Adriana STAN, Claudiu TURCUȘ
Sextil Pușcariu Institute of Linguistics and Literary History, Romanian Academy
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Geographies of Capitalism in Romanian Postcommunist Literature and Film: Villages, Cities, Markets
Abstract: This article analyses the ways in which the rural – understood in its double nature, of traditional mythological space, and of degraded periphery of the urban – was both instrumentalized by the cultural and political discourses within Romanian postcommunism, and revealed as a symptomatic field in which the harsh economic realities of the post-1989 implementation of neoliberal capitalism in Eastern Europe became evident. The first part of the article describes how misplaced public policies during 1980s’ communism favoured the underdevelopment of the rural. Later, the process of transition encouraged both external migration, which depopulated Romanian villages, and the internal migration of the urban middle-class to an economically more secure rural area. The second part of the article analyses – from a materialist viewpoint – corresponding topics developed in Romanian contemporary literature and films (authored by Adrian Șchiop, Lavinia Braniște, Bogdan Mirică, and Radu Muntean). These works envision the rural/periurban as an asymmetrical geography, where violence toward the vulnerable is enacted, where the loss of community values leaves black markets flourish, and the capitalist dismantling of social ties becomes striking.
Keywords: ruralism, peripheral geography, Romanian transition, anticommunism, postcommunist capitalism.
Citation suggestion: Stan, Adriana, and Turcuș, Claudiu. “Geographies of Capitalism in Romanian Postcommunist Literature and Film: Villages, Cities, Markets.” Transilvania, no. 5 (2022): 90-94. https://doi.org/10.51391/trva.2022.05.12.
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