Transylvanian Review 3/2012

Vol. XXI, No. 3, Autumn 2012

• Paradigms

Implications culturelles des inscriptions sur textile d’ameublement intérieur dans le monde paysan multiethnique de Transylvanie (XVIIIe – XXe siècles), p. 3
Tekla Tötszegi
Abstract - The Cultural Significance of the Inscriptions Found on the Soft Furnishings Produced in the Multiethnic Rural Environment of Transylvania (18th–20th Centuries)
The article presents some of the results of the investigation entitled “Textual Changes in the 19th and the 20th Centuries: The Functions, Contexts, Forms and Meanings of Inscriptions in Transylvanian Society.” The investigation focuses on a primary corpus of inscribed soft furnishings produced and used between the 18th and the 20th centuries by the Romanian, Hungarian, and Saxon communities of Transylvania, all of them currently in the collection of the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania (Cluj-Napoca). Starting from the historical differences between the various local communities—in terms of social status, of the respective rural school systems (and implicitly literacy), and of the specific cultural models adopted—the study outlines the differences in terms of chronology, intensity, and content between the practices of inscribing soft furnishings manifest with the three communities in question, as well as the motivations, meanings, and attitudes that these texts allow us to piece together.
Keywords: daily texts, inscriptions, soft furnishings, peasant, Transylvania, multiethnic

Memory and Identity: Several Jewish Experiences from the End of the War (1944–1945), p. 19
Maria Ghitta
Abstract - Memory and Identity: Several Jewish Experiences from the End of the War (1944–1945)
The study highlights the relevance of “diaristic” sources—memoirs, in general—for the study of important moments in history, also trying to determine to what extent one’s personal life and experiences can communicate or convey a collective drama, a tragedy. While memoirs or diaries cannot replace historical reconstruction proper and cannot supplant other types of sources, which are considered to be more objective, they do manage, in many cases, to bring back a sense of humanity as it existed in the past. Therefore, the present study looks at what the diaries and memoirs of three Jewish men reveal about their own situation and that of their communities in the periods that preceded and followed the turning point of 23 August 1944, the date when Romania left Germany’s camp and joined the Allied Forces. The three men in question are Arnold Schwefelberg, one of the leaders of the Jewish community in Romania, writer and publicist Mihail Sebastian, and Serge (Ştrul Herş, in the school records of the time) Moscovici, who later became one of the leading social psychologists in Europe.
Keywords: memoirs, personal diaries, Holocaust, World War II, Jewish minority

Études et recherches d’ethnographie et de folklore roumain en Vojvodine, p. 35
Costa Roşu
Abstract - Studies and Investigations regarding the Romanian Ethnography and Folklore
of Vojvodina
The first recordings of the folklore of Banat, preserved in the books of meticulous collectors, date back to the years 1810–1820, when the first field surveys were conducted. The first who published the folklore research materials collected from Banat were the Schott brothers, Albert and Arthur. In addition to field investigations, in 1954–1955 the first organized surveys were conducted concerning the customs, traditions and traditional costumes of the Romanians from the Serbian part of Banat. The studies were carried out by the ethnological section of the museum in Vršac, Pančevo and Zrenjanin, and afterwards, by the ethnographic department of the Provincial Museum in Novi Sad (Museum of Vojvodina). After the founding of The Romanian Society (Foundation) for Ethnography and Folklore of Vojvodina, the studies began to be carried out in collaboration with leading institutes in Romania, such as the Constantin Brãiloiu Institute in Bucharest.
Keywords: Serbian Banat, Romanians in Vojvodina, The Romanian Society for Ethnography and Folklore of Vojvodina

Non-standard Life Courses of People in Transylvania: A Comparison between Romanian and Hungarian Ethnics, p. 47
Mihaela Hãrãguş
Abstract - Non-standard Life Courses of People in Transylvania: A Comparison between Romanian and Hungarian Ethnics
During the last decades, important changes took place in the sphere of family life in all industrialized countries. From a life course perspective, new stages and new sequences emerged in the people’s life paths, and the normative guidance for family related behaviors has now a diminished role. New living arrangements and demographic behaviors have spread, such as consensual unions and childbearing outside marriage. We investigate the degree of diffusion of these non-standard behaviors and the most common patterns of people’s life courses, with a focus on Transylvania, comparing Romanian and Hungarian ethnics. We use for our investigation two rich databases, namely Generations and Gender Survey for Romania and Turning Points of the Life Course—Transylvania for the Hungarian ethnics in Transylvania, which contain retrospective information about the life course of several thousand people.
Keywords: life course, de-standardization, de-institutionalization, marriage, cohabitation, childbearing, Transylvania

Die Siebenbürger Sachsen – Image im Wandel: Analyse der lokalen Deutschen Minderheit in vier Kronstädter Lokalzeitungen, p. 63
Meda Mucundorfeanu, Paul Binder
Abstract - The Saxons—A Change of Image: An Analysis of the References to the Local German Minority in Four Braşov Newspapers
The present paper aims to describe the manner in which the Transylvanian Saxons were presented in four Romanian local newspapers of Braşov between 1 June 2005 and 31 June 2008. The analysis focuses on whether the newspapers wrote about the German minority in a positive, negative or neutral manner, in the articles that are relevant for the purposes of this paper. The analyzed newspapers are all local Romanian newspapers of Braşov: Monitorul Expres, Transilvania Expres, Bunã ziua Braşov and Gazeta de Transilvania. The study starts from one scientific question and leads to four hypotheses. 201 articles, published between 1 June 2005 and 31 June 2008, have been selected and included in the code sheet. The data have been evaluated with the help of the SPSS statistical software. A total of 739 references have been evaluated. 16 references were positive, 723 neutral and not a single one was negative.
Keywords: history, image, Saxons, Transylvania, Brasov, newspapers

• Tangencies

On the Problem of the Post-Avar “Ethnogenesis”: The 9th Century Polities of Banat, Crisana, and Transylvania in Comparative-Historical Context (I), p. 83
Denis Alimov
Abstract - On the Problem of the Post-Avar “Ethnogenesis”: The 9th Century Polities of Banat, Crisana, and Transylvania in Comparative-Historical Context
The paper examines the 9th century ethno-political situation in the territory of the former Avar qaganate, that is, within the Carpathian Basin, in terms of the early medieval “ethnogenesis” interpreted as the making of ethno-political units (gentes). As a result, the so-called post-Avar “ethnogenesis” is conceptualized as a process whose main feature is the absence of fully fledged ethnic groups that could correspond to the polities that emerged on the ruins of the Avar qaganate and would be comparable to what was usually meant by the term gens in early medieval Latin sources. According to the author, this feature could be interpreted as the indication that on the territory of the former qaganate the formation of new political structures caused by the rise of post-Avar elites (polito-genesis) outran the emergence of new group identities (ethnogenesis). Another conclusion states that the polities of Menumorout, Glad, and Gelou, as described in Anonymus’ Gesta Hungarorum, are very similar in their principal characteristics to those attested for the 9th century post-Avar area by contemporary sources.
Keywords: Avar qaganate, ethnogenesis, gens, Menumorout, Glad, Gelou

Les origines des nations central-est-européennes dans les chroniques médiévales : Formation culturelle et exigences sociales avant la lettre, p. 92
Florian Dumitru Soporan, Liana Lãpãdatu
Abstract - The Origins of Central and Eastern European Nations in the Medieval Chronicles. Cultural Formation and Social Expectations avant la lettre
The medieval historiography on the origins of the various nations of Europe remained in agreement with the expectations of society, playing an essential role in the formation of identity-related discourses, even if their working paradigms pertained to the literary field and despite the fact that most of the theories propounded at the time were later invalidated by modern historiography. Seen as part of the cultural heritage of Antiquity and enhanced by the Christian coordinates of medieval culture, the issue of the origins of the medieval nations emerged at the point of contact between historical investigations, identity-related discourse, and medieval patriotic propaganda. The investigation of the discourse pertaining to the origin of nations could help us better understand the Middle Ages and eliminate the fallacies associated with that period, allowing us to perceive it as a time of ethnic, linguistic, and axiological syntheses.
Keywords: medieval nation, medieval gestae, ethnic solidarity, christianitas

Les Lumières et le libéralisme précoce dans le Banat au XVIIIe siècle, p.101
Nicolae Bocsan
Abstract - The Enlightenment and Early Liberalism in 18th Century Banat
The circulation of early liberal ideas in Banat favored the emergence of the national emancipation movement, which at first manifested itself at ecclesiastical or educational level and coincided with the rise of modern nationalism. From the contractualist theory, through the enlightened monarchy, to the liberal doctrine—widespread throughout Banat by the 1830s and the 1840s, both in the writings of the time and in the actual political arena—Enlightenment thought followed a complicated, uneven, and tortuous trajectory, leading to an ideological separation from the imperial agenda and eventually creating its own discourse or political program, aimed at the emancipation of the nation and fusing together, in a democratic approach, the liberal and the national coordinates. Developments in thought came to change collective mentalities, bringing about a transition from the passive subject/citizen of Enlightenment legalism to the rebel, representative for the Romantic mentality. In terms of political activism, this shift meant a movement from reformism to revolution.
Keywords: Enlightenment, liberalism, Banat, Dimitrie Þichindeal, Moise Nicoarã, Damaschin Bojincã

The Law of Marriage in Romania, 1890–2010, p.116
Luminita Dumãnescu
Abstract - The Law of Marriage in Romania, 1890–2010
This study follows the evolution of the laws regarding marriage in Romania, between 1890—the moment secular law was introduced in Transylvania—and 2010, the last year before the entry into force of the New Civil Code. Considering the different institutional context of the former Principalities that united to form Romania in 1918, the study also reviews the Civil Code drawn up under the reign of A. I. Cuza in 1865 since it was going to remain, with only minor modifications, the centerpiece of Romanian matrimonial law for over one and a half centuries. The 1954 Family Code and the changes introduced in matrimonial law after 1990 are also discussed in the present study.
Keywords: marriage, Romania, Civil Code of 1865, the Family Code (1954), mixed marriage

Les institutions dans l’historiographie roumaine : Ouvrages parus pendant les deux dernières décennies dans des langues de circulation internationale, p. 127
Daniela Mârza
Abstract - On Institutions in Romanian Historiography: Texts in International Languages Published during the Past Two Decades
In recent years the Romanian scientific world has manifestly drawn closer to the international one, following the implementation of increasingly comprehensive and coherent policies meant to allow Romanian researchers to bring their own contribution to the advancement of world science, turning from mere beneficiaries into providers of scholarly content. The texts written in international languages are among the most important instruments used in the dissemination of the results obtained by Romanian researchers. In what concerns history, among the topics most frequently approached in these texts written in international languages we find those dealing with institutions, from the political ones to things like family, schools, the Church, and the army. The present paper looks at the manner in which these particular topics are approached in the works of Romanian historians.
Keywords: Romanian historiography, foreign languages, Romanian history, institutions, politics, Church, schools

Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and the Beginning of the Sino-Romanian Rapprochement (1963–1964), p. 135
Mihai Croitor
Abstract - Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej and the Beginning of the Sino-Romanian Rapprochement (1963–1964)
The Soviet insistence to create a “single planning unit” inside the COMECON led to the emergence of intense Romanian-Soviet differences of opinion in 1962. The leaders in Bucharest interpreted this initiative as an attack against Romania’s national sovereignty. Under these circumstances, and trying to counter the Soviet hegemony, the Romanian authorities initiated a series of diplomatic actions in order to achieve a Sino-Romanian rapprochement. The present article is based on documents from the Romanian archives and presents the main stages of the Sino-Romanian rapprochement and its impact on the relations between Bucharest and the Kremlin.
Keywords: communism, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Mao Zedong, Nikita Khrushchev, Sino-Romanian rapprochement, Sino-Soviet split, Valev Plan, COMECON

• Literature

La déchéance de l’épopée (I), p. 146
Alexandra Ciocârlie
Abstract - The Decay of Epic Poetry
The study analyzes the classical Greek and Latin sources of the mock-heroic and burlesque epic Þiganiada (The Gypsiad, in two versions, 1800 and 1812) by Ion Budai-Deleanu (1760–1820), an outstanding representative of the Transylvanian Enlightenment who studied philosophy, law and theology in Vienna. Subtle or explicit, the numerous references to classical antiquity found in the actual text and in the notes to this modern epic clearly indicate the literary model embraced by this Enlightenment author, a model whose rules were adapted to a new and changed environment.
Keywords: Ion Budai-Deleanu, Þiganiada (The Gypsiad), Homer, Virgil, mock-heroic epic

• Book Reviews

Harald Heppner, Rene Kegelmann u. Stefan Sienert (Hgg.), Jahrbuch für die Geschichte und Kultur in den deutschen Siedlungsgebieten Südosteuropas, Bd. 5 (52), 2011 (reviewed by Meda Mucundorfeanu), p. 155

Alina Ioana Ciobãnel and Paul Drogeanu, Habitatul, vol. 3, Transilvania
(reviewed by Emil Tîrcomnicu), p. 157

• Contributors 160

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