Sunday, February 19, 2017

[Updated] Mihael Sebastian on Mircea Eliade

More on Mircea Eliade and Jews, from the Journal of Mihail Sebastian, from selections published in the New Yorker October 2, 2000:
September 25, 1936      He [Eliade] is able to work comfortably with the anti-Semitic Vremea [a newspaper], as if there were nothing untoward about it. Nevertheless I shall do everything possible to keep him. 
February 25, 1937     Yesterday evening, there was a little party at our place. Mircea, [his wife] Nina, Marietta, [her husband] Haig, Dinu [Noica]. 
I wonder if this won't be the last time I ask them round. I don't feel I can stand the duplicity that our friendship has required since they went over to the Iron Guard. Is friendship possible with people who have in common a whole set of alien ideas and feelings - so alien that I have only to walk in the door and they suddenly fall silent in shame and embarrassment? 
September 20, 1939    Titel Comarnescu tells me of a political conversation he had recently with Mircea, who is more pro-German than ever, more anti-French and anti-Semitic. 
"The Poles' resistance in Warsaw," says Mircea, "is a Jewish resistance. Only yids are capable of the blackmail of putting women and children in the front line, to take advantage of the Germans' sense of scruple. Rather than a Romania again invaded by kikes, it would be better to have a German protectorate." 
Now I understand perfectly why he is so reticent with me when it is a question of politics, and why he appears to take refuge in metaphysics to escape "the horrors of politics." 
Just look at what he thinks, your ex-friend Mircea Eliade.

I've just posted as a page the complete New Yorker article - accessible here - Friends and Fascists.