Exercitii de Neuitare Vol I

I.C. ART Gallery presents Ileana Costea’s book:

“EXERCISES IN NOT FORGETTING – Romanian surprise presences abroad”

(Romanian Edition) Paperback, Reflections, Inc. – July 4, 2015

(Romanian title: “EXERCITII DE NEUITARE” Vol. I. – Prezente romanesti-surpriza in strainatate


Ileana Costea (author)

Jerry E. McDaniel and Bogdan Alexandru Ungureanu (book cover Illustrators)

Ioana Ene (editor)

Preface by Romanian writer Ion Lazu


                            Front cover                                                          Back cover

The book can be found on online on Amazon and Barnes and Nobles.

The English translation of Volume I, and Vol II are in process.

The posting on Amazon allows the reader to look inside the book. Non-Romanian speakers might also find it interesting to look inside because they can see colored pictures. 


Reviews to Vol. I on Amazon German website

Note: Interestingly enough the English Amazon Book selling site shows only one review, while the German Amazon site shows two reviews. Both reviews were made online in Romanian, but their English translation is given below.

Below you find the following information about the book in English:

  • the text which appears in Romanian on the back cover of the book Vol I on Amazon
  • two reviews made by readers on Amazon in Romanian (online on Amazon both reviews are in Romanian. Below you find their translation in English). 

Text on the back cover of the book as it appears in Romanian on Amazon (in English Translation)

Ileana Costea has lived for more than 40 years in Los Angeles, California, United States. She is Automated Engineering professor and former Department Chair of the “Manufacturing Engineering and Management Systems” at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). She was born in Bucharest, Romania and studied architecture at the Institute “Ion Mincu” in that city. She left the country immediately after completion of her Master Degree, in June 1972. She went to France on a 7-days trip to visit the famous Loire Valley castles. Those seven days beyond Romania’s borders were extended until present. After a year of designing private villas at an architectural firm in Paris, France, she came to Los Angeles in February 1973 where she married Nicolas V. Costea, MD, hematologist-oncologist specialist, Professor of Medicine at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Her dream was to become a university professor. For this she needed her Master Degree diploma, which was kept behind the Iron Curtain. Thus Ileana made another Master at UCLA in Industrial Design. After that she studied, also at UCLA, in the Department of Systems Engineering, and in 1982 she obtained a PhD in the field of “Decision Theory”. She worked as a research engineer at several companies in California. In 1979 she was hired by CSUN where obtained “tenure” and taught for 33 years. Her teaching area was in uses of the computer in engineering, focusing on CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) and Intelligence Artificial (IA). She wrote numerous articles in these areas, organized and led scientific sessions at American national and international conferences. Her other passion has always been and remains art and culture. From 1998 her self-imposed mission was to discover surprise-Romanian presences abroad and make Romanian culture known outside Romania. She has written and published over 40 articles in various Romanian newspapers and magazines in the Romania and abroad.

Reviews of the Vol I. Exercitii de Neuitare – translated in English

1st Review

Volume I of the book “EXERCISES IN NOT-FORGETTING – Romanian Surprise Presence Abroad” reveals in Ileana Costea a talented story teller, with an acute vision for the unusual or spectacular and/or emotional. The portraits are authentic, full of life, and bring the people they are talking about closer to the reader. They are people the author knows how to put forward with intelligence and generosity. It is obvious that the author masters the interview technique well and often succeeds in inspiring memorable answers.

The surprise-discovery of these Romanians could have been just an exercise like “let’s be proud of the accomplishments of some compatriots, so we can feel better about ourselves being Romanian,” but it’s not the case. And this, among other things, because these people have to make very interesting statements about the fields in which they succeeded to make themselves known. There are areas that some of us may not have ever been interested in, but from the book you find out some really exciting details that enhance the reading pleasure. This takes place right from the first interview, with fashion designer Smaranda Schachtele. Other examples are found in the article about Mihai Anghel and the high-tech art company, or the article about the architect Dino Tudor. It should also be noted how the articles are being enhanced by the richness of the accompanying photographs.

Of course, not all articles can deal with interviews with those the author presents. In Chapter II – Art, for example, artists such as Brancusi, Dimitrie Berea or Patriciu Mateescu the author is in search of the presence of Romanian everywhere in the United States. The author’s discoveries are passionate, as is the case of the surprise discovery in Chapter III Architecture, of architect Haralamb H. Georgescu in Palm Springs. Also, a special source of inspiration seemed to me the article in Chapter IV –Theater, about the play “The Chekhov Machine” by Matei Visniec’s, put on stage by a (Romanian) director who set up many successful shows in California.

Finally, many interesting personalities and people of great talent appear in chapters V – Music and VI – Literature / Poetry / Books, and the volume ends with a chapter of Romanian Events, of various kinds in Europe and the United States.

An essential part of the book is also the “case study,” as we might say, of the psychology of some people who have come to rebuild their lives in foreign lands. It is rare that the interviews show a certain drama, a miss, a break, expressed openly or just suggested. However, even in dramatic cases, although it is about people who have done in one way or another, the general note is optimistic. It can be said that we are dealing with a captivating and refreshing book.

By Amazon Customer, April 29, 2016

Note: Although the review on Amazon is not signed, the author knows that it was written by Mihai Vasilescu/Edgar Shelary – former newsperson at BBC, London, UK, and Free Europe, Prague, Check Republic, author of “Refugiatii”/”The Refugees”, and one of the editors of the book “Amintiri din şcoală. Promoţia Spiru ’66, editors Nick Mircea Lerescu şi Mihai Vasilescu, Editura Naţional, 2011.


2nd Review:

“I have read with great pleasure the book of Mrs. Ileana Costea, a professor from Los Angeles, whom I met on the occasion of her participation in a cultural event organized by me in Konstanz, when I had the revelation that she really is a great animator of the rich Romanian spiritual and cultural universe, not only a very competent academician. I am glad that we met and congratulate her for the extraordinary mobility she has to always circulate in the world and discover the Romanian values, showing that she has not forgotten her origin. I also congratulate her for this book, so well written, and so welcome for the Romanian universe that is full of achievements and yet so little publicized, which makes the world does unaware of them. This ris an additional reason that makes her book iimportant for filling a need. It would be very useful that all Romanians in the world buy this book and read it with curiosity and pleasure. “

15 May 2016

Antonia Olariu – licensed translator and interpreter in German, Spanish and Romanian, Lecturer in the Department of German as a Second Language, University of Konstanz, Germany, president of “German-Romanian Society of Bodensee.