After the debut with the volume of stories Beyond the windows, Irina Georgescu Groza returns with the fantastic adventure of a white-haired teenager. Beginning with a dream and thought of as short prose, Night of the World became a novel. A novel that reads aloud, captivates you in his world and makes you a part of the carousel of happenings and feelings.
The launch in Cluj-Napoca was an opportunity for the discussion with Irina Georgescu Groza about Night between the Worlds.
How did The Night between worlds begin?
One night I dreamed some little girls who were tormented in a hospital salon. The dream was so dark and intense that she followed me all day. Luckily, to the evening I had about two hours just for me. I began to write, fabulating while reliving the dread of the dream, suspecting that short prose, the first written after the release of the debut volume, would come out. But I wrote and wrote up to 20 pages, and in the week that followed I came up with ideas to stick to the heart of the story. That’s how we got to 50 pages. I said, okay, it’s too broad to call him short prose, so I continued to build around this core and the novel gradually got a structure and contour.
Are you writing your dreams? Are you following them?
And then, when we saw together, like layers of deeper and deeper sleep, we noticed that the beetle with huge wings shaded our bodies. Four women in chains
through a song heard on the radio and a spell, I tried over the following nights to remind her, but the words were completely erased from my memory. The Night between worlds- Irina Georgescu Groza
In high school I did this, I had the time and the curiosity to understand them. Now I cherish them and upload them without trying to analyze them.
Immediately after the Revolution, there was an inflation of books about zodiac, dreams, paranormal. There were books of all the nations on the kiosks, on the sidewalks in the centre of Constanta. I was trying to read what appeared better, so I discovered Carl G. Jung’s books and I learned about his mystical experience at the limit of madness. I have read about the importance of the dream for Mircea Eliade and his encounters with Carl G. Jung, who helped him to interpret his dreams. I also kept a night diary at one time and became obsessed with the significance of dreams and the frequency and intensity with which some of them were coming.
Sometimes dark, apocalyptic, horror, I see the novel. How did you reach this formula?
Naturally, and I do not go to the psychologist, you see. (laugh). There are a lot of doors that seem locked, but once I sit relaxed in the middle of the room and turn off the light, I start to see their lighted fires, I want to open them and find out what is beyond them.
I wrote in this note and in the volume of prose with which I debuted, dark stories, at the horror limit, with a few episodes of violence. I do not feel the need to stand out in a dark style, to disturb the mind of the reader. But there are fears that follow me, behind the image in the mirror, (almost) always bright and warm.
Many memories have been gathered in my mind since the Revolution – I was 16 years old then. Things I did not understand, frustrations, the inability to do much later, after I joined the PNTCD just to be useful and to participate in a long-awaited change in society, followed me in time, and finally, we gathered them in a story that would relive the atmosphere of those times – the life of a block of stairs as a cramped country with all its dramas at the top of a bunch of post boxes. I felt the need to tell young people that the danger was not extinguished, that the city of Constanta, for example, really collapses in the middle of the paragliding in which it has been left for too long. I find it sorry every time I visit the Old City Center where I lived for 26 years to see its uncaring, lifeless buildings, the destroyed facades, this intentional bankruptcy, and our lives and dear places. In my novel, Constanza drowns in the sea and in my own misery. There is diving off a betrayed place and of a generation that does not ask for anything because it has forgotten that she can do it anytime and who does not fight because she is too busy to buy her daily basket.
Interpreted, exposed in a magic realism key.
Suddenly, his throat is flooded with a warm mud jet that prevents him from shouting. This magical ritual, through which all the sap of the earth made of blood, skin and bones squeezed into his young body to shoot him she gives me a thrill of happiness.
I think that until we write down all that can be written until we have exhausted all the stories born in the communist period, we can not really understand it without resentment.
Now, all the more so, because we live in agitated times and talk to us about everything that has happened to us in the last century, we can return to the story of our failure, it will remind us that we can always pass the same danger, that life does not always go forward and we rotate daily in a roulette, to which we all need luck.
What is Irina Georgescu Groza reading?
From the Gaudeamus Book Fair I took the last volume of Italo Calvino, Difficult Love, Short Prose, The Wild of Arriaga, Fontana di Trevi by Gabriela Adameşteanu, the volume of short prose Guadalajara by Iulian Popa, a book by Mircea Cărtărescu, on which I did not read it – The beautiful little ones.
I usually read South American writers, especially in the winter: Roberto Bolano, Guillermo Arriaga, Julio Cortazar, Mario Vargas Llosa. I’ll alternate with Truman Capote, like a lemon-martini, between the frogs. I have a home shelf scheduled for the next few months (Nabokov, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Alice Munro, Julian Barnes, etc.).
The night between the worlds was published by Nemira Publishing House, in the N’autor collection, 2018.
Irina Georgescu Groza began in 2016 with the volume of Stories Beyond the Window Stories (Letter Bets House). He published short stories in the Journal of Stories (2015-2016), in the Argos magazine number 12 (2016), in the journal iocan number 1 (2016) and number 7 (2018), in Apostrof magazine (2016) (2017) and the Romanian Short Story Anthology, Masterclass 2018. She currently lives in Bucharest with her husband and two children.