One of the less examined species of the Romanian parliamentary discourse is the apologia (a self-defence discourse) which resorts to various rhetorical strategies in order to promote a positive self-image of a politician and to reject an accusation. In this article, we offer the case study of Varujan Vosganian’s plead delivered to the Romanian Parliament on the 12th of February 2015 in response to the 2nd round of charges made by the Public Prosecution Service (Departamentul Național Anticorupție), i.e. establishment of organized crime group, abuse in office, complicity to embezzlement. Our analysis, based on the methodology of image repair rhetoric (Ware/Linkugel 1973; Benoit 1995) and the pragma-stylistics of discourse, will focus on the speaker’s stance, and on several reformative and transformative rhetorical strategies, such as the transcendence, the appeal to motives/good intentions, the minimization of injury, the attack of the accuser, the self-victimization, etc.
Keywords: discourse of self-defence (apologia); stance; reformative and transformative rhetorical strategies.
The article focuses on recurrent mechanisms used both in articles and cartoons to frame the Independence War (1877-1878) in Romanian humoristic press. Our discursive approach uses stylistics, conversational humour and cognitive theories insights in order to grasp the humorous patterns developed by a collective source and construed by the rather homogenous Romanian public. Humour in war time appears as a tool of reinforcing the ingroup’s feelings, diverting attention from concrete war issues and offering a coping mechanism.
Keywords: humour; humoristic press; cartoons; Independence War
Communist ideology and propaganda targeted women with their emancipation campaign. Women were portrayed as the embodiment of progress, as the primary force in the modernization of the country. Their daily life was meant to illustrate the achievements of women under the communist regime. However, the propaganda rarely fitted the reality. My paper aims to show the real life of women during communism as perceived by the women after the fall of this regime in Romania. It will focus on several aspects of women’s daily life, such as education, work, family and leisure, in order to underline the gains and the losses (in terms of rights and achievements) experienced by women. The paper analyses 20 interviews I have conducted between 2015 and 2018 in Bucharest and in several other towns of Romania.
Keywords: gender equality; state propaganda; communism; daily life; individual recollections
The present essay was originally a paper presented at a scholarly conference in San Francisco (2014). It is part of a longer series of discussions of the mode in which very long novels strive to replicate integrally the social and natural cosmos. Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones (18th century) endeavors, the critic argues, to reconstitute an idyllic universe, a modest copy of the Garden of Eden.
Keywords: 18th century novel; H. Fielding’s “Tom Jones”; very long novel; the idyll; religion and literature
This article addresses the interaction between communist mythology and rock music in Romania. It analyses comparatively cultural and political myths, as identified by Tănăsoiu, with particular emphasis on the political myth of unity. Supported by an intensive use of historical myths and legends, this myth carved out a place of its own in a communist discourse designed to legitimate the new regime. Deforming the past and attaching different interpretations to it in order to suit their purposes, communists fabricated a mythology that could work for their own advantage. As the paper shows, the restrictive regulations imposed on all forms of cultural manifestation (as a result of a nationalist policy), forced artists to find inspiration in medieval sources, national mythology and folklore. Surprising as it may seem, the Phoenix band, the landmark exponents of rock music, successfully tuned in their lyrics about Dacians, national mythology and folklore to a Western beat.
Keywords: myths; national mythology; communism; rock music; Phoenix; folklore
The article explores the figures of the angel and the presence of the other’s voice in Stănescu’s poetry, from a psychoanalytical perspective. Nichita Stănescu seems to work within a language that communicates itself as a requiem, as an inner music made of glosses that convey the death’s mystery. This language of glosses is made up of fragments, meaningful remnants of pre-verbal nature, therefore pre-semantic. In this regard, Noduri și semne (Knots and signs) appear as a modus operandi within a dead language, a language that places itself in the gap, on the edge of the experience between creation and decreation. In this context, the purely negative and differential entities of the poetic language (phonemes, sounds, signifiers, letters, rhythm, tone, etc.), which in themselves are devoid of meaning, enable the production of meaning and suggest the sheer desire to mean something, the intent to signify.
Keywords: Nichita Stănescu; Romanian literature; psychoanalysis; Dan Botta; Vasile Voiculescu; poetry.
The protests, street movement and the civil society became a strong reality of the contemporary world both in countries with strong democratic system and quasi-democratic ones, both in countries with strong recent protest histories and in ones where revolts are quite rare. This article proposes an unconventional interpretation of the Armenian Velvet Revolution resorting to reading the street movement, its causes and its outcome, as a ritualised undertaking resembling the rite of passage structure. Based on ethnographic interviews, the article brings forth some images from the protest as organised in the three successive stages of van Gennep’s theory, recasting the social function of transformative needs in the Armenian society.
Keywords: cultures of protest; rites of passages; emotional crowd; heroic leadership; Velvet Revolution; Armenia
2084. La fin du monde est un récit d’anticipation politique de Boualem Sansal publié en français, en France, en 2015. Ce roman est très sombre. C’est une dystopie, une fiction romancée qui décrit une « cacotopie », l’un des pires mondes imaginaires qui puisse advenir. L’action est projetée dans un futur lointain, après 2084, « une date fondatrice […] même si nul ne savait à quoi elle correspondait », commente le narrateur. La « fin du monde » a eu lieu. Une Grande Guerre sainte, « appelée le Char », a anéanti les anciens pays du Nord, les États-Unis et l’Europe. Les pays du Sud ne forment plus qu’une seule entité, l’Abistan, le pays d’Abi, son prophète et son fondateur. C’est une dictature théocratique poussée à l’extrême. En ce « pays des croyants », toute liberté a disparu. Une soumission totale à un dieu unique, appelé Yölah, est exigée de chacun. Un jour, un citoyen ordinaire, Ati, devient brusquement conscient de l’état de « cécité » où il se trouvait. Sa lucidité s’est éveillée. Il cherche à comprendre comment fonctionne « l’ordre sublime » de cette théocratie très autoritaire, fondée sur l’exaspération d’un pouvoir pur, déifié, et construite sur un mensonge originel, sur une imposture radicale.
Mots-clés: francophonie; roman; pouvoir; totalitarisme; théocratie
Boualem Sansal’s 2084. The end of the world is a political anticipation published in France, in French, in 2015. This novel is very dark. It is a dystopia, a fictional fiction that describes a "cacotopia", one of the worst imaginary worlds that can occur. The action is projected in the distant future, after 2084, "a founding date [...] even if no one knew what it was", the narrator comments. The "end of the world" has taken place. A Great Holy War, "called the Char", has wiped out the old countries of the North, the United States and Europe. The southern countries are no longer a single entity, Abistan, the country of Abi, its prophet and its founder. It is a theocratic dictatorship pushed to the extreme. In this "country of believers", any form of freedom has disappeared. Total submission to a single god, called Yölah, is required from everyone. One day, an ordinary citizen, Ati, suddenly becomes aware of the state of "blindness" where he was. His lucidity is awaken. He seeks to understand how the "sublime order" of this highly authoritarian theocracy operates, based on the exasperation of a pure, deified power, and built on an original lie, on a radical fraud.
Keywords: francophonie; novel; power; totalitarianism; theocracy