“Diacronia” bibliometric database (BDD)

How can one be a European in America?

Publication: Analele Universității din București. Limba și literatura română, LXI, p. 39
Publisher:Editura Universității din Bucureşti
Abstract:The difficulties of defining European identity have always been obvious, given the dimension of conflict that has always shaped interaction between the nations of the continent. Under these terms, it seems that exile of the Europeans on another continent (which is, in most cases, the American one, as privileged place of rebuilding identities) acts as a contrasting substance for revealing the true features of the individual coming from the Old World. Each of the narratives/theories on American culture unfolds, in fact, the European narrator or theorist’s background, identity and difference. In such cases, we are always dealing with a dichotomy, the one that separates Western European perspectives from Eastern European ones. This paper aims to discuss some examples of Romanian exiled writers in America and evaluate the impact of displacement (or re-placement) in their memoirs, journals or theories. The main personalities chosen for this analysis are Matei Călinescu and Virgil Nemoianu, their work embodying a distance from European culture, as well as a struggle to preserve European identity and a certain nostalgic discourse. If exile is a variable that may legitimately trigger a re-evaluation of the relation between a theorist’s biography and work, this paper will attempt to outline possible directions of such an endeavour.
Key words:literary theory, exile, criticism, identity, rewriting, displacement, replacement
Language: English

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