Romanian-born writer and businessman Zoltan Boszormenyi

Romanian Zoltan Boszormenyi is less known as a writer in Romania, where his name is more often linked to the creation of the Luxten lighting company. Few people know that he run away from home when he was 18 and that later in his life he became a ‘wanderer’, as he puts it.   Boszormenyi started out as a writer in Romania, before deciding to leave the country during the communist regime.

By Alexandra Fodor

Zoltan Boszormenyi was born in 1951 in Arad, Romania. He started out studying ballet at a Hungarian high school in Cluj.  Years later, he arrived in Canada where he graduated from York University of Toronto with a major in philosophy.

He published several poetry books at the Kalligram and Jelenkor Publishing House in Hungary as well as two novels, now bestsellers (Eternal Vanda and The remiss frame of the night). Michel Benard, a member of the French Academy, has translated one of his poetry books in French.

In 1990 he started his own business founding the Luxten company, which is among the first five firms worldwide in the field of public lighting systems. But he went on to sell the company and established his residence in Monte Carlo, where he continued to write. Now he is also the Editor-in-chief at Irodalmi Jelen, a Hungarian daily newspaper in Arad.

“On reaching the adult age of eighteen I did something most people do as minors; I ran away from home.  It didn’t take long for my father to find me. Without really thinking it through I ran off to Kolozsvár, giving little cause for my father to rack his brains on my account,” wrote the writer on his website.  “My first volume of poems, “On Whirlpool Wings”, was published by Litera Press of Bucharest and subsidized by the money I had earned as a housepainter,” he goes on.

When leaving Romania, his original destination was Australia, ‘just so as to put the greatest distance between Europe and myself even on the map’, but destiny took him to Canada.

“As soon as I arrived there I had a feeling amounting to a conviction that my fortune would change for the better. I deduced my future success from the self-confidence I felt standing on the sidewalk across the road from Pearson International Airport of Toronto on the evening of my arrival. This self-confidence was not diminished by the fact that I was standing there alone, without family or friends to greet me, without a trade and the command of the English language, clutching my single piece of luggage in my sweaty hand, and with my total earthly treasure of 25 Canadian dollars in my pocket.   I was admitted to York University of Toronto under one condition: if I flunk the first English language and literature course picked out by the admission committee, I would be barred from further study. I worked very hard to avoid that eventuality, and in four years I graduated with a major in philosophy.”

Zoltan Boszormenyi will be launching his most recent book ‘ The remiss frame of the night’, in Romania, on Tuedsday, October 5, from 18,00 hours. The Dalles gallery in Bucharest hosts the event.Read more about the event here.

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