Norman Manea

For Norman Manea's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Commentary / World Aug 22, 2011

Tyranny of the quest for shortcuts

It is said that Americans have a genius for simplification. Gradually, however, the quest for it has become a global trend, one that continues to conquer new territories, just as blue jeans once did. The speed of our daily life is visibly increased — and ...

Commentary / World Mar 13, 2011

Atavistic longing years after the revolution

VIENNA — What happens after the euphoria of revolution fades? Today's Eastern Europe, some two decades after the revolutions of 1989, may offer a salutary warning for today's defiant and jubilant Arab youth that they must remain vigilant. Ever since I left Romania for exile ...

Commentary / World Nov 26, 2009

The long journey from Kafka to Gorbachev

NEW YORK — On Aug. 2, 1914, Franz Kafka wrote in his diary: "Germany has declared war against Russia. In the afternoon, swimming." Kafka, the reclusive and visionary Central European writer, gave his name to the 20th century. Seventy-five years had to pass before ...

Commentary / World Nov 28, 2008

Defense of an artist who had lived as a slave

NEW YORK — Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the collapse of communism in Europe. Liberated from the complexity of knowing too much about the cruel past, the young people of Eastern Europe's postcommunist generation seem uninterested in what their parents and ...

Commentary / World Nov 21, 2007

Crime and punishment, refugee style

PRAGUE — The horrible murder of Giovanna Reggianni that took place near a Romanian refugee camp in the suburb of Tor di Quinto in Rome shocked both Italy and Romania. The case gained significance by adding fuel to the fiery public debates now under ...