Maximalist Autofiction, Surrealism and Late Socialism in Mircea Cărtărescu’s Solenoid
Keywords:maximalist autofiction, counterfactual autobiography, Romanian late socialism, surrealism
This article studies the fictionalization of late Eastern-European socialism in contemporary Romania, namely the literary projection of the 1980s in Mircea Cărtărescu’s autofictional novel Solenoid (2015). The novel is an ample, paranoid, metaphysical, and counterfactual autobiography that uses a late-communist backdrop to create a metaphorically skewed representation of the self and the world. In order to describe this narrative structure as an emergent subgenre of the postmodern maximalist novel, we coined the term ‘maximalist autofiction.’ We then discussed Cărtărescu’s option for maximalist autofiction and the effects this literary choice has had on his representation of Romanian late socialism. This option is influenced by the author’s biography, as well as by his own relationship with the memory burden of socialism in today’s post-Cold War world. Cărtărescu uses hyperbole, metaphysical parody, and a maximalist surrealist imagination to propel the discussion of socialism and cultural peripherality beyond the dated parameters of the East/West dichotomies.
Copyright (c) 2021 Doris Mironescu, Andreea Mironescu
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