Universitatea „Lucian Blaga” din Sibiu; Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu
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Who’s afraid of Mihai Iovănel? Regimes of Relevance and New Literary Historiography
Abstract: The present article addresses Mihai Iovănel’s recently published History of Contemporary Romanian Literature: 1990- 2020 while pursuing a series of similarities with other contributions to postcommunist national literatures in the Central and Eastern European cultural space, on the one hand, and with previous ways of understanding the concept of literary history, on the other. The article argues that Iovănel’s History is one of the first to assess the importance of the social in the production, study, and national, as well as transnational dissemination of Romanian literature, an emphasis without which the study of literary phenomena risks falling into the blindness of aesthetic autonomy, whose shortcomings are well documented in the book. Lastly, I will argue that Iovănel unwillingly describes several of the most notable shifts in the “regimes of relevance” (Galin Tihanov) that literature has undergone from the communist period to contemporary times.
Keywords: regimes of relevance, literary history, Romanian literature, literary historiography, Mihai Iovănel.
Citation suggestion: Olaru, Ovio. “Who’s afraid of Mihai Iovănel? Regimes of Relevance and New Literary Historiography”. Transilvania, no. 7-8 (2021): 32-44.