Can it be ever possible to write about war in a work of fiction? asks a protagonist of one of Makine’s strongly metafictional and intensely historical novels. Helena Duffy’s
World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction redirects this question at the Franco-Russian author’s fiction itself by investigating its portrayal of Soviet involvement in the struggle against Hitler. To write back into the history of the Great Fatherland War its unmourned victims — invalids, Jews, POWs, women or starving Leningraders — is the self-acknowledged ambition of a novelist committed to the postmodern empowerment of those hitherto silenced by dominant historiographies. Whether Makine succeeds at giving voice to those whose suffering jarred with the triumphalist narrative of the war concocted by Soviet authorities is the central concern of Duffy’s book.
Population Displacement in Lithuania in the XXth Century: Experiences, Identities and Legacies is an edited volume written by historians from several countries offering a series of ground-breaking case studies on forced migration in Lithuania during and between the two World Wars. Starting with the premise that the mass movement of peoples during and after the Second World War needs to be understood in relation to the population displacement of the First World War, the authors draw on theoretical perspectives ranging from entangled histories, cultural theory and studies of nationalism to trace the ethnic, social and cultural transformation of Lithuanian society caused by the displacement of Lithuanians, Poles, Jews and Germans.
Contributors are: Tomas Balkelis, Daiva Dapkutė, Violeta Davoliūtė, Andrea Griffante, Ruth Leiserowitz, Klaus Richter, Vasilijus Safronovas, Vitalija Stravinskienė, Arūnas Streikus and Theodore R. Weeks.
This biographical overview of the life of Antanas Smetona (1874-1944), his importance in the Lithuanian national movement, his central role in the emergence of modern Lithuania (1918-1920), and the development of the various groups of nationalists in Lithuania, offers a picture of the creation of a national state in XXth century Europe. Twice the president of Lithuania (1919-20 and 1926-40), the authoritarian ruler of the state from 1926-1940, Smetona established his role as a capable and needed politician in Lithuania’s political life, a middle person between the political left and right. The study characterizes Smetona’s closest and most important associates, who helped him to formulate legislation for his model of presidential regime, the nationalistic ideology, and the development of national economy. Despite its authoritarian tendencies Smetona’s rule surprisingly continued to be for many Lithuanians a symbol of Lithuanian independence and national freedom through the years of Soviet occupation.
The studies in
East and Central European History Writing in Exile 1939-1989, all written by experts in the history of the region, give answers to the comprehensive question of how the experience of exile during the time of the Nazi and Communist totalitarianism influenced and still influences history writing and the historical consciousness both in the countries hosting exile historians, as well as in the home countries which these historians left.
The volume comprises difficult-to-access information about the organization and the work of historians exiled from the Baltic States, including Baltic Germans, Belorusia, Ukraine, and Poland. And it provides reflections on the intellectuals networking between their own national and the foreign traditions in the exile.
Contributors are: Olavi Arens, Mirosław Filipowicz, Jörg Hackmann, Volodymyr Kravchenko, Oleg Łatyszonek, Andreas Lawaty, Iveta Leitāne, Artur Mękarski, Andrzej Nowak, Gert von Pistohlkors, Andrejs Plakans, Toivo Raun, Rafał Stobiecki, Mirosław A. Supruniuk, Jaan Undusk, and Maria Zadencka.