Acasă Articole RTR Catrinel Popa, New Speak Syndrome in Post-War Romanian Culture (collective traumas &...

Catrinel Popa, New Speak Syndrome in Post-War Romanian Culture (collective traumas & individual therapies


New Speak Syndrome in Post-War Romanian Culture
(collective traumas & individual therapies)

This article analyses some of the main consequences of what I have called the New Speak syndrome in Romanian post-war culture. Focusing, in the first section, on some theoretical aspects of this pathological phenomenon, the paper intends to surpass the common perspective which stresses particularly on New Speak’s rhetorical particularities (propaganda’s clichés and formulae), paying attention also to its effects at a deeper level, that of the collective identity and of the community’s mental pattern. One of the most important consequences of NS’s hegemony in its Romanian version is the fact that it “inspired” some experimentalist prose-writers (such as Radu Cosaşu, Norman Manea or Mircea Nedelciu), in their attempt to creatively reconsider the arbitrary relation between objects, people, names and stories. Apart of deconstructing propaganda’s clichés, these authors invented new games (such as a different relationship with the reader, based on handling the therapeutic resources of irony, cultural memory and intertextuality). Trying to answer the question “Why were (such) books read?”, the final section of the study considers the therapeutic functions of reading, in the context of the so-called “resistance through culture”.
Keywords: New-Speak, resistance through culture, therapy, reading

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