The concept of bovarism illustrated by a postmodern prototype: Gheorghe Crăciun’s Pupa russa


  • Bianca-Maria Bucur Tincu "1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba Iulia



postmoderism, Romanian novel, Leon, Tina, bovarism


This paper aims to illustrate the concept of bovarism as defined by Jules de Gaultier at the end of the 19th century, as illustrated by Pupa russa, a postmodernist novel written by Gheorghe Crăciun. The thematic approach evinced by the Romanian author is challenging its readership because it follows a rhizomatic literary narration that also encapsulates a historical dimension.

The focus of the analysis is on the similarities and differences between Crăciun’s and Flaubert’s protagonists, Leontina Guran and Emma Bovary, and on the fascination and importance of the bovaristic trajectory, with its implications and dimensions. This critical angle unveils the novel’s message, as well as a heightened sense of awareness with regard to the realities of personal actions against the background of the communist regime.  

The condition of the human being implies both outer and inner growth, yet there are several factors such as the societal conditions one is subjected to that can irrevocably change the future “I”. The episodes presenting LeonTina’s life are key elements, nodes of connections accessed by an objective and realistic eye. Therefore, all the observations are intended to clarify, to reveal the meanings and to outline the inner effects produced by a circular, closed social environment and how one can or cannot find one’s true way. The innate impulse of “becoming someone” can very easily be perceived as “becoming someone else”. Thus, the present critical approach is highly relevant to contemporary readers. The apparent freedom possessed by everyone in present times entails responsibility as well as danger. The present comparison is an example shedding light on some issues regarding bovaristic behaviour, which is more and more apparent in the real world.  

Author Biography

Bianca-Maria Bucur Tincu, "1 Decembrie 1918" University of Alba Iulia

Bianca-Maria Bucur (Tincu) graduated from the Faculty of Letters, Cluj-Napoca in 2018, with a Bachelor's degree in Philology and earned a master's degree in English language, literature and culture in the European context from the University of Alba Iulia. Her fields of interest include English literary studies, Modernism, Postmodernism, conceptual metaphors in literature, and everyday speech. She is currently a Philology Ph.D. student at 1 Decembrie 1918 University of Alba Iulia. 


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Online resources:

Popescu, R. (2018). Cuvânt şi viaţă în „Pupa russa” de Gheorghe Crăciun/ Word and life in Pupa russa by Gheorghe Crăciun. literomania. 55. Retrieved November 30, 2020, from




How to Cite

Bucur Tincu, B.-M. (2021). The concept of bovarism illustrated by a postmodern prototype: Gheorghe Crăciun’s Pupa russa. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 4(1), 75–86.