I am VERY excited that this year's Nobel Prize in Literature went to a fellow East European WOMAN. I have not yet read any of Herta Muller's work but I am definitely going to. In the meantime, here's a brief excerpt from an interview she did about her experience visiting Romania after the fall of communism:
For me each journey to Romania is also a journey into another time, in which I never knew which events in my life were coincidence and which were staged. This is why I have, in each and every public statement I have made, demanded access to the secret files kept on me which, under various pretexts, has invariably been denied me. Instead, each time there was signs that I was once again, that is to say, still under observation.
I find this statement fascinating because, ironically, it perfectly describes the way I feel every time I go back to Bulgaria: UNDER OBSERVATION. Not by the Secret Services, of course, but pretty much by everyone else. Do you, my fellow emigrés, feel the same way?
You should search for more pictures of Muller. She has a very expressive face! In light of our previous conversations about East European skepticism and pessimism, I thought you'd appreciate this particular photograph.