University welcomes Romanian novelist

By Lane Song

Poet, novelist and essayist Andrei Codrescu will be speaking at the University on Thursday to open and celebrate the Andrei Codrescu Collection. A symposium entitled “Romania: Contemporary Reflections featuring Andrei Codrescu” will be held at 4:15 p.m. in 100 Gregory Hall, and followed by a reception at the Marshall Gallery in the Main Library.

“He will be bringing us an intellectual conversation about Slavic studies,” said Paula Kaufman, University librarian. “It will offer students the opportunity to talk with someone with an insider’s view on Romanian culture.”

Codrescu has recently donated a collection of rare books, magazines and other materials to the University library. The collection includes 660 items, mostly in Romanian, but also includes works in English along with some of the author’s own writing. Besides literary material, the collection features tapes, photo albums, leaflets and brochures. It is currently located in the Rare Books and Special Collections Library, on the second floor of the Main Library.

“It’s a unique collection, filled with materials not available in other libraries,” Kaufman said.

The collection also benefits students interested in Slavic and East European studies, said Donna Buchanan, director of the Russian, East European and Eurasian Center.

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“Mr. Codrescu’s donation will help our center, the library, and our programs,” Buchanan said. “The University is one of the best places to study Slavic history.”

Buchanan is also an associate professor in the School of Music and will be directing a performance by the Balkanalia Music Ensemble during the reception.

The collection also establishes the University as one of the largest centers for Slavic and East European studies, said Miranda Remnek, head of the Slavic and East European Library, located on the second floor of the Main Library.

“We have the largest Slavic collection west of Washington D.C,” Remnek said. “These works reflect the new literary sensibilities and political concerns that countries developed after the fall of communism.”

Codrescu is currently a professor of English at Louisiana State University. He is also a social critic and radio commentator, having appeared on programs and stations, such as National Public Radio, late night talk shows and C-SPAN. On Thursday, he will be speaking on WILL-AM (580) at 11 a.m.