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
5. Marat
6. The men and the psychoanalyst
7. Rusalka of the Danube – work in progress

Articles in English

Nights in Monaco – a novel by Natasha Alina Culea – the beginning


Graphics: Ștefan Baltă

© Natașa Alina Culea

Any reproduction, in whole or in part, of this work, without the written consent of the author, is strictly prohibited and is punishable under the copyright law.

Dreams are like women;

They want to be chased, conquered;

They will be yours if you fantasize about them.

Her birth name was Nicoleta Dragomirescu. It was to her mother’s surprise to see she was a girl, the only one, by then, she had sons only. She was a small, weak child, with a shiner face, salami-colored when screaming for milk with both her lungs. She was the third child and her mother, Aurelia Dragomirescu, already had the experience of raising a child, but also the carelessness that comes after the second born. The woman had worked at the Daciana factory, the only woman there who knew how to shape metal and use the lathe as she used the rolling pin in the kitchen, with skill and speed. All that was left after she was done working were molded pipes and a bunch of small colored springs which she brought home to children. These turnings were about their only toys. Of course, there were also clay pies, which the little one ate, the mulberry tree leaves as tickets, when they were playing train travel, sticks and stones in the household. Were these, not so feminine skills awakening her man’s admiration? Grigore had better things to think about, even though, thinking wasn’t his favorite activity but the use of his hardworking man sinewy arms, those arms that had known the scythe and the ax and the bony body of his wife. Five children appeared following this acquaintance, arranged one after the other like eggs in a carton.

Was this a happy family? Under such circumstances, this kind of question is never asked or thought-out, much less spoken out loud in front of others. It can be said that there was good peace under that roof, yes, that can be said. Except for the day Grigore was paid, of course. That’s when he’d come home late, fried and short on money, sometimes on his feet, sometimes almost dragged by a little bit more sober colleague. Good luck keeping it together! Aurelia was making a hell of a scene and she was talking for 3 hours continuously, she, who was barely speaking at work. All the dissatisfaction she felt in a human’s life spilled over to the half-fainted man, who interrupted her, from time to time, either peacefully either to sparkle up the fight, depending on the circumstances. If he had drunk țuică[1] or had combined his drinks, he would have become more worked up than his wife’s turnings; if somebody had treated him with beer, then he would’ve been livelier, more joyous, more understanding. He was hearing the woman’s accusations; they were going inside one ear and were coming out the other, without leaving traces in his big-child honest soul. He even approved her at times:

“Leave me alone, Aurelia… I got a headache anyway. You’re right, if you are, you… I drank.”

“I had enough of you! Why do you spend money on liquor, huh?! If it wasn’t for me, you were sleeping in ditches, and you would’ve died by the dam like Andronache! Aren’t you embarrassed of yourself coming home like a pig?”

…and she keeps on going and going…

Otherwise, the day was day, the night was night, the soup was soup, and the children were growing by themselves, like green branches. Aurelia was cooking for them, so good you could lick your fingertips, only onion stews with polenta, sarmale[2] with bay leaves, and for holiday, vegetables soups and puddings, because that’s what she learned from her mother and she didn’t even think about diversifying the menu. When life’s hard, you don’t have this type of thoughts which are likely to confuse you than to help you in any way.

Their house was made of mud walls, if, God forbid, an earthquake had come, it could’ve been to the ground in seconds, bury them all in it, like a pyramid – after all, how long those straws glued with water, clay and horse feces can hold? When it was raining outside, it rained also in the house. Thus, a plastic bucket was brought for the water which was dripping from a crack, which was branching on the coarse uneven painted ceiling. If the whole in the ceiling was a bit bigger, maybe she could’ve showered under it, smearing herself with a bar of lye made of pork fat by Aurelia herself.

Plink, plink, plink… Nicoleta was fascinated by the bucket.

“Why are you standing there, looking so dumb? Go get the little one, can’t you see he peed on himself again?” her mother yelled, wiping her sweat of her forehead.

She had flour up to her elbows, an askew kerchief on her head… she baked some pies. A few grey streams were peaking under the kerchief.

Nicoleta would go; she’d do it in disgust. Who would volunteer to change a diaper full of fresh and steamy thingy, wrapped around the baby? He may be a cute baby, but what he does, not really. The mini Tutankhamun was annoying to the girl, he was too often left on her shoulders. The girl would walk away from her mother, mumbling: “It’s like I had him! Why do I always have to take care of him, mister?”

“You, shut your mouth also!” She scolded the poor little shitty scrap with lungs of a tenor.

This is how verbal and physical aggressivity worked in the Dragomirescu home. If Aurelia hit Nicoleta, in turn, she would hit the next, more vulnerable member of the family. Harmony and justice. That’s right, noise was an ordinary thing in their house. You needed a strong temper or carelessness to deal with it. The fourth boy, Dorin, had just became fondly of carpentry, pulling and smashing drawers with an insatiable enthusiasm, pausing only to chew on a slice of bread with jam which was dripping directly on him and thereafter on the non-sense colored carpets.

Nicoleta liked school; she didn’t have learning at heart, but she loved her teacher, a blonde with fluffy curly hair, widowed, with no children, who nostalgically admired other’s children. Her older brothers, Ionuț and Florin were already teenagers, but they didn’t go to school with her, because they were rarely passing its threshold. They were playing football till dark, when coming home with untouched textbooks. They were lucky, Aurelia didn’t use to attend the school meetings, because she didn’t always have the money for the class fund, but also because she was tired of being scolded for the boys’ doings. They were left in the lurch and they were aware of it so, they continued skipping school and playing on the plot.

Nicoleta was happy when it was raining outside. The persistent showers filled up all the pits on their street, leveling it and leaving it shiny clean. Nicoleta was jumping in all the puddles, especially in the big one in front of her gate, where the water reached above her knees; she sat happy in its midst, feeling like at the seaside, though she had never seen the sea in her life; actually, she had never been anywhere outside the village. She was splashing water all around. She was happy. Her habit had brought feet pain therefore, she had a starting rheumatism, which was partly due to the cold water, partly because of the inappropriate footwear, always too small or too large, worn longer than normal.

She was going to school wearing the same ankle sports shoes even in winter, some cracked plastic sneakers with gray strings. She wasn’t cold nor feeling the frost because of the long way she had to walk to school, in the neighboring village. She would arrive there all hot, with scarlet cheeks because of the effort and the blizzard, with a delicious shade of baked cherry on her cheeks.

On her way back home, she had to bring food to Grigore’s work. Even on Saturdays, because her father worked overtime, for some extra money. He worked about 2 miles away from the house that was moaning under the burden of their children and their noise. Aurelia was filling him a jar of soup or stew, put it in a pouch and the girl was carrying it all the way to her father. Although Nicoleta was glad to leave the house, on any occasion, the dogs in the factory’s yard were pretty uncomfortable. They were giving her serious headaches, being hungry and mad, they were determined not to let the man-cub enter the perimeter they were in control of. If she was lucky to be seen by her father as she was hobbling in, dragging that pouch behind her, he would have chased the dogs away; at other times she was getting help from the big, round bookkeeper who spent her day in a room attached to the main hall, making quotations and signing them with so much zest, as if she was signing international treaties at the White House.

Every year, Nicoleta was hoping that her folks will give her money to go on a camp. Although this had never happened, she kept asking them year after year with the same determination, her eyes twinkling with hope. She was preparing her emotional speech a few days before, making sure to mention every child who was going to go. Sometimes her parents were gently refusing after a “we’ll see by then”, other times with a “you know we have no money, why do you keep busting our chops?” Nicoleta only gave up the day she saw the kids gathered in front of the bus, with their luggage ready. Only then she understood she wasn’t going to join their adventure. She was mourning for three reasons: first, she wasn’t going to join the fun, the second, they all knew she has no dime and the third, those who were going were exempt from school hours for a week. Tough luck. Like all the kids, Nicoleta believed in miracles until the very last moment, but they were late in appearing. She was left behind in the school yard, together with Mihaela and two other boys, a rag-arse gipsy and another one who was always failing classes – he was a ruler at failing classes, could only be said. Nicoleta was watching the bus until it was out of her visual range. She was well aware of her not thriving and fruitless situation and this made some days feel lonelier than others. She was telling herself that she was the most unhappy little girl on the face of the earth or even in the universe.

One day she quietly entered the classroom and saw Mihaela hurrying to a loaf of bread left under another colleague’s desk, believing there was no one else there. Nicoleta was ashamed that she was part of such an intimate and desperate moment. She silently left the classroom, just as she had entered.

Mihaela is even more unfortunate than I am… she thought, having tears in her eyes. She was feeling her heart being squeezed like a little bug in the hand of a mean kid. Nobody should have to steal because of hunger, nobody!

The next day, Nicoleta bought a pack of biscuits and, when they were all out on lunch break, she nicely placed the biscuits in Mihaela’s colorful, doodled school bag. That day Nicoleta had nothing to eat, but she saw her class mate nibbling on those biscuits and she felt like heaven came down on earth and kissed her forehead. Perhaps it did. She tried to be friends with her, but failed. The girl had no interest in making friends. Mihaela was getting poor grades at school and probably, was having a very hard life at home. She was only interested in handball. She was the best in the class, in the village, and maybe in the country for her age category. Handball was the only thing Mihaela had, and it was wise not to stand in the way of her ball, if so, there would be hell to pay. To stand in the way of the only thing that matters in one’s life, one who has nothing, has never been a wise choice. Nicoleta wasn’t thinking everything through but she could feel it in her gut. She was leaving food in her desk every day except those days when she pushed her away to get the ball first in gym class. She was bringing grapes or apples from her garden when she had no biscuits. Mihaela was eating everything, like an ant, leaving a discrete pile of grape seeds or crumbs arranged like an anthill, under the desk. Nicoleta gave up wanting someone’s friendship, comforting herself with the remaining biscuits.

On a beautiful Saturday in early April, Nicoleta stayed home with her two younger brothers. The rest of the family had gone to the funeral – a great occasion of happiness – where the food was free and the drinks as well. Here’s to more deaths in the village of Văleni! Several dozen heads had gathered at the funeral, because, the dear departed Ionel, the head of the boozer, was a popular and appreciated man by all his drinking friends, including ours Grigore Dragomirescu. God forbid if he was ever giving away any companion when the wife came to carry the unfortunate home, and asking Ionel how much money he spent on drinks.

“It’s all on the guys…” he was replaying sweet, but promptly, to all the ladies. Ionel wasn’t speaking any words now; he was laying still, a little dead, but very stiff in his beach wood box, having a mine of late dignity among the wreaths of carnations and daisies braided with ribbons. He had died at the age of 52. He would have lived long and well but drinking had shrunk his liver twisted by his hard-to-accept habits, and the rinds and greaves he swallowed throughout his life had settled along and around his arteries, clogged up like pipes before the plumber’s arrival. His wife, who hadn’t heard of cholesterol in her entire life, had always cooked him pork meatballs fried in lard, spicy sausages with ham chunks, plump sarmale[3] swimming in oil, and other such suicides.

[1] A traditional Romanian drink that contains between 24–65% alcohol by volume (usually 40–55%), prepared from plums, generally.

[2] Traditional Romanian stuffed cabbage rolls.

[3]Traditional Romanian stuffed cabbage rolls.

Mulțumiri pentru traducere, Simina!

Natasa Alina Culea, Romanian Author
Articles in English

Wolves of the Past

The beginning of the novel – traducere realizată de Florina.


„The temptation to abandon that world, in which not even love can be saved anymore, is a common reality. However, Natașa Alina Culea does not do this, but describes it with anger, with despair, with passion, with the meticulousness of a jeweler, with the sisyphean patience of rolling his huge boulder up the mountain, not taking into account, at any moment, that in the next second it can collapse…

   The wolves of the past portrays that underground colony, brought to the upper level, in a setting surrounded by the chimerical brilliance of the rich, full of anguish and with masks firmly set on their already deformed face – mask on top of mask – meant to hide the void or the inner desert.

   Anxiety, passion, reason, fine humor, obsessive words, carefully drawn characters, with savory precision for every detail. The physical and the moral are intertwined in a psychological undertone and in a crude reality, of the everyday reality. A life in chaos. An atmosphere reminiscent of Giovanni Boccaccio, of the wicked fortresses of the Old Testament, of the imbalance created by the lack of human communication, by the imminent alteration of feelings; a strange atmosphere suddenly brought into a seemingly sophisticated world.

   A painful, comprehensive, deep book, in which truths brutally juggle with dreams, hiding behind all the rebellious words, loaded with the characters’ tense eroticism. Age is the psychological threshold, impediment and ingredient, the key to unraveling mysteries.

“Underneath the earth worms wandered in darkness, above it, the larks cut the sky into strips through which the sun penetrated from time to time. Between worms and larks were the people, living on top of each other, mourning and loving. […] People were finding new activities, trying to fill the void inside them with something; they drank their failures, smoked their minds and debauched, doing whatever they could to avoid looking inside their hearts and seeing that God’s unity of measure is the infinity.” (Quote from the book Wolves of the Past”

   Sofia – Salomé, what a pagan transfiguration of the senses! Burning fire, choked after burning in feud ashes! Hell? Fetishism? Sin? Blasphemy? Resignation? Everyone is free to relate to them, as he believes or as he can, while the innocence of childhood is cowardly defiled.

Love? Does love remain the eternal promise? Does it become a quest? Does it turn to a cry?

   A hand to hand combat with The wolves of the past, with our illusions”

Amalia Elena Constantinescu Doctor in Philology, writer, member of the Writers’ Union of Romania.

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Foreword – the Author:

   “The wilderness dwells deep inside us. We call it unconscious, because we have no control over it ”(Carl G. Jung).

   Although wolves generally live in packs, the wolf who chooses to live alone, in exile (an unexplained choice for ethologists) becomes much stronger, smarter, surpassing the instinctive patterns of wolves left behind. In splendid solitude, the wolf only follows its own rules, it’s the living metaphor of the mind detached from the group spirit, an archetypal symbol of freedom, of disobedience, of authenticity, but also of shadow. The path of the wolf is the path to finding one’s personal purpose, a difficult road through wild darkness and cold nights, until all you have left is yourself! And then you will walk fearlessly on the ground, having discovered the truth of your being, the golden key that has always hung around your neck.

   This fascinating animal is a living lesson, reminding us that one day we’ll have to cut off our attachments and go alone through life and death.

   “The wolf is that animal that looks like a dog, but is a Great Spirit,” according to a North-American Indian saying.

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The beginning of the novel

Anniversary of resignation

I still wonder why my wife insisted on coming here, even for a weekend; I know she wants us to be among our friends, they soften the echo between us, but Ben and Ana? Our relationship has cooled down quietly, I think that’s what Carina was thinking about, inviting more couples. The remnants of our connection gave birth to endless silence, but it was not the same silence for both of us, even the silence we keep separately, each on his side of the bed, each on his corner of the sofa.

…. may this placing of the rings and Your angel guide them through all the days of their lives, both now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.

I feel my wedding ring twisted like a snake around my neck, though I stopped wearing it for nearly two years now …

unto the ages of ages…

Automation and so much silence …

It is sad to end a relationship, but infinitely sadder to hold on to it only because we made promises we believed in for a while; both hungry and drained, like two ogres who continue the race when there is nothing left to lose, much less to win.

Today marks thirteen years of marriage. Thirteen years beaten like nails in me, years that passed by patting my face with dried white springs, silvering my temples.

Years of resignation.

In the morning I drove to Sinaia to buy her a bouquet of flowers, which I left on the bed, along with a box with the bracelet she admired a few weeks ago. Some might say I’m an extraordinary husband or at least thoughtful one. But what do I even know? Is this life? Is this happiness? Is still all there is to it? This is what I lived for these 40 years? For another anniversary, another car, another company bought? I do not expect to climb the mountain of happiness and stay there, this utopia is for the naive, but this cannot be it, this numbness that drips from my mind to my limbs and makes them hard to move; no, there has to be more, there must be!

   My thoughts roar like the restless birds that no longer find their way to the flock that splits clouds and shatter dreams. My dreams. Life took over and took vengeance on me because I didn’t know how to dream big; I was awakened early by their flapping of wings; they revolved around two concerns: the metamorphosis of my marriage and the gift for Carina. Last weekend we were in Maldives, where we jumped in the pool from the highest trampoline; not that it caused me any pleasure, everything is indifferent to me, and if life would have a taste, I no longer have taste buds for it; I jumped to wake up from my apathy, to feel something, anything, at least for a moment. Wet and angry, I returned to Carina as bored as I  left. What else could I do? What if I am ill and my doctor is incompetent? I don’t trust doctors anyway, except surgeons, of course. Off … so much peace… Why do I always have to receive wishes for peace of mind? Who the hell wants peace of mind? Did I ask for it, without realizing it? Will I not have enough peace of mind when I die? I want to feel like I’m living, I want to live! I want to want!

   I can’t even sleep for five hours a night; I wake up every day with the first rays of sun and have thoughts that even I find amazing.

   I remember the wedding day, Carina’s illuminated face; she was dressed in a white, translucent dress, I was stuffed in a black suit, with my tie matching her bouquet of flowers. I felt like a penguin accessorized with the centerpiece, the future bride who will rub this moment in the face of the bridesmaids. I was doing the right thing, I had kneeled before her after several years of relationship, after a few humorless hints from her and I had decided after a suspicion of pregnancy that had turned out to be false. I was not excited to get married, but I thought this funfair of ceremony will pass quickly. I was stubborn, refusing to do the first dance, a frightening moment, an absurd combination of classic waltz that was supposed to end in a turbulent rock; I had listened to Carina’s dance instructor’s proposal with an indescribable terror; Carina’s enthusiasm was inversely proportional to mine. Sweating on the dance floor like a turkey was my last wish. I managed to convince my future wife that I was completely untalented, and if she wouldn’t have believed me, I would have resorted to an appendicitis crisis, if the joke had thickened, only to get rid of the blody thing. Uff… that’s a thing of the past… and so are others…

   Another anniversary of resignation.

   I can breathe easily, Carina’s gift is ticked, I have completed my husband’s obligation in a satisfactory manner. Here is where love ends, right here, when pleasure becomes obligation, when in the photos your partner takes of you, you see a person you do not know, although you recognize the sadness gathered in the naked eyes, a face that lacks any trace of enthusiasm.

I close the door, noiselessly, and descend to the ground floor, in the huge living room where the brown eco-leather sofas rest in front of a wall-mounted TV. A large, muted piano relaxes in one corner, flanked by two Greek columns, carved with mythological scenes. Everything is too voluminous, sumptuous, but also artificial, the designer tried a bit too hard, managing to flabbergast, and this is not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good either. It smells of fir tree and of archeology museum. Above me hangs a brass metal chandelier, with a Gothic pattern, like a threat coming from somewhere beneath the massive wooden beams.


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Articles in English

No Story without a Storyteller. The eight Laws

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.


Articles in English

The beginning of MARAT (a novel by Natasha Alina Culea)


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…


A novel by Natasha Alina Culea

The novel can be bought on:

Barnes & Noble

Apple Books



Articles in English

Is it raining outside of your inside too?

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?

Articles in English

The woman with secrets, and the man without shadow

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.



Articles in English

Love is,

love is

a maybe

a crime

a rhyme

the first scream of a baby.

love is

an eagle

a painter

a painting of a muse

a mailman with no news.

love is

a lion in a cage

a rage

a bite

a fight

a wolf under the moon

the eye of the typhoon.

love is

a prayer

a gun

a run

a stair to a burning tower

a sweet, yet bloody flower.


natașa alina culea


natașa alina culea
Articles in English

With each passing day we learn that…

With each passing day we learn that…

People do not want to hear the truth, they only want to hear whatever makes them feel good.

People are good at achieving their goals, but not at achieving happiness, because happiness is self-knowledge, and few people know themselves.

In the difficult times of our life we understand who we should allow to take part of it. As a gold seaker, don’t be suprised that, in those times, you  remain only with a few shinny nuggets.

Many people will ask you “How have you been?”, but few will be interested in the answer.

There are people who see you as a friend today, and as an enemy tomorrow.

People go through life like warriors, and with each lost battle their smile is fading away.

If we live safely, we die safely.

The fear of public speaking shows how afraid we are of other people’s opinion.

Life kneels horses, kings and harlequins.

People are used to respect the dead, but not the living.

In this world, children are born crying, and old people die sometimes with a smile on their faces.

It is not an option to respect your parents, because it is not an option for your parents to be ready to die for you anytime.

At closed doors you don’t have to knock harder.

Man was happier before the numbers were invented, for he could not measure his time left on earth.

If we were always happy, there would be no God, because we only pray in suffering.

Poems are unspoken words of people.

If we would write a novel of our life, we may not buy the book either.

One day, this earth will run out of places for graves, and we will only step on skeletons and memories.

Some couples looks like they’ve been to war and they both lost.

Not all memories fade away; some cut into flesh, as if it is happening now. And now. And now.




Natașa Alina Culea – author
Articles in English

Thoughts and quotes

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.

What is life? A wing beat.

Articles in English

The writer plays God

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.


Arlechinul, Articles in English, Cărți scrise

Excerpt. The begining of my 6th novel „The Harlequin”

Wide open windows to the sky

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 street.

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 privacy.

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…

Book Launch: The Harlequin, Natasha Alina Culea (author)
Articles in English, Blog

Romanian music masterpieces and worldwide known musicians


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.

Zamfir 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.

He 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 nouTrei culoriSong for the 1st of MayBallad 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 in Moscow.

He is considered a genius and 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. SOURCE


…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 IvanovićIosif IvanoviciJosef 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.

Ivanovici 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 year. SOURCE


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.

He 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


Fanfare 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 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

Articles in English, Blog, Interviuri

Interview for Careers & Business

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”.

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