Eugen Istodor: What’s in your head?
Doina Ruști: A crazy speed. When the movement in my head seems to relax I panic.
EI: Why are you the way you are?
DR: This was the seed, believe me, I strived! But I can not say I don’t like it.
EI: How would you like to be?
DR: Exactly how I am.
EI: Have you shaped an identity, as a human being? Is it useful in this world?
DR: One of my first life experiences is related to cat, to whose tail I hang a clothes peg. I swear I did not imagine it would hurt it; I was even convinced it would appreciate my joke. It was evening, my family gathered in the drawing room. And in a second, our peaceful life broke like a glass. After the cat had passed among vases and climbed up the curtains, with many efforts, somebody finally freed the horrified tail. But afterwards, when peace resettled, I had a long meeting; so long it is on even today. My grandfather asked me what I held against the cat He didn’t insist, it was not a question waiting for an answer. But in his blue eyes, one could see two indelible realities: he was flabbergasted; I hadn’t imagined a person’s question can hurt, and, even more, he was upset, in such a profound and irreversible way, that I was scarried to death. He didn’t say anything to me, he didn’t punish me for the cat’s tail, but his look put me into contact with human disappointment. And around this discovery, the notes of my future personality set up. And today, after my sensitivity blunted, I suffer if I find out I disappointed somebody. When I hear somebody read my books and didn’t like them, my first impulse is to send a beer to him or her. Not because this beer can make up for something, but because it is the cheapest solace. It is not the thought of a lecture disconfort that terrifies me but the very thought that my stories are imbedded in his head for the rest of his or her life. Believe me, for me, it is a heavy and embarrassing burden, like a shopping bag during the Shot one’s time.
EI: Tell us you life in 3 lines!
DR: 27 loves, three marriages, professor, newspapers seller, proofreader, script writer, from a certain point unparented, no offsprings, no relatives. Four abandoned houses. 150 years lived, together with the years in the books and all. Three lines are too much for such a short life!
EI: Tell us about your book in 5 lines.
DR: ’Cămasa in carouri și alte 10 intamplari din Bucuresti’ is made of 11 stories all of them connected. A killer parrot in Andronache District, a student skipping classes from Lazar, a pharmacist from 18th century, an actor’s dog, a bead seller and many others go through unusual adventures, driven by the music of an unseen sambuke.
EI: How is the world around? How is Romania? What makes you feel safe?
DR: The world around me is alive with delicatessen. Obviously, in order to get to them, I have to listen to Basescu’s speech.
Romania is a cool country made of bars of carcinogenic marge; in its clay a world mainly greedy, rash, fake, cynical reels, able to sell its own mother and father. And I am part of this world. I am not obliged to enter any competition. And I have not any an ounce of respect for the spectators who ululate. From where I stand I can see how something is always blooming. I admit this entire fidgeting makes me happy. I like rubbing against people in the tram, in Obor, staring in malls, listening sometimes to imbeciles’revolt and loosers’slubbering. I like standing on the terrace and easedropping, just like, many, many years ago, a young man was listening, crystal eyes, during one summer, at Sinaia, the valley echoing of the voices of Basarabian brethren: ‘Jino, be good with the sou!’ Do not tell me you do not remember!
From this Voltairian window, one thing woul be really uncool: to be Basescu. If you come tomorrow, you may find me at another window. As luck would have it!
EI: Why do you live?
DR: First of all, out of curiosity. I am crazy about the resolution. Then, for thousands of things, out of which I shall name a few: a man arm coming out from the short sleeve of a shirt, one summer day in Bucharest; the daily coach, where I hide my prisoners; the ring with eight water topazes which passed through such revolting and indecent adventures, that I am afraid not to ruin your blog.
EI: Why don’t you commit suicide?
DR: You must be kidding! You want me to answer this question for free?!
EI: What books, I mean great books, you will never read?
DR: I am not so fixed in my beliefs!
Translated by Zenovia Popa