Why I Don’t Keep a Diary or A Secret History of Metamodernism. A Novel
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Why I Don’t Keep a Diary or A Secret History of Metamodernism is a bildungsroman composed of a network of narratives that span a space of a few decades and broad cultural areas, from the communist Romania of the 1980s to Aotearoa New Zealand of the 21st century. Its protagonist, Raluca Teohar, has stumbled upon the concept of metamodernism, which she defines for the first time as a period term and a cultural paradigm that fosters authenticity, self expression, and a revaluation of traditions as a potential link to the roots that define being in the world. Raluca’s journey from Napoca to Arquata, and from Otipoti to Orcland, enacts aspects of the metamodern as a paradigm the dominant of which is the ethical, in the sense of care for the other and for the self. In the tradition of postmodern playfulness, and in a continuous tension with the title, the narratives that make up this novel-in-stories take the form of diary entries and email messages, letters and Facebook posts, interspersed with poems and essay-like fragments of meditations. These diverse ways of story-telling converge in attempting to delineate some of the features of the metamodern condition as the protagonist understands it, much as shards gather to create the shape of trencadis. Raluca’s progress towards self-realisation is the history of her attachments, her imagination, and sensibility, the roots of which go deep into the past of her family and the history of a people’s strife for self determination. Raluca’s individuation parallels the growth of the concept of metamodernism, which is revealed in some of its lesser known connotations, and is articulated in a story virtually unknown to the public.