LITERARY SMARANDACHE FUNCTION*
Mr. Gheorghe Tomozei
The prodigious poet and mathematician Florentin Smarandache is still relatively unknown by Romanian readers.
Everything about him is miraculous. His study, literary debut and especially his overwhelming biography, rich in events, all demonstrate a programmed eccentric with an implacable destiny.
Although we are presented with a young man born at Balcesti-Vacea, Romania in 1954, we find his name throughout the entire world.
Florentin graduated first in his class in Mathematical Studies from the University of Craiova. He taught in his native village Balcesti from 1981-1982, was a professor at "Sidi El-Hassan Lyoussi" College of Sefrou, Morroco from 1982-1984 then in Craiova for one year and another year in Dragoteste-Dolj. Afterwards, he was unemployed until 1988 when he went into exile, first fleeing to Bulgaria and then to Turkey.
After two years in a refugee camp, he succeeded in getting to Arizona in the United States where he assumed some of the most bizarre occupations: dishwasher, wagon loader and unloader etc. After that, he enrolled in some mathematics Ph. D. courses at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and went on to become a software engineer for a computer corporation.
When we consider his creative work, we spin the globe once again: Debut with poetry on "Nazuinte" school journal of Craiova. Negligible appearances on "central" cultural publications. Setting up in the "paradoxist Literary Movement" in 1980. Book debut at Bucharest with "Formula for the spirit" by "Litera" publishing house (printed on Florentin Smarandache's expenses and pseudo-signed as Ovidiu Florentin).
From now on the bibliography "drives out of his mind" (it is happening to the computers also), thus his following volumes appear at Fes (Morocco) & Aix en-Provence (France) - translation into French of his beginning booklet - & further on, "Made Feelings in the Laboratory" with French editions (in the absence of the Romanian one!) at Fes, Caen (France), Bergerac (France), and American editions at Moorhead State University.
In English, he published "only" three volumes at a Phoenix University publishing house.
After December, 1989, he swooped on the Romanian printing press with "America, Devil's Paradise", 1992, "Escaped ...", 1994 (diaries of an emigrant), "NonNovel", 1993, which claims and seems to be a non-novel, "MetaHistory", 1993, theatrical trilogy, "Silence's Bell" 1993, haiku poems (trilingual editions). This does not include his mathematical books, also being numerous, and a lot of anthologies that retained his verse.
The awards, not a few are also noted. Florentin Smarandache obtained a "Prix Special poux les Entrangers" in Bergerac, received the title of "International Eminent Poet" from the International Academy of Madras (India), and was awarded "Diplome d'Honneur en Poesie Fantesiste" at the Academie des Letters et des Arts du Perigord Competition (France). This set of published titles proves an uncommon creative power, that is not validated by his little, fanciful decorations, but by the reader's appreciation. And, first of all, Romanian's.
For me, Florentin Smarandache' apparition in the Romanian literature (I tell it from the beginning with all my conviction) is a truly great event!
Because in these last years the Romanian literary critics took their hands off the literature (the critics became speakers of the political life, if not its competitors) and because the literary journals could not financially support themselves, it is sad but understandable that many of Smarandache's books passed unnoticed.
It is sad because not only the author's exoticism is interesting, not only because of his fabulous, dangerous diligence, but also because of the distinct worth of some of his struggles into the unknown to create great work.
I write and utter Florentin Smarandache's name with the deepest emotion in my mind. After Nichita's Stanescu's disappearance, only the brilliant Mircea Cartarescu's "Levant" made me realise I was face to face with an exceptional creator. Of course without his God given talent Smarandache's whole poetic "system", all his shipwrecked passion that swims toward saving shores, would be ridiculous. Starting from his gifts which made him an important poet, one of the best, a vigorous young shoot of a tree; he finished by being one of the most highly appreciated poets.
Lecturing to his colleagues, he liked and denied them vigorously. He wanted from his debut to speak differently and to write distinctly. Therefore, he amused himself by creating his own aesthetic system, the paradoxism, which it's not very personally stated (it is somehow evolved by the avant-gardists' manifestos, in other ways denominated), but the system is explanatory to decode his poetical cipher.
What should be the paradoxism's laws? I transcribe them from an author's text cited by the erudite Ion Rotaru, one of the first "Smarandache Function"'s critic:
"Liberty of the verse delivered from the tyranny of the classic
and its dogmas.
It is clear that the "program" is only a poet prodigy, a madness in a re-updated edition and eventually, a whim. The poet would get angry if we took it seriously. I think, therefore, we have in front of us a non-program of the author of non-novels, non-theatre and other "non's". A program without a program. What? Thank God! He doesn't follow! He even contradicts!
From the avant-garde seducers (Marinetti-Tzara) to the "Unwords" proclaimer (who logically called himself Notstanescu) poets "discovered" such 'wonders' dropped'em out, renewed'em and it was normal for this to also happen with the "International" wallachian Smarandache who, in many lyrical "pieces" has only the avant-garde stern humour (stylistic trifles) but not its products' weight. He tells. He asserts. He upsets. He quiets his fever by playing. He is able to do sanguinary and parodic, he can scoff at lazy harmonies and writing configuration even though it seems sensible.
He's the enemy not of the non-poetry (such a kind doesn't exist), but of easy epigonism, of simulation, of verbal tricks that make up for a lack of original ideas. He dreams a poem in working the ferment of cosmic movements, an unrigged poem lasting in time. Poems with life insurance, as he says. And he, also, explaining himself says:
"We consist of head only.
Knight of the linguistic apocalypse, the words are not enough for him any longer, but he lets them seek him, he lets them find him, and he doesn't "adjust" them. Athlete of the paradox, Prince of Ironya, defensive although in a rage of the fiery stench of glory, Florentin Smarandache (inventor of the mathematical FUNCTION which bears his name and recognized by the concerned conclaves) is now as much puzzled as we all are by the Poetry Function as the Third Millenium begins. However, he serves it with fierce passion for the Romanians' culture.
* Originally published in "Kavita India", Bihar, India, Vol. IX, Nos. 1-2, pp. 121-124.