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Mircea Cartarescu: Football Sets us at Odds, Europe Will Bring us Together

Date: 10.09.2006

The most famous Romanian writer believes that his family has Bulgarian roots

Mircea Cartarescu's last book entitled Why Do We Like Women is a witty work addressed to both ladies and gentlemen. The author uses his subtle sense of humour to describe the eternal tug of war between sexes. Why Do We Like Women is published on Christmas, 2004, when it was sold out within a single week. It has been edited many times: some 100 000 copies of it were sold by the end of 2005 in Romania. This week the book was promoted at the Helicon bookshop in Bourgas.

- How would you explain your tremendous success in Romania and across the world?

- It's simple and clear. If we are speaking of my last book Why Do We Like Women the main reason for the success is in its title which catches people's attention. The theme is exciting, the book's style is easily comprehensible, and it's sold at a low price. But I don't feel as an eminent writer. As a matter of fact I think that I'm at the very start of my career.

- What really drives you on?

- I've always been a devoted reader. Literature  has always been and remains my great love. My hobby is photography. I've been very keen on it lately.

- Is it true that your family roots lie in the Rhodope Mountains?

- This is a legend I've heard from my relatives. Neither of my grandparents spoke Bulgarian, but they cherished some traditional Bulgarian customs. I suppose that my family has moved from Bulgaria to Romania some 200 years ago.

- Bulgaria and Romania are rivals in the qualifiers for the European Football Championship. In your opinion, which of the two teams plays better football?

- Some time ago I was a real football fan. But for 10 years already I've lost my interest in this sport, because I have no time for it. Despite this fact I watched the match of Romania vs Bulgaria a week ago which ended 2:2.
And if I have to be honest I prayed for the equal result. And when it comes to the European qualifiers: the better of the two teams will vie there.

- Are we partners or rivals on the road to the EU?

- The EU accession is vitally important for our countries and we must help each other. We have to be aware that we'll either enter the EU or die. There's no other option.

- What is your comment on the negative publications about Bulgaria and Romania in the British papers?

- I'm sure that the British press has nothing to do with the British policy. Everybody can write whatever he likes. There is a proverb in the Balkan region: Dogs bark but the caravan rolls on. It's hardly possible that the negative publications would influence  Bulgaria's and Romania's EU entry. Great Britain needs immigrants because of economic reasons.

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