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CNAA / Theses / 2009 / June /

Alterity and Identity in Romanian intimate journal

Author: CIOBANU Inga
Degree:doctor of philology
Speciality: 10.01.01 - Romanian Literature
Scientific adviser: Mihai Cimpoi
doctor habilitat, professor, Institute of Philology
Scientific council:


The thesis was presented on the 26 June, 2009
Approved by NCAA on the 1 October, 2009


Adobe PDF document0.29 Mb / in romanian


intimate journal/diary, alterity, identity, diarist, diaristic, paradigm, confession, author, narrator, personage, reader, splitting, difference, I, ego, Another, The other, (auto)portrait, crisis, conflict, mask, face, travesty.


The thesis Alterity and Identity in Romanian intimate journal suggests an innovative interpretation of intimate journal in the frame of identity/alterity concepts.

Theoretical part of the work describes the trace of this terminological couple as well as its implication in the intimate journal. Key concepts are approached from an interdisciplinary perspective by précising the relation identity/alterity and its understanding in the literary context. Also in this part the status and the forms of the intimate journal as a literary genre are revealed. The main accent is put not only on the „structure of existence”, which is specific for this type of texts but also on the epical strategies of identity consolidation. Here are some of these strategies – the creation of an emblematic, exponential personage who doubles into another one hidden with no credit; the play of „voices”/pronouns (I/you/he); (auto) portrait and finally a deliberate multiplication of egos. On non-excluding basis the intervention conforms to two project types of alterity: external alterity (meeting the other/public/lecturer/society) and inner alterity (the dialogue of egos, author’s masks with superposing the author/narrator/personage). As consequence the purely esthetic concern comes at first, showing the author’s aspiration to make literature.

The second part of the work contains a deep practical study of two most interesting journals in Romanian literature. Journal by Mircea Cărtărescu (in two volumes) and Swedish Journal by Gabriela Melinescu (in four volumes) are in fact true acts of diarist premeditation. By relation of the writer to himself, strong temptation for auto contemplation, permanent recreation of the hero in Mircea Cărtărescu’s journal; and the crises for identity, its rebuilding using diarist practice, the substitute of egos, in Gabriela Melinescu’s work, these two journals easily subscribe to alterity paradigm and postmodernism. It appears that the other (ego) coexists with the one who is writing and implicitly is a result of writing process. Thus alterity should be seen not only as a personage related theme but mostly as an author related, going as the conducting principle in the artistic process of creation, right along with the intimate journal investigation and evaluation.