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Edited by Dobrota Pucherova and Robert Gafrik

This collective monograph analyzes post-1989 Central and Eastern Europe through the paradigm of postcoloniality. Based on the assumption that both Western and Soviet imperialism emerged from European modernity, the book is a contribution to the development of a global postcolonial discourse based on a more extensive and nuanced geohistorical comparativism. It suggests that the inclusion of East-Central Europe in European identity might help resolve postcolonialism’s difficulties in coming to terms with both postcolonial and neo-colonial dimensions of contemporary Europe. Analyzing post-communist identity reconstructions under the impact of transformative political, economic and cultural experiences such as changes in perception of time and space (landscapes, cityscapes), migration and displacement, collective memory and trauma, objectifying gaze, cultural self-colonization, and language as a form of power, the book facilitates a mutually productive dialogue between postcolonialism and post-communism. Together the studies map the rich terrain of contemporary East-Central European creative writing and visual art, the latter highlighted through accompanying illustrations.

Bertolt Brecht

Centenary Essays

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Edited by Steve Giles and Rodney Livingstone

The publication of this volume of essays marks the centenary of the birth of Bertolt Brecht on 10 February 1898. The essays were commissioned from scholars and critics around the world, and cover six main areas: recent biographical controversies; neglected theoretical writings; the semiotics of Brechtian theatre; new readings of classic texts; Brecht’s role and reception in the GDR; and contemporary appropriations of Brecht’s work. This volume will be essential reading for all those interested in twentieth century theatre, modern German studies, and the contemporary reassessment of post-war culture in the wake of German unification and the collapse of Stalinist communism in Central and Eastern Europe.
The essays in this volume also address a variety of general questions, concerning - for example - authorship and textuality; the nature of Brecht’s Marxism in relation to his understanding of modernity, science and Enlightenment reason; Marxist aesthetics; radical cultural politics; and feminist performance theory.

World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction

‘No One Is Forgotten, Nothing Is Forgotten’

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Helena Duffy

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.

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Elinor Taylor

In The Popular Front Novel in Britain, 1934-1940, Elinor Taylor provides the first study of the relationship between the British novel and the anti-fascist Popular Front strategy endorsed by the Comintern in 1935. Through readings of novels by British Communists including Jack Lindsay, John Sommerfield, Lewis Jones and James Barke, Taylor shows that the realist novel of the left was a key site in which the politics of anti-fascist alliance were rehearsed. Maintaining a dialogue with theories of populism and with Georg Lukács’s vision of a revived literary realism ensuing from the Popular Front, this book at once illuminates the cultural formation of the Popular Front in Britain and proposes a new framework for reading British fiction of this period.

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Edited by Conny Mithander, John Sundholm and Adrian Velicu

This volume is the first comprehensive mapping of how practices of cultural memory in post-communist countries and other late newcomers to the European Union have been affected due to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism. The essays cover Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, the unified Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden as well as Europe’s significant Other, Russia. The practices analysed range from films, novels and theatre to museums and state organizations such as memory institutes and pedagogical campaigns.

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Karl Kautsky

Edited by Ben Lewis

Once deemed ‘the pope of Marxism’, Karl Kautsky (1854–1938) was the leading theoretician of the German Social Democratic Party and one of the most prominent public intellectuals of his time. However, during the twentieth century a constellation of historical factors ensured that his ideas were gradually consigned to near oblivion. Not only has his political thought been dismissed in non-Marxist historical and political discourse, but his ideas are equally discredited in Marxist circles.
This book aims to rekindle interest in Kautsky’s ideas by exploring his democratic-republican understanding of state and society. It demonstrates how Kautsky’s republican thought was positively influenced by Marx and Engels – especially in relation to the lessons they drew from the experience of the Paris Commune.

Soldiers of Memory

World War II and Its Aftermath in Estonian Post-Soviet Life Stories

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Edited by Ene Kõresaar

Soldiers of Memory explores the complexities and ambiguities of World War II experience from the Estonian veterans’ point of view. Since the end of World War II, contesting veteran cultures have developed on the basis of different war experiences and search for recognition in the public arena of history. The book reflects on this process by combining witness accounts with their critical analysis from the aspect of post-Soviet remembrance culture and politics.
The first part of the book examines the persistent remembrance of World War II. Eight life stories of Estonian men are presented, revealing different war trajectories: mobilised between 1941 and 1944, the narrators served in the Red Army and its work battalions, fought against the Soviet Union in the Finnish Army, Waffen-SS, Luftwaffe, the German political police force and Wehrmacht, deserted from the Red Army, were held in German and Soviet prison and repatriation camps.
The second part of the book offers a critical analysis of the stories from a multidisciplinary point of view: what were the possible life trajectories for an Estonian soldier under Soviet and German occupations in the 1940s? How did the soldiers cope with the extreme conditions of the Soviet rear? How are the veterans’ memories situated in terms of different memory regimes and what is their position in the post-Soviet Estonian society? What role does ethnic and generational identity play in the formation of veterans’ war remembrance? How do individuals cope with war trauma and guilt in life stories?
Offering a wide range of empirical material and its critical analysis, Soldiers of Memory will be important for military, oral and cultural historians, sociologists, cultural psychologists, and anybody with an interest in the history of World War II, post/communism, and cultural construction of memory in contemporary Eastern European societies.

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Edited by Christian Fuchs and Vincent Mosco

More than 130 years after Karl Marx’s death and 150 years after the publication of his opus magnum Capital: Critique of Political Economy, capitalism keeps being haunted by period crises. The most recent capitalist crisis has brought back attention to Marx’s works.

This volume presents 18 contributions that show how Marx’s analyses of capitalism, the commodity, class, labour, work, exploitation, surplus-value, dialectics, crises, ideology, class struggles, and communism help us to understand media, cultural and communications in 21st century informational capitalism.

Marx is back! This book is a key resource on the foundations of Marxist Media, Cultural and Communication Studies.

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Edited by Willem van Reijen and Willem G. Weststeijn

Subjectivity is one of the central issues of twentieth-century philosophy, literature and art. Modernism, which “discovered” the subconscious, put an end to the belief in the Cartesian Subject as the autonomous centre of knowledge and self-consciousness. Instead, the subject became something uncontrollable, unreliable, incomplete and fragmentary. The attempts to recapture the unity of the subject led to the existential quest and the flight into ideology (nazism, communism).
Postmodernism, the cultural movement of the second half of the twentieth century, did not consider the subject any longer as an important category. Attention was focused on the “I” and the “Other”, on dialogism and polyphonism (Bakhtin). Ideology lost its appeal and so did the “great” stories (Lyotard).
In this issue of Avant-Garde Critical Studies the problem of subjectivity in twentieth-century culture is discussed from various angles by specialists in the field of philosophy, literature, film, music and dance.

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Joseph D. Kuzma

This work offers an exploration and critique of Blanchot’s various engagements with psychoanalysis, from the early 1950s onward. Kuzma highlights the political contours of Blanchot’s writings on Freud, Lacan, Leclaire, Winnicott, and others, ultimately suggesting a link between these writings and Blanchot’s broader attempts at rethinking the nature of human relationality, responsibility, and community. This book makes a substantive contribution to our understanding of the political and philosophical dimensions of Blanchot’s writings on madness, narcissism, and trauma, among other topics of critical and clinical relevance. Maurice Blanchot and Psychoanalysis comprises an indispensable text for anyone interested in tracing the history of psychoanalysis in post-War France.