Chapter 17. Ironic palimpsests in the Romanian poetry of the nineties
No single theory of irony could be called universally relevant, as there are various ways of encoding ironic intent in a message. An unpredictable literary dynamics requires flexible concepts and sometimes eclectic approaches. Irony is primarily a communicative strategy. The challenge is to determine the specificity of ironic dialogism in a literary context. The corpus comprises a series of poems which display stylization and hybridization of sociolects and idiostyles, as well as explicit parodies of recognizable texts. I will analyse in detail a long, Menippean-like poem: <i>Dear Comrades. A Speech by Nicolae Ceausescu, Allen Ginsberg and Janis Jopplin or a Requiem for the Sixties</i> (1994), by Caius Dobrescu. In the context of a newly gained freedom of speech, Romanian poetry in the 1990s redefines the rhetoric of irony by foregrounding the controversy of <i>ethos</i> and the trope’s overlapping with parody and also with satire.