The Séance of Reading. Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing by Professor Thomas Cousineau


  • Sorin Ciutacu West University of Timișoara, Romania



Manole complex, architectural body , modernist literature , uncanny designs , intellectual thriller


Professor Cousineau demonstrates an impressive original scholarly kind of comprehension of modernist texts, submitting them under scrutiny with an archetypal critical lens and thus reveals “the uncanny return of the Manole Complex in nine masterpieces of literary modernism”. The intellectual spark that inspired Professor Cousineau was Mircea Eliade’s Commentaires sur la Légende de Maître Manole where Eliade’s claims that Manole’s wife does not actually die: “She is, rather, transformed; her soul leaves her body of flesh and bones and goes to live in the stone and plaster body of the monastery”. (Eliade, 1994, p.168) In each of the chapters of the volume under discussion, the author further elaborates on Eliade’s concept of architectural body, finding it under sundry metamorphoses in the iconic literary modernist works from Europe and USA.

Author Biography

Sorin Ciutacu, West University of Timișoara, Romania

Dr Sorin Ciutacu earned his combined honours in English and Latin Philology and his PhD on an English Semantics and Philosophy topic at the University of Bucharest, Romania in 1986 and 1999, respectively. He also earned a Master Degree in Political Sociology from the West University of Timișoara, Romania in 2002.

He has held different research scholarships from sundry European universities and Erasmus grants and has spent academic time and/or taught in: Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Brussels, Gent, Paris, Heidelberg, Bonn, Berlin, Frankfurt am Main, Vienna, Zagreb, Aveiro, Madrid, Catania, Bari, Sassari, Rome etc.

Between 1991 and 2011 he taught at the West University of Timișoara (WUT), Romania various courses in English Linguistics (A Cultural History of English, Semantics, Translations and Terminology), Germanic & Dutch Studies, British and American Political Discourse and European Cultural History at BA and MA levels. Between 2011 and 2016 he was Associate Professor of English Linguistics at King Khalid University, Abha, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he taught History of English, English Morphology and Introduction to English Linguistics at BA and MA levels as a Visiting Professor and sat on sundry research boards and journal editorial boards.

Dr Sorin Ciutacu is currently Associate Professor of English & Germanic Studies and Cultural History at the West University of Timisoara, Romania. In 2018 he was granted the Bologna Professor award. He has sat on sundry Ph D steering boards and journal editorial boards since his return to WUT in 2016.

Dr Sorin Ciutacu has presented over 90 papers at international conferences in Europe and Asia, has published around 70 papers and studies and has authored and co-authored several books. His most recent book is: ”Causality and Semantics” and he is currently working on four other books called: “Anglo-Saxon Attitudes. An Intellectual History of Purism in England”, “From Local to Global English. A Cultural History of English”, “A Cultural Introduction to Germanic Studies” and “British Political Discourse. Forms and Ideas”.


Cousineau, T. (2023). The séance of reading: Uncanny designs in modernist writing. București: Editura Universitară.

Eliade, M. (1956). Forgerons et alchimistes [Blacksmiths and alchemists]. Paris: Editions Flammarion.

Eliade, M. (1957). Mythes, rêves et mystères [Myths, dreams, and mysteries]. Paris: Editions Gallimard.

Eliade, M. (1994). Commentaires sur la légende de maître Manole [Commentary on the Legend of Master Manole]. Paris: Editions de L’Herne.

Eliade, M. (1989). Le mythe de l’éternel retour: Archétypes et répétition [The myth of the eternal return: Archetypes and repetition]. Paris: Editions Gallimard.




How to Cite

Ciutacu, S. (2024). The Séance of Reading. Uncanny Designs in Modernist Writing by Professor Thomas Cousineau. Swedish Journal of Romanian Studies, 7(2), 201–205.