Academia Română, Filiala Iaşi Romanian Academy, Iassy Branch
E-mail personal autor:
6-7 / 2011
Cantemir’s Bestiary: from religious knowledge to rationalism
The present study departs from the almost axiomatic belief that Dimitrie Cantemir is the first Romanian writer with a conscious approach to literature. His literary intentions and his models are obvious, developing a complex poetic system. While examining them, one notices an evolution from Cantemir’s earier writings, still indebted to the Christian tradition, to the later ones, mainly the Hieroglyphical History, where the Christian tradition of the zoomorphical creatures is purposely modified in a modern manner. For the medieval writer, the rigid observation of the symbol was a moral obligation; for Cantemir, the condition of the writer also involved the manipulation and alteration of the traditional symbols. Thus, he acts like the first Romanian rationalist and one of the few in South-Eastern Europe.
Keywords: Romanian literature, XVIIIth century, Dimitrie Cantemir, Hieroglyphical History, bestiary, Christian tradition, modern conscience, rationalism.
- Dan Bădărău, Filosofia lui Dimitrie Cantemir / The philosophy of Dimitrie Cantemir, Editura Academiei Republicii Populare Române, Bucureşti, 1964
- Petru Caraman, L’etnographe Cantemir et le folklore du Proche-Orient / Cantemir the ethnographist and the folklore of the Middle East, in „Dacoromania. Jahrbuch füf ösliche latinität”, nr. 2/ 1974, Verlag Karl Alber, Freiburg/ München
- Virgil Cândea, Studiu introductiv / Introductory study at Dimitrie Cantemir, Opere / Works, Vol. I, Editura Academiei Române, Editura Uinvers Enciclpedic, Bucureşti, 2003
- Robert Delort, Animalele şi istoria lor / Animals and their history, Editura Meridiane, Bucureşti, 1993
- Umberto Eco, De la arbore spre labirint. Studii istorice despre semn şi interpretare / From tree to labyrinth. Historical studies on sign and interpretation, Editura Polirom, Iaşi, 2009
- Paul Hazard, Criza conştiinţei europene (1680-1715) / The crisis of the European conscience (1680-1715), Editura Univers, Bucureşti, 1973
- Michel Foucault, Cuvintele şi lucrurile. O arheologie a ştiinţelor umane / Words and things. An archaeology of human sciences, Editura Univers, Bucureşti, 1996