In his poetry, novels and essays, Mircea Cărtărescu portrays the diversity of contemporary European life, going beyond the idea of the continent as a project or territory with borders and limits. For Cărtărescu, Europe’s meaning lies in the works of Kafka, Proust, Grass and Cervantes.
The European project is not Europe. It goes beyond that, in both space and time. Many authors have sought to define its limits, to distinguish between the European continent and the Orient, the New World or the Global South. These categories are even applied within Europe, to identify Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean south or the EU’s new member states. However, according to Mircea Cărtărescu, these aspects do not capture what Europe means for the world or the sense of the diverse Europes which reside in dreams and memories, reality and fantasy.
Mircea Cartarescu is a Romanian poet, novelist, journalist and literary critic
Vicenç Villatoro is a writer and journalist and the current director-general of the CCCB
This series looks at the idea of Europe as a fading force and asks where the continent’s new utopias are to be found, promoting other narratives, remembering other histories and decentralising a territory which has become unrecognisable.