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Comparative Central European Culture

edited by Steven Totosy de Zepetnek

Publication Year: 2002

This volume contains selected papers of conferences organized by the editor, Steven Tötösy de Zepetnek, in 1999 and 2000 in Canada and the U.S. on various topics of culture and literature in Central and East Europe.

Published by: Purdue University Press

Series: Comparative Cultural Studies

Front Matter

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pp. vii-xvi

The volume Comparative Central European Cultureis a collection of papers in comparative cultural studies applied in the study of Central European culture. First, it is proposed that a Central European culture, as controversial and debated the notion may be, exists. The concept of a Central European culture is constructed based on real or imagined ...

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Comparative Cultural Studies and the Study of Central European Culture

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pp. 1-32

In this paper, I first present principles of comparative cultural studies followed by a brief description of the framework’s methodology, the systemic and empirical approach. This introduction of theory and method is then followed by a brief description of the notion of Central European culture—real or imagined—defined as an in-between peripheral and ...

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A Comparative View of Modernism in Central European Literature

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pp. 33-50

According to Marshall Berman, “It is easy to imagine how a society committed to the free development of each and all might develop its own distinctive varieties of nihilism. Indeed, a communist nihilism might turn out to be far more explosive and disintegrative than its bourgeois precursor—though also more daring and original—because, while ...

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pp. 51-70

Born in different times and different places, two great Central European poets of the Holocaust, Paul Celan and Miklós Radnóti, reveal essential commonalities that point toward a shared intellectual heritage. Striking among them is these poets’ belief in the power of poetry, which Radnóti viewed as capable of controlling, perhaps even transcending, the ...

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Comparative Central European Culture: Gender in Literature and Film

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pp. 71-90

There is a conspicuous similarity between the gender structures that underlie the modern nation and the modernist love lyric. Western feminist critics have begun to expose the transcendence and transparence associated with poetry in general, and the gender politics of the love lyric in particular. Rachel Blau DuPlessis identifies the cluster of foundational ...

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Austroslovakism in Anton Hykisch’s Novel about Maria Theresa

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pp. 91-102

Anton Hykisch is one of Slovakia’s major writers today. He was also the first ambassador of Slovakia to Canada after the country separated from Czechoslovakia in 1993. His early work, for example his book of travels in Canada—Canada Is Not a Joke (1968)—is an open confrontation with the world he glimpsed at the occasion of the Montréal...

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Milan Kundera and the Identity of Central Europe

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pp. 103-114

The identity of Central Europe has been a problem for Milan Kundera since his adolescence; it gave birth to a theme with many variations,”writes Ladislav Matjka (127). The “variations” are reflected throughout Kundera’s public, private, political, and literary life; for example, in his involvement with the Communist Party, his expulsion from the party, ...

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Politics, History, and Public Intellectuals in Central Europe after 1989

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pp. 115-132

In what follows, I trace a recent—and very old—configuration of Austria’s “imagined Europe”—to coin a term from Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities”—yet far outside his project of nationalism. To do so, I begin with a hegemonic, if not entirely Austrian, voice joining Austria’s past with Europe’s future, Otto von Habsburg, heir to the ...

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Comparative Central European Culture: Austrian and Hungarian Cinema Today

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pp. 133-148

More than a decade has passed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, offering a timely moment to reflect on the changes wrought by the post-communist transition in Central European cinema. Alongside radical transformations arising from the privatization of film studios and funding structures for co-productions taking place in the European market ...

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Comparative Central European Culture: Displacements and Peripheralities

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pp. 149-168

Adecade after the collapse of the Soviet empire, the cultural discourse of Central and East Europe continues to be permeated by one dominant metaphor of intent, namely the road to Europe. In spite of the differentiation of manifestations the symbol has undergone in the past ten years, the semantic scope encompasses a common perception of ...

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Central Europe, Jewish Family History, and Sunshine

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pp. 169-188

An English-language film with an almost exclusively Anglo-American cast, produced in Canada, filmed in Hungary, with a screenplay co-written by an American playwright and a Hungarian director who is best known in North America for an Oscar-winning film in German (Mephisto,1981), István Szabó’s Sunshine is nothing if not transnational. ...

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Selected Bibliography for the Study of Central European Culture

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pp. 189-206

This is a selected bibliography for the study of Central European culture of work ranging from studies in culture, literature, sociology, history, economics, architecture, political science, the arts, comparative cultural studies, etc. Central European culture is designated as a real and imagined space from Austria and the former East Germany to Romania ...


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pp. 207-212


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pp. 213-217

About the Editor

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p. 218-218

E-ISBN-13: 9781612490175
E-ISBN-10: 1612490174
Print-ISBN-13: 9781557532404
Print-ISBN-10: 1557532400

Page Count: 217
Publication Year: 2002

Series Title: Comparative Cultural Studies

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Culture in motion pictures.
  • Europe, Central -- Literatures -- History and criticism -- Congresses.
  • Europe, Central -- Intellectual life -- 20th century -- Congresses.
  • Motion pictures -- Europe, Central -- Congresses.
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