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Who (t.f.) is Kiki?

with 3 comments

I have been surprised (though regarding my former country (because I’ll do everything in my power to avoid any contact with this country), Romania, I shouldn’t be surprised by anything – it’s the country of all possibilities) to see one of my former colleagues from two departments at CEU – Political Science (1999-200), and Philosophy (2000-2002), on youtube, appearing to have some kind of TV show on contemporary cultural issues in Romania—Cristian Vasilescu, now running under the “artist” name Kiki Vasilescu.

The little movies, as I discovered a few minutes later, constitute, in fact, his so-called video blog. I knew what to expect from the guy. He studied for two semesters at the Philosophy department at CEU, being unable to continue, i.e. to pass the comprehensive exam. He did the two semesters in two years, and was one of the dumbest the philosophy department had those years. I recall he had trouble passing the elementary logic course taught by Kati Farkas, and at one point, during a class hour, when Kati asked him (as she used to do with everyone in the class) to come to the whiteboard, to formalize some sentence in first-order logic, he left the room, after which we found him crying on the ground, at the inner yard where the student labs of the philosophy department are located. In general, all his interventions during classes were nonsense, so it was pretty clear that he wouldn’t make it to the second year. He previously got an MA from the Political Science department, which just shows the quality of that department, run those years by János Kis (who was Kiki’s supervisor, by the way…).

After the failure he returned to Romania (the land of wonders) and got a job at the “high quality” school called SNSPA, starting a doctorate too.

Coming back to the little movies they are quite primitive, unentertaining little attacks on whatever is fashionable in Romanian culture – for instance, writers like Pleşu and Liiceanu. I’m myself not a fan of these writers at all, but Romanians would deserve more qualified views on what they take right now as Romanian “philosophy”.

Be that as it may, I also find out in one of these stupid little movies that the guy has a book published. By who? Who else than Polirom? It’s a novel, much praised by some “literary critics” on Polirom’s page, which just shows the level of literary criticism in our beautiful country.

I dig further, get to his homepage, and I discover that he also has two “academic” books published, one by Bucharest University’s publishing house (of which we know what it means – photocopying 100 exemplars and placing them into the university bookstore, located in the building of the Faculty of History) and another one, on Nozick, published by BookSurge Publishing, North Charleston, USA. I have never heard of this publisher, so I google it, and what I find is that for 2000-3000 bucks they publish any crap you write, and make it available on amazon.com. Good – so it’s Bucharest University publisher again, but for (more) money, and with amazon.

Conclusion? We do have very talented people!

Anunțuri

Written by István Aranyosi

Iunie 21, 2008 la 10:33 pm

3 răspunsuri

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  1. You know very well the recipe for success in Romanian Academia: only connect… that’s how talented people become colleagues of other talented people 🙂 The trouble is not in the (indeed) unentertaining lil’ movies he makes—my guess is they don’t reach so many people, judging from the Youtube hits count—, nor in the books he writes—after all, no one but the author’s talented colleagues buys books published at the Uni Pub Co & Sons—but that Romanian Universities are overencumbered by the amount of talent running loose in the classrooms.

    Re: his criticism of Liiceanu & co. From the couple of clips I saw, it didn’t seem to touch any issue of substance, which would be a worthy activity. It is really sad that nobody seems willing to do that in Romania, not even people at the top of our fragile SRfA. So much for philosophy as a critical activity, I guess…

    Stefan Ionescu

    Iunie 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

  2. Istvan, intamplator am dat peste postul tau cu privire la minunata mea persoana. Faptul ca esti atat de „prietenos” ma amuza, mai ales ca povestesti niste chestii pe care le mai si interpretezi din postura, nu-i asa, a baiatului destept.
    Intr-adevar, la dep de filosofie n-am facut o figura foarte frumoasa, dar nu din cauza ca eram, cum spui tu, „one of the dumbest the philosophy department had those years”. Ambele incidente de care vorbesti sunt reale: atat faptul ca am plecat de la CEU dupa primul semestru in primul an (pt a ma reintoarce anul urmator pt un al doilea semestru), cat si faza cu Kati Farcas, insa stii foarte bine care erau motivele care au stat la baza acelui comportament al meu; iar a prezenta faptele fara substrat, desi incorect, ma transforma, intr-adevar, intr-un caraghios. Faptul ca te face pe tine sa te simti bine razand de mine, dupa atatia ani (si nemotivat, pt ca nu tin minte sa fi fost nici amicitie, nici frictiune intre noi), tine banuiesc de bogatia ta psihica. In ce priveste „fuga” mea de la cursul lui Farcas, tu o prezinti ca si cand s-ar fi datorat dobitoceniei mele, care, expusa de intrebarea lui Farcas, s-a predat definitiv si a trebuit, pentru a-si salva si ultima farama de demnitate, sa paraseasca sala. Insa persoana din cauza careia si pentru care am facut acel gest, explicatia era evidenta, fix datorita faptului ca eram expert la logica – dar voiam sa dovedesc cuiva ca, daca nu-mi da atentie, sunt gata sa ma expun ridicolului – sau chiar mai rau, asa cum s-a intamplat mai tarziu (inclusiv prin parasirea anului universitar la mijlocul lui). Insa eram intr-o tulburare sentimentala majora in acele momente, si incercam sa ma exprim prin tot felul de moduri – evident ridicole si sau inexplicabile daca sunt privite dinafara, inclusiv prin a ma auto-sabota (daca ai idee de motivele pt care unii se auto-mutileaza, ai intelege).
    Faptul ca am abandonat un parcurs academic intr-un fel caraghios (caraghios dpdv profesional) din motive sentimentale, deh, lasa sa fie intreaga greseala mea. Insa rautatile tale si incercarea de a induce ideea ca eram un dobitoc iremediabil nu reprezinta, pentru mine, decat o mare lasitate din parte-ti.
    PS. In ce priveste CEU, nu vreau sa dau cu pietre, insa nu e doar parerea mea: studentii de etinie maghiara erau favorizati de catre profesori; sunt multi oameni (nu neaparat cetateni romani) care au trecut pe acolo, pe la diverse departamente, si stiu despre ce vorbesc. De la atitudinea profesorilor (carora li se lumina chipul doar cand cuvanta un Istvan, dar se incrunta sever cand un Razvan deschidea gura), pana la modul de lucru in particular cu studentii (lungimea si frecventa consultatiilor, samd), pana la alte chestiuni pe care nu le pot proba dar le pot banui, totul era un program bine pus la punct al „discriminarii pozitive”. Un singur rus si-a exprimat la un moment dat la departamentul de Stiinte Politice uimirea ca numai studenti de etnie maghiara ajungeau sa treaca spre anul 2 de doctorat la Policial Science, si a inceput sa aiba dificultati in a obtine recomandari, a inceput brusc sa ia note mai slabe la examenele de an 2, etc. Daca nu intelegi la ce ma refer, apoi ar trebui sa-ti aduci aminte de lacunele pe care le aveai atat tu cat si alti colegi de la Cluj in exprimarea in limba engleza, lacune insa care, in mod miraculos, deveneau profunzimi de gandire. Pt ca, nu-i asa, cu cat mai multe „aaaaa” „aaaa”-uri si „I mean, I mean, I mean”, cu atat filosofia devine o specializare a adevaratilor initiati.

    kiki

    Iulie 21, 2009 at 11:15 am

  3. Doua chestiuni:

    (1) Nu cred in teoria ta, potrivit careia cei de etnie maghiara ar fi fost favorizati (poate cu exceptia unor maghiari cetatieni ai Ungariei – si asta mai mult pe la Poltical Science, decat la Philo). Este notoriu conflictul meu quasi-permanent, timp de vreo 3 ani, cu aproape toti profii de la filosofie (intreab-o, de exemplu, pe Monica Jitareanu). Ca sa-ti dau un exemplu, totalul minutelor mele de conversatie cu J. Kis este de vreo 6 minute intre anii 1999-2005, timpul petrecut la CEU, minute nu tocmai amicale.

    (2) In ce priveste observatia ta despre dificultatile de exprimare in enleza, inclusiv ale mele, ar fi lipsit de modestie acum sa incep sa ma laud: „eram expert in engleza” etc. Spun doar ca de prin noiembrie 2002 am inceput sa am articole, scrise de unul singur, fara a consulta vreo alta persoana, acceptate de unele reviste din spatiul anglo-american, fara vreo corectura de gramatica sau de stil. In privinta notelor, cazul meu e opusul a ceea ce scoti tu in evidenta – potrivit „transcriptulul”: in anul intai eram pe locul 7 din 13, anul doi pe locul 3 din 9, iar in anul trei pe locul intai din 9.

    István Aranyosi

    August 15, 2009 at 8:06 am


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