Alexandru Macedonski, like most symbolist poets, has a „special relationship” with death. Anchored in the spirit of Western literature, he knew, without a doubt, the great poems dedicated to death, by Byron, Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud, etc. Not coincidentally, given the relationships, more or less blunt with the Junimea members, marked by polemics, exchange of epigrams, Caragiale called him, Macabronski. The theme of death, with minor exceptions, is, however, in Macedonski a philosophical obsession transfigured into a vision of the Whole, with its full and emptiness.
Hanif Kureishi, an acclaimed contemporary British writer of Pakistani origin, is known to the Romanian reading public primarily through the translations (under the aegis of the Humanitas publishing house) of his novels Intimacy, The Buddha of Suburbia, The Nothing, Gabriel’s Gift and Something to Tell You. One of the foremost representatives of British postcolonial literature, Kureishi masterfully, and at times shockingly, explores the postmodern urban world of human desolation, loneliness and alienation, with the surgical precision and mercilessness of a “terrorist”, as he himself describes the writer and his artistic mission in an interview. Intimacy, in a classic Proustian or Joycean manner, offers a glimpse into twenty-four hours in the life of a middle-aged Londoner, Jay, who fed up with the monotony and routine of his marriage, decides to leave his wife and children in order to pursue a passionate sexual relationship with a younger lover. The novel thematizes such concerns as the clash between traditional values and (post)modern society, between individualism / narcissism and moral duty, morality versus amorality / immorality, and the inevitable alienation of the individual who experiences these conflicts. The present paper aims at offering a reading of Kureishi’s text starting from the writer’s claim that “I’ve never had any desire to be good. (…) I don’t like goodness particularly. I like passion.” From the vantage point of this confession we shall proceed to analyze Intimacy not as a moral handbook, but as the eternal plight of the human soul, caught between the painfulness of duty and the irresistible call of passion.
If Cioran’s articles could be easily examined in terms of their political message, his aforisms, short texts, or essays have nothing to justify their analysis from the perspective of their “political” content. Cioran’s thoughts, bordering on the poetic, are not comparable to Heidegger’s writings in which, as some try to convince us, the totalitarian ideology has deeply penetrated the very core of the ontology he developed. Even if scholars have identified features of national-socialism in Heidegger’s works, it is still difficult to blame him for his ideas since he has quickly and lucidly reconsidered his approach to the Nazi ideology. Cioran’s writings have nothing in common with Corneliu Zelea Codreanu’s books, For My Legionaries or The Nest Leader’s Manual. Corneliu Zelea Codreanu’s hatred for Judeo-Communism has no correspondent in Emil Cioran’s writings.
Considered “the great witch of Brazilian literature”, acclaimed as the best woman-writer of Jewish origin and the perfect example of an exquisite reconfiguration of European modernist ideas, Clarice Lispector is a fascinating author. This is obvious since her first novel Perto do coração selvagem (Near to the Wild Heart, 1943), a book that was awarded several literary prizes in Brazil, even if afterwards the text would be often ignored within the critical studies dedicated to Lispector. Compared to Borges and Kafka and even to the narrative strategies used by Virginia Woolf (apparently influenced by James Joyce’s stream of consciousness, even if Lispector underlined that she had not read Joyce’s creation much later) her book entitled Agua viva (1973) represents a perfect example of a very special kind of aesthetic experiment, underlying the importance of art (painting or literature) in its protagonist’s life. Without being precisely an autobiography, this book is obviously influenced by the author’s life and work, also expressing Lispector’s ideas on two important issues of 20th century Latin American literature: exile and violence.
Marin Sorescu”s trips to Paris meant, each time, meeting Emil Cioran. The spiritual closeness between the two so different personalities develops over the years, as prooved by the numerous notes in the diaries of the Romanian poet. Despite the political restrictions of the regime, Marin Sorescu promotes Emil Cioran’s work in Romania, in the magazines of the time and in volumes. About his appreciation is written also in the correspondence between the two of them, we publish here some unique texts kept in the archive of Sorescu family.
Despite of some whiffs of degradation that we breathe every day, we rejoice, sometimes feeling the scent of the air filled with cultural facts that deserve our consideration. Such success belongs to the writer and Professor Ovidiu Pecican, who wrote a paper on a genuine scholar Pavel Chihaia (1922-2019), an intellectual noteworthy not only for his research, but also an author of a praiseworthy moral character.
LeRoy McDermott’s hypothesis proposes a perceptual interpretation of the Venus statues from to the Upper Paleolithic period these being in fact the first examples of human self-representations. The arguments he brings are of an artistic nature par excellence and they refer to the visual distortions arising from the subject’s point of view. The fantasy of being admired by others through the means of the nude selfie has generated a whole trend in today’s pop culture and Kim Kardashian is a prime example in this sense. The “shareware body” has gone through an entire history of significance, from Albrecht Dürer’s mystical meaning of the body, to Érika Ordosgoitti’s activist take on the matter. The widespread presence of the nude selfie raises the issue of virtual identity “pornification” while Katherine N. Hayles’ hypothesis questions the future of a posthuman reality that has already been foreshadowed.
The „obsession” of Gabriel Hasmațuchi in his book Cultural alternatives (Techno Media, Sibiu, 20181) is the destiny of Romanian culture. The traditional conflict between archaic and modern in Romanian culture and society is being studied in some of its contemporaneous manifestations. The author believes that both the traditionalists and the modernists of this Romanian debate have contributed constructively over the years.
In Matei Vişniec’s literature, there is a gap between poetry and theater, which consists primarily on the ability of creating, in both species mentioned, areas or dramatic situations by using a parabolic or symbolic dimension of images. Matei Vişniec wrote poems that follow closely to the plays he wrote, which both his poems and plays including the same ingredients: the presence of characters, narrative situations, symbols, irony, and life seen as a complex spectacle. By using fantasy, the poet tends to transfer reality in a symbolic gap between the surface image and the depth image. Therefore, we will discuss two crucial aspects that involve the semnification of the theatrical dimension of look, by analysing a couple of important example of poems from his books and by consulting some critical point of views. In his poetry, we will find an interesting perspective of the so called the overturned look, which involves the relation of approaching and distancing between the surface image and the depth image. The first meaning of this dimension is to reveal a daily spectacle of life by presenting his apparently ordinary situations and people. In this case, the concept of mask will be discussed and its relation between essence and appearance. The second meaning involves the aspects that underline the loneliness and anxiety in the modern times.
The essay dedicated to I. D. Sîrbu comes in the context of celebrating 100 years since the birth of the great novelist, playwriter and essayist. I insisted at the beginning of the essay on his relationship with Lucian Blaga, professor of philosophy during the time of the refuge of the University “Regele Ferdinand I” from Cluj to Sibiu (1940-1944), focusing on the catalytic influence of the professor in the formation process of the young writers. Lucian Blaga was in favour of a bright “paideic model” like Socrate’s maieutics.