translated from the Romanian by Florin Bican
Bogdan Ghiu (Bucharest, 1958) is one of the best known Romanian poets of recent decades, being at the same time an active and valued theorist in literature, media, art and architecture, as well as a translator of French theory. Defined at first as textualist and metapoet, he refuses postmodern relaxation and blocking, seeking a post-literary expansion of poetry with the performative arts and geopolitical reflection. He has received awards from the Romanian Writers' Union for his volumes The One Meter Side Poem (1996) and The Art of Consuming (1996). His most recent book of poetry is (The Cardboard Poem) Traces of Destruction on Mars (2006), and his most recent essay collections are I, the Artist. Life after Survival. Bar Code for Art's Monstrous Future (2008) and Telepithecapitalism. Media Middle Ages 2005-2009 (2009). At the Venice Biennale 2011, Romania was represented by an exhibition based on his concept, Performing History.
Florin Bican studied English at the University of Bucharest, Romania, where he became a compulsive translator of Romanian literature. The resulting translations have been published in Britain, Ireland, The United States and Romania. His translations from English into Romanian include Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark and T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats. When not translating, Florin Bican writes articles for British and American Magazines and works on subversive children literature. His first volume of poetry, Cântice mârlăneşti (A Slob's Treasury of Verse), Bucharest, 2007, is a collection of politically incorrect cautionary rhymes. His work in progress, Tropice tâmpe (Torpid Tropics), is an attempt at cautionary prose, and just as politically incorrect. In 2009 he edited and contributed to Bookătăria de texte și imagini (The Cook-a-Book Pancyclopedia of Texts and Images), an anthology of Romanian children's literature. Since 2006 Florin Bican has been in charge of the Romanian Cultural Institute programme Translators in the Making, training foreign students to translate Romanian literature into their respective languages. So far some fifty translations have been published abroad as a result.