Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Orbitor. Aripa stângă” as Want to Read:
Orbitor. Aripa stângă
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Orbitor. Aripa stângă (Orbitor #1)

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  445 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Part visceral dream-memoir, part fictive journey through a hallucinatory Bucharest, Mircea Cărtărescu’s Blinding was one of the most widely heralded literary sensations in contemporary Romania, and a bestseller from the day of its release. Riddled with hidden passageways, mesmerizing tapestries, and whispering butterflies, Blinding takes us on a mystical trip into the prot ...more
Paperback, I, 352 pages
Published 1996 by Humanitas
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Orbitor. Aripa stângă, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Orbitor. Aripa stângă

Ultima noapte de dragoste, întîia noapte de război by Camil PetrescuCel mai iubit dintre pământeni by Marin PredaMaitreyi by Mircea EliadeMoromeţii I by Marin PredaPădurea spânzuraţilor by Liviu Rebreanu
Best Romanian Literature
61st out of 242 books — 273 voters
Cimitirul by Adrian TeleşpanSînt o babă comunistă! by Dan LunguFrumoasele străine by Mircea CărtărescuExuvii by Simona PopescuAmintiri din Pribegie by Neagu Djuvara
Contemporary Romanian Literature
26th out of 119 books — 85 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,058)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Review below is published in The Quarterly Conversation, Issue 34:

In the opening pages of Blinding: The Left Wing, Mircea Cărtărescu proffers his intent in writing the mammoth, trilogy of which The Left Wing constitutes the first portion and which has been described by some as a dream-memoir or a poetic autobiography:

But today, at the midpoint of my life’s arc, when I have read every book, even those tattooed on the moon and on my skin, even those written
Eddie Watkins
Of course it was my fault. I eagerly anticipated this. I had it on order for a long time. I finally received it. It felt good in the hands, as all Archipelago books do. I read a page or two, furtively, at work. My anticipation to dive right in heightened, but since really diving in to a book while sitting at my desk at work is impossible I stoked my anticipation by googling M. Cartarescu, just to see what he looked like.

Oh no not this fucking guy again... I remembered the face but not the name.
What Orbitor (having read 2 out of 3 volumes) is:

* It's the autobiography of Mircea Cărtărescu, born in 1956, growing up in Ceaușescu's Romania with everything that that entails, and eventually deciding to write his autobiography of Mircea Cărtărescu, born in 1956, growing up in...
* It's three volumes, roughly 500 pages each, subtitled Left Wing, Body, Right Wing. The central metaphor is a giant butterfly that can only move by flapping its wings: one in the past that cannot be changed or control
Mircea Cărtărescu's hallucinatory Bucharest in "Blinding" is like a Dali painting that envelops the reader and rocks him/her gently into a surreal awake-state filled with turns and twists into hidden passageways and mesmerizing tapestries. We step from the vivid dreams of a convalescent boy trapped in his room and looking outside at the vibrant, breathing city, through the pre-history of his family, the Secret Police (Securitate), a traveling circus, zombie armies, even into the underground jazz ...more
"Yessss!" *fistpump* - was how I felt on finishing the last page, yet some of the book was as amazing and fulfilling as I found Mason & Dixon and Life: A User's Manual. Like both those books, it leads you down corridors of marvellous digression; you just have to go with it and be in the moment. (Which in all three is easiest if your general knowledge fits its favoured specialisms. In Blinding, medical and neuroscience vocab is the thing.*) It’s more explicitly psychedelic than Perec or Pynch ...more
An insane, complex memoir-hallucinatory dreamscape made for some complicated, but mind-shattering (in a good way) reading. Shout out to Sean Cotter for translating this beast, shout out to Archipelago for publishing it!

“What else would I be but a neuron, with a brain as my cellular body, spinal marrow as my axons, and nerves as my numberless dendrites? A spiderweb that feels only what touches it. Yes, each of us have a single neuron within us, and humanity is a dissipated brain that strives desp
Jun 20, 2012 Ana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: oricine vrea sa isi mareasca orizonturile
Recommended to Ana by: un prieten
Cred ca e foarte greu sa descrii o carte ca asta in termeni normali. Prima oara am crezut ca citesc o tampenie. Am trecut la parerea diferita ca citesc ceva scris de un om cu foarte, foarte multa minte. In final, am ajuns la concluzia ca citesc o ciudatenie - una care imi placea.
Limbajul cartii a fost cel care m-a surprins foarte tare. De multe ori am fost nevoita sa consult dictionarul ca sa inteleg niste cuvinte, pe care nu le mai vazusem niciodata. Stiam ca limba romana este complicata, dar
There are brilliant moments in this novel, but it is wildly uneven, and other moments are incredibly tedious. The unusual imagery (often combining specific/technical biological terms with religious language) that is so striking in the first half begins to feel repetitive in the second half (ditto the pervasive butterfly imagery and pseudo-philosophical reflections on the spiritual dimensions of biological materialism). This reminds me a bit of Shiskin's Maidenhair from last year in that I love t ...more
“There was nothing to understand, yet everything cried out to be understood...” (P109)

Welcome to the world of Mircea Cartarescu’s brain, there’s plenty in there and it just cries out to be understood, but I must admit there was a whole heap of grey matter that I just didn’t grip.

“Blinding (The Left Wing)” is the first part of a Cartarescu triptych (let’s call it that and not a trilogy as it forms part of a greater picture, the left wing being his mother, the body himself and the right wing his f
Eugen Mardare
About 10 years ago, when summers were brighter and longer, I picked up my first copy of Orbitor with surprise. I didn't know anything about Cartarescu at that time. He was just a guy that I found in my hyschool text books, a poet and poetry wasn't my kind of thing.

I have read then the first two parts of his trilogy, both Aripa Stanga and Corpul, and after that, because of the way he writes I've picked up Nostalgia.

Yes, he writes like a jazz song. I think this is the safest word I can say about
A truly visionary piece of writing unlike anything I've ever read. it has shades of Schulz and Burroughs, even a touch of Cisco, but is utterly unique. A mind-collapsing, indescribable experience. Sean Cotter must be congratulated for a stunning translation. Role on volumes two and three!
Parcă nici nu mai ştiu cine mă poartă pe străzile Bucureştiului şi prin frânturile acelea microscopie de corp uman... Cărtărescu sau doar fluturii? Şi măcar de-ar fi orice fel de fluturi! Mă scurg prin text cu viteza fluidelor din mine, când mai încet, când mai repede, şi observ cu fascinaţie cum descrierile minuţioase îmi înghit conştienţa uşor, uşooor, furându-mă din cotidian... "Orbitor" este cuvântul ce rezumă sutele de pagini ce îţi iau văzul realităţii exterioare pentru a-ţi reda un nou vă ...more
Dec 20, 2014 Jan marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
The people of Romania made Ceaușescu's regime come to an end. Today, December 20 2014, that's exactly 25 years ago. It seems a sort of appropriate to set myself to read this important Romanian novel; that will take place shortly. (may be all three of the trilogy of which this is number 1 - has number 3 been translated into Dutch?)
"And space/time/brain/sex began to rumble. There were monstrosities. There were miracles. A mathematics of the bordello was invented, a sublime defecations, a conceptual vomiting, an angelic retching, a real dream, a dead life."

The book is impossible to describe: it shifts between times (medieval, 1950s, 1960s and I suppose 1990s Romania) and places (Bucharest, New Orleans, etc.), between the city and the body, between the outer and the inner, between the vulgar and the holy, between the high an
schmetterlinge als leitmotiv, führt der ich-erzähler mittels seiner familienchronik durch ein potpourri an merkwürdigkeiten der rumänischen geschichte - von der flucht aus bulgarien über die gefrorene donau, bei der das findelkind des dorfes seinen schatten opfern musste über erotische abenteuer in einem bukarester jazzclub bis hin zu einem machtgierigen vodoo-priester changiert die palette: stets bunt und kurzweilig: sehr empfehlenswert!
Genul de carte pe care am citit-o urmărind constant câte pagini mai sunt până se termină, iar asta nu pentru că îmi plăcea îndeajuns de mult încât să nu vreau să se termine, ci pentru că singurele două nuanțe care mi-au stârnit interesul au fost cele de metafizică și anatomie.
Like a surrealistic, unhinged Proust. Only three stars even though this is a remarkable, unique book, because Cartarescu indulges too much in mysticism, which dulls its force.
Jul 26, 2011 Susann added it
Too intellectual for me - gave up after a quarter. No story, only fragments of dreams and memories. Probably shouldn't even mark it as "already read"...
Aug 12, 2010 Denise is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
struggle to finish this. The language is beautiful and full of style figures which seem to distract from the storyline. Still not sure what to think of this...
Feb 27, 2014 Liviu marked it as started_finish_later  ·  review of another edition
third of fourth try and still I don't get it - tried in Romanian, tried it in English and it is still very boring...
may try again in a while
Dan Solomon
am renuntat. firul narativ impleteste amintirile cu oniricul, intr-o alaturare groteasca si complet neinteligibila.
Aug 15, 2012 Raluca marked it as abandoned
reading it in French is pretty hard so I shall wait till I have the Romanian version.
Rita Sophie
Sep 13, 2009 Rita Sophie marked it as to-read
Read THE LEFT WING... the others to come!
It was kind of good but It was hard to read.
never read something like this
Denisa Curta
Fascinant, fantastic debordant
Review notes to come
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Exuvii
  • Zenobia
  • Stone Upon Stone
  • Dimineaţă pierdută
  • Băiuțeii
  • Craii de Curtea-Veche
  • Amurgul gândurilor
  • Groapa
  • Jurnalul fericirii
  • Despre frumuseţea uitată a vieţii
  • The Hooligan's Return: A Memoir
  • Pădurea spânzuraţilor
  • Sînt o babă comunistă!
  • Seiobo There Below
  • Delirul
  • Noaptea de Sânziene
  • Scarred Hearts
  • Viața pe un peron
Romanian poet, novelist, essayist and a professor at the University of Bucharest.

Born in Bucharest, he graduated from the University of Bucharest's Faculty of Letters, Department of Romanian Language And Literature, in 1980. Between 1980 and 1989 he worked as a Romanian language teacher, and then he worked at the Writers Union and as an editor at the Caiete Critice magazine. In 1991 he became a le
More about Mircea Cărtărescu...
De ce iubim femeile Nostalgia Rem Frumoasele străine Travesti: Roman

Share This Book

“O singuratate cum nu poate trai nici un om in viata reala, care-ti rupe oasele ca un animal salbatic, imi sfarteca organele interne.” 9 likes
“Dacă mă simțeam privit de cineva, pașii mei deveneau stângaci și automați, ca și când mi-ar fi fost permanent teamă că nu voi mai ști cum se merge și că dintr-un moment într-altul mă voi prăbuși pe asfalt.” 1 likes
More quotes…