On Literature And Minorities

The literature of minorities? Literature has always belonged to a minority. Even the one that claims to be the spokesperson for a majority is still addressed to a minority. Because usually, and these days this is even more obvious than before, readers only represent a minority, which is part of a majority. And, if we talk about ethnic and linguistic minorities and their literature, then it is natural to welcome their novelty and diversity contribution, as well as their function as an intercessor with the majority literature. It is enough to think how different the situation of each of the four categories of represented writers in this issue is, to measure the complexity of the inevitable intercourse with the Romanian literature and culture.
We must make a radical difference between "minority" writers who write in their own "minority" language and those who, even if they belong to another ethnic group, have written and keep on writing in Romanian. I see no way of viewing Max Blecher, Mihail Sebastian, Bedros Horasangian, or Stefan Agopian as anything but Romanian writers: this is not an abusive annexation, it is a very natural integration.
This does not mean that, if the "minority" writer adopts his mother-tongue and relates to the ensemble of the culture created in that language, his evolution will be strictly parallel, namely non-communicating, to that of his contemporaries who write in Romanian. 
Let us think about the real literary friendship between Meliusz Joszef and Geo Bogza – and this is but one of the great literary friendships in the history of our literature – or to the crucial role played by young German-language writers and poets (especially Action Gruppe Banat) in radicalizing the civic awareness of their Romanian colleagues in the 70's and 80's.
If every "minority" or "majority" writer ascribes a civic dimension to national assertion by way of literature, no conflict can be expected. Come to think of it, in art, literature, and culture, the terms "minority" and "majority" have no meaning whatsoever. Value is the only priority.

by Mircea Martin