Dissident Eloquence: Take Ionescu, Take‑ism and Fin‑De‑Siècle Aesthetics


Abstract: This paper deals with the relationship between political rhetoric and literature in the wider context of the cultural modernization which occurred in Romania during the second part of the 19th century. I intend to follow two parallel movements—the extension of literature into politics and the projection of politics into aesthetics/morals—in Take Ionescu’s speeches between 1884 and 1900. In spite of theories claiming that literature derives its strength from the growing institutionalization of its practices and, perhaps, from the movement of peripheral aesthetic phenomena to the social limelight, my research shows the contrary: in the period commonly called fin de siècle, one realizes that literary effects are employed in the practical messages of the political world as a survival mechanism.

Keywords: extension, projection, dandy, dissidence, fin de siècle