1. The Romanian Quest for Identity: Culture-bound Storytelling and Postcolonialism
1.1. Identity versus Identification in Narrative Reporting on National Feeling
In the borderlands of Western civilization, particularly in Eastern Europe, an unlikely relationship is recorded in the language of public narratives. The literary language and some of the stories it conveys are a testimonial to the association that develops between the notions of ‘postcolonialism’ and the making of nations. The ‘culture-bound’ character of such meanings has everything to do with the attempt to assert the separate and continuous existence of peculiar properties defining, for instance, the Romanian identity. Now and again, the narrative negotiation between the demands for a national self, tailored to local desires, and the heritage of a global, essentially, colonial past surfaces in the national ,selfidentification of post-colonial1 modern literary cultures.
Nationalism itself is associated with the values of a peculiar worldview, manifest in a characteristic behaviour. Ironically, this is quite appropriate from the perspective of various strands of nationalism studies2 that suspect the rhetoric of nationalism of being self-serving rather than self-sacrificing. It is safe to say that, functionally, the conduct prescribed by devotion to one’s country is strangely similar to other learnt behaviours. Nonetheless, the worldview of a culture or another is restricted to some meaningful values and beliefs that shape easily recognisable public discourses and even social agency. Everything makes sense when employed to help with a pervasive question, always around since the advent of the “modern Europe of nations” (Dainotto, 2007: 139). This viral question goes right...
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