Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu
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Liviu Rebreanu and Sofia Nădejde as World Literature: Geopolitics, Inter-imperiality, and the Discovery of the World in the Modern Novel
Abstract: The article analyzes the way in which explicit inter-imperial debates are incorporated through narrative discourse and characters’ discourse in two Romanian novels. Drawing on Anca Parvulescu and Manuela Boatcă’s recently published book Creolizing the Modern: Transylvania across Empires (Cornell University Press, 2022), Baghiu re-reads Liviu Rebreanu’s 1920 Ion and Sofia Nădejde’s 1903 Patimi in a world system frame. The analysis shows that Liviu Rebreanu’s novel features a form of static inter-imperiality, while Sofia Nădejde’s novel engages forms of exploratory inter-imperiality. This is due to the fact that Sofia Nădejde’s novel is set in Moldavia, a region of Romania that lies precisely at the intersection of the Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman, and Tsarist empires, while Rebreanu’s novel is set in Transylvania, a region that can be read in both inter-imperial and intra-imperial keys (since it is very dependent on the Austro-Hungarian empire). The two models show that the first feminist novel in Romanian literature is also an exploratory inter-imperial novel (Patimi), while the first modernist novel is a static inter-imperial novel (Ion).
Keywords: static inter-imperiality, exploratory inter-imperiality, Romanian literature, modern novel, Sofia Nădejde, Liviu Rebreanu.
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