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An interview with Radu Herinean
article [ Creative ]

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by [irina ]

2004-05-13  |   

Literary Translation - Translations of classic and original poetry and other materialsThis text is a follow-up  | 

Radu, the words that better characterize you would be: "I'm waiting to hear what's new". You most often talk about "what's new", rather than “news”. Would this be your virtual signature?

All the work on is done by volunteers, starting with me, the editors and the columnists. Each of us has his or her problems and concerns and things are not always moving as fast as I would want them to. Maybe that's why I like to always establish what's the next step - I do it for me and for the others as well, because this is the only way in which I can "keep things moving".

What about your studies? Can you make a brief description?

I've spend all the years of my education in Bucharest. I've graduated the mathematics - IT class of Gheorghe Lazar high school. In my first years of high school, I achieved outstanding results in IT studies (including prizes in IT contests). In the last years of high school, I became passionate about the Romanian language. My Romanian language teacher got to the stage where she would give me only grade 10 (Romanian equivalent of an "A"), but she would criticize me more than she criticized those who received grade 5.
I think that not a week went by without her telling me that I would continue writing the way I did then, I would never be able to pass my exams, because she wouldn't be able to understand a thing. Fortunately for me, things went well and I finished high school among the first 20 students of my year.

I went to college at Polytechnic School, where I managed to avoid the classes of my specialty and take part in everything liked to the IT field. As far as literature is concerned, I have only written love poems, most of them sad. My passion for literature has resumed to SF novels, which I used to read on my way to school.

There is a book I will never forget, my favorite, also a sience fiction novel: "War lords", written by Gerard Klein, maybe one of the first SF books I have ever red. I found out recently that Mr. Gerard Klein visited Romania a couple of times and he is familiar with Romanian SF literature, so I am terribly sorry for not knowing about those visits. My greatest reward would be that Mr. Gerard Klein herd about what are we doing on the Romanian and French versions of More than this, I dream that someday we will be the first to publish a SF story signed by Gerard Klein.

What can you tell us about your other interests in reading?

When talking about my favorite authors, I can't leave out Frank Herbert and Isaac Asimov. I have a special weakness for the Romanian poet George Bacovia and I should have red his work more extensively.

Do you have other interests?

I have few hobbies but lots of activities. In the summer, I practice all the sports imaginable, from riding to basketball, beach volley and roler blading. In the winter, I try to spend as much time as possible snowboarding and skiing and I take advantage of a cool night to go dancing.
Sunday is already busy with the literary circle we are organizing in a club in Bucharest. This circle tends to be known more and more and has become quite popular in the Romanian cultural life.

What about Agonia? Is it your creation?

Its history begins around the year 2000, when I worked as an IT manager at Atomic TV, the first Romanian musical television. It was fun to stay there after working hours. When I was not working, I used to do some experimenting with various web sites and I created a page in which I inserted all my teenage poems, in order for me to learn how to build a website. From here to an open site dedicated to poetry was just a question of making a decision. I took the decision to do so without hesitating. Several years later, I bought and I turned it into an interactive site. Last year I reached the conclusion that this project can be available in more languages than just in Romanian, and I bought and, two different gates of entrance in the same community. is poetry-orientated, whereas ( is a cultural and artistic community (built as a portal). This month will be available for the Romanian public. is dedicated to the people who love reading and writing prose and will be based practically on the members of

The portal is now available in six languages and soon we will activate the Italian and Latin versions, for those who are passionate about culture. The activity on those pages is sustained and updated by volunteer editors from all around the world, a team of people without whom this project wouldn’t be able to go forward. In the beginning, the editors team was based mainly on Romanian citizens now living in other countries, but we managed to bring on the site French and German natives, people who actually now coordinate all that is going on in each of the sections available on, depending on the language they speak best.
Among the most recent projects: an online radio which is going to be launched this week, dedicated solely to culture and literature, initially available only in Romanian. Soon we hope to get started on another project: a printed magazine, also in Romanian, containing a page dedicated to each language present in this community.

You live in Bucharest, Romania. You are in charge of a video and musical production studio.

These days, literature can’t be a means to sustain oneself financially, not even for the basic needs. So, one needs to work. I am the producer of an weekly IT show on Prima TV, an important Romanian TV station. An independent studio at which I am one of the partners produces this show. The activity of the studio doesn’t consist only of producing tv shows, but also music videos, video spots and presentations, any kind of video production and audio production. The studio's activity has reduced now.

What about present and future?

I never make plans for the future on the long run. My experience in the media field, combined with the IT field, gives me a lot of work to do, so I can’t complain. I do try to develop this cultural project in such a manner that those who work for it can one day be paid for what they are doing. I think that when we all will be able to coordinate better our capabilities and efforts we will be in title to apply for non-governmental financing and we will try to take part in a European cultural program. Then the contacts we have so far established through the international development of the site will be very useful in this direction.
I’ve received offers to go abroad and study – by means of scholarship or for professional training, but I didn’t go, I tried first to run out of choices here in Romania, by activating in very different fields and making drastic changes in my way of life and activities. Some say about Romania that it is a beautiful country, too bad someone is living here. When Romanians were emigrating heavily to the west, others said: “The last one to leave will turn off the light”. I can say this: there’s always going to be a light on and, if in any doubt, check the lightswitch position at

radu herinean
editor in-chief

Radu Herinean: a man who knows how to relate to people, really sensitive to the realities of modern day Romania, with ambitious projects for the future and a future that is renewed everyday.

Thank you for your answers, Radu!

(an interview taken by NMP)

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