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“Romanian Literature as World Literature”

About Romanian Literature as World Literature

Approaching Romanian literature as world literature, this book is a critical-theoretical manifesto that places its object at the crossroads of empires, regions, and influences and draws conclusions whose relevance extends beyond the Romanian, Romance, and East European cultural systems. This “intersectional” revisiting of Romanian literature is organized into three parts. Opening with a fresh look at the literary ideology of Romania's “national poet,” Mihai Eminescu, part I dwells primarily on literary-cultural history as process and discipline. Here, the focus is on cross-cultural mimesis, the role of strategic imitation in the production of a distinct literature in modern Romania, and the shortcomings marking traditional literary historiography's handling of these issues. Part II examines the ethno-linguistic and territorial complexity of Romanian literatures or “Romanian literature in the plural.” Part III takes up the trans-systemic rise of Romanian, Jewish Romanian, and Romanian-European avant-garde and modernism, Socialist Realism, exile and émigré literature, and translation.
Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Worlds of Romanian Literature and the Geopolitics of Reading
Christian Moraru (University of North Carolina, Greenboro, USA) and Andrei Terian (Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania)

Part I: The Making and Remaking of a World Literature: Revisiting Romanian Literary and Cultural History
1. Mihai Eminescu: From National Mythology to the World Pantheon
Andrei Terian (Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Romania)
2. Aux portes de l'Orient, and Through: Nicolae Milescu, Dimitrie Cantemir, and the “Oriental” Legacy of Early Romanian Literature
Bogdan Cretu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania)
3. "Soft" Commerce and the Thinning of Empires: Four Steps Toward Modernity
Caius Dobrescu (University of Bucharest, Romania)
4. Beyond Nation Building: Literary History as Transnational Geolocation
Alex Goldis (Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
5. After “Imitation”: Aesthetic Intersections, Geocultural Networks, and the Rise of Modern Romanian Literature
Carmen Musat (University of Bucharest, Romania)

Part II: Literature in the Plural
6. Reading Microliterature: Language, Ethnicity, Polyterritoriality
Mircea A. Diaconu (Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania)
7. Trees, Waves, Whirlpools: Nation, Region, and the Reterritorialization of Romania's Hungarian Literature
Imre József Balázs (Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj, Romania)
8. Cosmopolites, Deracinated, étranjuifs: Romanian Jews in the International Avant-Garde
Ovidiu Morar (Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava, Romania)
9. Communicating Vessels: The Avant-Garde, Antimodernity, and Radical Culture in Romania between World War I and World War II
Paul Cernat (University of Bucharest, Romania)

Part III: Over Deep Time, across Long Space
10. Temporal Webs of World Literature: Rebranding Games and Global Relevance after World War II-Mircea Eliade, E. M. Cioran, Eugčne Ionesco
Mihai Iovanel (G. Calinescu Institute of Literary History and Literary Theory of the Romanian Academy, Romania)
11. A Geoliterary Ecumene of the East: Socialist Realism-The Romanian Case
Mircea Martin (University of Bucharest, Romania)
12. Romanian Modernity and the Rhetoric of Vacuity: Toward a Comparative Postcolonialism
Bogdan Stefanescu (University of Bucharest, Romania)
13. Gaming the World-System: Creativity, Politics, and Beat Influence in the Poetry of the 1980s Generation
Teodora Dumitru (G. Calinescu Institute of Literary History and Literary Theory of the Romanian Academy, Romania)
14. How Does Exile Make Space? Contemporary Romanian Émigré Literature and the Worldedness of Place: Herta Müller, Andrei Codrescu, Norman Manea
Doris Mironescu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania)
15. Made in Translation: A National Poetics for the Transnational World
Mihaela Ursa (Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj, Romania)


“'Is Romanian literature a world literature?' Such is the opening line of this truly impressive book, and such is also the central issue Martin, Terian, and Moraru-a major expert of the 'planetary turn'-are dealing with. The question's answer is multifaceted, as all world cultures are. Romanian literature is a huge crossroad, one of the most fascinating ones, in Europe and beyond, and this is exactly what the riveting Romanian Literature as World Literature tells us about.” – Bertrand Westphal, Professor of General and Comparative Literature, University of Limoges, France, and author of Geocriticism: Real and Fictional Spaces (2007)

“In every dimension-overall quality of contributions, internal logic, and introductory material-Romanian Literature as World Literature bears stunning testimony to its subject matter. Infused and beset with historical, political, and linguistic complexity at every turn, the volume's world-class collective authorship builds upon the latest current advances in world-systems and postcolonial theories. Romanian Literature as World Literature is particularly admirable for the diversity of approaches, ranging from intellectual and cultural history to close exegesis, that it encompasses. In illuminating the multiple forces and influences bearing upon Romanian literature, it attests to the conceptual difficulties attending any putatively national cultural ecology.” – Henry Sussman, Visiting Professor Germanic Languages & Literatures, Yale University, USA, and author of Playful Intelligence: Digitizing Tradition (Bloomsbury, 2014)

Editors: Mircea Martin, Christian Moraru, Andrei Terian; Bloomsbury Academic.    3/1/2018


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