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weighted by the disintegration of Europe and its full-scale retreat into barbarism. Operative too, and most potently, are the extreme circumstances of Romanian politics, culture, and social paralysis. Read against this background, The Inventor of Love finds contemporary anchor in the wider world; its texts are revelatory, vibrant, and prescient.1 To explore the social and poetical interplay in early Luca, I discuss below his “non-Oedipal” formulations and should add that the approach here is de novo in the sense that I don’t take into account the subsequent adaptation of the term by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guttari.2 Dominique Carlat records Luca’s reservations vis-à-vis Anti-Oedipus and his preference that his own “analytic fable” retain its “unwonted power of protest.”3 Now more than forty years old, Anti-Oedipus should be read, suggests Sylvie Godme-Séguret, as a “comedy deriding capitalism and glorifying a schizophrenia invented and amplified through the joint writing of a philosopher and a psychoanalyst engaged in critical reflection designed to challenge the bourgeois ideology of their era.”4 In his original use of “non-Oedipal,” one should add that Luca drew upon the work of Otto Rank.

One need know only a little — it would be easy to know too much — about political and social life in Romania in the wake of the First World War. In that country, reconfigured and enlarged after Versailles, there returned as leader a late-born Hohenzollern monarch in the person of King Carol II. While cosmopolitan Bucharest was known as the “Paris of the East,” the King struggled to implement modern reforms in a still largely agrarian country, and for the most part he failed. He failed owing to both his own incompetence and the scale of the problems he faced. King Carol, writes Stanley G. Payne, was “the most cynical, corrupt, and power-hungry                                                                                                                       1

Gherasim Luca, The Inventor of Love & Other Writings, tr. Julian Semilian & Laura Semilian (Lanham, MD: Black Widow Press, 2009). 2 Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1983). 3 Dominique Carlat, Gherasim Luca l'intempestif (Paris: Jose Corti, 1998) 29. 4 Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. In A. de Mijolla, International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis = Dictionnaire international de la psychanalyse, 3 vols (Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2005).

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Profile for Contra Mundum Press

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

Gherasim Luca Centenary Issue  

Essays and reflections in English and French on Romanian surrealist Gherasim Luca, including Luca's own texts and art. Also featuring rumi...

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