Transylvanian Review nr. 2/2011

Transylvanian Review, Vol. XX (Summer), No 2


• Paradigms

Ileana Burnichioiu and Adrian Andrei Rusu, Medieval Floor Mosaics at Bizere Monastery: A Brief Survey, p. 3
Abstract – Medieval Floor Mosaics at Bizere Monastery: A Brief Survey –
Bizere monastery is one of the medieval monasteries founded in Arad County which almost completely disappeared between the sixteenth century and the present day. Its site was gradually identified approximately 15 kilometers from Arad, south of the Mureş Valley, on the territory of Frumuşeni village. The positions of both surfaces with mosaics, the great number of fragments typical of the pavement discovered within the perimeter, and their diversity in shape (eight-shaped, half circles, almonds, quadrangular slabs of stone, circle segments, other geometric shapes) indicate that the church was entirely covered with mosaics of at least two types. The mosaics at Bizere, created by masters who must have had a Benedictine connection, contain certain interpretations of Byzantine motifs and a series of traits also shared by floor mosaics in the Adriatic area. Nevertheless, they differ from the latter in style, iconography, and technique. The polychromy, the quality of the drawings and arrangements between geometrical frames and their motifs (vegetal or figurative), the uniform distribution of colors within the frame of the drawings, the creatures of the bestiary which populate the nave’s mosaic together with vegetal ornaments, and the uncommon relief revealed a mature level of floor mosaic art in Romanesque style.
Keywords – Bizere abbey, Benedictine order, Middle Ages, floor mosaics, pavement, bestiary, Romanesque art

Lóránt Kovács , The Effect of Designed Green Spaces on the Changing Transylvanian Landscape, p. 14
Abstract – The Effect of Designed Green Spaces on the Changing Transylvani
an Landscape – The purpose of this article is to present the effect of various gardens (peasant, castle, monastery and cemetery) on the evolution and composition of the Transylvanian landscape, along with other historical changes. The influence of these green spaces was very significant for the landscape structure and design in the region. Garden research in Transylvania does not have comparable traditions to similar sciences in other countries, and this is especially true for Transylvanian garden art, which is highly neglected. Park investigation is also non-existent, and restoration in the botanical or dendrological sense cannot even be discussed yet.
Keywords – cemetery gardens, historic gardens, royal gardens, Transylvania

Elisabeta Negrãu, Constantin Brâncoveanu’s Painters in Transylvania, p. 21
Abstract –
Constantin Brâncoveanu’s Painters in Transylvania – Recent research on the mural paintings of the churches founded by Constantin Brâncoveanu in Vâlcea has made us reconsider the earlier identification of the Wallachian painters active in Transylvania by the first half of the 18th century with their homonymous painters of Hurezi monastery (UNESCO monument) and of the monuments in its area. The present paper concludes that Preda, the author of the royal icons of St. Nicholas church in Fãgãraş (1698–1699), is probably the painter of the Hurezi monastery chapel (1696–1697), but not one and the same with Preda the painter of the Hurezi bolnitsa and of Cozia’s altar and nave. Teodosie and Preda, sons of painter Preda from Câmpulung and authors of the mural paintings of St. Nicholas church in Fãgãraş (1719–1720), also did the mural paintings of the monastery church of Sãrãcineşti (1717–1718). The painter Andrei from Sãraca (1730) is not the Greek painter Andrei from Hurezi. Ştefan from Ocnele Mari, author of the iconostasis of the Greek-Catholic cathedral in Blaj (1737), cannot be Brâncoveanu’s painter, the priest Ştefan. Hieromonk Iosif, author of the icons in the Greek-Catholic church of Maieri in Alba Iulia (1716–1717, disappeared), is not the same with Brâncoveanu’s homonymous painter. The main arguments concern the style of the paintings, but also their religious confession. The high theological education of Brâncoveanu’s elite artists, tutored by the Archimandrite Ioan, abbot of Hurezi, casts serious doubt on the assumption that they painted for the Greek-Catholic Church in Transylvania.
Keywords – post-Byzantine painting, Greek-Catholic Church, iconography, Constantin Brâncoveanu (Constantine Brancovan), Hurezi monastery

Anca Elisabeta Tatay, Incursion into the Old Romanian Secular Books Printed in Buda: The Puncheon Prints, p. 34
Abstract –
Incursion into the Old Romanian Secular Books Printed in Buda: The Puncheon Prints – In the Romanian books printed in the typography of Buda, between the years 1780 and 1830, we find, besides woodcuts which treated religious themes, also puncheon prints and lithographs. Some very interesting secular puncheon prints, less studied until now are approached in this article. Related to the Romanian area, they are original both thematically and as regards their treatment, of the Western type. The puncheon prints used in the lay books of Buda, being more realistic as regards the themes and the manner of interpretation, are considered to be an incontestable innovation which the typography of the Hungarian city, situated closer to Western Europe, introduced in the printing of old Romanian books.
Keywords – puncheon print, old Romanian books, engraver, Buda, printing house

Monika Wikete, Kultureller Austausch im Repertoire der deutschen Bühne in Arad im 19. Jh., p. 51
Abstract –
Cultural Interferences in the Repertoire of the German Theater in Arad during the 19th Century – The author presents the theater of Arad, from the first performances staged by itinerant troupes to the inauguration of the first theater building in 1817. The study presents the target audience, analyzes the theatrical repertoire in terms of topics, political interests, and authors, highlighting the German-language profile of Arad theatrical life. Also mentioned are the Hungarian political and historical plays staged in Arad during the 19th century.
Keywords – German theater, repertoire, Jakob Hirschl, Arad

Elena Abrudan, Temporal Landmarks of Space, p. 64
Abstract –
Temporal Landmarks of Space – The paper offers a perspective on space and on a time vector that allows the visualization of space in a determined period of time. Our paper reviews the theories of space formulated by some critics, introducing notions of space, place, non-place, followed by some examples of the destruction and reconstruction of industrial buildings as cultural spaces. Thus, after discussing the way in which a number of contemporary thinkers (Augé, Baudrillard, Manovich, de Certeau) approach the mechanism whereby space is invested with meaning in the postmodern context, we turn our attention to a few examples of reconversion or redefinition of spaces in the Romanian context, from water towers to old fortified churches and various other landmarks.
Keywords – space, time, culture, architectonical heritage, identity

• Tangencies

Veronica Turcuş, La maison d’édition Carabba de Lanciano et la traduction des livres roumains en Italie, p. 74
Abstract –
The Carabba Publishing House of Lanciano and the Translations of Romanian Books in Italy – Stimulated by the European political and military context of the early decades of the 20th century, Italy began to show an interest in Romanian culture and books. The phenomenon peaked in 1928¬¬–1932, with the publication of many translations from Romanian literature, especially in the field of prose. Undeniably, the leader in this respect is the Carabba publishing house of Lanciano, established in 1876. During the 1920s, the 1930s, and even during the war, the series called “Scrittori italiani e stranieri” came to include representative works by Romanian writers such as I. L. Caragiale, Liviu Rebreanu, I. Agârbiceanu, Nicolae Iorga, A. Brãtescu-Voineşti, C. Negruzzi, M. Sadoveanu, Constantin Kiriþescu, Lucia Mantu, Caton Theodorian, G. Ibrãileanu, Mihail Sevastos, as well as the collection Canti popolari romeni. The interest in Romanian literature shown by the Carabba publishing house of Lanciano reflected its general editorial policy, oriented towards foreign books, especially from Eastern Europe and the Far East.
Keywords – translations, Romania, Italy, Carabba family

• Transsilvanica

Vlad Popovici, ASTRA’s Founders: A Prosopographical Study, p. 88
Abstract – ASTRA’s Founders: A Prosopographical Study –
Starting from the premise that prosopography may provide supervenient explanations to those extant in classical historical approaches, this study has tried to acquire as much information as possible about the 211 members registered in the protocol of ASTRA’s Constituent Assembly (Sibiu, 3–26 October/4–7 November 1861). After the analyses we have undertaken, we may conclude that its confessional distribution was relatively balanced, that its socio-professional structure was representative of the entire Romanian Transylvanian elite of that time, and that its geographical distribution reveals several urban centres that massively supported the creation of the Transylvanian Association. This study also highlights and exemplifies the role of a catalyst played by the family and community networks, which allowed for the involvement of a large number of participants. The conclusions emphasise that this genesis process was well organised and controlled from both of the national centers (Sibiu and Blaj), probably against the background of a competitive approach, each Church attempting to capitalise as much as possible on the prestige that would accompany this event.
Keywords – cultural associations, Transylvania, statistics, elites, prosopography

Daniela Mârza and Liana Lãpãdatu, L’image de la Transylvanie dans la presse roumaine transylvaine de l’entre-deux-guerres, p. 98
Abstract – The Image of Transylvania in the Romanian Transylvanian Press of the Interwar Period –
It would seem that, of all Romanian provinces, none has stirred more passion in the collective mentality or generated more emotional responses than Transylvania. During the interwar period, also in response to a number of political imperatives (generated especially by the Vienna Award), the Transylvanian intellectuals constructed and circulated in the press the image of Transylvania not just as a physical but also as an emotional and spiritual space. The representations of Transylvania ascribed emotional and ideological connotations to this space (cradle of the Romanian people, cornerstone of Greater Romania, etc.). These representations also reflected certain elements circulating in the popular mentality and responded to the ideological and political needs of the Romanians in their attempt to cope with the troubled events of the interwar period.
Keywords – Transylvania, interwar period, press, social imaginary, ideological construct

• Literature

Corin Braga, L’utopie impossible. Jonathan Swift et les Houyhnhnms, p. 105
Abstract – The Impossible Utopia: Jonathan Swift and the Houyhnhnms –
After the Council of Trent, all Christian authors, from Joseph Hall (Mundus alter et idem, 1605) to Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels, 1726), adopted the critical position of the Church with regard to utopias. These authors saw utopias as heresies, as they described exotic human races untarnished by the original sin and which therefore did not need redemption through Jesus Christ and the Church. The present paper demonstrates that, in Gulliver’s Travels, despite the admiration felt by the protagonist towards some of the lands he visited, the countries in question are all anti-utopias. The most terrifying example is that of the wise horses, by means of which Swift created not a utopia of reason, but rather a monstrous anti-utopia, in which the beast rises above the human race and humankind is reduced to beastliness. All of Gulliver’s voyages can be seen as following the mental regression of the character, suggesting the involution of humankind itself.
Keywords – Gulliver’s Travels, anti-utopia, Houyhnhnms, The Great Chain of Beings, Original Sin, Reason

Catalina Iliescu Gheorghiu, The Relevance of Metatextual Elements in the Translation of A treia þeapã by Marin Sorescu, p. 128
Abstract – The Relevance of Metatextual Elements in the Translation of A treia ¸teapã by Marin Sorescu –
This paper aims to bring under discussion some aspects related to the pragmatic role of metatextual elements in the translation of dramatic discourse. This topic will not be approached in strictly theoretical terms; instead, a Relevance Theory perspective is applied to a concrete translation case of a particular play. This approach is adopted in order to detect the pragmatic importance both author and translator assigned to the contextual knowledge revealed by these metatextual elements to either source or target audience. This paper tried to show that in one particular case under observation (i.e. a particular Romanian play and one of its translations into English), metatextual elements suffered modifications intended to ensure relevance in the target culture.
Keywords – Relevance Theory, drama translation, Marin Sores

• Book Reviews

Alberto Castaldini, ed., Antonio Possevino. I gesuiti e la loro eredità culturale in Transilvania (reviewed by Rafael-Dorian Chelaru), p. 147

Jonathan Swift’s Poems/Poemele lui Jonathan Swift (reviewed by Amelia Nan), p. 149

Adriana Popescu and Rodica Tabic, Caietele Herminei (reviewed by Daniela Mârza), p. 152

Dumitru Preda, Ioan Chiper, and Alexandru Ghişa, eds., România la Conferinþa de Pace de la Paris (1919–1920): Documente diplomatice, vol. 1 (reviewed by Marcela Sãlãgean), p. 154

Thomas Hunkeler and Edith Anna Kunz, eds., Metropolen der Avantgarde/Métropoles des avant-gardes (reviewed by Dana Bizuleanu), p. 155

Michael Portmann, Die kommunistische Revolution in der Vojvodina 1944–1952: Politik, Gesellschaft, Wirtschaft, Kultur (reviewed by Harald Heppner), p. 157

Irina Vainovski-Mihai, ed., GE-NEC Program, 2004–2005, 2005–2006, 2006–2007 (reviewed by Mara Semenescu), p. 158

• Contributors, p. 160

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