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Nr.5-6/2018-6

THE UNSEEN FACE OF HENRI H. STAHL: THE WRITER. AN EXCERPT FROM AN UNPUBLISHED NOVEL OF THE GREAT ROMANIAN SOCIOLOGIST

Henri H. Stahl is known for his studies in social history and methodology, but he was also passionate about other, lesser known, research topics. Among these is his preoccupation with the development of a sociology of the Romanian peasant’s culture and spirituality, which he later synthetised in his controversial work Critical Essays (1983). However, before he fully developed his theories on the matter, unhappy about his own incapacities, he attempted to give a literary shape to his vision of folk philosophy and life of Romanian villages. What resulted was a novel, today still unpublished but conserved in the Stahl Family Archive. The novel combines his fieldnotes, methodological suggestions, as well as his personal opinions, emotions and feelings, which he never let intrude into his scientific work. The value of this unpublished text is today undeniable, and it deserves to be known by the public. The present article reveals, for the first time, the shape and the content of this novel, and draws out the circumstances of its creation. The article is succeeded by a short sample from the novel.

Keywords: Henri H. Stahl, unpublished novel, sociology of folk culture, folk philosophy.

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