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LiBRI: Death Obsession in Anton Holban’s Novels

Death is a topic of interest for most of us and it is safe to affirm that it generates, depending on temperament and cultural level, completly different views. The theme of death is fundamental in Anton Holban’s novels as remaked by Adelina Lascu in her paper. She states that Anton Holban had always advocated for authenticity and for the cult of living, his work being deeply marked by autobiographical elements and themes like love, death, jealousy and a detailed psychological analysis of the inner self.

A death that proves nothing (1931)
A Death that Proves Nothing (1931)

These psychological aspects are uniquely developed in an obsessive manner in each one of his works and the obsession of death interlinks three holbanian novels: A death that proves nothing (1931), Joan (1934), Dania’s Games (1971) and, implicitly, their representative characters. These characters are, depending on their intellectual status and how they lived their life, divided into two categories: the mediocre and the chosen. The former category covers those characters who are unable to feel the greatness of the past moments and the imminence of death, and the letter contains characters depicted as superior beings prepared spiritually for the end of their life.

Otherwise stated, whenever shaping a new character, Holban conveyed his obsession with death into it. As pointed out by the author of the paper, an explanation for this obsession could be that throughout his entire existence Anton Holban had health problems. He gave up gym classes for medical reasons in his youth and later in life he left frequently in his letters references to a nervous disease, where it can be deduced that the author had spent the last years of his life with a challenging health condition and a constant death threat.

Returning to the author’s works, it is safe to affirm that a theme as such will always be a topic of great interest due to the mystery it generates and the puzzling question of what happens afterwards. Anton Holban is a writer who gave great importance to it and tried to explain in his own fashion the intricate psychological aspects that life and death entail.

You can find the whole analysis published in LiBRI Journal.

Emilia Șteț