REVIEW: Sihastrul

IMG_6562-2

Plantus said that she wrote “Sihastrul” on the premise that if someone found it in a cave somewhere in the future, and they treated like something that was ancient, what would they have to say about it?

“It’s cosmic,” she said with wonder.

Cosmic is the best way to describe her novella.

The meaning of the book changes each time it is read. It’s about the search for meaning in the very first word, a quest to discover identity, a tale about the beginning of the world. This small novella has big ideas, strong language, and mystical elements packed within it. She mixes prose and poetry to create several small books that are linked together to form the story of “Sihastrul, the Hermit.” The books are written by a variety of narrators, each an important character in the story. Some include the Hermit, his Mother, the Old Angel, God, and the Butterfly. Each one has a well-developed personality that brings them alive on the page.

The reader has the choice to read the books in any order if they’d like, because all of the books are interconnected and jump around in space and time. There is no right or wrong way to read. I read it from front to back, which I believe would be the best way to read it (it was organized in that way for a reason.) The clues, or breadcrumbs as I like to say, that lead you down the story’s path is much more rewarding that way.

One of the biggest mysteries of the novella is the identity of the Hermit. Do not expect an answer by the end. It is left entirely up to the reader to try and use the breadcrumbs, as I said earlier, to discover his identity. After all, not even the Hermit is entirely sure who he is either.

Continue reading

Advertisements

ARTICLE: All it takes is one word

cf9068aac0f122aeff2f7f2886cb1fb2

Friends, family, and past students came to support Plantus’ new book. Even her priest came to congratulate her.

As one can expect from a senior who is on the verge of graduating with her B.A. in Creative Writing, I have taken many English classes over the years. My most recent was Bible as Literature with Professor Doris Plantus. When I first took her class, it was to fulfill three reasons: to get the credits I needed to graduate, to learn more about my own religion, and to get more material for my own creative writing.

Plantus is a fabulous teacher who did an amazing job at keeping her own beliefs out of the classroom to teach students – all of whom had a wide variety of beliefs – the importance of the Bible as a work of literary fiction, as well as the importance of translation and language.

She just recently published her first novella, entitled “Sihastrul,” which translates to “The Hermit.” It was originally written in Romanian and is now translated into English. When I learned that she was holding a book reading and signing I thought it’d be a great opportunity to interview her about her book.

Continue reading