Romanian Literature

By | February 5, 2022

Romanian literature. Written Romanian literature was preceded by extensive folk poetry with a variety of genres: the poetry of love and lament, v. a. Doină, as well as the epic ballad (Miorița), in which motifs from pastoral life or history are processed.

Satirical, religious and magical poetry and fairy tales were also richly developed. All Romanian literature has remained rooted in this living tradition up to the present day.

Two main periods can be distinguished in the development of Romanian literature: While the older period shows a close connection with the Byzantine, South Slavic and Polish cultural worlds, the modern period beginning at the beginning of the 19th century took place, which was made possible by the union of the principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia (1862) got new impulses, the decisive turn to the west, v. a. to French culture.

Ancient Romanian Literature (1500-1780)

According to Carswers, the actual literature began in the 16th century: The oldest Romanian document is a letter from the boyar Neacșu from 1521. However, the old predominance of Slavic in church and administration counteracted the growing endeavors to use the vernacular. The socio-political changes (promotion of the small nobility by the central power; growth of the city population) in connection with denominational impulses, v. a. The influence of the Lutheran reform movement emanating from Transylvania contributed to the emergence of the first more sophisticated writings in the Romanian language. They were translations of ecclesiastical texts, three psalteries and a book of Acts. The establishment of printing presses in Transylvania and in the principalities encouraged translation work. In Kronstadt (heuite Braşov) printed D. Coresi u. A. the Lutheran catechism and the four gospels.

For the training of the Romanian literary language v. a. the first complete translation of the Bible (Bucharest 1688) written on behalf of Prince Șerban Cantacuzino (1678–88) is significant. The popular books were widespread. B. the Alexander story “Alexandria”.

The late bloom, the stories like “A Thousand and One Nights”, “Barlaam and Josaphat” and others, all kinds of dream and prophecy books, astrological writings and others. experienced by the Romanians is seen as an extension of the Western European Middle Ages.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Romanian language was increasingly used in all branches of literature. However, only a few works have literary character in the narrower sense, e. B. the sermons (1643) of Varlaam (* around 1590, † 1657) and the verse psalms of Metropolitan Dosoftei (* 1624, † 1693) of 1673.

The climax of Old Romanian literature, however, is formed by the writings of the Moldovan chroniclers G. Ureche, M. Costin and I. Neculce, which were created under the influence of Polish humanism.

An important historiography developed in Muntenia, also in the 17th century. Its main representative is Constantin Cantacuzino (* around 1640, † 1716).

The Moldovan Prince D. Cantemir, who lived in Constantinople for a long time, but later – after a short reign in Moldova – found asylum in Russia as a friend and advisor to Peter I, the Great, was on a par with the Western spirit of his time. The versatile scholar Cantemir used Romanian only irregularly, but his works in Romanian, v. a. the political pamphlet “Istoria ieroglifică” (1705), encoded as an animal fable, nevertheless occupy a unique position.

Premodern (1780-1830)

This transition period is considered to be a time of accelerated spiritual change. The developing awareness of nationality and latinism emerged in the enlightenment, historical and philological work of the Transylvanian School with the center in Blaj; the introduction of the Latin alphabet instead of the Cyrillic was important. One of these Transylvanian scholars, I. Budai-Deleanu, also created an important poetic work, the comical-satirical gypsy epic »Țiganiada« (published 1875–77). A little later, new ideas also spread beyond the Carpathian Mountains, where the otherwise less popular Phanariotes proved to be mediators. The influence of Greek and Italian literature was replaced by a clear orientation towards France. Classical literature as well as the ideas of the Enlightenment and Revolution served as models.

Romanian Literature