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Identity and Memory in Eastern and Central Europe
Images of 19th century Sweden and Norway in the works Gösta Berling's saga by Selma Lagerlöf
Clashing cultural nationalisms the 19th-century Danish-German intellectual debate, the Schleswig wars
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I

DENTITY AND MEMORY IN EASTERN AND CENTRAL EUROPE: TRACING CZESŁAW MIŁOSZ AND MILAN KUNDERA

 

Leonidas Donskis

Vytautas Magnus University of Kaunas, Email: donskis@yahoo.com

 

 

Acknowledgements

This paper was presented at the Sixth international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania Historical memory, the politics of memory and cultural identity: Romania, Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea Region in comparison, hosted by the Romanian Association for Baltic and Nordic Studies, Faculty of History and Political Sciences of Ovidius University of Constan?a and International Summer School of The University of Oslo, Norway, May 22-23, 2015. Supported by EEA Grants, contract no 4/22.07.2014.

 

 

Abstract:

Identity and memory are two indispensable keywords of society and culture when we deal with Eastern and Central Europe in terms of their modernity and its predicaments. Put in the context of politics and literature, they allow a point of departure in a study of yet another Europe, that is, Eastern Europe on the mental map of Western Europe. They serve as an important trajectory in the history of consciousness of a significant part of Europe that has yet to be tackled, grasped, and appreciated by the political, academic, and educational mainstream of Western Europe with its innumerable clichés and stereotypes over Eastern and Central Europe. No theoretical or empirical analysis would match the depths and originality of exploration of this issue which we encounter in the essayistic writings and fiction of two major Central European writers – namely, Czesław Miłosz and Milan Kundera. This study in the history of consciousness and also in politics and literature offers an interpretive framework for a European scholarly debate on Eastern and Central European sensibilities.

 

Rezumat:

Identitatea ?i memoria reprezintă doi termeni cheie indispensabili în ceea ce prive?te societatea ?i cultura atunci când abordăm problematica Europei Centrale ?i de Răsărit în termenii modernită?ii ?i aporiilor. Plasa?i în contextul politicii ?i literaturii, ace?tia oferă un punct de plecare către o altă Europă, Europa Răsăriteană, a?a cum o regăsim pe harta mentală a Europei Occidentale. Ei slujesc ca o traiectorie importantă în istoria con?tiin?ei unei importante păr?i a Europei care este încă necesar să fie abordată, în?eleasă ?i apreciată de către curentele de gândire predominante din lumea politică, academică ?i educa?ională a Europei Occidentale, cu nenumăratele sale cli?ee ?i stereotipuri cu privire la Europa Centrală ?i de Răsărit. Nu există nicio analiză teoretică sau empirică care să egaleze în termenii profunzimii ?i originalită?ii explorarea acestui subiect a?a cum apare în scrierile eseistice ?i de fic?iune ale celor doi mari scriitori central-europeni, Czesław Miłosz ?i Milan Kundera. Studiul istoriei con?tiin?ei ?i al politicii ?i literaturii oferă cadrul interpretativ pentru o dezbatere academică asupra sensibilită?ilor Europei Centrale ?i de Răsărit.

 

Keywords: Communism, dystopia, identity, imagination, Ketman, memory, modernity


05. Donskis.pdf

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