‘The Reign of the Ravens’: The War Profiteer in Romanian Pamphlets (1918–1919)
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At the end of 1918, Romania exits the Great War as a victorious country, following a German occupation and double change in political alliances. The after-war years are dedicated to the national unification, political and cultural alike; there is much talk in the public agenda of starting anew and the ethical dimension of this renewing process is obviously of highest priority. The present paper aims to examine a specific element of the Romanian public agenda at the end of 1918 and beginning of 1919: the press campaigns dealing with the aftermath of the occupation years, specifically the case of war profiteers, during the first months following the war. Based on various forms of press campaigns aiming to expose the war profiteers, this article showcases the ad-hominem literary pamphlet, largely present in the Romanian press during the immediate post-war years. Seen as an intermediate genre (closely related to the press in terms of form and immediate purpose, but claiming literary status for its use of techniques and structures borrowed from literature), the literary pamphlet is used in the Romanian press of ’18–’19 for its symbolical charge and as a substitute for ‘real’ social justice.
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