Anale UB – EN

The Annals of the University of Bucharest. Studies of Romanian Language and Literature
NR 2016



ANA BAZAC, “Cleaned and well-arranged you make a palace from the hut”: the first half of the 20th century’s Romanian embroideries with inscriptions for the kitchen

In a broad anthropological view, the paper reminds an interesting moment – temporary and ephemeral – in the history of the popular ornamentation in the last century Romania, rather after the First World War and until the 50s: that of the embroideries with inscriptions (samplers) hung on the walls of the kitchen in the homes of the relatively prosperous popular strata – so not of the upper class, and nor of the (very) poor –.

Not forgetting the epistemological conclusions, the paper describes the embroideries with their motifs and inscriptions and interprets them as specific forms of acculturation following the development of urban civilisation as well as the literacy of women: specific cultural diffusion of a form of material culture borrowed from the German tradition – via Austro-Hungary – and  related to the process of modernisation felt at the level of petty-bourgeois urban and rural strata and promoted by women in a lagged-behind East-European country. Thus, the analysis contains the integration of the embroidery work, and especially with inscriptions, in the large European tradition, and reveals the meanings of the inscriptions and the social atmosphere embroidered on these specific aesthetic objects.

Keywords: embroideries with inscriptions (samplers) for the kitchen, modernisation, Romania, urban-rural relations, women and literacy, acculturation, Austro-Hungary, Germany, Europe. 

Read text


OANA FOTACHE, The Other as Host. Deconstructing the Stranger in Italo Calvino’s Invisible cities and Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence

This paper attempts a comparative analysis of two postmodern novels that might be read as instances of highly sophisticated, meta-literary writing, were they not also very significant and relevant for a contemporary problematics of encountering the Other. Both Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities (1972) and Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence (2008) rework the literary myth of Marco Polo’s travels (Il Milione, probably 1299); Calvino’s novel is also alluded to by Rushdie. Besides the exotic setting and the Oriental storytelling frame, the figures of the Stranger and his ‘Other’ are constructed in a modern (and ambiguous) manner in both novels. Although, at a certain level, these narratives belong to the genre of historical novels, their close reading of the past involves an even closer look at the present. The issues of intercultural exchange, of tolerance, of moral responsibility, become central to the two novels that develop a challenging representation of identity. The intertextual relationships between Polo’s travelogue and the later novels also thematize the motifs of stranger and host in a complex and fascinating structure. The analytical methodology employs both theoretical studies on identity in the context of travel, and critical essays on the respective novels.

Keywords: Identity, travel, intertextuality, representation, deconstruction. 

Read text


ADAM LEDGEWAY, The Limits of Linguistic Theory and Variation: the Case of Romanian

Drawing on Romanian examples, this article explores, in a manner which is accessible to both general scholars of the Romance languages and linguists, how the richly documented diachronic and synchronic variation exhibited by Romanian offers a wealth of linguistic data (often of a typologically exotic nature) of interest not just to comparative Romance linguists, but also to general linguists. This perennially fertile and still under-utilized testing ground will be shown to have a central role to play in challenging linguistic orthodoxies and shaping and informing new ideas and perspectives about language change, structure and variation, and should therefore be at the forefront of linguistic research and accessible to the wider linguistic community. At the same time, the discussion will also highlight how a familiarity with current key ideas and assumptions in theoretical linguistics has a significant role to play in understanding the structures and patterns of Romanian.

Keywords: linguistic theory & variation, Romanian, parameters, wh-movement, finitness, argument marking, auxiliary selection, left periphery, raising, control, clitic placement.

Read text


GABRIEL MIHĂILESCU, The Baroque of Ţiganiada

In the present study we set to prove with new arguments that Țiganiada (1812), Ion Budai-Deleanu’s masterpiece, belongs to the European Baroque themes and structures. In this regard I analyzed the structures of duality and multipolarity; those of hypertextuality (in the meaning assigned by G. Gennette), as a triumph of factitious over the nature; those of rhetoric ostentation; the themes of the „world upside down”, of illusion and self-deception. From this point of view, the author’s Enlightenment ideas – which focused so far literary historians’ attention – are nothing but the surface coating of a deeply deluding Baroque work.

Keywords: Țiganiada, Ion Budai-Deleanu, Baroque, hypertextuality, multipolarity, illusion, „world upside down”.

Read text


VALENTINA SIRANGELO, Mineral Rêveries in George Sand and Ioan Petru Culianu

The aim of the present comparative study is to focus on the parallelisms between George Sand’s novel Laura, Voyage dans le cristal (1864) and Ioan Petru Culianu’s short story Jocul de smarald (1989) through a hermeneutical mythocritical approach. Both works are modelled upon a type of rêverie that Gaston Bachelard specifically defines an «amplifying play of minerals». Initially the article will investigate the geode and the emerald, lithic containers which emerge as two explorable and marvellous microcosms. Like the Earth which generates them, the two lithic-mineral examples participate in the Central Symbolism of the Feminine: for this reason, both Laura and the Emerald Goddess, impetuses and supreme goals of the initiatory journeys the two main characters undertake, dwell at their centre. Furthermore, the geodic stone and the green stone lead back to the participation mystique with the Feminine. The second part of this study will identify in both works the anima-image, as guide and mediator of the initiation to the Feminine mysterium, and the sparagmos, i.e. the gory dismemberment informing the perilous aspect of the Mother Archetype. As a result, the suave Laura and the omnipotent Emerald Goddess can be read as two reformulations – the former romantic, the latter mythopoeic– of the Great Mother of Initiation.

Keywords: Fantastic, Rêverie, Stone, Goddess, Container, Anima, Abyss, Sparagmos

Read text

ADRIAN STOICESCU, Hashtag(Ging) between Device and Practice

The purpose of this paper is first of all to try to integrate the hashtag in the wider context of the devices the web offers to its users in order to make browsing easier. But more than that, the hashtag is not simply a tool used to organize web material, but it in itself may easily be understood as an artefact carrying cultural meaning that is worth analyzing within the individual’s cultural practice. Additionally, the hashtag can be interpreted as a research tool of the ‘native’ kind alongside the others that have been identified and as a way of communication as part of the language of the web. Besides this, the hashtag can be read not only as the end product at the users’ disposal, but significantly as a process of building meaning inside the web. Having all this in mind, the paper will investigate the hashtag based on a case study on (video) social media that will eventually identify a few ways of integrating it in the identity of both the user generating the content and the content generated by such user.

Keywords: hashtag, visual social media, cultural practice, organisation

Read text

GISÈLE VANHESE, A Mythic Topography: the Mediterranean of Lorand Gaspar

In this essay we analyze the restitution of space–time of the Mediterranean landscape as presented in the poetry of Lorand Gaspar. In the first part, « Le paysage comme épiphanie », we demonstrate how Lorand Gaspar pursues a quest for originary substance, the foundation of the One, guarantor of Being. In the second part, « Une „théologie du souffle et de la soif” », we study the manner in which, in his preferred Mediterranean places, the island reveals a figurative scheme expressing « in the form of spatialized myth, metaphysical thought » (Wunenburger). In the third part, « Errance et parole ulyssienne », we demonstrate that by means of the « Ulyssean » word that Lorand Gaspar expresses the fullness of the Mediterranean experience. In fact, in Gaspar the landscape is always « migrating » through its innumerable images that confer upon his versification an unforgettable ontic vibration.

Keywords: Poetry, Mediterranean, Island, Space, Myth, Migrant Romanian Literature

Read text

FRÉDÉRICA ZEPHIR, The Poetics of Travelling and of Elsewhere in Panait Istrati’s work

Parmi les très nombreux écrivains voyageurs du XX° siècle, Panaït Istrati, écrivain roumain d’expression française (1884-1935) tient une place de choix. Enraciné dans la terre roumaine par sa mère mais ayant hérité le goût de la liberté et de l’aventure de son père grec, l’auteur de  Mes Départs entretient en effet un rapport essentiel avec la problématique du déplacement et développe dans son œuvre une poétique du voyage et de l’ailleurs fondée sur la tension entre le centre et la périphérie. Car s’il évoque dans son œuvre la Méditerranée, il ressuscite aussi les Haïdoucs, peint le Baragan, décrit la cosmopolite cité de Braïla. Choisissant d’écrire en français, c’est également dans une langue colorée de vocables roumains qu’il restitue des scènes, des atmosphères puisées dans ses impressions d’enfance et de jeunesse. De sorte que jamais cette personnalité de l’entre-deux – entre deux identités,  roumaine et grecque, entre deux mondes, l’Orient et l’Occident, entre deux langues, le roumain et le français – n’est plus rassemblée, plus unifiée que dans cette écriture de l’ailleurs. Car en  narrant ses pérégrinations et ses errances en conteur oriental qu’il ne cesse d’être sous l’écrivain français qu’il est devenu, Istrati réalise la plénitude de sa vision et atteint à l’universalité.

Mots-clés: Panaït Istrati, voyage, identité, entre-deux, vagabondage, Roumanie, Méditerranée

Read text

Among the many travelling writers – or writing travelers – of the 19th century, pride of place must be given to Panaït Istrati, a French speaking Rumanian writer (18184-1935). Deeply rooted in Rumania with his mother but as deeply yearning for freedom and adventure with his greek father, he who wrote Mes Départs is definitely linked with the idea of departure and movement. He develops a poetry based on stories of travelling and other places, emphasizing the tension between what is at the care of things and what is elsewhere. Indeed, if the tells about the Mediterranean Sea, he also evokes the Haïdoucs, he describes the Baragan, he depicts the cosmopolitan city of Braïla. He deliberately chose to write in French, but so as to be more faithful to his memories as a child or adolescent, in order to depict true-to-life scenes or atmospheres; he also used Rumanian words, genuine and colorful. Thus his writing strongly weaves together and unites two identities – Rumanian and Greek -, two worlds – East and West -, and two language – Rumanian and French. Telling about his travels and wanderings as the oriental storyteller he never ceased to be beneath the French writer he has become, Istrati finally achieved universality.

Keywords: Panaït Istrati, travel, identity, in between, wandering, Romania, Mediterranee.


Recenzii / Comptes rendus / Reviews

GEORGE STEINER, Gramaticile creației [Grammars of Creation], Bucureşti, Humanitas, 2015, traducere din limba engleză de Adina Avramescu, 376 p. . (Laura Dumitrescu) 
Read text


GABRIELA BIRIŞ, Limbaj medical. Anatomie. Curs pentru studenţii străini din anul pregătitor [Medical language. Anatomy. A course for the foreign students of the preparatory year], Bucureşti, Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti, 2014, 144 p. (Andreea-Victoria Grigore) 
Read text 

Anale UB – RO