Ciprian Mitoceanu – Dark Tales of Sorrow and Despair
Kindle Edition, 2014
Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
The Romanian horror scene is a poor one. There isn’t any legacy to build on, there are but a handful of writers who cultivated a kind of morbid fantasy vision, and that only incidentally. In this respect, my mind goes to the likes of V. Voiculescu and Mircea Eliade. Romanian writers had no taste for the macabre, and the efforts of such greats as E.A. Poe or H.P. Lovecraft left no mark upon their writing.
That was the case until late 2000s, at least. But the generation that discovered Stephen King, Clive Barker or Anne Rice immediately after the fall of Communism in 1989 got hooked on it, and it was just a question of time until some of them tried their hand on bringing the horror close to home.
Therefore, Romanian horror is still young, it is forming under our eyes, and it is still somewhat mimetic, trying hard to discover itself, to part with the masters named above. And some of them are truly ahead of their class. Suffice to name only Flavius Ardelean, who published two very powerful short-story collections, in 2013 and 2014, but also Oliviu Craznic, author of one novel so far, a gothic medieval tale in its own right, and, last but not at all least, Ciprian Mitoceanu.
While Craznic delves into the lost form of the classical gothic and Flavius Ardelean is an adept of the bizarro genre, Ciprian Mitoceanu seems to be the only representative of the first Romanian horror writers’ generation to embrace the macabre full-on. Mitoceanu’s writing is woven to the effect of inspiring horror, both mental and physical, his stories are plot-centered, and his characters, most of the times easily recognizable as Romanians, are deftly drawn to extract the dark side of human nature. I’d say that Mitoceanu’s biggest accomplishment is his showing the world that Romania has a lot of frightful stories to tell. And Romania’s lucky to have him for that task, as his writing abilities in a very difficult genre are indeed worthy of praise.
Step into Ciprian Mitoceanu’s horrific worlds, where sorrow and despair shake hands with (the illusion of) hope, and you will surely be getting a taste of what the young Romanian horror has best to offer. While reading him you won’t think he’s built is all on absolutely no indigene foundation.