Folklore of the “Transylvanian Warriors” in the Imperial Army. Where popular literature meets modern history
To this day, Romanian scholars have largely ignored Transylvanian folklore dealing with the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the experience of being a soldier in the imperial army. Such cultural artifacts were not reinforcing a national(istic) discourse, of Romanian unity, which became the main narrative both in politics and in social sciences, in Romania, after the end of WWI and the realization of the “Great Romania” (Romania Mare) in December 1918. My main argument is that these images and literary themes were shaped by the perception of and attempts to overcome the traumatic and often incomprehensible experiences of military service that peasant soldiers had to go through.