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Why Doesn’t Winnie Grab the Shovel?

Staging Beckett’s Happy Days in Early Post-Communist Romania

Traian Penciuc

was the opposite. Communism was gone, and we were free, but seized by a great torpor. Suddenly we discovered the freedom to do nothing. Working was communist, working hard, worse, Stalinist. Chatter and watching TV was good. In that historical moment, against that common mentality, I staged Happy

Dislocation and Reorientation

Exile, Division and the End of Communism in German Culture and Politics

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Edited by Axel Goodbody, Pól O Dochartaigh and Dennis Tate

Dislocation and the need for radical reorientation are central experiences in 20th-century German history. Much of German culture has also consisted of reflections on and responses to the historical caesurae of 1933, 1945 and 1989-90, and the massive political, social and economic changes that accompanied them. In the first instance, dislocation and reorientation are to be understood in the physical sense, i.e. the loss of their homes in Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia by Jewish and Communist émigrés after 1933, by Germans in Eastern Europe after 1945, and by disaffected individuals leaving the GDR for the West between 1949 and 1989. But they are also ideological, social and cultural experiences.
This volume seeks to explore the parallels and differences between the impact on these groups of their sense of loss and their struggle to establish new identities after major upheavals. What their diverse experiences have in common is the sense of social and intellectual dislocation, even amongst those whose physical location did not change for long periods of time. Drawing on the ideas of various social and cultural theorists, and adopting a variety of approaches, our contributors examine how not only dislocation but also reorientation has been articulated, both in political discourse and across the cultural spectrum from fiction to life writing, from poetry to film.

The Conscience of Humankind

Literature and Traumatic Experiences

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Edited by Elrud Ibsch, Douwe Fokkema and Joachim von der Thüsen

The traumatic experiences of persecution and genocide have changed traditional views of literature. The discussion of historical truth versus aesthetic autonomy takes an unexpected turn when confronted with the experiences of the victims of the Holocaust, the Gulag Archipelago, the Cultural Revolution, Apartheid and other crimes against humanity. The question is whether - and, if so, to what extent - literary imagination may depart from historical truth. In general, the first reactions to traumatic historical experiences are autobiographical statements, written by witnesses of the events. However, the second and third generations, the sons and daughters of the victims as well as of the victimizers, tend to free themselves from this generic restriction and claim their own way of remembering the history of their parents and grandparents. They explore their own limits of representation, and feel free to use a variety of genres; they turn to either realist or postmodernist, ironic or grotesque modes of writing.

Delia Ungureanu

’s lap. Americans can be shortsighted about Eastern and South Eastern Europe. For example, you can get a review that praises the book and the translation, but also asks why would we read about the communist era or about post-communist post-traumatic shock, since communism is over. I have read this very

Facing the East in the West

Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture

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Edited by Barbara Korte, Eva Ulrike Pirker and Sissy Helff

Over the last decade, migration flows from Central and Eastern Europe have become an issue in political debates about human rights, social integration, multiculturalism and citizenship in Great Britain. The increasing number of Eastern Europeans living in Britain has provoked ambivalent and diverse responses, including representations in film and literature that range from travel writing, humorous fiction, mockumentaries, musicals, drama and children’s literature to the thriller. The present volume discusses a wide range of representations of Eastern and Central Europe and its people as reflected in British literature, film and culture.
The book offers new readings of authors who have influenced the cultural imagination since the nineteenth century, such as Bram Stoker, George Bernard Shaw, Joseph Conrad and Arthur Koestler. It also discusses the work of more contemporary writers and film directors including Sacha Baron Cohen, David Cronenberg, Vesna Goldsworthy, Kapka Kassabova, Marina Lewycka, Ken Loach, Mike Phillips, Joanne K. Rowling and Rose Tremain.
With its focus on post-Wall Europe, Facing the East in the West goes beyond discussions of migration to Britain from an established postcolonial perspective and contributes to the current exploration of 'new' European identities.

The Battle of the Brands

Romanian Literature Limping through the World

Călin-Andrei Mihăilescu

communism, when the country was growing progressively isolated from both West and East, and hardly any translation from Romanian was made available abroad. The “culture” of nationalism amounted to little less than a hyphen between politics and popular religion, whose rhetorical celebrations aestheticized

Re-born Translated

The Tragic Labors of a Romanian Novel Trying to Get a Second Life

Bogdan-Alexandru Stănescu

identity had become after three and a half decades of Communism, and the subsequent isolation from the rest of the free world. Significantly, Martin framed his book as a dialogue with one of the cornerstones of Romanian literary history: George Călinescu’s Istoria literaturii române de la origini până în

The Case for Latvia. Disinformation Campaigns Against a Small Nation

Fourteen Hard Questions and Straight Answers about a Baltic Country

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Jukka Rislakki

What do we know about Latvia and the Latvians? A Baltic (not Balkan) nation that emerged from fifty years under the Soviet Union – interrupted by a brief but brutal Nazi-German occupation and a devastating war – now a member of the European Union and NATO. Yes, but what else? Relentless accusations keep appearing, especially in Russian media, often repeated in the West: “Latvian soldiers single-handedly saved Lenin’s revolution in 1917”, “Latvians killed Tsar Nikolai II and the Royal family”, “Latvia was a thoroughly anti-Semitic country and Latvians started killing Jews even before the Germans arrived in 1941”, “Nazi revival is rampant in today's Latvia”, “The Russian minority is persecuted in Latvia. . .” True, false or in-between? The Finnish journalist and author Jukka Rislakki examines charges like these and provides an outline of Latvia's recent history while attempting to separate documented historical fact from misinformation and deliberate disinformation. His analysis helps to explain why the Baltic States (population 7 million) consistently top the enemy lists in public opinion polls of Russia (143 million). His knowledge of the Baltic languages allows him to make use of local sources and up-to-date historical research. He is a former Baltic States correspondent for Finland's largest daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat and the author of several books on Finnish and Latvian history. As a neutral, experienced and often critical observer, Rislakki is uniquely qualified for the task of separating truth from fiction.

Anca Baicoianu

company about Transnistria, about the Initiation, about the war, and about Maria, the young peasant woman who was determined to join the Jews on their journey to death. Responding to their interest, he went on to talk about Communism and its ambiguities, and the ambiguities of exile. The mirrored door

“A Worthless Reptile”

The Turkish Language Reforms and Samuel Beckett

Gabriel Quigley

limits of the state’s interest in translations of Western literature by turning to how existentialist texts were treated by Turkish authorities. As Koş explains, the Turkish state connected existentialism with the communism of Sartre, and communism posed a threat to the republic. Texts by Sartre, Camus