Ceausescu-worshipping poet Adrian Paunescu dies

BUCHAREST- Romanian poet Adrian Paunescu, renowned for his odes to former communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, died Friday of heart failure aged 67, hospital sources said.
The author of more than 50 volumes of poetry and a former senator of the Social-Democrat Party (PSD, opposition), Paunescu reached the peak of his fame in the late seventies and early eighties, when he was running a weekly magazine and a literary and musical circle called Flacara (the Flame).

Adrian Paunescu
Adrian Paunescu
At a time when cultural events were rare and closely monitored by the communist party, Paunescu's Flacara served as a launch pad for many young folk singers and a magnet for music lovers.
The travelling shows he put on, featuring patriotic and nationalistic poems but also slightly "subversive" songs, used to draw large audiences thrilled to get away from the daily communist propaganda.
But in June 1985, a stampede broke out during one of his shows, killing five.
Following this deadly incident the Flacara shows were banned, while Paunescu fell in disgrace with the regime.
A few months later, he wrote a long letter, accompanied by a 14-stanza poem dedicated to the "beloved comrade" Nicolae Ceausescu, a "genius, sublime hero and the country's sole salvation", to complain about the "persecutions" he was subject to. But he nevertheless stressed he would remain Ceausescu's "loyal soldier to the end."
"I will not take back anything I wrote. He (Ceausescu) had a major contribution to the country's history," Paunescu said in an interview last year.

Saturday, November 6th 2010

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