For the sake of a liberalized Romanian culture! What about an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary canon instead of the isolated monopolies with a subscription to the state budget?




canon; canonicity; interdisciplinarity; transdisciplinarity; posthumanism; Romanian literature;


Fake canonizations are prevalent in the former communist countries wherein arts and culture in general may still function as propaganda weaponry at the hands of the sponsoring state. The public is almost eliminated from the process of canonization, as the publishing houses, art galleries, and cultural industries seldom survive and flourish from sales to a real public. As a rule, their rarefied public is summoned from a flimsy contingent, from the less promoted artists who try thus to conjure the benevolence of the critics and famed authors/artists, and from those who are ready to attend cultural events as long as they are financially covered by the state. For instance, a sizable percent of the funds directed towards literature from the state budget in Romania has been constantly invested in the promotion of Mircea Cărtărescu in the vain hope (so far) the Romanian literature will be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature and will cure thus a profusely nourished complex of inferiority. Maybe in the new future. Meanwhile, many more modern and impactful writers simply vanish into the abyss of anonymity as the bookshops are interested in promoting only those writers coming from publishing houses with a subscription to the state budget. This would be one explanation for the constant decrease in the public paying for literary and artistic works. The result of an haphazard process of canonization and of the lack of a free cultural market (at least 50% of investments coming from private sources) are obvious. Wherefrom the impending need of an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary super-arch-canon.

Author Biography

Felix Narcis Nicolau, Lund University, Centre for Languages and Literature

Felix Nicolau is Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Communication, The Technical University of Civil Engineering, Bucharest, Romania and in the Faculty of Humanities, Lund University, Sweden. He is the head of the Doctoral School of Philology of “1 Decembrie 1918” University of Alba Iulia. He defended his PhD in Romanian and Comparative Literature in 2003 and is the author of many books of literary and communication theory: You Are not Alone. Culture and Civilization (2018), Morpheus: from Text to Images. Intersemiotic Translations (2016), Take the Floor. Professional Communication Theoretically Contextualized (2014), Cultural Communication: Approaches to Modernity and Postmodernity (2014), Comunicare şi creativitate. Interpretarea textului contemporan (Communication and Creativity. The Interpretation of Contemporary Text, 2014), Homo Imprudens (2006), Anticanonice (Anticanonicals, 2009), Codul lui Eminescu (Eminescu’s Code, 2010), and Estetica inumană: de la Postmodernism la Facebook (The Inhuman Aesthetics: from Postmodernism to Facebook, 2013), a few volumes of poetry and novels. He is member in the editorial board of “The Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies”. His areas of interest are translation studies, the theory of communication, comparative literature, cultural studies, translation studies, and British and American studies, and Romanian studies.


Altieri, C. “An Idea and Ideal of a Literary Canon”, in Halberg van, Robert (ed.) (1984). Canons, USA: The University of Chicago Press pp. 41-57.

Bucur, R. (2000). Poeţi optzecişti (şi nu numai) în anii ’90/ Poets of the ‘80s (and not only) during the ‘90s. Piteşti: Paralela 45.

Cărtărescu, M. (1999). Postmodernismul românesc/ The Romanian Postmodernism. Bucureşti: Humanitas.

Crăciun, Gh. (2002). Aisbergul poeziei modern/ The Iceberg of the Romanian Poetry. Piteşti: Paralela 45.

Cusset, F. (2008). French Theory. How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze & Co. Transformed the Intellectual Life of the United States. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Damrosh, D. (2003). What is World Literature? Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Fish, S. (1980). Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Harvard University Press.

Gorak, J. (1991). The Making of the Modern Canon. Genesis and Crisis as a Literary Idea. London & Atlantic Highlands: The Athlone Press Ltd.

Guillory, J. (1993). Cultural Capital. The Problem of Literary Canon Formation. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.

Kermode, F. (1988). History and Value. “Canon and Period”, 117-135. Oxford University Press. https: //

Kernan, A. (1990). The Death of Literature. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kolbas, E. (2001). Critical Theory and The Literary Canon. University Westview Press, USA. https: //

Moretti, F. (2000). “The Slaughterhouse of Literature”, Modern Language Quarterly, volume 61, no. 1.

Muşina, A. (1999). Poezia cotidianului/ The Poetry of the Every Day Life. In Gh. Crăciun. 1999, 165–168.

Muşina, A. (2001). Sinapse, „Postmodernismul socialist”/ “The Socialist Postmodernism”. Braşov: Editura Aula.

Nemoianu, V. and Royal, R. (eds.) (1991). The Hospitable Canon: Essays on literary Play, Scholarly Choice, and Popular Pressures. Philadelphia/Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Nicolae, C. (2006). Canon, canonic. Mutaţii valorice în literatura americană contemporană/ Canon, canonic. Value changes in Contemporary American Literature. Bucureşti: Editura Univers Enciclopedic.

Parpală, E. (2009). “Alternative Canons. Postmodern Canon-formation in Romanian Poetry”, in Romanian Poetic Postmodernism. 1980–2010. A Semio-Pragmatic and Cognitive Approach. Research supported by CNCSIS – UEFISCSU project PNII – IDEI, number 757/19.01.2009: Code: 381 /2008.

Rachieru, A.D. (2009). „Mihai Eminescu şi canonul literar românesc”/ „Mihai Eminescu and the Romanian Literary Canon”, Metaliteratură, an IX, nr. 5-6 (22).

Rorty, R. (1997). “On the Inspirational Value of Great Works of Literature”, in Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America. (The William E. Massey Sr. Lectures in the History of American Civilization). Harvard University Press.

Roşca, E. (1997-1998). «La décanonisation et les manuels (alternatifs) de littérature roumaine»/ “The decanonization and the alternative textbooks of Romanian literature”, Euresis. Changement de canon culturel chez nous et ailleurs/ Euresis. Change of Cultural Canon at Us and Everywhere, Bucarest: Univers, pp. 286-290.

Sâmihăian, F. (coord.) (2010). The Literary Canon. Approaches to Teaching Literature in Different Contexts,. București: Editura Universităţii din Bucureşti.

Saussy, H. (ed.) (2006). Comparative Literature in an Age of Globalization. Baltimore: The John Hopkins University Press. https: //

Sell, R.D. (2011). Communicational Criticism. Studies in literature as dialogue. Amsterdam/ Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Takaki, R. (ed.) (2002). Debating Diversity: Clashing Perspectives on Race and Ethnicity in America. Oxford University Press; 3rd edition.

Ursa, M. (1999). Optzecismul şi promisiunile postmodernismului/ The ‘80s Generation and the Promises of Postmodernism. Piteşti: Paralela 45.

Vlădăreanu, E. (2004). “Ia-ţi târfa şi pleacă”/ “Get yor whore and leave” – Marin Mincu. Generaţia 2000 (Cenaclul Euridice). Antologie/ Generation 2000 (Euridice Literary Circle). An Anthology. Constanţa: Pontica. pp. 325–328.


Ţupa, R. (2019) “Cele mai vândute cărţi”/”The Best Sold Books”, https: //; accessed 10 April 2020.

Cernat, P. (2010) “Iluziile revizionismului est-etic (II)”/”The Illusions of the East-Ethic Revisionism”, https: //; accessed 13 April 2020.




How to Cite

Nicolau, F. N. (2020). For the sake of a liberalized Romanian culture! What about an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary canon instead of the isolated monopolies with a subscription to the state budget?. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 3(1), 86–103.