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Libertinage in Russian Culture and Literature

A Bio-History of Sexualities at the Threshold of Modernity

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Alexei Lalo

Much of the previous scholarship on Russia's literary discourses of sexuality and eroticism in the Silver Age was built on applying European theoretical models (from psychoanalysis to feminist theory) to Russia's modernization. This book argues that, at the turn into the twentieth century, Russian popular culture for the first time found itself in direct confrontation with the traditional high cultures of the upper classes and intelligentsia, producing modernized representations of sexuality. This Russian tradition of conflicted representations, heretofore misassessed by literary history, emerges as what Foucault would call a full-blown “bio-history” of Russian culture: a history of indigenous representations of sexuality and the eroticized body capable of innovation on its own terms, not just those derivative from Europe.

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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.

On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture

Perspectives from Eastern and Western Europe

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Edited by Irena Barbara Kalla, Patrycja Poniatowska and Dorota Michułka

On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture offers a polyphonic account of mutual interpenetrations of literature and new media. Shifting its focus from the personal to the communal and back again, the volume addresses such individual experiences as immersion and emotional reading, offers insights into collective processes of commercialisation and consumption of new media products and explores the experience and mechanisms of interactivity, convergence culture and participatory culture. Crucially, the volume also shows convincingly that, though without doubt global, digital culture and new media have their varied, specifically local facets and manifestations shaped by national contingencies. The interplay of the common subtext and local colour is discussed by the contributors from Eastern Europe and the Western world.

Contributors are: Justyna Fruzińska, Dirk de Geest, Maciej Jakubowiak, Michael Joyce, Kinga Kasperek, Barbara Kaszowska-Wandor, Aleksandra Małecka, Piotr Marecki, Łukasz Mirocha, Aleksandra Mochocka, Emilya Ohar, Mariusz Pisarski, Anna Ślósarz, Dawn Stobbart, Jean Webb, Indrė Žakevičienė, Agata Zarzycka.

The Culture of People's Democracy

Hungarian Essays on Literature, Art, and Democratic Transition, 1945-1948

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György Lukács

Edited by Tyrus Miller

When the Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic György Lukács returned to Hungary from Moscow after World War II, he engaged in a highly active phase of writing and speaking about the democratic culture needed to exorcise the remnants of fascism and to create the conditions for the advance of socialism in Central Europe. His essays of the period, including the influential volume Literature and Democracy, appear here for the first time in English translation. Engaged with questions of realist and modernist world-views in art, the relations of literary history to politics and social history, and the role of cultural intellectuals in public life, these essays offer a new look at one of the most influential Marxist thinkers of the twentieth century.