Facing the East in the West

Images of Eastern Europe in British Literature, Film and Culture


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.

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Barbara Korte: Facing the East of Europe in Its Western Isles: Charting Backgrounds, Questions and Perspectives
East and West: Mirrorings
Elisabeth Cheauré: Infinite Mirrorings: Russia and Eastern Europe as the West’s “Other”
Mike Phillips: Narratives of Desire – A Writer’s Statement
Christiane Bimberg: ‘A glimpse behind the scenes’, ‘trying to capture the very soul of things Russian’: Literary Representations of Intercultural East-West Encounters in Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes
Kapka Kassabova: From Bulgaria with Love and Hate: The Anxiety of the Distorting Mirror (A Writer’s Perspective)
Two Poems
Kapka Kassabova: Our Names Long and Foreign
Kapka Kassabova: The Travel Guide to the Country of Your Birth
Journeys, Encounters, Cultural Translations
Elmar Schenkel: To Russia with Love: Maurice Baring (1874-1945)
Dirk Wiemann: A Russian Romance: 1930s British Writers as Wishful Participants in the Soviet Revolution
Sissy Helff: From Euphoria to Disillusionment: Representations of Communism and the Soviet Union in Arthur Koestler’s The Invisible Writing
Eva Ulrike Pirker: The Unfinished Revolution: Black Perceptions of Eastern Europe
Cinzia Mozzato: Looking Eastwards: Borders and Border-Crossing in the Work of Ken Smith
A Play in One Act
Mike Phillips: You Think You Know Me But You Don’t
Stereotypes: Staying Power and Subversion
Vedrana Veličković: Balkanisms Old and New: The Discourse of Balkanism and Self-Othering in Vesna Goldsworthy’s Chernobyl Strawberries and Inventing Ruritania
Michael McAteer: A Troubled Union: Representations of Eastern Europe in Nineteenth-Century Irish Protestant Literature
Jonas Takors: ‘The Russians could no longer be the heavies’: From Russia with Love and the Cold War in the Bond Series
Wolfgang Hochbruck, Elmo Feiten and Anja Tiedemann: ‘Vulchanov! Volkov! Aaaaaaand Krum!’: Joanne K. Rowling’s “Eastern” Europe
Nadia Butt: Between Dream and Nightmare: Representation of Eastern Diaspora in Eastern Promises
Susanne Schmid: Taking Embarrassment to Its Extremes: Borat and Cultural Anxiety
Martin Hermann: Immigrants, Stereotypes and the New Ireland: Czech Identity in and in Response to the Film Once
Christian Schmitt-Kilb: Gypsies and Their Representation: Louise Doughty’s Stone Cradle and David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green
Polish Identities in Perspective: Accession – Integration – Perception
Joanna Rostek and Dirk Uffelmann: Can the Polish Migrant Speak? The Representation of “Subaltern” Polish Migrants in Film, Literature and Music from Britain and Poland
Przemysław Wilk: Images of Poles and Poland in The Guardian, 2003-2005
Marie-Luise Egbert: “Old Poles” and “New Blacks”: The Polish Immigrant Experience in Britain
(Re-)Visiting Eastern Spaces in Contemporary British Fiction
Corina Crişu: British Geographies in the Eastern European Mind: Rose Tremain’s The Road Home
Barbara Puschmann-Nalenz: West Faces East: Images of Eastern Europe in Recent Short Fiction
Michael Szczekalla: ‘Under Western Eyes’: Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in the Fiction of Martin Amis, Nicholas Shakespeare and Carl Tighe
Ingrida Žindžiuvienė: Images of Lithuania in Stephan Collishaw’s Novels
Claudia Duppé: Tourist in Her Native Country: Kapka Kassabova’s Street Without a Name
Doris Lechner: Eastern European Memories? The Novels of Marina Lewycka
Doris Lechner: Interview with Marina Lewycka
Notes on Contributors