Rhinocerization: Political Activity and Allegiances of the Young Generation, 1935–1941
This chapter is about the moment of political conversion for certain Criterionists. Bejan examines four members of Criterion who sympathized with the Iron Guard (Eliade, Cioran, Noica, Sadova) and three who resisted (Comarnescu, Sebastian, Ionesco). The investigation of Sadova exposes how the National Theatre was used as a propaganda tool and how theater artists both contributed to and were affected by the political events. By the end of the 1930s, what Eliade fearfully termed ‘the time when we will no longer be free to do what we wish’ had arrived. War covered the globe, shattering accepted social norms and moral codes, including the laws of friendship. What Ionesco famously labeled ‘rhinocerization’ trumped previous existing individual loyalties and the joint effort to create culture.