Transylvanian Review nr. 2/2008

  • Paradigms
    Ruxandra Cesereanu, Romanian Mythopolitics in the 20th Century , p. 3

  • Abstract - Romanian Mythopolitics in the 20th Century - Drawing on the classification of myths operated by Raoul Girardet, the paper seeks to determine the extent to which they are reflected in the political mentality of 20th century Romanians. Attention is given to four such myths: the conspiracy myth, which comes to relieve anxiety and resentment, directing them towards the figure of the foreigner; the myth of the Savior, which involves the search for a father or for a substitute to the actual father; the myth of the golden age, related to childhood fixations and to the representations of paradise; the myth of unity, created in response to existential decentralization, to the alienation felt by modern man.

  • Keywords: mythopolitics, 20th century Romania, collective mentality, Raoul Girardet, conspiracy myth, myth of the Savior, myth of the golden age, myth of unity

  • Manuela Marin, The Myth of the Young Revolutionary: The Case of Nicolae Ceauşescu, p. 22
  • Abstract - The Myth of the Young Revolutionary: The Case of Nicolae Ceauşescu - Despite the normal differences generated by local conditions, the dictators’ official biographies display a common, general feature that explains the deliberate proliferation of biographical pieces of information: the personal need to legitimate their exceptional power positions by highlighting their extraordinary past achievements. The present study investigates the components of the myth built around the figure of the alleged young revolutionary Nicolae Ceauşescu, from the mystical significance of his birthdate and birthplace to the exceptional qualities and achievements of his youth, and from his alleged anti-fascist and militant activities to his persecution by the bourgeois regime.

    Keywords: Nicolae Ceauşescu, political myth, cult of personality, revolutionary youth, communism

  • Vasile Ramneantu, Le procès de Coriolan Baran – un procès politique stalinien, p. 54

  • Abstract - The Trial of Coriolan Baran: A Stalinist Political Trial - Coriolan Baran (born in 1896)—lawyer and general manager of the Commercial Bank of Timişoara, mayor of Timişoara, undersecretary of state in the Ministry of the Interior (1939), member of the Romanian National Party and then of the National Peasant Party—was arrested by the communists in 1950 and imprisoned in Sighet alongside many other members of the interwar political elite. In 1956 he was sentenced to 5 years and 6 months in prison and to the seizure of all assets. Because the sentence actually amounted to less than the time he had already served, the military tribunal ordered his release. In 1994, the Supreme Court reexamined his case and reversed the criminal sentence, acquitting Coriolan Baran in a belated act of reparation.

  • Keywords: Coriolan Baran, Romanian National Party, National Peasant Party, Sighet prison, communist poli tical trial

  • Dragos Zamfirescu, La soviétisation de la Roumanie, p. 69
  • Abstract - The Sovietization of Romania - Sovietization—a concept designating a social-historical process generated by the policy of the spheres of influence pursued by the great powers during the interwar period—involved the forceful imposition of the communist, Stalinist, dictatorial model of economic, socio-political, and cultural development in the small and medium-sized countries of Central and Southeastern Europe, countries deemed of interest by the Soviet Union by virtue of their geopolitical location. In Romania’s case, the author considers that Sovietization caused a social-historical regress of more than three decades.

  • Keywords: Sovietization, Soviet Union, Stalin, Mihail Roller, Cold War

  • Transsilvanica 
  • Elena Crinela Holom, La fonction identitaire des cloches : Un modèle de sensibilité collective dans le monde rural roumain moderne et contemporain, p. 81

  • Abstract - Bells As a Marker of Identity: A Model of Collective Sensibility in the Modern
    and Contemporary Romanian Rural World
    - In the life of a community—and especially of a rural community—bells have always played a significant number of religious, social, symbolic, and identity-shaping functions. The present paper deals mainly with the manner in which Romanian communities in Transylvania experienced the loss of their church bells during the political and military conflicts that ravaged the province during the 19th and the 20th centuries (the Revolution of 1848–1849, the two world wars). The church bells of the Romanian rural communities suffered most during World War I. Both communities and individuals felt the loss of the bells requisitioned for the war effort, as it was their sound that defined their identity, marked every stage in their lives, and announced their moments of joy, sadness, and danger.
  • Keywords: Transylvania, bells, symbolic function, identity-shaping function, armed conflicts

  • Maria Ghitta, Actiunea Romaneasca (1923–1925): The Circumstances of Its Establishment, p. 93

  • Abstract - Actiunea Romaneasca (1923–1925): The Circumstances of Its Establishment - The paper examines the manner in which a number of university professors and leading professionals capitalized on the protest movement started by Cluj students and founded, on 7 June 1923, an organization inspired by the Action Française. Apart from the circumstances surrounding the creation of Actiunea Romaneasca, the author also discusses the atmosphere and the pervading mentalities in early interwar Romania, the agenda of the new organization, its ideology, as well as its initiatives, up to the point when, in 1925, it gave up its distinct identity and joined other nationalist organizations into a political party led by A. C. Cuza.

  • Keywords: interwar Transylvania, anti-Semitism, Actiunea Romaneasca, nationalism, student protests, numerus clausus
  • Tangencies
  • Gilberto Pegoraro, Istroromeni: tra passato e presente, p. 104

  • Abstract - The Istro-Romanians between Past and Present - The paper seeks to sketch the historical profile of the Istro-Romanians (Cicci, Wallachians, Ciribiri), a small Romanian-speaking community living in the northwestern part of Istria, discussing their present situation and the (grim) prospects faced by a community on the brink of extinction.

    Keywords: Istro-Romanians, Cicci, Ciribiri, Wallachians, Seiane, Valdarsa, Andrei Glavina

  • Cristina Spinei, Corporate Citizenship und Transformation in Rumänien, p. 116

  • Abstract - Corporate Citizenship and Change in Romania - Starting from the concept of civil society, the author analyzes the complex changes occurred in Romania following the events of 1989. Attention is paid to the difficult implementation of authentic democratization measures, at a time when many members of the old regime maintained leading positions in the state and when the society in general lacked a political culture of its own. The author also highlights the importance of establishing an authentic civil society, one that would keep under close scrutiny political authorities still unused to having a public debate on their initiatives. In this respect, the paper mentions the role played by the organizations of the civil society and by the mass media in the establishment of a democratic society.

  • Keywords: civil society, NGOs, National Salvation Front, Paltinis School, Social Dialogue Group, public television, political parties

  • History of Religions

  • Corin Braga, Paradis terrestre, Millénium et Utopie (I) : Trois variantes du « lieu parfait » à la Renaissance, p. 139
  • Abstract - Terrestrial Paradise, Millennium and Utopia (I): Three Versions of the “Perfect Place” of the Renaissance - The study discusses three versions of an imaginary construct extremely recurrent in European and world literature, namely, the “perfect place”: the terrestrial paradise, the millennium, and utopia. As opposed to other representations of the ideal place, such as the astral Elysium of the Pythagoreans or the Celestial Paradise of the Christians, these three topoi share a distinct feature, in that they are located in the empirical world, in terrestrial history. In order to reach them, heroes must not transcend their human condition, they must not die or undergo a process of transfiguration.

  • Keywords: Terrestrial Paradise, Millennium, Utopia, medieval and Renaissance literature, Thomas More

  • Book Reviews, p. 151

  • Contributors, p. 160

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