“NATIONAL DESIRE” AND DEDICATED LIFE IN 19TH CENTURY BIOGRAPHIES
The first series of “exemplary” biographies from the Romanian literature was published in the second half of the 19th century. On behalf of a nationalist teaching, these writings used to picture lives that were propelled by mere “national desire”. However, since our point here is not to retrieve this sort of “passion” within a nationalist context, we shall try – while holding Max Weber’s theory from The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism and especially Judith Schlanger’s ideas on the topic of vocation – to follow its line, all along with a process that might be properly called “democratisation of vocation”, and which actually furrows the whole modernity. In doing that, we shall maintain a threefold perspective on such “inspired” lives: the first is encouraged by reclusion; the second comes with the assumption of a distinct profession; the third develops on the enhancement of Self and on the assumption of its unaltered singularity. Among these three types, we chose to inquire into the specific ways in which “national desire” articulates the coordinates of an “inspired” destiny.
Keywords: Romanian literature, literary biographies, nationalism, vocation, creative singularity.