Translating alienation – between escapism and adventure


  • Cristina Savin Monash University



poetry, translation, Romanian, Vasile Baghiu


The poems translated have been selected from Vasile Baghiu’s debut poetry collection The taste of alienation. Published in 1994, the collection represents the genesis of Baghiu’s story of poetic chimerism that spans three decades and eight volumes of poems. But the first chimeric ideas materialised, quietly, six years before The taste of alienation saw the light of day, at the height of the totalitarian regime in his native Romania. At the time, the poet was working as a nurse in a tuberculosis sanatorium, consumed by a sense of isolation in the depths of which he had a life-altering, liberating epiphany that shaped his identity and his understanding of the world. He realised that he could be someone else, that he could escape the personal, geographical and intellectual constraints imposed by the regime, and could virtually live a parallel life. And so poetic chimerism was born, as a means of evading ‘les maux de la société’, as a form of personal freedom made possible through imagination and the re-creation, in writing, of imaginary travels through space and time. 

Author Biography

Cristina Savin, Monash University

Cristina Savin is a freelance translator based in Melbourne, Australia. She is the French-to-English translator of Marie Lion and philosopher Marcel Gauchet. Her translations from Romanian have been published in Cordite Poetry Review, The AALITRA Review, Poetry in Process and Bordertown. Cristina is an assistant editor at The AALITRA Review and is currently undertaking a PhD in Translation Studies at Monash University.