The Romanian poet Oskar Pastior has died on Wednesday:
Oskar Pastior was born in 1927 in Romania, and grew up in the multi-lingual environment of the Transylvanian town of Sibiu/Hermannstadt speaking the outmoded German of his forefathers. He says that he has this multilingualism to thank not only for the insights it gave him into the possibilities of writing, but above all the associated "relativisation of normative thinking". He was deported in 1945 after the Red Army took control of Romania and spent almost five years in Soviet labour camps. After returning, he managed to complete his university entrance qualifications while doing his military service, and then went on to study. In 1968 he fled to the West, and since 1969 has lived in Berlin. And worked – on the language, with the language. "My seriousness is really rather childlike, akin to the games of kids who've had their fingers burned."