Bucharest, Broken City | Philip Ó Ceallaigh | Granta Magazine

Bucharest, Broken City

Philip Ó Ceallaigh

‘It is only consciousness and memory that hold together the things we sometimes see as solid.’

When his spirits were low, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu would visit his fellow tyrants. A trip to Pyongyang – so the story goes – inspired him to bulldoze his capital. Between 1984 and 1989 a third of the old city, an area of some six square kilometres, was destroyed, and 57,000 families…


Philip Ó Ceallaigh

Philip Ó Ceallaigh is an Irish author and translator. His translation of Mihail Sebastian’s For Two Thousand Years is forthcoming from Penguin in 2016. ‘Bucharest, Broken City’ is taken from a work in progress on Eastern Europe, the Holocaust and totalitarianism.

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