PhD Candidate Institutul de Istorie „George Bariţiu” al Academiei Române – filiala Cluj-Napoca “George Bariţiu” Institute of History, Romanian Academy – Cluj-Napoca Branch
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10-11 / 2014
The Encyclopaedia of Romania as a political propaganda mechanism.
Cezar Petrescu about the “Savior” of Romania
The aim of this paper is to “contextualize” the contribution of Cezar Petrescu to the first volume of Encyclopaedia of Romania. In the chapter entitled The Reign of Carol 2nd, Petrescu tried to emphasize the positive aspects of the reforms implemented by the Romanian king until 1938, in domains such as education, administration, the development and the research of the rural side or the strengthen of the defensive capacities of Romania. Despite the propagandistic sides of this demarche, the issues approached by Petrescu were, in fact, previous concerns in his journalistic activity. The overcrowding of the universities, the intellectual unemployment (which he used to call “university dumping”) or the underdevelopment of the Romanian village (as depicted in many of his novels) proved to be the symptoms of an inert society. From the point of view of the “intellectual deontology”, Cezar Petrescu failed to remain an equidistant observer. In fact, as director of the daily newspaper Romania, he played an important role in sustaining the dictatorial regime of Carol 2nd. But, if it is to compare him with some other intellectuals, Petrescu remains one of those who – interested or not – believed that Carol 2nd could have represented a new way for the Romanian society.
Keywords: Cezar Petrescu, Encyclopaedia of Romania, propaganda, the reign of Carol 2nd, intellectual unemployment, Romanian youth
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