An Aesthetics Of Femininity. Psycho-Critical Determinations

At the same time, the great Russian also remarked that "woman is always what we want to make of her." Femininity triggers off creative energies. Through it, the Author dominates the epic matter, and this helps him complete his plan, plot, work. Femininity delays the end by evoking and keeping up the flame of the eternal story: love. The desire to be loved, to be, to survive. A right found again – hence the tragic modernity of the artistic vision. Or, anyway, that ineffable gravity of treating the destinies of the couple. Femininity is a secondary game, sinuous yet pure, where the dramatic accent stems from the woman's fear of losing her freedom irremediably. And this holds true especially for those ladies who have never (ever) before been tied up with a man. Pride is just as impetuous, willing to prevail and to pose as it is fragile and easy to hurt. Confronted with femininity pride stands no more chances of success. It is doomed to failure. It is not only they, the partners, but also they, the girls, the women partners who derive a complex from their own femininity. This complicates them, plays tricks upon them, inhibiting their elans and marring their behavior. The character acts downright tyrannically towards the Author. The hero is an object of study, becoming a curiosity. It is the obsession of the writer. Flaubert's exclamation is also adequate for the Romanian instances mentioned here… "I am Adela!" is an interjection Ibrăileanu would be justified to give. Like the others, in their turn. Miraculous, eternal lives, literary characters mirror the obsessions of the authors, being visual companions. In other words, they are the authors facing themselves. Their apparent freedom, independence does not admit (though) of the character's disintegration in the work. Femininity, a thing unmasked, native, ingenuous, as an essential state, decisively increases the interest towards the plot involving the characters in question. When the hero wants to show off, the woman (with her intrinsic femininity) brings him to order, non-integrating him, marking his entire conduct. Thus the hero is given the feeling of re-birth, of a new experience, once and for all. Somewhat whimsical, coquettish or instinctive, femininity is, above all, a life philosophy that is not imposed, an existential principle that is not imperative, in the garb of a major artistic method, defying novelistic aesthetics and structures. Apparently and for the moment. Can femininity be a deficiency or a surfeit of existence? We would say that it is equally a permanence, the measure of all things, the very significance of free experience, impregnated with love, life and death. Beyond it no experience is relevant any more. Perhaps only death (as in the case of Ştefan Gheorghidiu). Just like freedom, femininity needs air and space to display and impose itself. When women are cloistered, they represses their expressive, simple, natural gestures. At the same time, femininity becomes inhibited, ending up in dryness and prosaism. Ignorance and the preconceived ideas of the world kill it. It does not fight them…because it does not know how, does not want to or perhaps it cannot?! Interdiction breeds abandonment, underestimation, bringing forth the complex of resignation. Like any alphabet, that of femininity ought to be correctly and logically grasped. In time, the phenomenon will lead to mythicization, the characters turning mythical.Thus H. P. Bengescu has created the feminist Nora and also, as T. Vianu put it, "a feminine ideology", motivating the whims and the decadence (as we call it) of physiologies and heredities, of doomed psychologies, in an impasse, coming to anarchy and betraying themselves. Other writers-analysts have imagined faces impossible to repeat and examples of femininity, memorable in any great literature, their epic centering round these notorious models. Enslaved by femininity – an irresistible complex! – the heroes have no cause for regret. Their experience is unique and inimitable. The more measures of precaution and seduction they take, the more feelers they put out and the more observations they make, or stand aside and contemplate, the bigger "the disaster". Time and distance are not in the least beneficial as perspectives. For instance, in Adela, Emil Codrescu (and here we anticipate) has a complex, and knows the girl since she was a child. He grows with that fear (of having her for him) in his subconscious. Paradoxically though, he is never ready for the decisive act. He postpones it. In a way, his soul is crippled, oscillating between creation and analysis, - after all we are talking about Ibrăileanu,- unable to bring about his…undoing. Torture is consciously assumed. The temperature of the heroine's femininity rises gradually in the subconscious of the hero. Paradoxically, (again), although he has the time to welcome her as a woman, to know her, and even to lick her into shape, he will manage only to worship her.Now a fact of pure literary history: between 1930 and 1938 (the year 1933 being providential) the most beautiful books about or featuring exceptional feminine characters were published, (although sometimes in the genre of H. Brulard, alias Stendhal). The author (and his couple) undergo the rigors of "egotistic reminiscences.".Femininity plays a decisive part in the work. It ties and unties the thread of the epic. It represents the "movens" principle. When it is absent, the woman is, naturally, metaphysical. The novelistic adventure does not belong only to the man. On the contrary. It is also hers, of the woman who engenders everything in ineffable ways.We will thus approach these heroes as part of a subjective mythology, as indubitable reflexes of the protean creation of the novel, without ignoring the two major aspects mentioned.Femininity in literature must be studied from a few consequential angles: the portrait, the attire, gestures, language, deeds, and the environment where the heroines lives. And also in relation with him, the partner, with the others, with the (philosophical) outlook on life (the world).Femininity was defined as a movement of suffragettes, as an ideology, as a struggle for rights, an example of social involvement, as combativeness, a coming out of the enclosure, of the self. And also in non-contradiction with femininity (because they are not incompatible by all means!) A woman can, generally be feminine and a feminist (fighting for women's rights). Not the other way round. That is a feminist is not necessarily feminine.We will agree that femininity is closely related to psychology (and psychologism). Nothing more adequate for the introspective novel of analysis than an incursion into the fascinating area of feminism. Thus formulated "the feminine" gets closer to the partner of dialogue and convention: the masculine.In the sunrise, between celestial mirrors, in the shade of flying birds, woman rivals the light, the shadow, life. She is not a mannequin, she is beyond sensuality, instinct and exoticism, she is the eternal Season of life. Melancholy and nostalgic, sad and merry, grave and firm, woman develops her genuine spirit, repudiates makeup and cosmetics, to present herself nude, candid and feminine.Refined and far from asceticism, woman allows herself to be seduced, known, adopted, still preserving her mystery as a last frontier. Her intimacy is yet another planet to conquer. With the body of a feline, draped in all the colors of the season, woman preserves vivid the feeling of love. Of beauty, impossible to understand, to explain or conceive without HER. A debunked myth, an elixir as well as eternal passion. And even if at times she gains a masculine air (fashion facilitates the phenomenon now and then), woman is, in any instance, the moment of grace of creation in perpetual self-wonder.The psycho-criticism of Charles Mauron that we have mentioned already asserts its scientific and objective character on the basis of a "specialized technology' that involves four operations. This occurs after the superposition of the texts ( in order to reveal obsessing images, that is what is reiterated in an epic manner). Then "the personal myth" is imagined. It will be interpreted as an expression of the unconscious personality, confronted with the life of the writer. The third operation is, in fact, a traditional psychoanalytical reinterpretation. Everything is directed both to the interior and the exterior of the work.We believe that our heroines (making up the selected typology presented) can be identified to a certain extent (in intention, as genesis, ideal and destiny) with the author himself, in many cases. They are not only prototypes, human models, but projections, an alter ego of writers who cherish their own biographies, unable (and unwilling) to strike free of their memories, of their childhood or formative years, of the family environment or a certain image of the self.To resume the four operations we will mention:1. The works of an author (for instance, G. Ibrăileanu, A. Holban, M. Eliade, Gib I. Mihăescu, H. P. Bengescu, Camil Petrescu and G. Călinescu) are superposed to the picture so that the obsessing frequently observed features can be noted easily. 2. What is thus revealed (and accepted as such) makes the object of a study that we could call "musical", the study of the themes, of their grouping, of their metamorphoses.3. The material thus ordered is interpreted from the angle of psychoanalytical thinking; finally we come to a certain image of the unconscious personality, with its structure and dynamisms.4. As proof (counter-argument), the exactness of the image is verified in the biography of the Author (the unconscious personality being, obviously, common both to the man and the writer).We can infer that the Author sees a purpose in the work, not a symptom. The unconscious structure revealed in the work could very well be the fatality one attempts to escape. With the analysis of the obsessing themes concluded, it is necessary to interpret them. The biography of a writer must confirm it or at least seem compatible with it.Thus Adela is…Ibrăileanu, just as Mrs. T. is Camil Petrescu, Otilia (and the author actually said it) is G. Călinescu. Or Nerantula and Kyra Kyralina are the adventure spirit or passion to live, alongside the cult of friendship with Panait Istrati. Just as Lenora, Elena, or Nory, Laura are spokeswomen or even projections (subjective-objective?) of H. P. Bengescu.Many "obsessing images", alongside that personal myth, both a characteristic of psycho-criticism, can be detected in connection with biographic "accidents", with events (shocking) related by the Author himself and discovered then in the text, in the makeup of the character.Often, under the pressure (and pulsation) of the subconscious, sublimation and accumulation of experiences and sensations will break forth and provide surprises and extremely interesting data about the life of the Author, and implicitly of the hero (heroine). In conclusion, the writer is no longer independent of his work. With the hero (heroine) this becomes a product of a psychism revealed by the language of creation. Beyond Mystification – The Soul The madness of reconsideration, the truce signed with "the other", the compromise, the revolution of mentalities, all this grants a chance for women to be regarded normally, not as a curiosity or source of pleasure and procreation. The woman, idol, object, the woman statue, the woman sex, flower, knick-knack, makes gradually room to the woman-partner, the more personal woman, treated naturally, apt to cross the world, conscious of herself, by herself, next to a man, expanding her vocation, her immanent condition assumed with heroic naturalness. Renunciation to ostentatious eroticism, or the spark of sportive women are more arguments to the point. The sandwich women carried slogans by which they freed themselves, refusing to be anyone's dolls. For women will always renew themselves, always change themselves, while being, in fact, the same. The universal world of a writer can also be defined by his "cogito", as G. Poulet put it, as well as by a return, image by image, to the primeval source of sensations, the manner in which the spirit ("fraternizing with its own body and other bodies", as J. P. Richard maintains), unites with the object to invent the subject. The same J. P. Richard believes that the biographic "does not account for the literary creation".To a certain point this may be true. It is not the biography but its important moments that influence creation and mark the character. Often this is the narrator, the witness, participant, support, exponent, alter ego. A collector (repository) of images, sentiments, consciousness matters, sublimation and regression. The "landscape" of the writer is tantamount to mythology and "the imaginary universe", everything in a closed and personal system of the creation topics.The author, by his voice and creative intuition (his "envoys" to the work) becomes the subject and the object of his own writing. The work must not become alien to itself, opines Richard, "the theme critic". Only interior relations matter, of similarity as well as opposition between topics. The critic sides with the style of "content forms" or "the style of themes". Thus a personal mythology of the author becomes evident, the heroine being the direct expression, in many instances, of this mythology. In fact, this is an individualization of fundamental patterns (as with G. Bachelard) of sensations and sentiments.Literature sets out from sensations but is achieved at the level of the language which gives materialness to the topics of the writer. The structure of an inborn sensitivity has no "history", being based on structural intuition. In The Procrustean Bed the erotic phenomenon features two couples: Ladima – Emilia (a sufficiently bizarre and imperfect duo) and Mrs. T. – Fred Vasilescu. These are couples doomed (here too) to dissolution since love that is not mutual leads to deregulation, to disintegration. The unilateral character is sufficiently clear. Ladima, for example, wants an ideal relation, impossible from the first moment. Emilia evinces a movement, a restlessness and nervousness springing from her pecuniary interest (motivated by the desire to strike a note in society). Ladima is a hopeless dreamer, hot-headed and stubborn, unwilling to give up (although as a journalist and poet he is sufficiently realistic in his professional deontology, though wholly impractical). Mrs. T. is right when she says that: "Man's soul is made up, besides instinct, of a function that fosters illusions…" Artistically, the Ladima-Emilia couple relies on the illusion obstinately nurtured by the unhappy Ladima. He is an accursed artist, like Poe, Baudelaire, Nerval, and he perceives Emilia as a figure by Tizian (Lavinia, the painter's daughter). This erotic illusion will, definitely, engender tragic effects. The actress's voluptuousness is "froid", her gravity is calligraphic, and her jealousy is faked. Her sincerity becomes obvious when she makes grammar errors. In passion, she is small, while he, Ladima, is grandiose. In thinking, he is noble, and she is mean. The relations are not deliberated by Ladima. The couple is undermined by the lack of communication. The writer's letters to Emilia cannot make up for the true communication: that of being present. This is a pseudo-impasse, in fact, the couple being only apparently visible… or more, becoming an eternal attempt on the part of the man. Tortured by social injustice, dearth, and all sort of troubles, G. D. Ladima gets comforted by confessional epistles: "You letters are my only joy." Or: "Your spiritual presence is so necessary to me." And once again: "How grateful, Emy, I am to you for giving a sense to my life, although I deserve so little!" How could this be a viable couple when one of the partners humiliates himself (and is humiliated) continuously?! Does Ladima indulge in humility and is not fully aware of the situation? We believe he makes a program of it, a sort of freely accepted self-flagellation. If Fred chooses unfulfilment for fear of not wearing thin an exceptional, unique passion, Ladima makes believe to perceive – as Irina Petras notes – fulfillment, "out of the terror of admitting the vulgarity of a relation." Ela-Gheorghidiu definitely represent a couple, being legitimately tied up by marriage, while Ladima and Emilia represent an incompatible couple. The difference resides in intention, aspiration, way of thinking and suffering, of loving. Between these couples (both in an impasse, for different reasons), the possible couple Mrs. T. – Fred is a special one. The woman yearns after a total relation, redeeming, which unfortunately (even for the sake of the epic economy) can never come true. When Ladima praises "the grace" of Emilia, he is desperately building an image. This endeavor is dramatic, worthy of Don Quixote, bitter, oscillating between an image idealized mentally, and a woman (who belongs physically to several and truly to nobody) created according to a hallucinating theoretical pattern, who, nonetheless, has her own charm. This makes it impossible for a classical relation of couple to be established. The incapacity of the heroine to be part of a duo has beneficial effects in point of genuineness, and the sensation of actual living. Fred and Emilia – a pretext for a fine novelistic technique – stand side by side (and make love) conventionally as a an item. Yet the union of their bodies is not sufficient, just like Ladima's eternal invocation or ardent prayer and quest after Emilia. The couple needs affinities and total emotional reciprocity in order to endure. Emilia's opaqueness seems to obliterate her femininity but that is only an appearance because this woman speaks more with her body, her flesh, her epidermis. Her femininity is crude and not even the onlooker's irony (especially Fred's, who is quite cynical with Emilia) cannot annul it.Ladima's drug is Emilia: he does not see her as "a scullion in a stale boudoir" as someone put it harshly or as a "heartless Dulcinea, a miserable woman", as Cibanoiu, a cameo character describes her. He perceives her differently, divine, needing this convertible denomination as auto-suggestion.If we replace the art of loving with that of looking we can concede this is an apparent couple, in a permanent impasse, in a prolonged crisis, as a delirium or a continuous end. Through knowledge and intuition (contexts cherished by Camil Petrescu, we could even say innate) and especially through dialogue - the essential not apparent measure of an ideal couple - two people can become close, no matter how differently endowed, predestined, "doomed" to be in a place at a given moment. As Fred and Mrs. T. are, invariably connected by the aspiration after happiness. Ştefan Gheorghidiu, a lucid, abstract, intellectualized spirit, is a knight of touching romanticism, defending the values of reason. His existential equation relies almost exclusively on higher intelligence. But the external (impossible to control) data do not serve him, the hero being always forced to start all over again or to give up, with all ensuing consequences. In theory, the couple seems more solidary in absence. Because it is not fulfillment but the distance that, in fiction, becomes a driving force, a category of a transparent class, above all with the vocation of keeping a couple together. Two individuals who cannot ignore each other (at least that!) stand some chance of turning permanent a couple on-the-make. It is not the convention, the official act that give consistency to the couple but the truth of the heart. This brings authenticity. Stendhal noted expertly: "The husband and wife are predestined fever since the creation of the world." The will to love becomes a necessity, and then, pride.The predestination of a couple is equally a gift (divine) and a sublime story, perfectly explicable by the psychology of the repetitions that fix a certain state of mind. Habit turns into destiny before you know it. Since every individual is unique, communication must start from within.For Camil Petrescu habit does not kill the spirit, love, or this artifice which again Stendhal names "the edifice of follies" related to the loved one. In other words, love – because it definitely exists, despite the tensional-contradictory developments between Fred and Mrs. T. – jells this couple (quite original in the scenery of inter-bella novels) so that it resists the temptation…of critical dissolution.When the couple reaches an impasse, (actually, it sticks to them all the time like a shadow) another kind of game, more dramatic emerges. Let us not forget the writer's belief that those who love each other" have the right of life and death over the other".The impasses stems from another reason: the too careful examination of the other. The partner must be looked at (not scrutinized). Rousseau and Stendhal said it, too. Staying at the level of knowledge, and not that of experience, the couple stagnates, and the crisis can be overcome only if the hero would be interested by the personality of the other and not only his, and his own self.In fact, the deadlock begins when pride comes in. Ştefan is loved "by the most beautiful of the students". Love is tantamount to vanity. Had Ela responded well to Ştefan's philosophizing the couple would have endured, perhaps in a bookish manner not necessarily without faultless. Or if the two of them had appreciated convenances more. It is not her jealousy, his suspicion, his coquetry or frivolity that bring about the impasse. But a certain alienation coming from within, without ignoring the pressure on each of the two egos, as well as the lack of real affinity. And, last but not least, the unconscious in each that strikes a brutal blow.Fred, although fascinated with Mrs. T., withdraws, disarmed by the fluid feminine presence. His Don Juan prestige is in danger. The couple needs stimulation, meanders, dangers, trials in order to endure, despite imminent risks, and the immanence of the ego becoming disarticulated by unchecked love.Fred has the privilege of superior love and at the same time the lack of chance (given him, half-heartedly, by the Author) of carrying it to the literal bitter end. At the maximum point of communion, the connection is cut and what remains is the illusion, the only one capable of reaching the absolute. Because characters who have "seen" ideas cannot be happy (and the less so make other happy). The heroes do not get there and will never reciprocate, sharing being theoretical, perpetually sought after.Fred pursued asceticism as a physiological condition. Mrs. T. is a naive with stellar aspirations as compared to the trivial, vulgar, carnal Emilia…What makes Fred run from Mrs. T., groping? Could it be just an overwhelming sentiment of embarrassment (as Ovid S. Crohmălniceanu implied?) The hero discovers he is dealing with an emotionally superior woman but only after having treated her indifferently. The idea that he could, unwittingly, repeat the mistake, troubles and inhibits him.Fred confirms it: "I sometimes get dizzy, as if having been close to some great danger, with the idea of having dared be so unconsciously natural with such a woman." Fred Vasilescu had the revelation of her exceptional femininity.The hero clearly perceives his "imprudence of having presented myself naked before the so much restless and inquisitive eyes of that woman with repulsive sensations." Nothing can paralyze love more than fearing one's natural behavior. The inhibiting inferiority felt by Fred Vasilescu before the heroine represents the opposite of Ladima's fatal and laughable superiority over Emilia. Both heroes must get "mutilated' in order to match their partner.The impression that Fred hides a secret can generate inciting commentaries. We believe that he is under the fascinating spell of sublimated femininity in its pure state, falling prey, together with Codrescu (Adela), Sandu (in Holban) or, anticipating a little, Allan (in Maitreyi) to a complex.The premise of Mrs. T. is Ela. Ştefan Gheorghidiu said: "A great love is more readily a process of self-suggestion. It takes time and complicity to gain body. All love is a sort of monodeism, voluntary at first, pathological in the end."Setting out from Kant, love appears as an expression of subjectivity. Love has its risks, the lovers have the right of life and death over each other. Love is a theater of battle. The hero, Gheorghidiu, wants to assimilate Ela, to dominate her, to annul her personality (to depersonalize her). Out of a spirit of possession? Of vanity? Of extreme pride?Always on his guard, the hero of Camil Petrescu's first novel is obsessed with failure in love. "What voluptuousness can there be except that of absolute love?" Ştefan Gheorghidiu asks. He does not allow for her femininity, unfortunately synonymous with her coquetry, which drives him mad, being a token of betrayal.In the other novel, the interior mystery of Mrs. T. changes the nature of Fred Vasilescu's attitude (indifferent to everything around him) towards the world and pushes him to a plus of participation, and more varied perceptions.The writer defines love as a choice, as a preference. Mrs. T. proves to have a superior spontaneity. The woman's intelligence translates in an absence of spiritual rigidity, in an unlimited power to adapt herself to any problem or change of the spiritual relations, the ease with each she can solve the most diverse situations. In this case intelligence represents an eminently concrete quality, absolutely indifferent to general ideas.Ladima's last letter (perhaps not as surprising as it seems) to Mrs. T. is the fruit of a demanding complex. His letters of painful lamentation to Emilia are actually a sublimation, an accumulation of secret, unconfessed love for the refined Mrs. T. The reference partner appears when Ladima confronts Fred Vasilescu, coming to the defense of Mrs. T. Thus, his final letter is, finally, sent to the right person. In other words, this is sublimation at the eleventh hour. Without begging salvation, it only proves who was the actual addressee of Ladima's feelings, so smeared with misery in his exciting and tormenting life. Epilogue In the good romantic tradition, Jules Laforgue declared (and declaimed) in Notre petite compagne as an invitation to meditate on love, as a challenge thrown to men: "I possess the art of all schools/ I own souls for all tastes/Pick the fruit of my countenances/ Drink in my lips and not my voice/ And sing no more./ Nobody sees clearly, not even I/ Our loves are not identical/ To lend you my hand/ You are nothing but naïve males/ I am the eternal feminine/My purpose is lost in the stars/ I am the great Isis/ Nobody has ever lifted my veil/ Think only of my oases."The writers involved in the equation feminism and femininity are all admirers of women. For Ibrăileanu, women are objects of aesthetic reverie. For Holban the heroines in books temporarily become matter of comparison with real women. And if femininity troubles the indifferent we should note in connection with the inter-bella novel there are other plastic elements to define the feminine portrait besides the mirror already mentioned (an echo of a myth, fairy tale and romantic literature): the portrait (pictorial) and the photograph. Likely to reveal several coordinates of the analyses of femininity complexes is also a theme worth an ample investigation: to what extent the heroine's comfort (or discomfort) of maternity and paternity (for the heroes this topic being one that involves heredity as well as an ethic one) influences the future relations of such a (feminine) progeny with the future partner (lover or husband). And, just as exciting, to what extent, he, the man was marked (given his physiological-spiritual endowment) by the relations with his natural mother and father to be able to take up, well prepared and informed, the labors of love, of living with a future partner (lover or wife).It is interesting to note that the appellative of wife is extremely rare (not just as related to the idea of a couple, but generally speaking) in the writings under scrutiny. This can be justified in The Last Night of Love, the First Night of War and in Wedding in the Sky, unsuccessfully in the respective cases too. For the rest, the marriage thing remains an ir-reality, a chimera. Moreover, in a few works the personality of the woman is still on the make: for instance, Otilia (an illustrious and illustrative case).Both with Holban or Sebastian or Ibrăileanu, with the other exceptional authors, the feminine psychology is deduced from the subjective angle of the masculine hero who comes to be the principal object of the analysis. A woman's interior reactions are known through the interpretation of the masculine character.The heroines display their charm and personality through their outfit too, through the often up-to-date way they dress. Novelists think sartorial details play a definite role in the image of femininity. With the exception of Ibrăileanu (who believes that modern garbs destroy all mystery) the other authors have their heroines dress elegantly, primly, at times even eccentrically or ostentatiously, but always out of the ordinary. G. Călinescu and Camil Petrescu excel in the fashionable art, like true aesthetes in matters of clothing.Associated with the manner of dressing is also the dynamism of the heroine. The spontaneity and naturalness of the women described confer them a first chance to win over men, as well as the memory of the writer.Another characteristic of femininity (part of the partner's admiration, just like sumptuous attire) is the gesture of receiving and offering (that's right, offering!) flowers. And also the culinary talent supposedly enhancing chastity, a quality so much cherished by most men.The women mentioned are refined, and, in general, have complex tastes. The case of Mrs. T. is telling. "…I cherish light…then the earth… books… dresses… fruit…snow…everything that is not fake… that is smooth," says Camil Peterscu's heroine with voluptuousness and zest for life.Some of the partners – in the books under scrutiny – indulge in the bohemian and disorderly spirit of their lover since it represents the unforeseen, a lack of calculated forethought. An important impact on the authors and their works (implicitly as regards the heroines presented so far) is played by the arts, mostly literature, music and painting. Men appreciate in their partners the taste and propensity for reading or music, Anton Holban being the most categorical and theoretical about it. Certain common affinities and passions give more consistency to the idea of a couple. Differences, overlooking intellectual-artistic propensities often represent as many reasons for separation, for impasse.Culturally the most proficient is Maitreyi (especially in matters of poetry) although Allan is more discreet in sporting his talents and preferences (than Gheorghidiu or Sandu). More remote from such preoccupations is Emilia, and Gib I. Mihăescu's phantasm-women (by their nature and normal environment).Music is what drives the heroes close together in most of the cases. For instance, the couple Elena-Marcian (in Concert of Bach Music). Or in Ioana, when Sandu confesses that : "At the first performance of Tristan and Isolda we vibrated together." There are heroines who perform various noble arts: the gracious Otilia who enhances her bright presence – in front of Felix – by playing a piece by Corelli.In matters of literature there are disagreements between the partners, with Ibrăileanu, Camil Petrescu and Holban. But literature, just like the other arts, ends by suggesting that these special women exude femininity, they are drawn to what is beautiful, and they share it with their lover and partner. The heroines show good-will, and they prove a discreet zeal in giving instruction.The heroines do not always benefit from an environment favorable to the development of their femininity. The first example is Otilia, surrounded by so much sordidness and senescence, and yet preserving her femininity unaltered! A scenery and an interior somehow in consonance with the personality of the woman can be found in Adela, as well as in Procrustes' Bed (Mrs. T.'s residence) and, an exotic sanctuary, in Maitreyi (although this space will soon become suffocating for the heroine).Their aura and their behavior turn these young women mysterious: Adela, Dania, Maitreyi. Suave, never vulgar, gracious and sensitive, coquet, chaste, intelligent, the charm of their personality is (subjectively, of course) expressed in a pathetic manner by the author-partner, compelling to perpetual reassessment and review.In Ulysses G. Călinescu remarked (referring to L. Rebreanu) the existence of an "instinctive stock" in the Romanian novel (with implications in the representation of femininity). Women are not inferior but they are not yet "masculinized", they do not yet have an intellectual appetite, and the heroes, together with them, indulge in "operations deprived of any casuistic complication."It is certain that the city novel (the fourth decade of the 20th century, in particular) bringing into question the communion of the couple stands out by the interest shown in femininity, the feminine mystery as a complex phenomenon. The women in the novels written between the two World Wars are intellectual (in general), highly educated or self-taught, tending to social and material independence. Hence to sentimental independence, too. Bovarism is still present though, despite feministic reactions because in interwar Romania there did not exist an emancipation movement proper, as a political act.Th feminine character stimulates the psychological probe undertaken by the hero-partner as a genre of novelistic analysis. The interwar prose writers enrich the art of portraiture in the Romanian novel through a multitude of methods delineating feminine characters (feminine personalities), from lyrical to descriptive and introspective.Erotic initiation is associated with the cultural, aesthetic one. Through these two coordinates (only) the interwar psychological prose validates its importance and endurance in the vaster field of culture where fields like psychology, philosophy, anatomy, medicine, the fine arts meet beneficially to reveal the complexity of the phenomena channeled towards cognition.If one of the most important types of emancipation for women is that of having their real role acknowledged in the history of human becoming, our role is to cast light on women as personages, as worlds, perennial, even if each historical moment bears a collective image of the feminine psyche, a social model with individual variants. We should not overlook a serious lament, the reaction of a heroine: "We, women, are more tormented by civilization than by nature. Nature imposed on us certain physical pains that you have softened but civilization developed sentiments with which you continuously deceive us." This sounds almost like a warning.In The Garden of Epicurus Anatole France noted: "Woman is the one who makes the world. She is sovereign in this world; everything is done through her and for her. The woman is man's great educator; she teaches him the wonderful virtues of politeness, discretion and this pride of being afraid of becoming inopportune." From women we learn that society is more complex and has more delicate rules that usually imagined.By the cases of femininity approached here, generating complexes, it seems that the desideratum of Mircea Eliade (the triumph to the Romanian novel will be due to the emergence of characters-myths) has come true. The myth of femininity, which is positively devastating in the protean substance of interwar prose, is a token of maturity and universality of the Romanian prose.Meeting the need for authenticity, thanks to the experience of the real and of lucidly assumed destinies, to personal experiences (and personalized), an unfaked existential role performed fairly in front of one self and of posterity, the creators of Romanian novels will impose a new type of classicism: that of the complex consciousness question. One inevitably related to feminine sensitivity, to eroticism.This type of prose-writing (in the inter-war period) was brilliantly continued by the prose of Marin Preda, P. Dumitriu, Al. Ivasiuc, or N. Breban, C. Ţoiu, A. Buzura, and other first-rate contemporary writers.A protean, indiscernible being ("varium et mutabile semper femina"), woman represents the very need for the past, present and future of the memory of the spirit. Part and parcel of the literary work, the feminine literary type claims the role of axis and superior level of the real, an enduring representative of the epic in its objective existence.Beyond any consideration, women remain both a fascinating literary-artistic model and a living presence, an artistic element in a certain admirable epic juncture and in a relation of complementariness and synaesthesia with the entire epic context that must be interpreted and evaluated in any critical analysis.Women give the character of society. "She is sovereign, everything is done through her and for her." (Anatole FranceThe Garden of Epicurus) Because of their responsible role, of long patience in the search of conserving the species, women are more positive (to quote G. Ibrăileanu in Adela).They, the heroes, the partners are not psychological details but the pillars of analytic epic. In every man there is, no doubt, an affinity, an attraction towards a certain feminine nature; at the same time, in every women he will discover a connection between her temper, physical makeup and aesthetic liking.Women are a mixture of pragmatism, realism and romanticism, they allow themselves to fall pray to illusions and dreams; they become lunatic. They do not feel, as Ibrăileanu put it, "the poetry of the sun". Yet women are lucid, just like their partners in life, occasional or for the long run, because under the control of this lucidity occurs the impact between passion and its revealing expression.Only this character, blessed by nature, can prompt a highly elevated masculine spirit to say; "I have never felt like today that all the poetry of life down to infinitesimal, the emotion exuded by a wild flower, the rising of a star, a puff of wind, they all have as principle the idea of death because they bespeak love, and that the full cost of life is given only by death." (G. Ibrăileanu) Women are indeed the educators of men, teaching them the charming virtues.