THE ART OF SWERVING FROM BIOGRAPHY
The essay frames a view on the verging condition of “parabiographies” by running the concept through a short theoretical discussion, followed by two case studies from the recent Romanian literary criticism. We chose Ilina Gregori’s books on Mihai Eminescu (2008) and Emil Cioran (2012), either one projected as a species of parabiography. In both examples provided here, the researcher attempts to overcome the shortcomings of biography by testing its ends, i. e. the ‘posture’ and the ‘imposture’: on the one hand, the information crisis – for Eminescu’s sojourn in Berlin, on the other, the information overload – for Cioran’s sojourn in Paris. With the same means, Ilina Gregori deals with both experiences by implying a larger discussion on photography (whether city panoramas or portraits) and biography. But is it really necessary to reinstall the original links between image and text, between the literary portrait and the visual portrait? What Ilina Gregori discovers is, anyway, the long-standing mishap of either one of them: time after time invalidated and contested on grounds of ‘hybridism’, ‘snapshot’ and ‘life’ also meet at the crossroads betwixt art and craft. It goes without saying that, being ‘from here and from elsewhere’ at the same time, the biographer and the photographer share the same dream and, maybe, suffer the same doom.
Keywords: posture, (im)posture, pilgrim-biographer, oneiro-biography, para-biography, inter- subjectivity.