BIOGRAPHY AND CONFESSION LITERATURE IN THE POSTCOMMUNIST PERIOD
The vogue of confession literature after 1990 in Romania made us hope in the revitalization of biography as a privileged species of literary history. However, the rehabilitation process is much slower than what one might expect. There exists a stimulating Romanian tradition, its main benchmark being G. Călinescu’s Life of Mihai Eminescu, published in 1932, a model of this genre. In the communist period there are numerous examples of biographies written by literary historians from the Second World War generation, such as Adrian Marino. Biography was undercut in the 1970s, when the new, westernized critics saw it in a limitative and derogatory manner, as mere “factology”, documentation work lacking the only thing which could express the creative subjectivity of a modern and European critic, is personal interpretation. The reason was the confusion between biographical criticism, which sometimes abusively explained an author’s work through his or her life, and biography as a species of the epic genre, narrating the life of an exceptional character. After 1990, we felt that moral portraits of writers were more necessary than ever, especially those from the communist period. For that reason, the biographies in the last 20 years have had a more pronounced ethical and political focus that in the previous period. This tendency towards a moral and ideological exam is most specific to biography in the new Romanian literary history.
Keywords:biography, autobiography, aesthetic criticism, moral portrait, political criterion.