Universitatea „Babeș-Bolyai” din Cluj Napoca, Facultatea de Teatru și Televiziune
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The “Human Resources” of the Socialist Censorship. From Bureaucracy to Psychobiographies
Part of a larger research project dedicated to the study of censorship in Romania during communist regime, the present article focuses on the “human resources” mobilized by the political power between 1949 and 1977 and active within an institution specialized in censorship in literature, arts and media: the General Directorate for Press and Print (Direcţia Generală a Presei şi Tipăriturilor, DGPT) and, with a changed name beginning with 1975, the Committee for Press and Print (Comitetul pentru Presă și Tipărituri, CPT). Obviously, there is no censorship without censors. Assuming his/her role in an impersonal manner, the censor should ideally be a transparent medium (Thomas Schlesser) through which the objectives of the party-state are accurately transmitted and applied. In reality, the censor carries all the vices of this profession. Detested by most, although admired by others, the censors were fearsome persons. Abstract bureaucrats condemned to remain anonymous while working in the proximity of celebrity, the censors were self-sufficient and arrogant. Highly intolerant and reluctant, as the job description requires, they had a cynical– or indifferent, at best – approach towards the destructive effect of their work. What is more is that by intervening politically in the artwork by correcting it, some censors were convinced, with an incredible vanity, that they participate to the act of creation. Incurable flunkies, they had, however, a strong team spirit. People’s hatred against them was equal only to the hate they have against people. There were only a few who assisted to the birth of this “institution” of censorship, but there were none to regret its disappearance. Like any other “identity kits”, the portrait sketched in this essay hides in itself a history and tries to compress a typology, both of them remade after a long search and research in the dust of the archives.
Keywords: Romanian culture, Communism, Censorship, Political surveillance, Socialist bureaucracy. Romanian National Archives.