Born to a Jewish Romanian family in Sibiu. he published his first poems in Romanian language under the pen name Andrei Steiu. In 1965 he left the country to escape from the communist regime. After time in Italy. he emigrated to the United States in 1966, where he immediately sought out Allen Ginsberg and was part of the East Village art scene.
In 1981, Codrescu became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He is an editor of the online journal Exquisite Corpse . and is a MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He lives in New Orleans.Works Essays
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Born to a Jewish Romanian family in Sibiu. he left the country to escape from the communist regime. After time in Italy. he emigrated to the United States in 1966, where he immediately sought out Allen Ginsberg and was part of the East Village art scene.
In 1981, Codrescu became a naturalized citizen of the United States. He is an editor of the online journal Exquisite Corpse. and is a MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He lives in New Orleans.Contents [edit ] Works [edit ] Essays
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February 25, 2014
An Insider’s Approach: Laissez-Faire
If an individual has a high admiration for their home, whether it’s in the heart of a bustling city or the far reaches of a quite country town, that individual has most certainly dealt with the burden of lending a piece of their sanctuary, and what constructs it, to the passing tourist. Spending a weekend in a particular city or place usually does not give the common vacationist or sight-seer the true sense of what natives feel constitutes their special home. In Andrei Codrescu’s New Orleans, Mon Amour, the author feels his city under attack from the tourists escaping their realities for a Mardi Gras fantasy that much of “America” associates New Orleans with. By definition, Codrescu is not a true native himself, being born in Romania and moving to New Orleans in his adulthood. However, like many other people, Codrescu was able to understand the beauty of New Orleans as something more than a “cheap trick”, and has become one of the many “people who never left” (Codrescu, 69). Now considering himself a New Orleanian, Codrescue does not criticize all tourism, but directs his angst at the vacationers who leave their true identities at home and travel to the city “to get drunk, to get weird, and to get laid” (148). Throughout the novel, the author depicts his home as a historical city filled with “the dead” and their vast cemeteries and stories, yet at the same time a flesh city, ruled by “dreams, masques, and shifting identities” (66, 133). Codrescue’s artistic, intricate depiction of New Orleans serves to show what is at stake for him and his fellow citizens. New Orleans is “for a specific life-form, a dreamy, lazy, sentimental, musical one” (135), not the loud and obnoxious weekenders that threaten to threaten the city’s identity. Codrescu’s attack on the “outsiders” of his city may seem a bit too critical of people looking for a short New Orleans visit. His main goal is not to condemn all tourism, but to explore and embrace the true wonders the city, his home, has to offer.
Codrescu first visited New Orleans when he was thirty-six in the heat of Mardi Gras festivities, overcome by the “night parades, brass bands, and news of yet another, more amazing party” (1). Most visitors stop exploring here, but Codrescu also fell in love with the timelessness, the stories, and the tradition of the city. As an author, he describes New Orleans’s ability to generate unique tales of its colorful inhabitants as “a faucet left on everywhere you looked” (2). Codrescu wastes no time divulging the reader in what makes New Orleans such a special city past its NOLA glitz and glam, from the the inhabitants embrace. Codrescu states that New Orleans is a separate entity in comparison to other American cities, and even states that it is separate place removed from America altogether. He says that America is driven by “logic of economics, and precise planning” while his city is all about “lazy dreaming prey to hallucinations”, and that this laissez-faire attitude completely goes against “American civilization as we know it” (135). At one point, he overheard a couple of young New Orleanians “waxing lyrical about the time when “there weren’t so many Americans here” (143). Codrescu goes out of his way to shine such a strong spotlight on what he thinks makes New Orleans unique for multiple reasons. One purpose is for the locals, as an epic love song and cultural celebration of New Orleans life. The second purpose, which directly connects to tourism, is that he wants visitors to see the depth New Orleans has to offer, and to discover and appreciate the true beauty of his city as educated tourists. If an educated tourist understands the history behind New Orleans, then one can truly appreciate the holidays and festivities that come along with it. Codrescu states:
“The intricate relations of New Orleans culture through history can be seen all at once at Mardi Gras. At that.
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ndrei Codrescu born in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania, emigrated to the U.S in 1966. His first poetry book, License to Carry a Gun. won the 1970 Big Table Poetry award. He founded Exquisite Corpse: a Journal of Books & Ideas (corpse.org) in 1983, taught literature and poetry at Johns Hopkins University, University of Baltimore, and Louisiana State University where he was MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English. He'a been a regular commentator on NPR's All Things Considered since 1983, and received a Peabody Award for writing and starring in the film Road Scholar. In 1989 he returned to his native Romania to cover the fall of the Ceausescu regime for NPR and ABC News, and wrote The Hole in the Flag: an Exile's Story of Return and Revolution. He is the author of books of poetry, novels, essays; the most recent are So Recently Rent a World. New and Selected Poems (Coffee House, 2012), Bibliodeath: my Archives (with Life in Footnotes) (Antibookclub, 2012),whatever gets you through the night: a story of sheherezade and the arabian entertainments(Princeton University Press, 2011), The Posthuman Dada Guide: Tzara and Lenin Play Chess. (Princeton University Press. 2009), and The Poetry Lesson (Princeton University Press. 2010).
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Jewish Romanian-American poet, novelist, essayist, screenwriter, and commentator for National Public Radio.
Unchecked, the tourist will climb over the fence and come right into your house to take pictures of you in your habitat. Cities mindful of tourists have built elaborate �tourist traps� which, luckily, work. Tourists are kept confined to these, and few escape. There is, of course, the type known as the �intrepid tourist.� This one has to be watched carefully or he can become most annoying. Little wonder these are so often the target of terrorists. If there is an aspect of benign terror about the tourist, there is also a great deal of tourist in the terrorist. Terrorists travel with only one thing in mind, just like the tourist, and the specifics of places escape them both. Terrorists travel for the purpose of shooting unsuspecting foreigners, just as tourists travel for the purpose of shooting them with a camera.
Two-thirds of what we call New Orleans culture is really myth-making. People feed myths of the city back to the city. These myths are now in pieces.
There is undoubtedly something religious about it: everyone believes that they are special, that they are chosen, that they have a special relation with fate. Here is the test: you turn over card after card to see in which way that is true. If you can defy the odds, you may be saved. And when you are cleaned out, the last penny gone, you are enlightened at last, free perhaps, exhilarated like an ascetic by the falling away of the material world.
It's better to let others describe it. The language of Saje's poems dares the world to be delightful and I'm delighted to see it rise to the challenge. Guillevic once hoped that poetry would 'do to things what light does to them,' and Saje's poems do just that, waking up the plants, pleating the landscape like an accordion, giving fruits their Zurbaran-like precision in bowls of perfect sunlight.
Andrei Codrescu has published poetry, memoirs, fiction, and essays. He is a regular commentator on NPR and wrote and starred in the Peabody award-winning movie Road Scholar. His novels The Blood Countess (1995) and Messiah (1999) were national bestsellers. Mr. Codrescu is MacCurdy Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and edits Exquisite Corpse: A Journal of Letters & Life.producer
You might recognize Andrei Codrescu's voice from his insightful commentaries on NPR, but Codrescu has also brought his unique perspective on American culture to the silver screen, via the movie Road Scholar.
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Below is a free excerpt of "Diversity and Joe: an Analytical Essay of "Joe Stopped by"" from Anti Essays, your source for free research papers, essays, and term paper examples.
ENG 101 – M, W
25 March 2013
Diversity and Joe: A Literary Analysis of “Joe Stopped By”
Reflecting on his essay, "Joe Stopped By," Andrei Codrescu comments that part of the pleasure of writing this piece was "finding some tolerance for the strangeness of people I couldn't help being related to;" he judges the success of his writing on whether or not he is able "to achieve empathy for [his] subject, or even (in the best of cases) sink below the subject, in humility and abjection" (317). Are Cordrescu's depictions of his wife's family, particularly Joe, empathetic? How does he create empathy for a character with many offensive characteristics? Does he express humility or abjection in this essay? The answers will reveal whether or not the author fulfills his own standards of success in this essay. Codrescu's description of his relationship with his father-in-law, Joe, as being one of “mutual incomprehension” (307), sets the stage for the entire essay, which the author uses to gain favor for his conclusion that the concept of diversity (the subject of the essay) is a farce. Diversity requires empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of another – the exact opposite of their shared “incomprehension” of one another. The author draws support for this conclusion by setting the stage through depictions of Joe's character and then allowing Joe's dialogue (associated with such controversial topics as politics, religion, and racism) to reveal his arrogant and infallible nature, which, by definition, makes achieving diversity with him impossible.
To begin with, the author describes Joe's prejudiced person numerous times throughout the entirety of the essay. Verbal attacks are a common tool Joe uses to “defeat” his opponent: “So far Joe had gone after nearly everything he suspected I was: a Jew, a liberal, a Spanish-speaking something”(314); “I wondered who was left. We had already done the Japanese.
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