University of Bucharest Review. Literary and Cultural Studies Series (Dec 2022)

The Discourse of Counter-modernization. Constantin Noica’s Reactive National Identity Construction

  • Bogdan Ştefănescu

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 2
pp. 123 – 136


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Nationalist philosopher Constantin Noica (1909-1987), like many other public intellectuals in Romania, felt that modernization and modern civilization were traumatic to his culture. In this article, I mean to address the discursive templates he used to formulate his version of a traumatized Romanian identity. These templates are structured by master tropes (cf. Kenneth Bur e’s “Appendix” to A Grammar of Motives and Hayden White’s “Introduction” to Metahistory) and are ideologically charged. Relying on suggestions from François Hartog (The Mirror of Herodotus) and from Ruth Wodak et al. (The Discursive Construction of National Identity), I propose alternative master tropes which are generally used in shaping national identities, as well as in dealing with the particular situation of cultures that feel threatened and traumatized by modernization.