This book uses both words and photographs to illustrate the central
role that the ballad, the Miorita, plays in Romanian culture. By
combining the insights of an American and a Romanian scholar with a
vision of Romanian pastoral life developed by a leading American
photographer, the reader is introduced to one of the most
complicated and elusive cultural icons in European civilization. It
is, however, one that continues to permeate Romanian culture and
offers, to those who take the time to study it, an approach to life
which will resonate closely with much modern experience and
This publishing event has it origins in an American photographic
exhibit intended for a Romanian audience in 1986 when the
Ceausescu's communist regime was rejecting most American cultural
offerings. The American hoped at that time to make a gesture of
support and encouragement to the Romanians by this act of homage to
one of their major cultural icons. In any event, the communist
Council of Culture forbade the display of the exhibit which is now
for the first time being made available for study. The two
introductions, one by an American specialist in Romanian studies
and one by a Romanian professor of Romanian literature, provide two
perspectives on the Miorita and insure that the reader will
understand why the ballad is central to Romanian consciousness and
why it has a message of great seriousness and insight for modern
man of any origin.
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