The bodily community. The gesture and the rhythm as manners of the living-together

  • Maricica Munteanu The “A. Philippide” Institute of Romanian Philology, Iasi, Romania
Keywords: bodily community, space-in-common, gesture, rhythm, Viața românească


The present article explores the collective imaginary of the cenacle, referring to the case of Viața românească literary group from Iași, focussing on the bodily community and its representations in the common space, understood as space-in-common. This approach shifts the interest from the ideological component that is the ‘poporanism’, as promoted by Viața românească revue, to the ethical and social aspects of the community. This does not mean that the bodily community is “more real” than the ideological community, or that it translates with fidelity the common practices of the cenacle; the bodily community is in fact another form of representation, a phantasm of the living-together, analysed through Roland Barthes’s theory as the space where solitude and sociability coexist. The corporal representations of the community, always engaged in an ethical debate, is further discussed through two manners of the living-together: the gesture and the rhythm. The theoretical reference of this analysis is Marielle Macéʼs book Styles. Critique de nos formes de vie, which proposes a formal approach of life, concentrating on the ethical implications. The issues derived from this sort of reading state the relation between the body and the environment, the vicinities and the somatic interactions between the members of the cenacle, the adjustment of distances, and the maintenance of solitude inside the community. The gestures, attitudes, behaviour, verbal and non-verbal tics, clothing, the manners of speech or the rhythm of doing certain things are seen not as marks of personal identity that positions itself inside the spaces of power, but as collective signs, as form of encounter and interaction, of exposure to the others but also responsiveness of the others, of expropriation as well as appropriation, of affirmation as well as alteration of the forms of life.

Author Biography

Maricica Munteanu, The “A. Philippide” Institute of Romanian Philology, Iasi, Romania

Maricica Munteanu is a PhD. Scientific Researcher (CS) in the Department of Literary History at the “A. Philippide” Institute of Romanian Philology in Iași, Romania. In 2018, she completed her PhD studies at “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University Iași, with a thesis entitled Representations of Space and Community in the Literature of Viața românească Group, with the distinction Summa cum laudae. Her research interests include cultural studies, Romanian literary history, literary geography, cultural memory, and literary communities. More specifically, her works examine different ways of representing marginality in literature, the local identities, the spatial and collective imaginary of literary groups, the forms of sociability and their impact on the creativity process. She has published multiple articles in academic journals and volumes: How style makes space. Reflections on the forms of life in the literature of Viaţa românească circle („Dacoromania litteraria” 2017), Oppressive marginality: the place stereotype and the spaces of collection in the literature of Moldavian writers (SJRS 2018), The Writing in Common: Ionel Teodoreanu and Ștefana Velisar Teodoreanu („Transilvania” 2016), Urban Revolutions, Peripheral Counter-Revolutions. Representations of Province in the Literature of Viața Românească Circle (Revolutions. The Archeology of Change 2018), The Space of Iași: provincial capital, mental map”, lieu de mémoire (Romanian Memorialist Writings: between historic document and aesthetic object 2017). In the present, she contributes with articles at the project of the Romanian Academy, General Dictionary of Romanian Literature, 2nd edition (DGLR).


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How to Cite
Munteanu, M. (2019). The bodily community. The gesture and the rhythm as manners of the living-together. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 2(1), 10-23.