The Taste for Balkanism in M.M. Loviste by F. Firan

Taste for BalkanismThere is a logos proper to a writer through which his subject acquires the amplitude and gravity of an organ chord. The effect is often miraculous.

M.M. Loviste moves his magnifying lens over odds and ends, revealing the texture of the finest details that make up his books quite clearly: the epic approach to rural life in post-war Romania in his debut novel A Cross Too Heavy; the torture and humiliation endured for almost a decade by Romanian prisoners in Stalin’s Russia in the novel Stolen Identities; the drama of the Romanian intellectual during 1987-1997, a time of great tension in our country, presented in Nessus’s Attire, and, in the novella The Irretrievable, the fantastic world of the wronged peasants from Tara Lovistei, where the author melts with the pain of the peasants he stems from. The narrator’s gaze freezes the subject, making it stand still in previously chosen poses. Through a process of metaphoric sublimation, movement reabsorbs itself, becoming spatializes, flowing stops, lucidity restores everything in primordial patterns of an infinite simplicity and grandeur of existence.

The City of the Last Eclipse is the expression of supreme tension, a desperate cry in the face of the contrasts of a society fallen into eclipse. In fact, under the power of vice hides a social drama close to the limits of human endurance, which the characters experience under the empty sky of a torrid sun. “Panickstricken, his wife cries dreadfully. She then falls upon the prefect hammer and tongs. The latter retreats, but the nails of the woman sink into the man’s cheeks, making them bleed. The county leader grips her by the hair, pulling tight. The president of the City Council intervenes, trying to separate them. The gathering roars. His Grace is crossing himself, invoking the Creator.”

It is not surprising that Mihaita Mihai-Loviste manages in 1999 to convince the literary criticism of the time to open wide the gates of the Writers’ Union of Romania.

In The City of the Last Eclipse, the author anchors himself to the cruel reality of the time. He dismisses the “gods” of the city and perverts the spirits, drinking himself enough hemlock. His destructive laughter leads to an instantaneous explosion of the demagogy of vain words, false culture, false humor.

The taste for Balkanism in Mihaita Mihai-Loviste takes the form of an allegory; morality is implied in the narrative, wisdom wearing a picturesque robe. Balkanism means not only the environment of development but also specific morals. It translates into the vanities that tempt him, through the sarcasm of ineffable fantasy. Deliciously mangled words and the agrammatism brought to a level rarely reached by a correct expression, produce an incredible voluptuousness.

Mihaita Mihai-Loviste presents himself as a narrator of human differences, unrepeatable situations, and attention to the unique – interesting characteristics at a time when human values no longer receive full credit.

A tenacious observer of reality, accustomed to authentically depicting existence, without conventional embellishments, without idealizations, seeing the essential motive in economic interests, the propulsive factor of the whole community, placing in the center of the narrative people struggling to live “better,” the writer embodies, like Parsifal, the earthly, boiling, stubborn, sometimes wild force.

Mihaita Mihai-Loviste is an already formed author, who reflects on what he writes, surrounding the tragic, the sublime, and the grotesque in the fine web of irony. Beneath this seemingly innocent humor lies the immeasurable social drama.

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