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The Vibrant Life of an Exquisite Corpse

By Ion Saliu, Exquisitely At-Large

Andrei Codrescu and Exquisite Corpse: Always illuminating reading.

Written on Notvember 22, 2008.

Way back in the year of grace 1985 I was resettled to the United States as a refugee from Communist Romania. At one point in time, I was shocked to hear on the American Public Radio an essay written and spoken by a guy with a Romanian name: Andrei Codrescu! My English accent sounded like I was born in America at least four score and seven years before him! The nice people (religious ones) who had sponsored my resettlement assured me to the extent that it is more important how you think than how you sound in America!

I have applied that rule ever since. I didn't care a bit what people thought about my accent. Some thought of me as an elitist because my accent sounded, to their ears, like intellectualistically British. It was only that I started learning English in high school and it was modeled after British English. Some Pennsylvanians put it to me bluntly honestly that I sounded too aggressively like the guys in the next-door state of New York, specifically Gotham City. A Porto Rican who worked with me as farm hands even suggested I was a Mafia guy in the witness-protection program!

I've been under the umbrella of many national-origin accents!

My ex-wife joined me to the Land-Of-The-Free in 1987, after we fought harshly for family reunification (with two opposing governments). (Fittingly enough, my ex-wife and I divorced a few months later!) She was unfathomably excited to hear a Romanian have a program on the American National Public Radio! Andrei Codrescu, at that time, had a cultural program dedicated to the ageless Romanian myth of Miorita (a musical myth worshipping the female lamb). It was that radio program that kept my ex-wife in the USA — she had had strong intentions to go back to the Mioritic Land…

I've heard Andrei Codrescu on NPR on a random basis. After all, I am the philosopher who discovered (mathematically, mind you!) that randomness is the RULE of the Universe. Andrei Codrescu, a professor of English and Literature at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge is a poet and essayist-extraordinaire. He has a very specific way of looking at things and then presenting them in the most inimitable fashion. His very personal fashion is indubitably marked by his cultural origin of a half-Romanian, half- Jew Homo sapiens. He sounds sarcastic at times, a specific and original form of Socraticism.

His manner has also humor — a Romanian cannot divorce his presentation from humor. Even the gravest of matters cannot escape a humorous touch. Thus, Andrei Codrescu brought to life an enjoyable intellectually literary publication named… Exquisite Corpse! It is Ionescian, Caragialesque, Brancussianesque, Mircea-Eliadesque… Actually it is Jewish-Romanianesque a la Andrei Codrescu: Very intelligent and with an enjoyable touch of humor!

I realized I had to write about this when I fired up WinWord. I typed Andrei Codrescu and the word processor did NOT red-flag the name! I had just heard Andrei talk about the current abysmal state of the American auto industry. He started his American journey in the Motor City, Detroit, very much like most Romanian émigrés to the United States. He proudly said on the radio (November 20, 2008) that he was the only American who was not driving an automobile. It was soon after his immigration to the US. My path was different, as I landed in the symbolically extraordinary Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. I was the only American not driving an automobile several interminable months after my resettlement to the United States of America. I rode a bicycle three miles to work six days a week. I lived also for about four months in the Detroit area (end of 1987). I was nearly close to losing my life there, including because of the automobile! Romanians say that Detroit was named after the Romanian verb case named suffocative: De Trait = Worth Living! To live, I lived, Live! Worth Living, I Shall Live …

If you are in very intelligent endeavors, you might want to read the online edition of the Exquisite Corpse. The motto of the publication is: Aim high, hit low. The homo homini lupus has always represented the armory of Homo sapiens, the Computing Beast.

Multa bafta!

Ion Saliu is a Romanian-born philosopher, modeled by the Mioritic space, like Andrei Codrescu.
Probability Theory, Live is a great book with philosophical implications.
Read Ion Saliu's first book in print: Probability Theory, Live!
~ Discover profound philosophical implications of the Formula of The Universe, including Fear, Survival, Psyche, Certainty, Randomness.

Essay on Romanian, American, poet, National Public Radio, literature, Miorita, myth, lamb.

Resources in Philosophy, Humans, Humanities, Ideas, Truth

See a comprehensive directory of the pages and materials on the subject of philosophy, humans, humanities, ideas, truth, Human_Computing_Beast.

An essay on the noted essayist Andrei Codrescu, featured weekly on the National Public Radio.

Read about Romanian-born poet Andrei Codrescu, professor of literature, Louisiana State University.

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Andrei Codrescu publishes a highly intellectual but enjoyable online magazine: Exquisite Corpse.