Exile and emigration currently intertwine in many destinies. Inasmuch as those who embrace political exile nowadays are no longer the aristocrats whose material independence allowed them to exclusively pursue political projects aimed at powerful comebacks (this was the case of the French aristocrats during the Revolution, or of those who fled Russia in 1905 and 1917), and because, with a few exceptions, such as the Jews or the Armenians, exiles only developed a limited network of institutions able to systematically take over and help in the process of accommodation, the burden of survival and the exile quests came to be unavoidably associated. If one tries to understand the exile phenomenon, one can ignore no more the emigration features that frame and modulate it most of the time.
Globalization, on the other hand, hardens and amplifies temporary emigrations (migrations). These engulf at present both urban upper professionals and youths from rural areas, construction workers, drivers and so on. Understanding the unprecedented diversity of exile, migration and emigration forms and the multiple ways in which they interpenetrate becomes, with each passing day, a pressing duty for all those wishing to account for the Romanian present: sociologists and anthropologists or folklorists, specialists in oral history or in contemporary literature, linguists and semioticians alike.
The first and currently most needed level of analysis could be represented by an alert morphological approach. Exile and emigration (which are often designated in Romanian by the neutral anticlimactic term plecare, meaning just ?leaving, going away?) equally presuppose the basic stages of breaking off with a familiar space; wandering in search of a new life, with temporary settlings down that may at times become permanent; and, finally, discovering that point on the globe, that niche, that will prove itself auspicious and future-generating, either in the manner vaguely anticipated before leaving, or in never imagined, emergent forms.
Thus envisioned, the experience accumulated during exile or emigration lets itself be narrated in ways that appear to obey the classic structure of fairy-tales, as defined by Vladimir Propp. A female or male protagonist confronts a lack (material or moral, personal or communitarian) and engages oneself in the adventurous journey that will bring about either a triumphant return, or a happy and carefree life somewhere else. This was often the way in which, before 1989 or immediately after, those who had left tended to tell (or to write) the story of their lives for those who had stayed behind. Things, however, are far from happening in a fairy-tale manner in real life. Returns tend to bring mixed emotions and one always misses something. This is why, more recently, subtle and soft ironic accents were found to speak about wandering and living far away amid different people, with a different Weltanschauung. I would simply refer here to Paul Miron?s ice-breaking Maipuţincaperfectul (that we could render, with its play on the Romanian word for pluperfect ?maimultcaperfectul, ?more than the perfect? ? by ?Lessthanperfect?), where, for the first time, the tone changed and the comical aspects and diminished egos of exiles and emigrants were truthfully brought to fore.