Academia Română, Institutul de Lingvistică și Istorie Literară „Sextil Pușcariu”, Cluj-Napoca
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11 / 2018
Monica Lovinescu as a Child within the “Sburătorul” Literary Circle
Widely known for its firm and radical anti-communist standing as well as for its famous radio program Theses and Antitheses (“Teze și antiteze”) broadcast by Radio Free Europe, Monica Lovinescu (1923-2008) was also the only daughter of the Romanian critic E. Lovinescu, who raised her from her early childhood within the literary circle he used to host in his house. In fact, the members of this literary circle had stood by Monica Lovinescu from her birth to 1943 (when E. Lovinescu, her father and the circle’s amphitryon died). At that time, the daughter had turned 20. Apparently, Monica Lovinescu provides the Romanian literature with an unusual situation — quite scarce, in fact — that might be resembled to Marie Nodier’s, the host’s daughter in the “Arsenal” literary environment. It is, briefly put, the situation of a child “raised” by an entire literary circle (l’enfant de cenacle). Indeed, taking into consideration that the circle’s activities were taking place in the flat of Lovinescu family, one can imagine that the little girl had toddled and grew up among these people. Her favorite game was “playing-the-literary-circle” and, when she began “writing” literature at 5 — before even learning the alphabet — she did it as a game inspired from the adults’ life. Due to this childhood circumstance, her writing has remained highly dependent on the loud-voice readings and, in all likelihood, circumscribed to an infantile spirit, the spirit of a literature that is “played”, thus never assumed entirely. At the same time, the influence does not seem to be unilateral. Not only did the child build herself in a special way due to the circle’s environment, but also the form of sociability re-shaped itself in order to integrate her presence. The writers developed various behaviors, attitudes, and postures in relationship with this “small” presence, investing their efforts in shared activities. Finally, the members of the “Sburătorul” literary circle delivered a circumstantial literature, which has Monica as main subject and object: a literature “for Monica” (dedicated to her) as well as a literature “with Monica”.
Keywords: literary sociability, Sburătorul, Monica Lovinescu, E. Lovinescu, Marie Nodier, circumstantial literature.