Building a lieu de memoire in Romanian Consciousness: From Sorin Ilieşiu's Documentary "Queen Marie-The Last Romantic, the First Modern Woman" to the Golden Room in Pelişor Castle
In 2018 Romania will celebrate the centenary of the Union of 1918, or the Great Union, when all Romanian provinces united into one state: Great Romania, a national ideal which Romanians strove for and achieved on the battlefield and which the Trianon Treaty of 1920 confirmed. For such a time as this hundredth anniversary, it is only natural to call to mind people who made this ideal come true. Queen Marie is rightly considered one of the artisans of the Great Union, being regarded at the time and afterwards as “the living consciousness of Romanian unity, the symbol of confidence in final victory” (Boia 2001: 208). This article aims to investigate the manner in which the queen’s memory is kept alive, and draws on two distinct attempts to portray the queen: Sorin Ilieşiu’s documentary Queen Marie – The Last Romantic, the First Modern Woman and the Golden Room in Pelişor Castle, Queen Marie’s official residence in Sinaia, the royal resort in the Carpathians. These two attempts illustrate how present-day Romanian society tries to regain parts of a common memory that was purposefully obliterated by the communist regime, and strives to rediscover and remap places of their shared memory. My analysis of Ilieşiu’s portrayal of the queen is circumscribed to the field of social semiotics, mainly to the concepts of “distance”, “angle” and “gaze” which Theo van Leeuwen uses in the visual representation of social actors. In my investigation of memory remapping, I draw on Pierre Nora’s concept “lieu de mémoire” and aim to prove that the Golden Room in Pelişor Castle, a place that reflects the personality of the chatelaine and where the queen symbolically reconnected with her origins, has turned into a realm where Romanians have access to a part of their memory which communism did its best to extirpate.
Allen, J.R. (1897). Early Scandinavian Wood-Carvings. Studio: international art, X (47), 11-20.
Baal-Teshuva, J. (2008). Louis Comfort Tiffany. Hong Kong, Köln, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Paris, Tokyo: Taschen.
Barthes, R. (1977). Image, Music, Text. London: Fontana Press.
Boia, L. (2001). History and Myth in Romanian Consciousness. Budapest: Central University Press.
Caranfil, T. (2008). Dicţionar universal de filme / Universal Dictionary of Films. Bucureşti: Litera Internaţional.
Castleden, R. (2013). The Element Encyclopaedia of the Celts. The ultimate a-z of the symbols, history and spirituality of the legendary Celts. London: Harper Collins Publishers (Kindle Edition).
Chevalier, J., Gheerbrant, A. (2009). Dicţionar de simboluri: mituri, vise, obiceiuri, gesturi, forme, figuri, culori, numere / Dictionary of Symbols: myths, dreams, customs, gestures, forms, colours, numbers. Iaşi: Polirom. (Original work published 1969)
Cirlot, J.E. (2001). A Dictionary of Symbols (J. Sage, Trans.). London: Taylor and Francis e-Library.
Constantin, M. (2007). Palate şi colibe regale din România: arhitectura şi decoraţia interioară în slujba monarhiei / Royal Palaces and Huts in Romania: interior architecture and design in the service of monarchy. Bucureşti: Compania.
Evseev, I. (2001). Dicţionar de simboluri şi arhetipuri culturale / A Dictionary of Symbols and Cultural Archetypes. Timişoara: Amarcord.
Fulger, M., Ilieşiu, S. (2011). O regină cu un colosal potenţial cinematografic (interviu cu Sorin Ilieşiu în Ziarul Astra Film Festival Sibiu, nr. 2, 25 octombrie 2011) / A Queen with a Huge Cinematic Potential (interview with Sorin Ilieşiu in the Newspaper of Astra Film Festival Sibiu, no.2, 25 October 2011). Retrieved January, 11, 2018, from http://www.romaniaregala.ro/jurnal/noul-film-de-lung-metraj-despre-regina-maria-a-romaniei/
Hanson, J. (1998). Decoding Homes and Houses with contributions by Bill Hillier, Hillaire Graham and David Rosenberg. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hentea, C. (2014). Spectacolul propagandei / The Propaganda Spectacle. Bucureşti: Meteor Press.
Hentea, C. (n.d.). Despre istorie şi propagandă în filmul românesc – De la Tudor-ul lui Lucian Bratu, la Aferim-ul lui Radu Jude. Historia / On History and Propaganda in the Romanian Film – From Lucian Bratu’s Tudor to Radu Jude’s Aferim. Historia. Retrieved October, 1, 2017, from https://www.historia.ro/sectiune/general/articol/despre-istorie-si-propaganda-in-filmul-romanesc-de-la-tudor-ul-lui-lucian-bratu-la-aferim-ul-lui-radu-jude
Ilieşiu, S. (2011). Regina Maria: Ultima romantică, prima femeie modernă (film documentar) / Queen Marie: The Last Romantic, the First Modern Woman (documentary film). Available from the You Tube account of the Royal Family of Romania, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1TQdQDlxgE
Inima Reginei Maria la Castelul Pelişor (Comunicat al Casei Regale a României) / Queen Marie’s Heart at Pelişor Castle (Communiqué of the Royal House of Romania). Retrieved August, 10, 2016, from http://www.familiaregala.ro/stiri/articol/inima-reginei-maria-la-castelul-regal-pelisor .
Kuhn, A., Westwell, G. (2012). A Dictionary of Film Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Marcu, I. (n.d.). Filmul istoric românesc şi propaganda. Cazul “MihaiViteazul”. Historia / The Romanian Historical Film and Propaganda. “Mihai Viteazul” Case. Historia. Retrieved October, 1, 2017, from https://www.historia.ro/sectiune/general/articol/filmul-istoric-romanesc-si-propaganda-cazul-mihai-viteazul-1970
Maria, Regina României. (1990). Povestea vieţii mele, vol. 1 / The Story of My Life, Vol. 1. Iaşi: Editura Moldova. (Original work published in 1934)
Niculescu Bran, T. (2015). Regina Maria. Ultima Dorinţă / Queen Marie. The Last Wish. Bucureşti: Humanitas.
Nora, P. (1989). Between Memory and History: Les Lieux de Mémoire. Representations No. 26. Special Issue: Memory and Counter-Memory, 7-24.
Nora, P. (1996). Realms of Memory: rethinking the French past/ under the direction of Pierre Nora (A. Goldhammer, Trans.). New York: Columbia University Press. (Original work published in 1984-1986)
Papu, E. (1974). Protocronismul românesc. Secolul XX, 5-6, 8-11 / Romanian Protochronism. The 20th Century, 5-6, 8-11.
Sterner, G. (1982). Art Nouveau: An Art of Transition – From Individualism to Mass Society. (F.G. Peters, D. Peters, Trans.). New York, London, Toronto, Sydney: Barron’s.
The Gospel of Matthew. Retrieved January, 15, 2018, from http://biblescripture.net/Matthew.html
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol.3.(15th ed.). (2003). Chicago, London, New Delhi, Paris, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica, Micropaedia, Vol.11.(15th ed.). (2003). Chicago, London, New Delhi, Paris, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo: Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
Van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and Practice. New Tools for Critical Discourse Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Verdery, K. (1991). National Ideology under Socialism. Identity and Cultural Politics in Ceauşescu’s Romania. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
a. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
b. Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
c. Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).