ABSTRACT: Carnival as a literary theme entered Romanian literature via French culture, and it was dealt with directly for the first time in 1845 by a romantic writer: Vasile Alecsandri, in the play "Iașii în carnaval". ("Iași City in the Time of Carnival"). The playwright I. L. Caragiale continues exploring masterly the same theme half a century after in the play, D-ale carnavalului" ("Carnival Issues"). This time the focus is on the masquerade, a little private celebration, which takes place in the confinement of a specific space, not unleashing free in the streets. In the modern and postmodern Romanian novel, carnival, as subject itself, rarely occurs. Besides Eugen Barbu and Ion Coja, who deal directly with this subject in the novels "Săptămâna nebunilor", ("The Week of Fools") and "Carnaval la Constanța" ("Carnival in Constanța"), carnivalesque elements are found only at certain times in the narrative discourse. Alexandru Musina's novel, "Nepotul lui Dracula" ("Dracula's Grandson") is worth mentioning here because of the abundance of these elements. The theoretical concepts used in the analysis of the literary works mentioned above are based on the work of M. Bakhtin - Rabelais and His World, from which I mainly used the notion of "carnivalesque" (as being everything that relates to the festive life of the people, the "merry time"), the idea of the democratic nature of carnival, its regenerative function, the aesthetic concept of grotesque realism (which has at its center the grotesque body), and some other themes (violence, feast, carnival mask or laughter). Another reference work that helped me create this essay is Goya. The Last Carnival by Victor Ieronim Stoichiţă and Anna Maria Coderch. This work highlights the main features of carnival (libertinism, excess, disguise and joy), and distinguishes between the therapeutic violence of carnival and the pathological one, theorizing the connection between carnival and revolution.
KEYWORDS: carnival, carnivalesque, literature, novel, drama.