Universitatea din Craiova
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9 / 2015
„Biedermeier Romanticism” in the Studies on Eminescu.
Converting a Comparative Literature Concept to Eminescology
The aim of the paper is to analyse how a concept initially defined in the studies of the history of the German literature and of comparative literature was imported after 1989 by the Romanian literary critics and made suitable for the history of the Romanian literature and for the studies focusing on Eminescu. Even before the translation into Romanian of the main bibliographical source (The Taming of Romanticism by Virgil Nemoianu), the concept had been used by Nicolae Manolescu in the first volume of the Critical History of the Romanian Literature and enthusiastically adopted by the local community of exegetes, as an ideal solution to overcome the complexes of the Romanian Romanticism of being behind the time as compared to its Western counterpart. No sooner had the concept been used in analytical endeavours of a monographic type, than it proved difficult to be match the existing methodology. We shall analyse some of the most important studies on Eminescu published in the past 25 years (a first monograph, authored by Caius Dobrescu, but also chapters on Eminescu of two histories of the Romanian literature by Mihai Zamfir and Nicolae Manolescu), in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the concept in describing the mentality of the time and in reformulating some value judgements, but also the risks of inadequacy triggered by the difference between the outlooks of the comparative literature and of the history of a national literature.
Keywords: Biedermeier Romanticism, High Romanticism, comparative literature, imagology, monographic study, aesthetic literary critics, eminescology
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