Emanuel Lupascu (Babeș-Bolyai University)


Emanuel Lupașcu (b. 1999, Onești, Romania) is a MA student at the Faculty of Letters, Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He was awarded by the Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology – STAR-UBB Institute – an institute of excellence from Babeș-Bolyai University, with a research grant on the topic of posthumanism in contemporary Romanian criticism and poetry. He contributed to the volume “Doina Ruști. Lumi, istorii, combinații simbolice” (2022) and he has published a series of articles and reviews for “Transilvania”, “Transylvanian Review”, “Studia Philologia”, “Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory”, “Lucian Blaga Yearbook”, “Buletinul Sesiunii Studenților e Masteranzilor Filologi”, “Poesis international”, “Echinox”, “Vatra”, “OPT motive”.


Seeking Wholeness: Nostalgia, Psychoanalysis, and Metamodernism in Mircea Cărtărescu’s Fiction

Among the responses given in recent decades to the crisis of the postmodern paradigm, the concept of metamodernism, in its balance between modernist aesthetics and ideology and postmodern devices, has gained momentum. However, studies dwellling on the respective notion have often bypassed the asymmetrical developments of core and (semi-)peripheral cultures and the unequal exchanges between literary systems. Romanian literary culture is symptomatic in this respect of exposing the limits of metamodernism, which is supposed to have followed an apparently completed, but still controversial postmodernism. In describing the ideological-cultural hybrids of the post-postmodernist era in Romanian literature, one could recall the famous concept of “in-between peripherality” elaborated by Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek (1998). If one acknowledges that postmodernism’s artistic consciousness was shaped by the demise of metanarratives (Lyotard, 1979), and in the wake of “weak” thinking (Vattimo, 1985), the case of the Romanian culture illustrates a paradox: despite employing formal devices borrowed from the North-American literature (especially from Beat poetry and postmodern fiction), Romanian postmodern writers remain committed to a “hard” episteme and to a metanarrative in which their fictional universe is deeply rooted. In this paper I explore the applicability of metamodernism on the work of renowned Romanian postmodern writer, Mircea Cărtărescu. His Nostalgia paves a distinct way for Romanian Postmodernism through the use of psychoanalytic mythology and its obsession with the Mallarméan Book. One subsequent goal of my paper is to relate the notion of metamodern nostalgia to concepts of “retromania” (Reynolds, 2011) and capitalist realism (Fisher, 2009), as I argue that nostalgia is the matrix that generates the combinatorial possibilities of both modernism and postmodernism.