained several generations of Romanian jazz musicians. SOURCE
Ciocărlia is a twelve-piece Romanian Romani Balkan
brass band from the northeastern Romanian village of Zece Prăjini. The band is made up of Roma musicians, and they are recognised as one of
Europe’s most popular contemporary Romani bands. Fanfare Ciocărlia are best
known for a very fast, high-energy sound, with complex rhythms and high-speed,
staccato clarinet, saxophone and trumpet solos, sometimes performed at more than 200 beats
per minute. SOURCE
TARAF DE CALIU:
Taraf de Haïdouks (Romanian: ‘Taraful haiducilor’, “Taraf of Haiduks”) are a Romani-Romanian taraf (a troupe of lăutari, traditional musicians) from Clejani, Romania and one of the most prominent such groups in post-Communist era Romania. In the Western world they have become known by the name given to them in French-speaking areas, where they are known as “Taraf de Haïdouks”. SOURCE
Radu Lupu CBE (born 30 November 1945) is a Romanian pianist. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest living pianists. Born in Galați, Romania, Lupu began studying piano at the age of six. Two of his major piano teachers were Florica Musicescu, who was also the teacher of Dinu Lipatti, and Heinrich Neuhaus, who was also the teacher of Sviatoslav Richter and Emil Gilels. From 1966 to 1969, he won first prizes of three of the world’s most prestigious piano competitions: the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition(1966), the George Enescu International Piano Competition (1967), and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition (1969). SOURCE
Natasha Alina Culea is a name which doesn’t belong to her anymore, a name which she gave as a gift to her readers – she says – it is a name printed on thousands of books in Romania and Moldova Republic, under six titles (in chronological order): “Natasha, the men and the psychoanalyst”, “Marat”, Wolves of the past”, “Nights in Monaco”, “Dreams never sleep”, and “The Harlequin” – the most recent novel, launched in December 2018. Sometimes she thinks she is a writer, other times a hermit or a peregrine, but she always loves her readers. After the novel “Wolves of the past” she wrote “Nights in Monaco” just to cheer up her readers who cried on her shoulders, demanding her happy-ending novels.
C&B: Describe or define your activity!
“Being a Romanian Author is a challenge, and the term challenge is a mild term if we refer to the confused and confusing situation of the Romanian book market of the Contemporary Literature. My only ambition is to give my readers a memorable reading and, being a perfectionist, I will evolve whether or not I have readers who will no longer keep up with the complexity of the writing I have intended to reach. In the end, the book also chooses the reader, not only the reader chooses the book. Either I find the way to bring together the essence of classical literature with the simplified structure of contemporary literature, resisting to the minimalist beletristic marasm wave, or I will not write at all. Because we are not allowed to negotiate with Romanian literature, which will remain many years after we will not be. I am guided by words as: erudition, evolution, exemplarity”.