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Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Ana Blandiana, “Princess of Asturias” Award for Literature

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To the Jury of Premio Princesa de Asturias
This letter is written in enthusiastic support on behalf of Ana Blandiana’s candidacy for the Premio Princesa de Asturias de las Letras Award. She is brilliant poet, novelist, essayist and outstanding figure of Romanian civil society. From my point of view, and I am sure it is not only mine, Ana Blandiana’s name coincides with what is called the verticality of the intellectual in times of hardship. In the 1980s, the poet became the voice of the voiceless, which is why the dictatorial regime also banned her books and kept her under strict surveillance. Her poems, and especially the Amfiteatru poems of 1984 –“Everything”, “The Children’s Crusade”, “Limitations”, “I believe”– represent one of the most important lyrics of anti-totalitarian resistance, comparable, without doubt, to Anna Akhmatova’s sublime and tragic Requiem. Indeed, a superb onomastic coincidence: Ana and Anna.
Everything she has done over the past three decades has defined and continues to define the democratic identity of the Romanian intelligentsia. Those who endlessly repeat the exhausting phrase “We did not have a Havel” should be reminded of who Ana Blandiana is, what she has done, what she is doing and, above all, what she will do. As a historian and political scientist concerned with the drama of Central and Eastern Europe in the 20th century, with the debasement and then reinvention of politics, I will say with all my heart that Ana Blandiana belongs to that gallery of honour that includes names such as Monica Lovinescu, Virgil Ierunca, Václav Havel, Adam Michnik, Jacek Kuroń, Danilo Kis, Natalia Gorbanevskaia. By awarding the Premio Princesa de Asturias de las Letras to Ana Blandiana the jury confirms a tradition of honour in yesterday’s, today’s and tomorrow’s Europe.
(These are fragments from my nomination letter for Ana Blandiana addressed to the jury of the Princesa de Asturias de las Letras Award).…/ana-blandiana-premio-princesa-de…


Vladimir Tismaneanu

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