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Ioana Parvulescu

Interwar Bucharest is the place where everything happened.

Ioana Parvulescu in Return to the Interwar Bucharest (2003)Report problemRelated quotes
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In 1920, the memory of war was stronger than the memory of literature.

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Interwar Bucharest is a strange land of colours, scents, noises and rhythms, of people and signboards.

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In the rivalry between books and newspapers, the newspaper was the indisputable winner between the wars.

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The best interwar journalists are those aware of the surface differences and deeper similarities between a book and a newspaper.

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When one has the feeling that one is day after day in interwar Bucharest and makes efforts to adjust to these circumstances, on returning "home", one cannot help but feel a bit lonely and alienated.

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Things were at their best for the people of Bucharest from 1925, when the effects and memories of the First World War had faded, till around 1935, despite the intervening crisis, which they bore reasonably well.

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When you lay the cultural map of old Bucharest over that of the present day, starting with the kiosks selling cultural magazines and ending with, for example, theatres and cinemas, you find that, contrary to expectations, it is in today's map that the gaps appear.

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Between the wars, censorship took the shape of the vessel in which is was put, changing according to who was in power. But the press defended its cause through the press itself, and when one paper fell silent or published lies, another would speak up and publish the truth.

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In interwar Bucharest, people experienced both the ideal and the grotesque stupidity; they saw both extreme refinement and unthinking crudity; among them were generous givers and reprobates, the balanced and the fanatical, lucid thinkers and fantasists, heroes and villains, good and evil.

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