Hayduk novels in the nineteenth-century Romanian fiction: notes on a sub-genre

Keywords: hajduk; folk ballads; novel sub-genre; corpus analysis; dissolution of epicness; mass literature.


In the context of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Romanian literature, hajduk novels and hajduk short fiction (novella, short-story, tale) are called to bring back  a lost “epicness,” to give back the hajduks their lost aura. But why did the Romanian readers need this remix? Was it for ideological reasons? Did the growing female readership influence the  affluence of hajduk fiction? Could the hajduk novels have supplied the default of other important fiction sub-genres such as children or teenage literature? The present article supports the idea that, as a distinct fiction sub-genre, the hajduk novels convey a modern lifestyle, attached to new values such as the disengagement from material objects, the democratization of access to luxury goods and commodities, and the mobility of social classes. Clothing, leisure, eating/ drinking/ sleeping/ hygiene, work, military and forest/ nomad life, and ritual items that are mentioned in these novels can help us correlate the technical tendencies reflected in the making of objects to a particular ethnicity (Romanian).

Author Biography

Roxana Patraș, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, Romania

Roxana Patras, PhD in Philology (2012), is a Senior Researcher (Cercetător Ştiinţific II) at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iași. Books: Cântece dinaintea Decadenţei. A.C. Swinburne şi declinul Occidentului (2013); Spaţii eminesciene. Studii de poetică şi stilistică (2017), The Remains of the Day: Literature and Political Eloquence in 19th–century Romania (2018). Scholarly editions: G. Ibrăileanu, Scrieri alese (2010); Oratorie politică românească (1847-1899), 3 vol. (2016). Author of over 200 book chapters, articles, reviews, essays, and conference papers. Co-editor of the PHSS Proceedings (2014-2018). Research areas: history of literature, literary theory, rhetoric, cultural studies. Domains of interest: 19th-century (European) contexts, Romanian literature, history of ideas. Contact: roxana.patras@uaic.ro.


Agoston Nikolova, E. (2010). Shifting Images of the Bulgarian Haiduti. In Marcel Cornis-Pope & John Neubauer (eds.), History of the Literary Cultures of East-central Europe, vol. 4. Types and stereotypes (pp. 457-460). Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins. https://doi.org/10.1075/chlel.xxv.39ago

Alecsandri, V. (1855). Ballades et chants populaires de la Roumanie (Principautés danubiennes) / Folk Ballads and Songs of Romania (The Danube Principalities). Paris : E. Dentu.

Barbu, M., Verginica et alii (2017). Corpus of Contemporary Romanian. Architecture, Annotation Levels and Analysis Tools. In Helga Bogdan Oprea et alii (eds.), Lingvistică românească, lingvistică Romanică (pp. 13-20). Bucharest: Editura Universității din București.

Barbu, E. (1974). Prefaţă. In Jienii. Teatru popular haiducesc/ Jienii. Folk Hajduk Theater (pp. V-XVIII). Edited by Horia Barbu Oprişan. Bucharest: Minerva.

Barbu, M. (2003). Romanul de mistere în literatura română/ City Mysteries in the Romanian Literature. Craiova: Fundatia Scrisul românesc.

Bogdan, G. (2011). Memory, Identity, Typology: An Interdisciplinary Reconstruction of Vlach Ethnohistory. MA Thesis. British Columbia: University of British Columbia. https://doi.org/10.24124/2011/bpgub802

Bozanich, S. (2017). Masculinity and Mobilised Folklore: The Image of the Hajduk in the Creation of the Modern Serbian Warrior. MA Thesis. University of Victoria.

Bracewell, W. (2003). The Proud Name of Hajduks: Bandits as Ambiguous Heroes in Balkan Politics and Culture. In Norman M. Naimark and Holly Case (eds.), Yugoslavia And Its Historians. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.

Brooks, P. (1995). The Melodramatic Imagination: Balzac, Henry James, Melodrama, and the Mode of Excess, Yale: Yale UP.

Chodzko, A. (1879). Les chants populaires de l’Ukraine/ Folk Songs of Ukraine. Paris : Ernest Leroux.

Coşbuc, G. (1960). Baladele poporale (1903) / Folk Ballads (1903). In Despre literatură şi limbă/ On Literature and Language (p. 225-232). Bucharest: ESPLA.

Delavrancea, B.Șt. (1963). Din estetica poeziei poporale / From the Aesthetics of the Folk Poetry(1913). In Despre literatură şi artă/ On Literature and Art (p. 164-189). Bucharest: EPL.

Dicționarul cronologic al romanului românesc / The Chronological Dictionary of the Romanian Novel (2003). Vol. 1. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române.

Dicționarul romanului românesc tradus / The Chronological Dictionary of the Novel Translations into Romanian (2005). Vol. 1. Bucharest: Editura Academiei Române.

D'Orfer, L. (1918). L'Épopée serbe/ The Serbian Epic. Paris : F. Rouff.

Dozon, A. (1875). Chansons populaires bulgares inédites/ Unpublished Bulgarian Folk Songs. Paris : Maisonneuve et Cie.

Drăgan, I. (2001). Romanul popular in România. Literar si paraliterar/ The Popular Novel in Romania. Literary and Para-literary. Cluj: Casa Cartii de Stiinta.

Eder, M. et alii (2016). Stylometry with R: a package for computational text analysis. In R Journal, 8, 1 (p.107–121). https://doi.org/10.32614/rj-2016-007

Fauriel, C. (1824). Chants populaires de la Grèce moderne, recueillis et publiés avec une traduction française, des éclaircissements et des notes / Folk Songs of the Modern Greece, gathered and published with a French translation, clarifications and notes. Paris : Firmin Didot.

Gârleanu, S.I (1969). Haiducie şi haiduci/ Hajduks and Hajduk-Life. Bucharest: Editura enciclopedică română.

Gheţie, Ion, Al. Mareş (2001). De când se scrie româneşte?/ When Did the Romanians Start Writing Romanian? Bucharest : Univers Enciclopedic.

Hobsbawm, E. (1959). Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic forms of Social Movements in the 19th and 20th Century. New York: Norton.

Hobsbawm, E. (1972). Social Bandits: Reply. In Comparative Studies in Society and History, Volume 14, Issue 4, September 1972, p. 503-505. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0010417500006836

Jockers, M. (2013). Macroanalysis. Digital methods and literary history. Urbana. Chicago and Springfield: University of Illinois Press. https://doi.org/10.5406/illinois/9780252037528.001.0001

Karadzic, V. (1834). Chants populaires des Serviens / Serbian Folk Songs. Paris : J. Albert Mercklein,

Koliopoulos, J.S. (1987). Brigands with a cause: brigandage and irredentism in modern Greece, 1821-1912. London & New York: Claredon Press.

Mancaş, Mihaela (2005). Limbajul artistic românesc modern. Schiţă de evoluţie / The Artistic Romanian Language. A Sketch for Evolution. Bucharest: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti.

Oskar G. (2017). Social Bandistry, Myth and Historical Reality. Conceptualizing Contemporary Albanian Organized Crime against the Hajduks. MA dissertation. Lund: Lund University.

Pană-Dindelegan, G. (ed.) (2016). The Syntax of Old Romanian. Oxford: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712350.001.0001

Papadima, O. (1968). Literatura populară română. Din istoria şi poetica ei / Romanian Folk Literature. From Its History and Poetics. Bucharest: EPL.

Papahagi, T. (1967). Poezia lirică populară/ The Folk Lyric. Bucharest: EPL.

Popa, I. (2014). Regii romanelor de zece sfanţi: lucrare de arheologie literară în domeniul literaturii române de mistere din publicaţiile periodice ale secolului al XIX-lea / The Kings of the Twopence Novels: a research of literary archeology in the field of nineteenth-century Romanian literature. Bucharest: Betta.

Schöch, C. (2017). Topic Modeling Genre: An Exploration of French Classical and Enlightenment Drama. In Digital Humanities Quarterly 11, no. 2 (p. 1-53.

Teodorescu, G.D. (1985). Poezii populare române / Romanian Folk Poems. Vol. 1, 2, 3. Bucharest : Minerva.

Tufiș, D. (2018). CoRoLa Primul corpus computațional de referință pentru limba română contemporană / CoRoLa, the first computational reference corpus for contemporary Romanian. In Market Watch (p. 28-29), no. 205, June 2018.

How to Cite
Patraș, R. (2019). Hayduk novels in the nineteenth-century Romanian fiction: notes on a sub-genre. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 2(1), 24-33. https://doi.org/10.35824/sjrs.v2i1.18769