My name is Chris Davis. I am an Oxford doctorate student in the faculty of Modern History. I dwell in Bucharest, where I research and write on Romanian history and society.
The phrase “Bucharest Babylon / București Babilonul” is taken from the impressions of a 19th-century traveler and writer from Transylvania, Ion Codru-Drăgușanu. Upon arriving in Bucharest from Habsburg Transylvania, Dragușanu wrote home to his parents, describing this polyglot city as kind of Babylon – as much Greek, Armenian, Jewish, Aromanian as anything else. (Supposedly, there’s also an interwar-era novel of the same title, by Radu Cosmin. I’ve yet to find it.)
My aim, however contrived, is to recapture this spirit or notion from of beneath-the-layers perspective, to see the city as a kind of palimpsest, with its overlays of cultures, peoples, eras. Leastways, it is a record of my life, loves, and times here.