Three Hypostases of the “Bessarabian Refugee”:  Hasdeu, Stere, Moruzi and the Uncertainty of Identity Cover Image
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Three Hypostases of the “Bessarabian Refugee”: Hasdeu, Stere, Moruzi and the Uncertainty of Identity
Three Hypostases of the “Bessarabian Refugee”: Hasdeu, Stere, Moruzi and the Uncertainty of Identity

Author(s): Andrei Cuşco
Subject(s): Cultural history
Published by: Institutul de Cercetări Socio-Umane Gheorghe Şincai al Academiei Române
Keywords: Bessarabian refugee; Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu; Constantin Stere; Dimitrie C. Moruzi; Romanian academic and/or political circles; Romanian bureaucracy; irredentism;; the Russian Empire

Summary/Abstract: The present article will examine the works of three Romanian intellectuals and publicists with a Bessarabian background who have left their mark (in rather different ways) upon the articulation of the Romanian visions of this area: Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu, Constantin Stere and Dimitrie C. Moruzi. The first two achieved prominent positions in the Romanian academic and/or political circles, while the third one languished on the margins of the Romanian bureaucracy, but nevertheless elaborated one of the most poignant and forceful written accounts of the Romanian “irredentist” stance with reference to Bessarabia. The first argument of this essay is that each of these men embodied a certain “stage” in the Romanian “symbolic appropriation” and inclusion of Bessarabia into the “national” body politic. The differences in their “readings” of the place of Bessarabia within the Romanian “national narrative” and of the Russian Empire as the “quintessential Other” are too obvious to ignore and, thus, call for a careful comparison of their views. The author identifies Hasdeu with the “Romantic” period of the “search for origins” and the close interaction of history and philology that was characteristic of the earliest “national awakenings” in the European East. Conversely, Stere remained very much immersed in the populist rhetoric that shaped his experience in Russia and his later political affiliation in Romania. Finally, Moruzi was much closer to a “state-centered” nationalism and at the same time acutely aware of the importance of mass politics in the mobilization of the “nationalist agenda”.

  • Issue Year: 2006
  • Issue No: 08+09
  • Page Range: 104-119
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: English