Textual Transpositions and Identity Games in I.L. Caragiale’s Late Writings Cover Image

Textual Transpositions and Identity Games in I.L. Caragiale’s Late Writings
Textual Transpositions and Identity Games in I.L. Caragiale’s Late Writings

Author(s): Doris Mironescu
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Editura Alfa
Keywords: cultural identity; irony; ambivalence; Balkan literature; textual transposition

Summary/Abstract: In his late prose written in his Berlin years, Caragiale uses frequently pastiche and parody, writes memoir-like prose, tales and anecdotes. This new orientation in his work echoes a persistent identitary interogation, in the context of a consecration of his literary stature in Romania around 1910. This paper addresses the texts that fit into the category of “textual transposition”, adaptations and localisation of foreign prose pieces. They are all made to reference life in the Orient, providing Caragiale’s work with a solid Balkanic dimension. It all has to do with the situation of the textual transposition as inviting a “stranger”’s gaze to familiar realities and with Caragiale’s own need to diversify his literary interests in the last period of creation. But this does not qualify as a straightforward definition of national identity. Caragiale discusses identity in ironic, tale-like novellas such as First-Class Pastrami, Abu Hassan, Kir Ianulea, and exposes it as an ambiguous construct, at the same time exotic and familiar, pleasurable and evil. Cultural identity is seen as ambivalent and complex, illustrated by necessity through a resourceful, ironic, non-militant literary prose.

  • Issue Year: VIII/2012
  • Issue No: 2 (16)
  • Page Range: 101-110
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English