Imagined Geographies

Central European Spatial Narratives between 1984 and 2014

Edited by Aleksandra Konarzewska, Monika Glosowitz, and Magdalena Baran-Szołtys

ibidem Press

Imagined Geographies

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Pub Date: October 2018

ISBN: 9783838212258

200 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $40.00

Pub Date: October 2018

ISBN: 9783838272252

200 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $22.99

Imagined Geographies

Central European Spatial Narratives between 1984 and 2014

Edited by Aleksandra Konarzewska, Monika Glosowitz, and Magdalena Baran-Szołtys

ibidem Press

In 1984 Czech writer Milan Kundera published his essay “The Tragedy of Central Europe” in the New York Review of Books, which established the framework for disputes about the space “between East and West” for the following thirty years. Even today, the echo of those debates is still audible in spatial narratives. Discussing the way in which literary figures are positioned within new hierarchies such as gender, class, or ethnicity, this volume shows how the space of the imagined Central Europe has been de- and reconstructed. Special attention is paid to the role of the past in shaping contemporary spatial discourse.
What is Central Europe? The discursive field that defines, reflects upon, and depicts Central Europe, this collection of essays argues, is literature. Already in the 1980s, Milan Kundera argued that a political accident had moved countries which considered themselves the cultural center of Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic, or even Ukraine, into a political East, the Eastern bloc. The Center of Europe disappeared, and only after the fall of the Berlin Wall it started to reappear, mostly in literary and essayistic writing. The articles in this volume look closely at this writing and show how postsocialist literature moves back in time in order to revive a cultural European center. Nostalgic memories and mythic reveries evoke an image of Central Europe from a time before the world was divided into East and West.Schamma Schahadat, University of Tübingen

About the Author

Magdalena Baran-Szołtys is a Ph.D. candidate at the doctoral program Austrian Galicia and its Multicultural Heritage at the University of Vienna. She holds an MA in Germanic studies and an MA in Slavic studies. She was a tutor in German Language and Literature at the University of Sydney and a visiting scholar at the Institute of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University, University of Wrocław, and at the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University.

Monika Glosowitz is a teaching and research assistant at the Department of Comparative Literature of the University of Silesia. She holds PhDs from the University of Silesia and the University of Oviedo. She graduated from the Interdepartmental Individual Studies in Humanities of the University of Silesia and also holds an MA from Utrecht University and the University of Granada. She works as associated editor of the journals artPapier, Opcje, and Polish-Canadian Comparative Studies.

Aleksandra Konarzewska is a Ph.D. candidate at the Institute of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Tübingen. She studied philosophy, history, religious studies, and Slavic literature at the University of Warsaw, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Free University Berlin, and Yale University. At Yale, she was a tutor in Eastern European history and intellectual history.