Claiming the Dispossession

The Politics of Hi/storytelling in Post-imperial Europe


With the Treaty of Versailles, the Western nation-state powers introduced into the East Central European region the principle of national self-determination. This principle was buttressed by frustrated native elites who regarded the establishment of their respective nation-states as a welcome opportunity for their own affirmation. They desired sovereignty but were prevented from accomplishing it by their multiple dispossession. National elites started to blame each other for this humiliating condition. The successor states were dispossessed of power, territories, and glory. The new nation-states were frustrated by their devastating condition. The dispersed Jews were left without the imperial protection. This embarrassing state gave rise to collective (historical) and individual (fictional) narratives of dispossession. This volume investigates their intended and unintended interaction.

Contributors are: Davor Beganović, Vladimir Biti, Zrinka Božić-Blanuša, Marko Juvan, Bernarda Katušić, Nataša Kovačević, Petr Kučera, Aleksandar Mijatović, Guido Snel, and Stijn Vervaet.

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Vladimir Biti, Ph. D. (1971), Professor of South Slav literatures and cultures at the University of Vienna. He authored Tracing Global Democracy: Literature Theory, and the Politics of Trauma (De Gruyter, 2016) and Literatur- und Kulturtheorie: Ein Handbuch gegenwärtiger Begriffe (Rowohlt, 2000).
Notes on Contributors

Tua res agitur, tua fabula narratur: In Search of Lost Sovereignty
Vladimir Biti

Part 1: The Janus-Face of Dispossession

Ruling (Out) the Province and Its Consequences: Sovereignty, Dispossession, and Sacrificial Violence
Vladimir Biti

The Time of Dispossession: The Conflict, Composition and Geophilosophy of Revolution in East Central Europe
Aleksandar Mijatović

Manifesting Dispossession: Politics of the Avant-garde
Zrinka Božić-Blanuša

Part 2: The Politics of Post-Imperial Hi/Storytelling

Claiming the West for the East: Classical Antiquity as an Alternative Source of Turkish Post-Ottoman Identity?
Petr Kučera

Andrić and the Bridge: Dispossessed Writers and the Novel as a Site of Enduring Homelessness
Guido Snel

Anika and the “Big Other”
Bernarda Katušić

Melancholic Dispossession in The Diary about Čarnojević
Davor Beganović

Part 3: The Post-Post-Imperial Retake

Failures of Community: Andrić in Andrićgrad
Nataša Kovačević

Literature and the Politics of Denial: Slovenian Novels on ‘The Erasure’
Marko Juvan

Cosmopolitan Counter-Narratives of Dispossession: Migration, Memory, and Metanarration in the Work of Aleksandar Hemon
Stijn Vervaet

All interested in post-imperial Central and South East Europe, Slavic literatures, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, narrative and trauma studies, and the history of the twentieth century.
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