Romanian letter-writing: a cultural-rhetorical perspective (I)
1Faculty of Letters, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Bd. Carol I 11, 700506 Iași, Romania
2Doctoral School of Philological Studies, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Bd. Carol I 11, 700506 Iași, Romania
Received December 10, 2015
Accepted December 14, 2015
Published February 12, 2016
“The letter is a faithful messenger”
Bernhard Perger, Grammatica Nova, 1485
The paper aims at revealing the cultural and rhetorical features of the Romanian letter-writing by outlining the key stages in the evolution of the letter in Europe and in the Romanian cultural space. In the subsequent ages, the profile of the rhetorical frame that enabled the development of letter-writing was governed by distinct guidelines, from the discursive canons of the Antiquity and the attempts to set out an epistolary theory in the postclassical age or the emergence of the medieval epistolary manuals and of the works of epistolary rhetoric from the Renaissance to the flourishing of private correspondence in the Baroque and the Enlightenment. The natural tendency to adapt the epistolary rhetoric to the idiomatic resources of the vernacular languages spoken in Europe favoured the outset and the advancement of a Romanian epistolary style whose cultural and rhetorical coordinates are sketched in the present article.
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