[*Excerpt from a lecture by Romanian artist Dan Puric, held at the Faculty of Philosophy in Bucharest. The present fragment continues an account about Tănase, famous Romanian comedian between the two World Wars.]
Someone tried putting out a magazine of his own, to undermine Tănase and his humor and satirical spirit, [D. P.:] “as he wanted to destroy him, instead of doing something good. And he saw a poster with some show-girls doing the can-can, like at the Moulin Rouge, and below, it read: «MY magazine”. The old man (Tănase) reads it and serenely walks on. A month later, he puts out a magazine, too, but the advertising poster reads: «S-o vezi pe-a MEA!” (lit.: «You should see mine!»).
Questions from the public:
”A critical question: in a child’s education one is not supposed to slap him/her, as this is considered a crime under the current legislation.” [D. P.]: “Right!”
“What would be your advice to a teacher who believes that he really has a bit of love, but not enough patience?”
D. P. (before answering):
“Thank you, thank you […].”
Another short question in the meantime:
“Where is your next conference scheduled?”
D. P. : “In Jilava! I think.”*
“So [going back to the first question]: that little slap is one thing. Apprehension, as I said in the beginning; not terror! That special tension, man, even at my theatre, when I give them something to do – I simply set a benchmark for them, for them to «jump over». Of course, some will ask: whatever benchmark are you talking about?!…
Well, s/he must jump over it, s/he must do her/his best to do it! As an artist, I myself put up benchmarks to myself. Brâncuşi would do that, too; Eminescu would do that, too; one cannot do without some creative tension. To give another example, you don’t step into your Confessor Father’s cell without a certain tension. Or when you do your confession, you don’t say: «Well, I have sinned, Father, I’ve slept with a woman. Now, YOU say what you’ve done; your turn now; [I’m listening].»
See what I mean? There is no «democracy» [here], it doesn’t work like that!
Good bye. Looking forward to seeing you at our show «Visul»!”**
* Former communist prison near Bucharest
** ”One-man” pantomime theatre show featuring Romanian artist Dan Puric