Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Letters and Arts
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Psychological Deviance and Mind Style in G. Călinescu’s Enigma Otiliei (1938)
Abstract: Drawing on theoretical developments from cognitive sciences and the literary field, more specifically on concepts such as mind style, literary categorization, and prototypical distortion, in the present article, I set out to explore the relationship between literary characters and psychological deviance. In so doing, I analyze G. Călinescu’s 1938 novel Enigma Otiliei (Otilia’s Riddle) and, in the wake of several literary critics’ shared view that the novel’s characters are individuals driven by much more complex internal mechanisms than simply being based on a single social schema, I suggest that this complexity can be accounted for by the tools provided by psychopathology. Therefore, I point to the maladaptive psychological traits that the characters exhibit and to how these are projected into the character’ language, forming thus idiosincratic linguistic patterns. Finally, I argue that the author employs the narrative device of “prototypical distortion” to lampoon the characters’ deviance.
Keywords: mind style; schema-based characters; psychological deviance; prototypical distortion; comedy.
Citation suggestion: Coman, Daniel. “Devianță psihologică și stil cognitiv în Enigma Otiliei de G. Călinescu (1938)” Transilvania, no. 6-7 (2022): 73-81.