The case of the Romanian patriarchal literature

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Social Sciences

Year: 2022



The case of the Romanian patriarchal literature

Valeriu Mihai Pănoiu



The concept of collective authority applies to the medieval and premodern ages, with writers as spokesmen of the social movements and mentalities.  First of all, the medieval and premodern man was the member of a group and never ceased to be a member of that group (Fromm). The prefaces, genuine poetic arts in the past literary centuries, convey a contract between the author and the virtual/real reader, asking for Grice’s cooperative principle. The relationship between the author and the reader goes beyond the reading contract, reaching a transfer of authority between the two parties. This study is based on a corpus of prefaces in the Romanian literature of the 16th – 18th centuries in order to propose an authority model in critical thinking and literary theory. We dare to trespass Genette’s paratextuality and we focus on the above-mentioned prefaces as constitutive parts of the main text, having a rhetorical function as exordium. Furthermore, we claim that literary prefaces were used as authority strategies, becoming argumentative texts specific to a patriarchal literature. The author embodies the Father figure (Kojève) eager to impose his authority upon his reader, as a voice of his master (ruler/king), who is, in turn, the representative of the divine authority. Intentionality would accompany the artistic value of a literary work, highlighted by Bakhtin’s dialogism. In a bivocal or polyvocal narrative, an author would also be a collective author addressing a collective reader in a discourse where mental spaces meet authority as a cognitive schema.

keywords: cognitive, literary theory, narrative, preface, writing .