Transylvanian Review nr. 2/2010

  • Paradigms
  • Ioana Bot, L’ascension de terrasses en printemps ou de la narration dans la théorie, p. 3
  • Abstract
  • The Ascent of Some Terraces in Spring or about Narrative within Theory - Starting from the close-reading of a fragment within the first chapter of Laurent Jenny’s book La parole singuličre (Paris: Belin, 1992), precisely from “the scene of the ascent of some terraces in spring,” the study reflects upon the function of narrative inserts within literary theory texts, demonstrating that these should not be read as simple breathing pauses or as anecdotes meant to ease the difficulty of the theory itself which—for one story worth of time—they suspend. It is the narrative insertion itself that uses the closed formula of the anecdote, the rhetorical strategies of the exemplum, the common figures of narrative rhetoric in order to transform the narrative function into allegorical, figurative means of representing that which escapes—for the time being—from the theory itself.
  • Keywords: rhetorical reading, allegory, figural, Laurent Jenny, Paul de Man, stylistics, evenimential, narrativity
  • Adrian Tudurachi, Lire une littérature sans nom. Ręveries du nom propre et expériences du style a l’aube de la littérature roumaine, p. 11
  • Abstract
  • Reading a Literature without Names: Onomastic Reveries and the Experiences of Style at the Beginning of Romanian Literature - By analyzing three figures of the proper name in the Romanian literature of the 19th century this study tries to understand the reasons of a naming failure disseminated in multiple manifestations: variability in the form of the name, undefined reference, crisis of motivation. The figurative accidents of naming cannot be entirely explained as a reflex of a biographical drift, or through a precarious auctorial function yet to be defined. They interweave with the shortage of a literature in a process of reinvention, reflecting its uncertainties not only metonymically, but also as an experience of a specific aspect of the Letter. The proper name does not transcribe the formula of a singularity, but the specific and recurrent disposing of some properties, the typicalness of a manner that, ambiguously, is individual or collective. Therefore, the onomastic horizon reflects the perception of literature through its recurrent places, through its defining stereotypes that provide its productivity. The analysis of the aspects of the proper name reveals a reflection in the stylistic area that justify, through failure, the mobilization of certain reading methods meant to overcome the stereotypical shortage of a young literature.
  • Keywords: proper name (in literature), the reverie of mimologism, the classifying function of names, style
  •  István Berszán, The Time(s) of Reading, p. 25
  • Abstract
  • The Time(s) of Reading - What I propose in my paper I call practice research. For such an approach literature doesn't mean texts, but multiple reading and writing practices having their own rhythm. If we want to follow what is happening in the time of reading and writing we have to deal with questions like “How can we get in touch with something that happens?” “How can we get in the time of a rhythm, in the space of a practice?” According to my answer there are different rituals of paying attention in every culture—we get in touch with occurrences by practising some of them. No one of these rituals can be reduced to another, because they have different rhythms: if we practice one of them, something else happens than in the case of another. Literature can help us to enlarge our space of practice by getting trained in the gestures of such rituals that are not related in the space of one system, neither in the time of one research practice. The connection between them concerns practical orientation: the passage from the rhythm of a ritual to the rhythm of another one by changing our way of paying attention. My paper makes reference to “Land Rover Book” experimental reading camps.
  • Keywords: reading, practice research, ethics, orientation in time(s), ritual, duration, Land Rover Book camps
  •  Antonio Patraş, Sociological Approaches of an Interwar Romanian Literary Critic: E. Lovinescu, p. 38
  • Abstract
  • Sociological Approaches of an Interwar Romanian Literary Critic: E. Lovinescu - The straightforward lines of E. Lovinescu’s critical system should be put to trial by confronting the dogmatism of his thinking with the inner psychological significance of his key concepts. After delineating a few incongruities of the critic’s theories regarding the process of formation and modernization in Romanian culture and civilisation, the present study argues that Lovinescu, inspired by nineteenth century sociology (Durkheim, Tarde), insists upon the process of imitation as the main means of crystalizing a culture with specific features and differentiated individuality. Against his anti-Marxist ideology and liberal bias, the Romanian critic is drawn toward a psychological understanding of modernization: he stresses imitation as an actualization of psychic virtualities, preferring to elude the economic factors. In his criticism the psychological insight has the last word in the process of interpretation. Lovinescu mingles in the well-known “aesthetic mutation” formula a great amount of psychological understanding which corrupts the system from the inside.
  • Keywords: imitation (sociological theory of), cultural interdependence, modernity, mutation, ethnopsychology
  •  Marielle Macé, La lecture comme conduite d’individuation. Barthes à la recherche d’un « rythme », p. 53
  • Abstract
  • Reading As an Individuation Procedure: Barthes’s Pursuit of a “Rhythm” - Defining reading as a behavioral category of individuation, or indeed as the creation of a “form of life” during the contact with literary texts, the present article describes the reading adventure of the late Barthes as a quest for individual rhythm. Fascinated in his last courses by the reclusive existences driven by an “idiorhythmic” imperative, Barthes was looking for a unity of life that was “composed rather that divided.” It was in the modest act of citing—this aesthetical behavior typical for the affected subject, acknowledging the “invincibility of the utterance” and responding to it by virtue of his own existence—that he felt he had achieved the right distance with regard to forms and styles, finding his own inner tempo. The distorting gesture of citing was for him a suggested mode of behavior and even an authentic lifestyle. One of his favorite expressions, Thomas de Quincey “halcyon calm,” evoked for Barthes the peaceful image of that rhythmic composition that allegorizes the manner in which the forms of individual becoming can emerge from a concrete rapport with literature.
  • Keywords: reading, individuation, Roland Barthes, rhythm, citation
  •  Sanda Cordoş, Clandestine Reading in Communist Romania: A Few Considerations, p. 65
  • Abstract
  • Clandestine Reading in Communist Romania: A Few Considerations - This study retraces the main aspects and mechanisms of clandestine reading in communist Romania. The first section (“The policy of Prohibition”) is an overview of the institutions and the main normative instruments deployed by the communist power towards monitoring book circulation and reading practices from 1948 to 1989. The second section (“How and What Was Read? The Practice of Clandestine Reading”) identifies the prevalent strategies of subversive reading: borrowing books from private libraries, accessing the secret collections of libraries and second-hand bookshops, reading books from the Western world (always a dangerous and clandestine venture), and the Aesopic reading of books that, while being approved by the system, brought serious critiques to the regime under the guise of fiction. The last section (“Why Were Books Read? The Functions of Clandestine Reading”) is an inventory of the main existential functions of reading: constructing and preserving inner life, participating in the real public life, resisting the pressures of the political system, shaping alternative community values and forging a critical spirit.
  • Keywords: policy of prohibition, practice of clandestine reading, strategies of subversive reading, functions of clandestine reading
  •  Elena Voj, Reading Places: Ioana Em. Petrescu and the Practices of Reading in the 1980s, p. 78
  • Abstract
  • Reading Places: Ioana Em. Petrescu and the Practices of Reading in the 1980s - The study presents the development of the deconstructionist reading cultivated by Romanian theorist Ioana Em. Petrescu during the early 1980s. The identification of the precise bibliographical sources and of the theorist's academic concerns is based on the analysis of the entries made in her reading notebooks after the consultation of various essential deconstructionist texts, during her Fulbright fellowship at UCLA, between 1981 and 1983.
  • Keywords: literary criticism, deconstruction, postmodern poetics
  •  Alexandra Florescu, The Readers Read Us, but Can We Read Them?, p. 88
  • Abstract
  • The Readers Read Us, but Can We Read Them? - Reading theory has come to cast a bridge between literary theory and literary history, as stated in the 1967 manifesto of Hans Robert Jauss, which marked the beginning of the reception theory school. Since then, despite many variations, the tension between the two aforementioned fields has remained present. Our study discusses the main coordinates of reading theory in the Romanian cultural space, paying special attention to the interdisciplinary approach cultivated by Professor Paul Cornea and his disciples. The position of the Romanian theorist is defined by the transition from the concept of reception to that of reading, and by the idea of a possible reconciliation between the mechanisms governing comprehension and those involved in the creation of the text. In their studies published in 1999 and 2001, respectively, Liviu Papadima and Mircea Vasilescu continued in the pragmatic and dialogical direction opened by Paul Cornea, seeking to outline a history of reading in modern Romanian culture.
  • Keywords: literary theory, reader response criticism, history of reading, pragmatics, comprehension, Paul Cornea
  •  Restitutions
  • Romulus Mînecan, A Report of D. Popovici on the History of Romanian Literature from Its Beginning Until Today, p. 101
  • Abstract
  • A Report of D. Popovici on the History of Romanian Literature from Its Beginning Until Today - Devoted to a report drawn up by D. Popovici at the request of the Ministry of National Culture and Religious Denominations concerning G. Călinescu’s History of Romanian Literature from Its Beginning Until Today (1941), the present study seeks to outline the main coordinates and ideas of an investigation which, starting from biographical data, came to focus on matters pertaining to literary theory, in the framework of a manifestly polemical discourse. The report drawn up by D. Popovici clarified the matter of the incriminated biographical information, but its author exceeded his original mandate, also discussing matters pertaining to Călinescu’s critical approach that had clearly not been mentioned by the plaintiff at the origin of the report, Ms. Perticari Davila.
  • Keywords: D. Popovici, G. Călinescu, Alexandru Davila, literary criticism, literary theory
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