Vişniec studied philosophy at Bucharest University and became an active member of the so-called Eighties Generation, who left a clear stamp on the Romanian literature. He believes in cultural resistance, and in literature’s capacity to demolish totalitarianism. Above all, Matei Vişniec believes that theatre and poetry can denounce manipulation through "great ideas", as well as brainwashing through ideology.
Before 1987 Matei Vişniec had made a name for himself in Romania by his clear, lucid, bitter poetry. Starting with 1977, he wrote drama; the plays were much circulated in the literary milieus but were barred from staging. In September 1987, Vişniec left Romania for France, where he was granted political asylum. He started writing in French and began working for Radio France Internationale. At the present time, Vişniec has had many of his works staged in France, and some twenty of his plays written in French are published (Actes Sud-Papier, L'Harmattan, Lansman). His plays have been staged in more than 20 countries. In Romania, after the fall of Communism, Matei Vişniec has become one of the most frequently performed authors.
The work of Matei Vişniec has been represented in London by the performance "The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian War", staged at the Young Vic Theatre, in November 2000. The play received rave reviews in the British newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian. "The Story of the Panda Bears told by a Saxophonist who has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt" has been performed at the Edinburgh Festival (August 2005). The production is by Rouge28 Theatre, London.
In Unites States, the work of Matei Vişniec has been represented in New York, Chicago, New Jersey and Hollywood.
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