Universitatea „Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Iaşi, Facultatea de Litere “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iassy, Faculty of Letters
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9 / 2014
Re-reading “The Paris Diary”
I aimed to show in this article that Eugen Simion’s Paris Diary (Jurnalul parizian) from 1977 underlines, there is no doubt, a significant moment within the Romanian critic’s career, by prompting a quality leap within his critical style and by decisively orienting the interpreter’s options towards definite research topics. Along with quasi-subjective and personal confessions, rather scanty, The Paris Diary contains a series of essays on various themes, as well as a gallery of portraits, epic sequences (with marked anecdotic and chronicling aspect), fine observations on the intellectuals gathered in Paris and on the specific atmosphere of the 70s. The majority of literary reviewers has already referred to all these features; usually, the argument served so as to enhance the critic’s literary talent, most obvious in the way he turns portraiture into an artistic achievement, in the excellence of memoir-like accounts, in his disposition for aphorism, etc. Not willing to re-play the previous approaches to Eugen Simion’s Diary, it was my intention to catch the overall picture and, subsequently, to pinpoint the place this book has within the Romanian critic’s work. The stages of its popularity show nothing less than the fact that the author made a “lucky” shot and succeeded in writing a text which, also nowadays, retrieves a positive satisfaction while re-read.
Keywords: Authenticity, Confession, Diary of ideas, Mimesis, Autobiographical pact, Urban mythology
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