Nichita Danilov places himself in the tradition of mystics such as Meister Eckhart, St. John of the Cross, and Pseudo-Dionysius. This tradition describes the divine in negative terms: it is “not a part of non- existence nor is it a part of being,” he quotes the Areopagite. This world is unknowable and made essentially other by its ineffability, and because the divine is ineffable, no poem Danilov writes will be an adequate expression of its nature. This volume represents his attempts at such expression. Combining the spiritual heritage of his native Romania and his people, the Lippoven, with a surrealist poetics, Danilov explores the mystical relationship between Man and the Deity in writing that is playful, ironic, and language-centered, engaging in games of a metaphysical depth.
In this selection of his poetry (presented bilingually) and prose, Danilov describes a world full of caprice in a voice coming from the darkness of a purgatory where the divine appears in bizarre images, where all we can do is passively wait for a divine eruption in this world, the nature and timing of which are impossible to predict.
As much as Balkan religious and ethnic conflict has been present in our minds of late, our understanding has been somewhat superficial. Danilov’s writing will be of interest to those who wish a deeper understanding of the currents in East European spirituality.