Historia Universitatis Iassiensis 9, 81–92

Florin MÜLLER | Constantin Rădulescu-Motru, Noua Revistă Română și construcția imaginii Germaniei în anii războiului mondial

Abstract. The cultural press of the Old Kingdom of Romania, along with its University, represented an essential vector in shaping its modern identity manifested at national and European level. In this context of identity building, a significant role – unfortunately less addressed by the more recent research in the history of ideas – was played by Noua Revistă Română, led by the philosopher Constantin Rădulescu-Motru, professsor at the University of Bucharest. The outbreak of World War One in 1914 triggered a wide debate regarding the civilisation profile of the world conflagration protagonists. Unlike the daily newspapers of the time, which offered its readers mainly military, political informations about the war dynamics, Noua Revistă Română focused on the cultural paradigms of the time through the work of valuable intellectuals, some of them professionally and institutionally involved in the Universities of Bucharest and Iași (A. D. Xenopol). England and France (and, to a smaller extent, Russia) on the one hand, and Germany and Austria-Hungary on the other hand were included in such “ideal-types” of philosophy of culture. The large amount of cultural press published by authors such as Constantin Rădulescu-Motru, Emil Staicu, A. D. Xenopol and Octav G. Lecca gave rise to topics/profiles/configurations considering France and Germany, regarded as radically opposed civilisations in the public debate in the Old Kingdom of Romania. Without actually being a supporter of The Entente, Noua Revistă Română opposed the rationalist and universalist democratic type of civilisation of England and France to the particularistic, nationalist “egotistical” one of impe-rialist Germany. The debates, information, reports of Noua Revistă Română are not exclusively oriented towards the rarefied domain of philosophy of culture, of defining the two main opponents in cultural, metaphysical and national psy-chology terms. Special attention, specific to this magazine, is directed towards the many dimensions of daily life, to the (corrupted) morals of the German urban world in time of war or towards the mentality of the privileged of the French soldier. Although several more debate topics are approached (the need for and the content of certain highly urgent reforms or the difficulties of integrating New Dobrogea in the Old Kingdom), war as a fracture of civilisation is the main focus of interest and reflection of this magazine.