Alexandru Macedonski - Work - Final Transition

Final Transition

Late in his life, Macedonski had come to reject Symbolist tenets, defining them as "imbecilities" designed for "the uncultured". Ultima verba, the very last poems to be written by him, show him coming to terms with himself, and are treasured for their serene or intensely joyous vision of life and human accomplishment. The rondels written at this stage, known collectively as Poema rondelurilor, are one of the first instances where the technique is used locally. Like those written previously by Literatorul's Pavelescu and Alexandru Obedenaru, they are based on an earlier motif present in Macedonski's work, that of recurring refrains. Many of the pieces document the poet's final discoveries. One of them is Rondelul crinilor ("The Rondel of the Lilies"), which proclaims fragrances as the source of beatitude: În crini e beţia cea rară, "In lilies one finds that exceptional drunkenness". According to Ştefan Cazimir, Rondelul oraşului mic ("The Rondel of the Small Town") shows a "likable wave of irony and self-irony", and the poet himself coming to terms with "the existence of a world who ignores him." Proof of his combativeness was still to be found in Rondelul contimporanilor ("The Rondel of the Contemporaries").

The poet's take on life is also outlined in his final play, Moartea lui Dante. Călinescu writes that, by then, Macedonski was "obsessed" with the Divine Comedy. Macedonski identifies with his hero, Dante Aligheri, and formulates his own poetic testament while identifying World War I Romania with the medieval Republic of Florence. Tudor Vianu remarks: "In Dante's great self-pride, Macedonski found his own." He sees the play as the best such work to have been produced by Macedonski, whereas Călinescu deems it "puerile". Zamfir believes Moartea... to be a significant text in Macedonski's bibliography, "one of the first samples of Romanian Symbolist theater", and as such indebted mainly to Maeterlinck. Vianu argues that the play may document the Romanian writer's late rejection of France, through the protagonist's statement: "the French are a gentle people, but their soul is different from mine."

A number of rondels show Macedonski's late fascination with the Far East, China and Japan. George Călinescu believes that this is to be understood as one item in a large antithesis, the other being Decadent Paris, which one rondel describes as "hell". The Orient, viewed as the space of serenity, is believed by Macedonski to be peopled by toy-like women and absent opium-smokers, and to be kept orderly by a stable meritocracy. The Chinese-themed poem Tsing-Ly-Tsi, which Cazimir notes for its discreet, "almost imperceptible", humor, reads:

Tsing-Ly-Tsi stă-n prispa de-aur,
Cu ochi mici ca de ghierlan,
Sub de-argint frunzos tezaur,
Casa e de porţelan.

Tsing-Ly-Tsi sits on the golden porch,
With his eyes as small as those of mice,
Under the silvery, leafy, treasure,
His house is porcelain-like.

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