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.

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Dobrota Pucherová is a researcher at the Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, and a lecturer at University of Vienna.

Róbert Gáfrik is a researcher at the Institute of World Literature, Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, and an associate professor at Trnava University.
“An important and timely volume on post-communist cultures that seeks to offer an insightful contribution to the field of postcolonial studies [...] The diverse disciplinary background of the authors ensures that this very rich cultural material is explored from different angles [...]"
- Ágnes Györke, University of Debrecen, Hungary in Recherche Littéraire/Literary Research , Vol. 33 2017 pp.110-114

Dobrota Pucherová and Róbert Gáfrik
Introduction: Which Postcolonial Europe?

Part I: Post-Communist, Post-Socialist, Post-Soviet, Post-Dependence: Preliminary Considerations on East-Central European Un-Homing

Madina Tlostanova
Postcolonial Theory, the Decolonial Option and Postsocialist Writing

Benedikts Kalnačs
Postcolonial Narratives, Decolonial Options: The Baltic Experience

Cristina Sandru
Joined at the Hip? About Post-Communism in a (Revised) Postcolonial Mode

Emilia Kledzik
Inventing Postcolonial Poland: Strategies of Domestication

Part II: The Ghosts of the Past: Post-Communist Rewriting of National Histories

Bogdan Ştefănescu
Filling in the Historical Blanks: A Tropology of the Void in Postcommunist and Postcolonial Reconstructions of Identity

Adriana Raducanu
Confessions from the Dead: Reading Ismail Kadare’s Spiritus as a ‘Post-Communist Gothic’ Novel

Dobrota Pucherová
Trauma and Memory of Soviet Occupation in Slovak (Post-)Communist Literature

Natalie Paoli
‘Let My People Go’: Postcolonial Trauma in Oksana Zabuzhko’s The Museum of Abandoned Secrets

Edit Zsadányi
Voicing the Subaltern by Narrating the Communist Past through the Focalization of a Child in Gábor Németh’s ‘Are You a Jew?’ and Endre Kukorelly’s ‘The Fairy Valley’

Part III: Place and Displacement in (Post-)Communist Narratives and Cityscapes

Irene Sywenky
Geopoetics of the Female Body in Postcolonial Ukrainian and Polish Fiction

Tamás Scheibner
Building Empire through Self-Colonization: Literary Canons and Budapest as Sovietized Metropolis

Xénia Gaál
The City of K. (Königsberg/Kaliningrad) as a Cultural Phenomenon: Cultural Memory, the Myth and Identity of the City

Dorota Kołodziejczyk
The Organic (Re)Turn ― Ecology of Place in Postcolonial and Central/Eastern European Novel of Post-Displacement

Part IV: Imagining the Orient in Central European Communist Travel Writing

Róbert Gáfrik
Representations of India in Slovak Travel Writing during the Communist Regime (1948–1989)

Martin Slobodník
Socialist Anti-Orientalism: Perceptions of China in Czechoslovak Travelogues from the 1950s

Agnieszka Sadecka
A Socialist Orientalism? Polish Travel Writing on India in the 1960s

Part V: Between the East and the West: The Colonial Present

Mykola Riabchuk
Ukrainian Culture after Communism: Between Post-Colonial Liberation and Neo-Colonial Subjugation

Dariusz Skórczewski
Trapped by the Western Gaze: Contemporary European Imagology and Its Implications for East and South-East European Agency ― a Case Study

Jagoda Wierzejska
Central European Palimpsests: Postcolonial Discourse in Works by Andrzej Stasiuk and Yurii Andrukhovych

Scholars of postcolonial literature and culture, post-soviet and post-communist literature and culture, regional Eastern and Central European studies, European Studies, and Slavic literatures and cultures