Aesthetics as East Ethics: Norman Manea between Romanian Culture, Biopics and World Literature

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
1201 International Affairs Building (420 W 118th St)

Please join the East Central European Center, the Romanian Cultural Institute, and the Harriman Institute for a talk about writer Norman Manea, presented by Claudiu Turcuș (Babeș-Bolyai University).

Claudiu Turcuș describes the reception of Norman Manea’s work and the writer’s life at the intersection of three specific contexts: Romanian society and culture, world literature and film, and media representations (namely video-interviews and two biopics signed by Ioana Uricaru and René Frölke). He will explore primary sources (novels, short fictions, essays, interviews) and secondary sources (critical studies, reviews, biopics, TV interviews), using a methodology derived from the field of literary and film studies, but also employing concepts such as autobiographical memory, testimonial pact, East ethics and media archive.

Norman Manea is a Romanian writer, living in New York City. His writing comprises novels, essays, short prose and his primary topic is the individual destiny in extreme situations (Holocaust, Communist dictatorship, Exile). Manea is the Laureate of the Romanian National Prize for Literature and is the first Romanian writer to be granted the American McArthur Fellowship, as well as the Italian international Nonino Prize, the French Medicis Etranger Prize, the German Nelly Sachs Prize, the Spanish Palau Fabre Prize. He is a member of the Berlin Academy of Art and of the Royal Society of Literature in Great Britain, and he was decorated by the French government with the title of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. 

Claudiu Turcuș is Assistant Professor of Literary and Film studies at Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He obtained his PhD in Humanities (2011) at Babeș-Bolyai University after a fellowship research at Bard College, New York. His research focuses on East-Central European Literature and Culture, Cinema and Criticism. Turcuș has published widely on topics such as the cultural memory of Socialism, the representation of Post-communist transition, intellectual history and the ideology of New Romanian Cinema. His book, Norman Manea. Aesthetics as East Ethics (Frakfurt-New York: Peter Lang, 2016) is the very first monograph on the life and work of this important Romanian-American writer and Nobel Prize nominee.