Elena Văcărescu (September 21, 1864 in Bucharest – February 17, 1947 in Paris) was a Romanian-French aristocrat writer, twice a laureate of the Académie française.
In 1937, in a speech delivered at the Romanian Academy, Elena Văcărescu, in beautiful Romanian, reminisced about her life and spoke about what it meant to her to be in the service of her country, while far away from it.
“Though I was fated to live far from my country, I have never ceased to feel Romanian, through and through, one with the mind and the heart of my country and intimately connected to it. Spellbound since birth by this earth, I grew up enchanted with the old tales of our land, always found my soul in this rustic poetry and stayed in intimate communion with the patriarchal charm and our treasure chest of feelings. Nowhere else did I hear the rippling sound of our rivers just as no other sky in the world, North and South, can match the color of this sky. The Romanian soul, of which I have always been so proud, is a plenitude of feeling, breathing in the wise glory of nature and life. I also love my country for its uniqueness and originality, which is the source of my own originality. I was, however, destined to be ‘uprooted’, fated to feel tremendous longing for my life-giving native land and forced to sing of it in a foreign tongue. And yet the word ‘uprooted’ does not seem to apply to me. For if I was not in the country, the country was with me and in me, carrying her in my heart and in my soul. My home in Paris was a piece of the Romanian land, a shrine to the Romanian spirit, a place of genuinely Romanian atmosphere, dedicated to the Romanian soul in the capital of France. I can say that in my life I have paid service to one idea, the Romanian idea, and I believe that I have truly followed the legacy of my forerunners, contributing to the growth of the Romanian language and the glory of the country.”
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