“SMALL LIFE”, “UNIVERSAL LIFE”, “SURVIVALS”: THREE FORMS OF LIFE UNDER THE TOTALITARIAN REGIME
In order to inquire the very possibility of formalizing existences under the Totalitarian regimes, which was formulated by Hannah Arendt as early as 1951 (The Origins of Totalitarianism), I propose the analysis of several prose writings published during the 1970s and 1980s by several Romanian writers such as Radu Cosașu, Radu Petrescu, Costache Olăreanu, and Petru Creția who, by their birth year (1927 to 1929), belong to the same generation. The special feature of these texts comes from their unfaltering, even obsessive, interest in defining (multiple) ways of existence. Put against the background of the monotonous and grey lives people used to live under Communism, these new forms of life take shape within the formula of a patchwork existence, whose variegated pieces maintain their inherent specificity despite coexistence, sometimes within the frame of one and the same life. In a short text from a volume published after the fall of the Communist regime (Cum poți să fii persan [How Can One Be a Persian], 2002), Costache Olăreanu would label these life-patches as “small life”, “universal life” and “survivals”.
Keywords: form of life, the School of Târgoviște, Radu Cosașu, totalitarian literature, survivals.