“This book is a masterpiece from a true master. Classical reading that draws one in and one of the best novels published in Romania after 1990.”
Rădulescu’s novel is an authentic testimony of an opulent imagination, but also proof that even the most unusual constructions can barely surpass harsh reality from which they somehow grew. Taking place in a dreamlike place removed from time and space continuum which blends present day Romanian geography with fantastic layouts of uncommon kingdoms – such as those of green and blue ants – Theodosius the Small represents, through grotesque, absurd and refined humor, a parable of political life in a modern state: a ruthless struggle breaking over the backs of the silent majority. He achieves this with a gallery of brilliantly devised, hilariously anthropomorphic and zoomorphic characters that – often via fairy tale-like hyperbole – personify various roles of public servants. Apart from Theodosius, crown prince, whose safety is the main concern of commissioned tutor Catdog Gavril, there are also a kind of courtiers such as Apparition Otilia, Owl Kaliopi, Minotaur Samoil along with usurpers Some Protector and Otto from Ottoburg, while watching over all of them is a mysterious deity of oscillating powers: the terrible dragon Grand Little Monster. Rădulescu’s susceptible style and skillful screenplay guidance enchant from the very first sentence and remain present all to the end.
“‘Theodosius the Small’ is without a doubt the best Romanian prose of the year and one of the highlights of Romanian literature after 1989. Also, it is a great export product.”
Bianca Burţa-Cernat, Observator cultural
Author: Răzvan Rădulescu
Translator: Ana Brnardić Oproiu i Adrian Oproiu