By Emilian Galaicu-Paun
Translated by Alistair Ian Blyth
With each chapter embodying a separate Commandment, Living Tissue, 10x10 is both a Decalogue and a ribald, exuberant, deliriously inventive postmodern Decameron, which covers four decades in the life of the protagonist, unfolding against the backdrop of Soviet and post-communist Moldova, from the untimely death of Yuri Gagarin in 1968 to the so-called “twitter revolution” of 2009.
Tens of tragical, comical, fantastical, historical tales intertwine, punctuated by the endless upheavals suffered by twentieth-century Moldova. But the narrative also takes euphoric flight, in episodes that travel as far afield as Paris, Moscow, and Tibet. In Living Tissue, 10x10, Emilian Galaicu-Păun engages in literary origami, bending and blending together real and fictional worlds, abolishing up and down, here and there, past and present, as if in an Escher engraving, alternating narrative techniques, braiding myth, history and literary allusion, transgressing the boundaries of languages and cultures to create a rapturously intricate novel in ten dimensions.
Emilian Galaicu-Păun (b. 1964) is a poet, essayist, translator and editor-in-chief of the Cartier publishing house, Chișinău. Author of more than a dozen collections of poetry, his work has been widely translated, including the upcoming anthology Chanting Arms, translated by Adam J. Sorkin. His first novel, Gestures. A Trilogy of Nothing, was published in 1996. Living Tissue, 10x10 is his second novel.
Alistair Ian Blyth, a native of Sunderland, England, has resided for many years in Bucharest. His previous translations include The Bulgarian Truck by Dumitru Tsepenaeg, The Encounter by Gabriela Adamesteanu, and I'm an Old Commie! by Dan Lungu, all available from Dalkey Archive Press.