// Constantin Parvulescu and Claudiu Turcuș, “Specters of Europe and Anticommunist Visual Rhetoric in Romanian Film of the Early 1990s”, The Oxford Handbook of Communist Visual Cultures, Edited by Aga Skrodzka, Xiaoning Lu, and Katarzyna Marciniak (2019)
This chapter identifies visions of European identity articulated by the anticommunist propaganda broadcasts of Radio Free Europe Romania (RFER) in the 1980s and traces the way these visions influenced the audiovisual rhetoric of the Romanian cinema of the early 1990s. It examines how RFER listeners envisioned this identity in a context of inner exile and in opposition to the communist system and its legacy. The study presents the political profile of film directors of the 1990s who gave cinematic form to RFER anticommunism. Using the concept of “hauntology,” a psycho-ideological analysis of this cinematic output is provided, with a specific focus on one of the most appreciated films of the immediate post-1989 decade, the 1994 Pepe and Fifi (Dir. Dan Pița).
// Cosmin Borza, “Decommunizing the National Poet. Post-1989 Reading of Eminescu, Botev, and Petőfi”, in Primerjalna književnost, 42. 2 (2019): 173-191
This article attempts to explain why de-mythicizing—and not mythicizing—the institution of the “national poet” illustrates more closely and more deeply the ideological, cultural and identity-related changes in post-communist East-Central Europe. As for the case studies, I have chosen the critical reception of Mihai Eminescu, Hristo Botev, and Sándor Petőfi, precisely because the aforementioned phenomenon is more frequent in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary, whose self-portrayals in terms of identity are profoundly indebted to the East-West binary opposition. In order to demonstrate that de-mythicizing the national poet occurs predominantly after 1989, I analyze a series of critical and imagistic reconsiderations of Eminescu, Botev, and Petőfi, brought about by the fact that anti-communist, pro-Western intellectual elites regarded the cult of the national poet as a symptom of cultural and ideological backwardness, typical for the ‘uncivilized’ East, scarred as it was by the trauma of national communism.
Thus, it has become evident that breaking away from the Eminescu/Botev/Petőfi national myth is part of a larger decommunizing tendency, tributary to the capitalist transition.
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