Read Squaring the Circle: A Pseudotreatise of Urbogony Fantastic Tales by Gheorghe Săsărman Free Online
Book Title: Squaring the Circle: A Pseudotreatise of Urbogony Fantastic Tales|
The author of the book: Gheorghe Săsărman
Loaded: 1651 times
Reader ratings: 6.4
Edition: Aqueduct Press
Date of issue: May 1st 2013
ISBN 13: 9781619760257
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 445 KB
City - Country: No data
Read full description of the books:
"The idea of writing a book of brief descriptions of imaginary cities, condensing into it the grandure and tragedy of five milliennia of urban history, came to me by chance, while I was in charge of the Architecture and Urbanism section of the review Scânteia. A writer had protested in an open letter against the demolition of an historic building, and the editors asked me to respond, which I did by writing the story "Musaeum." It was the autumn of 1969, a year after the Russian tanks invaded Prague, an invasion openly condemned by Ceauşescu, a time when many people, not only in Bucharest, believe (what a mistake!) that Romania was evolving towards democaracy."
—From the author's postscript to the French edition, 1992
"Squaring the Circle is highly readable. And it's fun. It gives us all the pleasure of a travel guide, and the addiitional pleasure of being—in spite of the meticulous description—unreal. As it turns out, a cityscape can be as interesting as a bildungsroman and as meaningful. The first section of Squaring the Circle, 'Vavylon,' is a fine description of a class society that claims to be egalitarian. Anyone can climb to the top of the ziggurat, except the ramps are greased. I thought of Stalinist Romania when I read it, but it could also apply to the US."
—Eleanor Arnason, author of A Woman of the Iron People and Tomb of the Fathers
"These trippy, cutting 24 stories, chosen by SF/F grande dame Le Guin from a collection of 36 originally published in Romanian in 1975, inevitably draw comparisons to Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. Both explore society and human psyche through architectural descriptions of imaginary cities, but Săsărman's masterfully crafted prose poems feel more immediate, serving as spellbinding descriptions of architectural impossibilities as well as slyly subversive social commentary."
—Publishers Weekly March 11, 2013.
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Read information about the authorGheorghe Săsărman spent his childhood and attended high-school in Cluj, Transylvania's capital-city. He studied architecture in Bucharest and after graduation was employed as a journalist, authoring articles on architecture and popular science. In 1978 he received his Ph.D. in the theory of architecture with the dissertation Function, Space, Architecture (later published as an essay). Politically constrained to abandon his activity as a media writer, he left Ceauşescu’s Romania in 1983 and settled in Munich, Germany, where he worked as a computer programmer and analyst. He is married, has a daughter and a son and has become a grandfather.
After the fall of the communist regime (1989) he resumed his activity as a journalist, contributing to Romanian newspapers and magazines and to various publications of the Romanian diaspora texts later collected in the volume Between Parallel Mirrors (2009). Between 2006--2010, in Munich, he edited the review The Apposition, a sui-generis almanach written by Romanian-born men of culture living abroad. He is a member of the Professional Journalists’ Union and of the Romanian Writers' Union.
Săsărman made his debut as a writer in 1962, when he won the first prize at a SF short-story contest organized for seven East-European countries. His first book, The Oracle (1969) grouped texts previously published in periodicals. His best-known work, Squaring the Circle (1975), clashed with the communist censorship, which cut out one quarter of its contents; also published in France (1994) and Spain (2010), this book is edited by Aqueduct Press, in Ursula K. Le Guin's excellent translation. A story in the volume Chimera (1979), "Algernon's Escape"—whose title paraphrases that of Daniel Keyes’s famous novel—brought the author the Europa Award at the Eurocon V Convention (1980). The novel 2000 (1982) was published in German in Munich, as Die Enklaven der Zeit (1986). After 1989, he resumed publishing fiction in his native country: the novels The Hemlock Cup (1994), South vs. North (2001), The Unparallelled Adventures of Anton Retegan and of His Secret Police File (2011), as well as the short-story collection Visions (2007). His play Deus ex Machina was staged in Munich (2005) and Bucharest (2006-2009). Săsărman has published short stories and novellas in magazines, anthologies and collective volumes in Romania, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Japan. In 2012, he was awarded the "Ion Hobana" Opera Omnia Prize by the Bucharest branch of the Writers' Union and the Romanian Society for Science Fiction and Fantasy.