Novelist and poet Mircea Cărtărescu came of age in Romania during the Communist regime of the 1970s, but even under democratic rule he has found his voice silenced by those in power. As he explained in a talk at the Nieman Foundation during the book tour for his newly translated novel “Blinding,” he recently had to stop writing as a journalist because of accusations against his character and his family. He also discussed some of his work habits—he spent 14 years writing an entire manuscript in longhand—and why he’s more likely to find poetry in scientific journals than in books of poetry.

Recorded at the Nieman Foundation on October 18, 2013. Moderated by 2014 Nieman Fellow Alexandru-Cristian Lupsa, editor of Romanian magazine Decât o Revista.