Journal entry of the Romanian poet and novelist Mahail Sebastian March 26th, 1941

“More moving, however, was Eugen Ionescu, who again came to see me yesterday morning. He was desperate, hunted, obsessed, unable to bear the thought that he may be barred from working in education. A healthy man can go mad if he suddenly learns that he has leprosy. Eugen Ionescu is learning that not even the name “Ionescu,” nor an indisputably Romanian father, nor the fact that he was born a Christian – nothing at all can hide the curse of having Jewish blood in his veins. The rest of us have long since grown used to this dear old leprosy, so much so that we feel resignation and sometimes a kind of sad, disconsolate pride.

I have been reading Shelley the last few days. It is a great pleasure.”

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