The Total City (book)

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Date: 1978

Region: Europe

Subject: Political/Economic/Social Opinion

Medium: Literature


Artist: Constantin Dumitrescu

Confronting Bodies: Romanian communist government

Dates of Action: 1978, 1980-82

Location: Romania

Description of Artwork: Dumitrescu's book Cetatea Totala (The Total City) was a right-wing analysis of communist Romania. The book is an eloquent critique of communist utopia that cites some of the most famous thinkers on the subject as well as Dumitrescu's own experience under a communist totalitarian government.

The Incident: In 1978 a copy of the maunscript of The Total City was confiscated from a tourist at the Romanian-Yugoslav border and Dumitrescu was arrested and interrogated by the Securitate, Romania's secret police. Another manuscript had been smuggled into the West and after several publishers rejected it Romanian-born philosopher E.M. Cioran was able to get the book published in France. The Total City was critically acclaimed in France and Radio Free Europe's Romanian-language service serialized it from September 1980 to February 1981. In 1982 the leading Romanian publisher in exile, Jon Dumitru Verlag, published a complete and revised Romanian edition in Munich. Dumitrescu and his wife were arrested by the Securitate and exiled to Frankfurt.

Results of Incident: Dumitrescu settled permanently in Germany and has published only one more book in Romanian.

Source: Censorship: A World Encyclopedia