The Symbolic Role of Ex-Yugoslav Literature in The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić

in Transcultural Studies
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The paper deals with the ways in which Dubravka Ugrešić treats Yugoslav/Croatian literature, literary genres, conventions and style in her novel The Ministry of Pain. From the perspective of an exiled professor of literature, Tanja Lucić, and her exiled students living in the Netherlands, Yugoslav literature is perceived and valued in the light of several non-literary factors. Tanja Lucić finds it absurd to teach their former country’s literature (or literatures) as if the notion of nation, to which they no longer seem to relate, or the future war and trauma are always already inscribed in it. This oppositional reading and its reflection in the very design of the novel The Ministry of Pain will be discussed in this paper, in an effort to outline Ugrešić’s post-national poetics.

The Symbolic Role of Ex-Yugoslav Literature in The Ministry of Pain by Dubravka Ugrešić

in Transcultural Studies



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