Universitatea „Transilvania” din Braşov, Facultatea de Litere “Transylvania” University of Brasov, Faculty of Letters
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9 / 2014
Eugen Simion – between the uncertainty of the Guelph and the melancholy of the Ghibelline
The distinction Guelph vs. Ghibelline made by Roland Barthes, frequently invoked by Eugen Simion, could be considered a metaphor of the work of literary criticism carried out by the second one. Just like a Solar, Apollonian Guelph, with the building, valuing and hierarchy vocation, E. Simion begins his critical path with well documented, analytical and descriptive studies, professorial even, whether they are about the monographs dedicated to M. Eminescu and E. Lovinescu, or they are oriented towards the postwar literature, to the canonization of which he contributed. In the volumes preceding “Time to Live, Time to Confess”, the critic is searching for a theme which is comprehensive enough to allow him to be both objective and subjective, methodical and pert, voluble and friendly. With the volume “The Parisian Journal”, he finds his own theme – the biographical, “the death of the author”, and thus becomes a Ghibelline – bound to the concrete, the materiality of the world, to the show of the individuality and even to pleasure (reading including). But the reveries and the melancholy of the Ghibelline have not replaced, only competed with the Guelph certainties. Although “Time to Live, Time to Confess” is not only his most friendly and vivid book, but also the most read and appreciated by colleagues, its author has not only persevered on the path opened by discovering his own “creative spirit figure”, but has also continued to write academic literary criticism as well, in an attempt to carry both the Guelph and Ghibelline’s battles. This fight on two fronts deprived the Ghibelline intuitions of the exclusive attention it would have deserved.
Keywords: postwar literary criticism, axiological perspective, lovinescianism, calinescianism, thematism, critical revisionism, intimism, literary canon.
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