for the 2016 Kyoto Prize
in Arts and Philosophy
Romanian writer and and leading opponent of the communist regime before 1989
Political refugee in France
Residing in Paris
2. Reasons for nomination
His family's refugee; Political prisoner; Fight for human rights in Romania; Exile in France; Literary and spiritual contribution
3. Detailed description of reasons for nomination
Paul Goma would describe his family's refugee saga in the novels Arta refugii ("The Art of Refuge", a wordplay on the Romanian words for "refuge" and "taking flight"), Soldatul câinelui ("Dog's Soldier"), and Gardă inversă ("Reverse Guard").
In 1956, Goma was arrested on the charge of attempting to organize a strike at University of Bucharest and he was sentenced to two years in prison.] He served his sentence, and then put under house arrest until 1963. He wrote Gherla, a novel based on his experiences in the Gherla Prison.
In 1977, Paul Goma wrote public letters expressing solidarity with the Charter 77, another letter, addressed directly to Ceaușescu,following this, he wrote another letter (addressed to the 35 countries in the CSCE) in which he called for respect for human rights in Romania. Ceaușescu made a speech in which he attacked the "traitors of the country", referring to the two letters Goma wrote. Following his arrest, an international appeal for his release was launched, among the signatories being Eugène Ionesco, Jean-Paul Sartre, Arthur Miller and Edward Albee. On November 20, 1977, Paul Goma and his family left Romania and went into exile in
In France, in 1979, Paul Goma was active in the creation of the Free Workers' Syndicate. The Securitate planned to assassinate Goma. Although Goma's numerous works (both fiction and non-fiction) were translated worldwide, his books, except the first one, were published in Romania only after the 1989 Revolution. He now lives in Paris as a stateless political refugee, his Romanian citizenship having been revoked after 1978 by the communist government. He turned down an offer of citizenship from the French Republic, extended simultaneously to him and to the Czech writer Milan Kundera.
Goma's literary debut came in 1966. In 1968 he published his first volume of stories, Camera de alături ("The Room Next Door"). After Ostinato and its West German publication in 1971 came Uşa ("Die Tür" or "The Door") in 1972, also in Germany. After his forced emigration in 1977 and until his books could again be published in Romania after the 1989 revolution, all his books appeared in France and in French. (His novel Gherla had in fact been published in 1976 first in French by Gallimard of Paris before he left Romania.) There followed such novels as Dans le cercle ("Within the Circle", 1977); Garde inverse ("Reverse Guard", 1979); Le Tremblement des Hommes ("The Trembling of People", 1979); Chassée-croisé ("Intersection", 1983); Les Chiens de la mort ("The Dogs of Death", 1981), which details his prison experiences in Piteşti in the 1950s; and Bonifacia (1986). The autobiographical Le Calidor appeared in French in 1987 and was subsequently published in Romanian as Din Calidor: O copilărie basarabeană ("In Calidor: A Bessarabian Childhood", 1989, 1990; translated as My Childhood at the Gate of Unrest) in the Romanian émigré journal Dialog.
In its totality, Goma's literary work comprises a "persuasive and grimly fascinating exposure of totalitarian inhumanity from which, in his own case, even foreign exile was no guarantee of safe haven. In such later novels as Bonifacia and My Childhood at the Gate of Unrest, the biographical element dominates as he focuses on his childhood and adolescence in Bessarabia. Several sets of diaries, all published in Romania in 1997 and 1998, shed light on Goma's later life and career: Alte Jurnale ("Other Journals"), which covers his stay in the United States in autumn 1978 but concentrates primarily on 1994-96; Jurnal I: Jurnal pe sărite ("Journal I: By Leaps and Bounds", 1997); Jurnal II: Jurnal de căldură mare ("Journal II: Journal of Great Heat", 1997), covering June and July 1989; Jurnal III: Jurnal de noapte lungă ("Journal of the Long Night", 1997), covering September to December 1993; and Jurnalul unui jurnal 1997 ("The Journal of a Journal, 1997").
(Romanian) Camera de alǎturi, Bucharest, 1968.
(Romanian) Ostinato, Editura Univers, 1992. ISBN 973-34-0215-X
(German) Die Tür, 1972.
(French) Elles étaient quatre, Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1974.
(Romanian) Uşa noastrǎ cea de toate zilele, Editura Cartea Româneascǎ, Bucharest, 1992.
(French) Gherla, Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1976.
(Swedish) Gherla, 1978.
(French) Dossier Paul Goma. L'écrivain face au socialisme du silence., Paris, 1977
(French) Dans le cercle, Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1977. ISBN 2-07-029709-8
(Romanian) In cerc, 1995.
(French) Garde inverse, Éditions Gallimard, Paris, 1979.
(Romanian) Gardă inversă, Univers, 1997. ISBN 973-34-0409-8
(French) Le Tremblement des Hommes: peut-on vivre en Roumanie aujourd'hui?, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, 1979. ISBN 2-02-005101-X.
(Romanian) Culorile curcubeului '77, Humanitas, Bucharest, 1990. ISBN 973-28-0174-3
(Romanian) Culoarea curcubeului ’77. Cod „Bǎrbosul”, Polirom, 2005. ISBN 973-681-833-0
(French) Les chiens de mort, ou, La passion selon Piteşti, Hachette, Paris, 1981. ISBN 2-01-008309-1
(German) Die rote Messe, Thule, Köln, 1984.
(Romanian) Patimile dupǎ Piteşti, 1990.
(Romanian) Patimile dupǎ Piteşti, Dacia, 1999. ISBN 973-35-0845-4
(French) Chassé-croise, Hachette, Paris, 1983.
(Romanian) Soldatul câinelui, Humanitas, Bucharest, 1991. ISBN 973-28-0235-9
(French) Le calidor, Albin Michel, 1987.
(Romanian) Din calidor, 1989.
(Romanian) Din calidor: O copilǎrie basarabeanǎ, Polirom, 2004. ISBN 973-681-732-6
(French) L'art de la fugue, Julliard, 1990. ISBN 2-260-00635-3
(Romanian) Arta refugii, Editura Basarabian, Chişinau, 1995.
(Romanian) Sabina, 1991.
(French) Sabina, 1993.
(Romanian) Sabina, Universal Dalsi, Bucharest, 2005. ISBN 973-691-031-8
(French) Astra, 1992.
(Romanian) Astra, Editura Dacia, 1992.
(Romanian) Bonifacia, 1993.
(French) Bonifacia, Albin Michel 1998. ISBN 2-226-02589-8
(Romanian) Bonifacia, Anamarol, 2006. ISBN 973-8931-18-5
(Romanian) Adameva, Loreley, Iaşi, 1995. (not distributed)
(Romanian) Amnezia la români, Litera, 1995.
(Romanian) Scrisori întredeschise - singur impotriva lor, Multiprint "Familia", Oradea, 1995.
(Romanian) Justa Editura Nemira, Bucharest, 1995.
(Romanian) Jurnal pe sărite, Editura Nemira, Bucharest, 1997
(Romanian) Jurnal de cǎldura mare, Edutura Nemira, Bucharest, 1997
(Romanian) Altina - grǎdina scufundata, Editura Cartier, Chişinau, 1998.
(Romanian) Scrisuri. 1972-1998, Editura Nemira, Bucharest, 1999. ISBN 973-569-377-1
(Romanian) Roman intim, Editura Allfa, 1999. ISBN 973-9477-06-2
(Romanian) Jurnal de Noapte Lungă, Dacia, Bucharest, 2000.
(Romanian) Jurnal unui jurnal, Dacia, Cluj, 2000.
(Romanian) Jurnal de Apocrif, Dacia, Cluj, 2000.
(French) Profil bas, Des Syrtes, 2001. ISBN 2845450389
(Romanian) Săptămîna Roşie. 28 Iunie–3 Iulie 1940 sau Basarabia şi evreii, Museum, Chişinău, 2003. ISBN 978-9975-906-77-7
(Romanian) Jurnal, Criterion, Bucharest, 2004. ISBN 978-973-86850-8-6
(Romanian) Alfabecedar, Editura Victor Frunză, 2005.
"Chevalier dans l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres" (France), 1986
Writers' Union of Moldova's Prize for Prose, March, 1992.
Writers' Union of Romania's Prize for Prose, May 25, 1992.
"Honorary Citizen" by the Municipal Council of Timişoara, January 30, 2007.
b. 12. 04. 1944
Romanian Writers Union, member
Home address: phone: 4021 450 88 68; e-mail: george_anca&yahoo.com