Ana Blandiana, moved and honored to receiving Princess of Asturias Award for Literature

The author of more than 30 books of poetry, novels and essays that have been translated into more than 25 languages, Ana Blandiana (born in Timisoara, on March 25, 1942) prevailed against 38 other authors who competed for this award, which in the last edition belonged to the Japanese writer and translator Haruki Murakami.

The Spanish national television station RTVE dedicates an extensive presentation to her, recalling that Blandiana wrote for the Viata Studenteasca and Amfiteatru magazines, where she published several poems that became symbols of the fight against the communist dictatorship.

Cult author throughout Europe, Ana Blandiana’s work reflects a deep knowledge of the Romanian spirit in a historical period of oppression and establishes defeat and hope as guidelines of her literary project, according to RTVE.

It has been said about her poetry that it is a constant and restrained search, the permanence of what is fleeting that leaves testimony of her faith in her own person and in her people, writes RTVE.

Blandiana is also the author of essays, fantasy stories and two novels.

Her prose has been compared to that of Poe, Hoffman, Kafka, Borges, Cortazar or Eliade, notes the Spanish public television station. The critics also appreciated that Ana Blandiana symbolizes the conscience and testimony of her time, the emblematic opposition to the regime and the fight against censorship, and her voice offers us a reflection on artistic creation and the human condition, on innocence, fall, death and survival, on love and responsibility in the face of the terror of history and the need to leave testimony of things lived.

The daughter of an “enemy of the people”, Ana Blandiana was forbidden to study at the university after the appearance in 1959 of her first poem in a magazine. At the end of the 80s of the last century, she started writing protest poetry. After the 1989 revolution, she entered political life with a campaign promoting the elimination of the communist legacy and the creation of an open society.

Honorary president of the Romanian PEN Club, Ana Blandiana is a member of the European Academy of Poetry, the Stéphane Mallarmé Academy of Poetry, the World Academy of Poetry (UNESCO) and the Romanian Writers’ Union. Since 1994, she has been a founding member and president of the Alianta Civica Foundation, an apolitical movement the goal of which is to mitigate the consequences of over 50 years of Romanian communism.

Ana Blandiana said she felt moved and honored to receive this award.

“It is difficult for me to express my emotion and gratitude for the great honor that the Asturias Prize represents for me, especially because – as always when I receive a prize – I cannot help but remember Plato who recommends crowning poets with laurels and their expulsion from the city. And what if for me poetry is really a way to the polis, a way to stay, a way to accompany the suffering of others?”, Blandiana wrote in a message in Spanish posted on Facebook.

“I thank you for the echo that your prestigious prize will give to my ideas and poems and for amplifying them in the consciousness of Spanish readers around the world,” added the poetess.

“Ana Blandiana is the inheritor of the most brilliant literary traditions, as well as a radically unique creator. Her writing, which combines transparency and complexity, raises fundamental questions about the existence of the human being, in the private area and in society, in front of nature and history. She has demonstrated through her unbridled poetry an extraordinary capacity of resistance in the face of censorship,” the jury motivated their choice.

Otilia Valeria Coman, or Ana Blandiana, as she has presented herself since she was forbidden to use her father’s name in 1978, was a staunch opponent of the communist dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu (1965-1989) and a prominent supporter of human rights and of democracy, writes EFE.

After the fall of the communist regime (1989), Blandiana founded and chaired the Civic Alliance (1991-2001), an independent organization that fought for democracy and for Romania’s accession to the European Union.