Danubius International Conferences, 4th International Conference The Danube - Axis of European Identity

Mihail Sebastian and his Danubian Loneliness

Alina Chesca
Last modified: 2014-05-27


This paper aims at approaching the concept of loneliness with Mihail Sebastian, which is to be found everywhere in his work (and life as well). The Romanian - Jewish writer from the Danube always suffered from a terrible loneliness, this being the symptom of his fear of life, in psychoanalytical terms. According to Thomas Mann, Wilhelm Schlegel, Victor Hugo and others, writing (and creation, generally speaking) brings loneliness, being considered a narcissistic act.

Therefore, it can be proved that the isolation imposed by the anti-Semitic society upon the writer from the Danube, people’s aggressiveness, the lack of true friendship and love created the feelings of guilt and tragic. Sebastian projected these feelings upon his characters; thus, analyzing his entire work, we come to the conclusion that these individuals are the metaphorical expression of the writer himself. They try to fight against their isolation and inner conflicts, but it is in vain, as they finally choose to run away towards their loneliness, which becomes their escape and refuge. It seems that, both for Sebastian and his characters, life is something they dream of, but cannot have.