By David Williams
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Extra resources for Writing Postcommunism: Towards a Literature of the East European Ruins
These include, inter alia, the role of intellectuals, writers and literature in eastern Europe from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, with particular emphasis on developments post1989; continuity and change in the western reception of east European literature under communism and postcommunism; the literary and cultural space of the second Yugoslavia (1945–92); the Kulturkampf between nationalist and cosmopolitan forces in post-independence Croatia; the wide-ranging extraliterary (and inevitably gender-coloured) Introduction: Exercises in Polysemy 31 attacks on Dubravka Ugrešic´ by (Croatian) government-sponsored media and nationalist intellectuals following the anti-nationalist positions articulated in her essays published in the West as Yugoslavia disintegrated; and finally, Ugrešic´’s ‘voluntary exile’ from Croatia in 1993 and the lasting effects this has had on both her literary production and its reception at ‘home’ and ‘away’.
128 The grief in Böll’s fiction at the physical and metaphysical detritus left by fascism’s exit from the stage of history is of a vastly different nature to the ambiguity that marks Ugrešic´’s literary evocations of the postcommunist and post-Yugoslav everyday. Stunde Null The above caveats declared, it is not difficult to follow the associative links between the respective post-1945 and post-1989 literary situations that Jancˇar must have had in mind. 129 While the term Stunde Null is largely absent from post-1989 east European literary scholarship, both writers and literary scholars have suggested that something very similar occurred.
29 Quite to the contrary, in 1952 the towering figure of Miroslav Krleža gave his famous address ‘On Cultural Freedom’ to the third congress of the Yugoslav Writers’ Union. While Krleža never renounced ‘engaged’ literature, as he made clear in a later interview, ‘if one writes a literary work, one needs to write artistically, what one writes must have literary value. 30 Given this situation, there was never any real split between official and unofficial culture, nor did censorship at home give birth to famous émigré presses abroad such as Zdena Salivarová and Josef Škvorecký’s Toronto-based 68 Publishers.
Writing Postcommunism: Towards a Literature of the East European Ruins by David Williams