KOGAION REVIEW
romanian literary monthly

~ The Life of Ovidiu Vuia

On March 18, 1929 Ovidiu-Filip Vuia was born as the only son to the lawyer and newspaper proprietor Tiberiu Vuia and the governess Veturia Vuia, nee Bixa. The marriage of his parents was dissolved when he was four years old.

In October of 1935 he entered grade school in Arad and in 1939 he changed over to Lyceum, comparable to a comprehensive secondary school, which he graduated from.

He first signed up at the University to study art and historical art, but soon realized that in this course of study with the ruling communist regime he could not be content. It quickly became clear that he would never be able to travel to Italy – his real great love – France or Spain.

He transferred to study medicine with the assumption that politics would not play a role there. He traded places at the University with his friend Ion Piso, who became a world-renowned tenor who also lived in Germany for an extended period of time. That is where the two met again by chance in 1975.

His study of medicine began in 1948 at the university in Cluj-Napoca and he graduated “summa cum laude” in 1954. As is traditional in Rumania after graduation he worked as the local doctor. Based on his successful degree he only had to practice for half a year rather than a whole year as is customary.

He began in March 1955 as assistant doctor at the Cluj University and soon became director of the neuropathology laboratory of the neurology clinic. In May 1969 he went as a scientific assistant to the neuropathology department at the Institute of Neurology of the Rumanian Academy in Bukarest.

Because of his numerous and extensive publications in the area of Neuropathology he caught the attention of the Max-Planck-Institute in Munich and received a scholarship. From January 1970 to April 1971 he was a scholarship holder at the Max-Planck-Institute in Munich and during that time he was able to pursue his continuing love for the arts by traveling to Italy, Spain and France.

After his scholarship ran out he was urged to except a position as a scientific assistant at the Institute of Neuropathology in Giessen. This institute was being newly founded and did not have a Neuropathologist. He was given many promises and the prospect of working with an electron microscope there, which would not have been possible in Rumania because of expense reasons alone.

This decision represented a great moral conflict for him. In Bukarest an institute was awaiting his return whose director he already was; he earned his doctorate there and his parents, relatives and friends all lived there. He would never be able to return to his homeland and see his parents, relatives and friends. If it was his love for the arts and Italy especially or the prospect of the electron microscope that in the end cast his decision to stay in Germany, one doesn’t know. He let himself be persuaded anyway and started his position in Giessen.

Here however awaited him the first disappointments: Initially his doctoral level was not being honored and he earned a new doctorate that was easy for him but the disappointment weight even harder. No longer any mention of the electron microscope. To work with one, he always had to go to the Institute of Pathology after inquiry and request. This continued until his retirement. Here the first mortifications and discriminations started that resulted in his strong suffering of homesickness. He fought his homesickness and frustrations by working long and hard and composing numerous scientific publications. With this diligence he did not make a lot of friends either. He earned his nickname quickly in speaking of him as the “writer”.

At this same institute he met his future wife and mother of his two sons. During that time he was promoted to professor. In the year 1979 the marriage was divorced, but they remained friends all the way to his death, let alone in the interest of the children.

In his numerous trips to Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Turkey he drew the strength necessary to endure. He processed his homesickness and longing for his parents in poems. His father passed away in 1975. He was not able to go home because 15 years of imprisonment awaited him in Rumania; he was convicted in his absence for fleeing Rumania. Everything repeated when his mother passed away in 1981. His mother was allowed to visit him in 1976/1977 for one year. She was able to live to see her grandchildren. Beyond that time she was no longer granted a stay in Germany because that would not constitute a “visit” anymore.

After Professor Hager, the director of the Institute of Neuropathology, retired, he became provisional director of the institute until it received a new director. After that time, he was scientifically and occupationally isolated. At the institute only his presence was expected and he only had maybe two hours worth of work every week. Here he started writing his books to keep him from despair. The choice of studying medicine turned out to boomerang. In the mean time he became a German citizen. Until then, he was considered stateless because the Rumanian authorities did not renew his passport after it had expired.

Based on this background one must view his activity as a writer and poet, and who became very comprised and distressed due to his circumstances. Ovidiu Vuia has in the meantime composed 14 books whereof a big number are anthologies of poetry. He favored his attention to the life and work of Mihai Eminescu, the famous Rumanian Poet and Philosopher.

His death came at the end of September 2002 suddenly and unexpected. The cause of death at last could not be determined. His relatives, but foremost his sons, only task remains to keep his remembrance in honor. His last book, the 14th, consisting of 3 volumes, he was just able to complete. In fact, he wanted to take the manuscripts on October 3, 2002 to Rumania where the publishing company is located that prints his books. He published all of his books himself. A list of his books can be viewed in the appendix. His family will ensure that even his last book will appear, just as he had planned it.

In March 2003 Ovidiu Vuia was lay to rest in the grave of his mother in Arad consistent with his wishes.

We will hold his remembrance in honor.
In the name of the family, his sons:

Mihai Angelo Tiberiu Vuia

Alexander Gabriel Vuia

Mail to: rita.vuia@web.de

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