Saturday, June 22, 2013

From Romania this week CARMEN STEFANESCU

  "History is a lie agreed upon." I will not disprove the statement. On the contrary. I will add to it another one, which is: "History is written by the victors." In my opinion, it will never cease to be that way. That doesn't mean they lie outright. The events themselves usually don't change, but the motives behind these events often get twisted, either deliberately, or through genuine misunderstanding. We are inculcated with what the masters of the humankind, whoever they may be, depending in what part of the world we live, want us to acknowledge as THE TRUTH. The victors are the ones putting out the 'facts'; they are controlling the means and the amount of information streamed to the masses.
            It's happened starting with the ancient times, with the Bible writings, (another form of history), up to the present day times. I don't want to enter a political debate or stir feathers of any kind but, take my word, not everything we take for granted is the truth and nothing but the truth.
            And, all through our life there's an infinite number of things we take for granted.  Things that we consider can't be different from what we came to acknowledge as fact. While many of you, people living in the western world, took for granted that Communism was only evil and Capitalism was "rags to riches", many of us living behind the Iron Curtain, in Europe, were inculcated with the concepts that Communism was the ideal society and Capitalism was the evil one. It seems we were both misinformed.
Things are never only white or only black. I think that the truth is in the shade of gray. Both systems are ways of life. For some they mean heaven, for others they mean hell.
             I can truly say I've lived history, as until 1989 my country, Romania, was closed behind the Iron Curtain that cast a chilling shadow over us. And, like millions of others in my generation I have grown to maturity in this numb world. I can look back on it now without emotion and consider the fall of the Iron Curtain for what it was, the culmination of decades of history, the final chapter of World War II and perhaps the 20th century itself.  For much of its history, the population of my country did not know what was going on past their own neighborhood, didn't much care; life went on. All of a sudden they saw what was going on in the world and they were energized.
             Many things have changed since 1989. And not the way we hoped for. I wonder how History will describe all this transition from a system to the other in a hundred years' time. Our grandchildren will ask questions whose answers will be alien to them.
 
            The quote "History is a lie agreed upon," means in my opinion that history isn't necessarily true but it's a compromise between conflicting reports. That's why it's better to use your judgment while reading and researching certain aspects of history. You may discover that what you consider reliable sources are not so reliable after all. Read more points of view, if possible, to come to an approximate conclusion. I did it while researching for my novels Shadows of the Past and Dracula's Mistress. Both dealing with medieval times. Regarding Dracula's Mistress, as I am a native of his country, I had available both Romanian and foreign reports on Walachia and Vlad III Basarab. And I found discrepancies in some of the sources though at first sight they seem extremely reliable.
 
 
Author bio:
            Carmen Stefanescu was born in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.
            Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. 
            She has dreamed all her life to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote during those years remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989 and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.