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  • Revealing V. Voiculescus Paradoxical Personality

    Sorin SUCIU Department of Applied LinguisticsSapientia University Cluj-Napoca

    Faculty of Technical and Human Sciences Trgu-Muresuciusorin7@yahoo .com

    Abstract. Our short study tries to cast light upon a canonical Romanian poets paradoxical personality, a poet who, in our opinion, suffered by the anxiety of influence a concept theorized by Harold Bloom and, thus, endeavored in an imaginary translation of Shakespeares last sonnets . In order to reach our goal, we travelled throughout V. Voiculescus paratopia, using Maingueneaus concept to understand how a believer was able to be at the same time poet, mystic, physician, philosopher and theologian, in the sense in which God the Word was speaking inside him, o theos logos . The multiple aspects of his personality are being revealed with the help of a various bibliography, into the light of Agap, the divine love descending onto a poet who was being moved towards it by the all powerful Eros. The paradox is the fact that the full measure of his art was given at an old age mid seventies , an age when other poets are repeating themselves in a minor gamut, depleted by their intellectual force, as they are physically weakened.

    Keywords: hesychia, imaginary translation, poetry, tradition, Shakespeares sonnets

    As the title shows, our study is conceived on the idea of revealing the paradoxical personality of a canonical author in the Romanian literature, who was a late discovery for his contemporary critics and a big surprise for everyone, after his death .1 Keeping in mind the fact that V . Voiculescus Complete Works were edited a few years ago and, for that purpose, the entire criticism and bio-bibliographical field swept up, again, our task would not be an easy one. However, the subject is generous enough and considering our decayed world and ones difficulties in choosing the right way in life, a choice which seems to be harder than ever, nowadays, revealing the paradoxical personality of one of the most balanced Romanian writers is an appropriate dmarche, in our opinion. His

    1 At a venerable age but, sadly, because of the injuries suffered due to the time spent in those infamous communist prisons, where he was thrown for writing a poetry which did not match the Big and all powerful Partys ideology.

    ActA UniversitAtis sApientiAe, philologicA, 6, 3 (2014) 357371

    userTypewritten TextDOI: 10.1515/ausp-2015-0023

  • 358 Sorin SUCIU

    life also, a life of an [un-mercenary] physician who had a wonderful childhood blessed with great mentors like the mysterious Neculai Floac, the one who along with his parents and grandparents introduced him into the world of Romanian magical stories, ancestral traditions and healthy readings, on the basis of The Holy Scriptures, which defined the becoming writers intellectual core, seems to us a very actual example in a world in urgent need of solid father figures. The case of an author who was not sure his entire life of anything but the Light as the only path in acquiring the inner peace, the hesychia,2 a goal continuously followed by any means with the mind and with the heart, and, at the end, with the mind descended into the heart , is a worthy one.

    The starting point of our short journey throughout V . Voiculescus paratopia (Maingueneau 2007: 11108),3 a journey taken to reveal the paradoxical

    2 According to the hesychast way of life, the communion of man with God a perfectly functional connection in illo tempore but damaged consecutive to the fall of man due to the primordial sin could be re-established through a sustained effort in order to obtain the original purity, an ascetic effort which implies two consecutive levels. The first of them is the praxis, which is the strict following of the exemplary hermits path, the mastering of the ego, enduring of privations and ascetic trials . The result is the achieving of a good psychic discipline . The moral regeneration is the second levels target when, through a supreme inner focusing, through isolation from the outer world, through continuous meditation and practising the Prayer of the Mind and Heart Our Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy of me, the sinner , one could achieve purification, spiritual rebirth and the state of ecstasy which allows the seeing of the divine light a light identical with the one which appeared on the Mount Tabor, as St. Gregory Palamas asserts. Therefore, the Hesychasm proposes both, a religious theory and a practice . The method is similar to Plotins attempt to see the light of the One with the souls eyes: The philosophical wisdom which has the dialectics as method, clearly asserts Plotin, could not be achieved without the prior running through the process of learning by experience. The knowledge and the virtue from the inferior levels could exist, though, in an uncompleted mode, without philosophy; but, if one does not begin with them, the depths of the theoretical philosophy cannot be reached. Even when those depths are being reached and the Being is being known through intuitive thinking, something still eludes (Whittaker 2007: 116117) . Saint Thomas Aquinas used, among others in his thinking system which tried to integrate the medieval scholastic and to reconcile Aristotle disciples ideas, brought in Europe by Judeo-Arabic philosophers, with the Augustinian Neoplatonists thoughts, which established the official doctrine inside the Catholic Church , one of the traditional Neoplatonist ideas, namely the Beings definition through the principles of thought, as Eugen Munteanu reveals in his introductory study to St . Thomas Aquinass On Being and Essence (2008: 530). An insight of how the Prayer of the Mind and Heart reflects from V. Voiculescus poetry comes from Constantin Jingas criticism: The Prayer of the mind doctrines influence is to be found also in the poem Prizonierul/ The Prisoner [Cltorie spre locul inimii/ Journey to the Place of the Heart], where V. Voiculescu describes even the physiological states which are being experienced by the one who prays, in different moments of this particular prayer, corresponding to the states of Grace when he discovers Gods presence in his own heart: Could be sickness, could be death/ Its my share, I dont revolt. [] It aches []/ Tiny, tiny, goes my heart Hurt by the beauty of the divine image, he experiences feelings similar to those of the Lords apprentices when witnessed the Transfiguration. He would like to stop the time and to live eternally the joy of being in Gods presence; and, if possibly, to keep God exclusively for himself . But this state of bliss is only a preview of the future elation [ellipsis in the original] (2001: 5455).

    3 It is a place existing beyond any place/ an identity beyond identities . Referring to the literary discourse, Dominique Maingueneau theorizes the existence of three different instances, based

  • 359Revealing V. Voiculescus Paradoxical Personality

    personality of the author of Shakespeares last sonnets imaginary translation, is Michelina Tenaces answer to Al. Cistelecan, an interviewer who was questioning about the reason which determined the endeavour of writing a book on Vladimir Solovievs aesthetics:

    A personal curiosity determined me to choose the author, a curiosity which I would express like this: how a believer was able to be at the same time philosopher, theologian, poet and mystic? What unity of thought and life is being achieved between those different levels of competence, without prejudicing the fundamental imperative of fulfilling Gods will through a brave fidelity relative to the marks of time? (Cistelecan 2003: 5051)4

    The same question represents the trigger of our study on V . Voiculescu . It is true, of course, the fact that he was not a theologian. Not in the common meaning of the term, anyway. But, on the other hand, in the sense in which father Efrem from Vatoped reveals the problem, theologian is not the one who gets a diploma from the Faculty of Theology. Theologian is the one who has within himself God the Word speaking [o theos logos] (Efrem 2000). And God the Word was speaking inside the poet, a discourse which V. Voiculescu tried to express at the highest level allowed by the fallen words, depleted of their heavy meanings, worn out by the common usage and reduced to chat. The Word was speaking inside this long-distance swimmer in the ocean of belief (Voiculescu 1935: 400) even if he carefully shielded himself like devil against the holy water, if we may capsize the plane from any kind of institutionalized dogma. Or, maybe, that was precisely why.

    He was not a philosopher either not in the traditional meaning of the word , although he walked his distance on this path in order to find his way into the Light. William James thinking is visible in some of V. Voiculescus works, particularly in his short narratives, and Platos vision is to be found in Ultimele sonete ale lui Shakespeare. Traducere imaginar [Shakespeares Last Sonnets. Imaginary Translation]. Let us not forget Kierkegaard, the one who is honored with a poem (Voiculescu 2004b: 509) and, of course, the ancients from the Upanishads, or

    on the concept of self-constituting discourse: the person, the writer and the inscriptor. This dispersed creative identity is motivated by the fact that the person refers to an individual with a certain private life and civil status; the writer is defined by a trajectory inside the institution of literature, and the inscriptor assumes the enunciating subjectivity forms from the text the stage managing and the stage required by the type of discourse, which could be a novel, a short story, a drama, poetry etc. The different types of investigation reduce analysis to only one of these instances, which are inseparable, in fact. Maingueneau uses the metaphor of the Bor

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