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Twisted Spoon Press

PO Box 21 - Preslova 12, 150 00 Prague 5, Czech Republic

Book details:
Second-Hand Souls

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  second-hand souls
selected writing

by Nichita Danilov

translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter

Nichita Danilov places himself in the tradition of mystics such as Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, and Pseudo-Dionysius. This tradition describes the divine in negative terms: it is "not a part of non- existence nor is it a part of being," he quotes the Areopagite. This world is unknowable and made essentially other by its ineffability, and because the divine is ineffable, no poem Danilov writes will be an adequate expression of its nature. This volume represents his attempts at such expression. Combining the spiritual heritage of his native Romania and his people, the Lippoven, with a surrealist poetics, Danilov explores the mystical relationship between Man and the Deity in writing that is playful, ironic, and language-centered, engaging in games of a metaphysical depth.

In this selection of his poetry (presented bilingually) and prose, Danilov describes a world full of caprice in a voice coming from the darkness of a purgatory where the divine appears in bizarre images, where all we can do is passively wait for a divine eruption in this world, the nature and timing of which are impossible to predict.

As much as Balkan religious and ethnic conflict has been present in our minds of late, our understanding has been somewhat superficial. Danilov's writing will be of interest to those who wish a deeper understanding of the currents in East European spirituality.


[S]tartling images that remind us of the best of the Imagist school where the moon can become an old farmer "leaning over the fence."


The most obvious comparison of Nichita Danilov's poetic style is to that of Rilke with perhaps a hint of Borges ... a succint and valuable translation of a potentially important East European poet.

The Absinthe Literary Review

The world for the mystically-minded Danilov is not a natural world, but it has its fascinations and intimations.

Small Press Book Review

Brief surrealistic meditations on craft and creativity, Danilov's essays begin calmly only to mount swiftly to hallucinogenic, ecstatic bursts of religion-poetical prayer.

— Richard Collins, Xavier Review

These skeptical poems evoke mysticism, surrealism and the metaphysical. Their greatest strength is how they say so much, so simply, so beautifully.



ISBN 9788086264080
156 pp., 14.5 x 20.5 cm
softcover with flaps
smythe sewn
poetry (bilingual) & prose

release date:
January 2004

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also available from:
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Central Books

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