- International ScholarshipCentral European Contributions, 2009–2014
This essay surveys scholarship published in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary from 2009 through 2014 and in Poland in 2013 and 2014. Jaroslav Kušnír is responsible for the commentary on Czech and Slovakian publications and Grażyna Zygadło for Polish publications. Enikő Bollobás prepared the commentary on Hungarian publications and compiled and organized the material.
a. Commemorative and Anniversary Volumes, Topical Studies
The period 2009–2014 was a season of anniversaries in American literary studies in Hungary, marked by a whole range of commemorative publications and festschriften. Collections that contain essays on American literature are, among others, Anglisztika és amerikanisztika: Magyar kutatások az ezredfordulón, ed. Tibor Frank and Krisztina Károly (Budapest: Tinta Könyvkiadó, 2009); A mondat becsülete—Írások a hetvenéves Abádi Nagy Zoltán tiszteletére, ed. Tamás Bényei et al. (Debrecen: Debreceni Egyetemi Kiadó, 2010); Eger Journal of American Studies, “Special Issue in Honor of Zoltán Abádi-Nagy” (xii ), ed. Lehel Vadon; Enchanted by Myth: A Volume for Virágos Zsolt Kálmán on His 70th Birthday, ed. Lenke Németh et al. (Debrecen: Debreceni Egyetemi Kiadó, 2012); A szavak szépsége, avagy a bibliográfus igazsága: Tisztelgés Vadon Lehel 70. születésnapján, ed. Zoltán Abádi-Nagy et al. (Eger: EKTF Líceum Kiadó, 2012); Hungarian Journal of English and American [End Page 415] Studies, “Special Issue in Honor of Donald Morse” (18, i/ii ); Tanulmányok Bollobás Enikő 60. születésnapjára, ed. Vera Benczik, Tibor Frank, and Ildikó Geiger (Budapest: ELTE, 2012); and Indigenous Perspectives of North America: A Collection of Studies, ed. Enikő Sepsi et al. (Cambridge Scholars, 2014). Significant essays in these publications are cited in relevant sections below.
The bibliography of the publications of leading Czech Americanist Josef Jařab, Palacký University, “Josef Jařab: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1966–2009” (MoravianJLF 1, i : 15–47), was compiled by Marcel Arbeit, who also coauthored with Michal Perník “Living Cultural Plurality: A Tribute to Josef Jařab” (MoravianJLF 1, i : 5–12). A signal example of Jařab’s significant contribution to American literary studies is his editorship of the volume Horace M. Kallen a vývoj americké kulturní identity (Olomouc: Periplum, 2011), in which also appears his essay “Mezi tavicím kotlem, kulturním pluralismem a multikulturalismem” (pp. 131–47).
Martin Procházka’s Historical Narratives, Aesthetic Paradigms, and Technological Developments (Praha: Litteraria Pragensia, 2012) discusses the significance of ruins, including the ruins connected with “ghost towns,” from the Romantic to the postmodern period. Inne Bębny: Różnica i niezgoda w literaturze i kulturze amerykańskiej, ed. Ewa Antoszek et al. (Lublin: Wydawnictwo UMCS, 2013) is a collection of Polish essays devoted to broad issues of rebellion and resistance. As the editors note, the title of the collection—in English, Other Drums: Difference and Disagreements in American Literature and Culture—alludes to Walden, in which, critical of contemporary culture, Henry David Thoreau encourages his fellow citizens to follow the “different drummer” they hear, that is, to obey one’s own feelings instead of blindly pursuing popular opinion. Taken to its logical conclusion, this independence culminates in civil disobedience. The effect of this philosophy on American artists and writers is reflected in the variety of essays in this volume. Małgorzata Rutkowska’s “‘Good bye, America!’: Travel as Escape and Search for a New Life in 20th-Century American Literature” (pp. 13–29) looks at three works that present journey as a form of rejection of America’s values, Henry Miller’s Colossus of Maroussi, Paul Bowles’s The Sheltering Sky, and Paul Theroux’s The Mosquito Coast, claiming that in each the need to leave the country stems from the rejection of America’s moral corruption, so that the protagonists’ journeys become a symbol of spiritual rebirth and intellectual awakening. Zofia [End Page 416] Kolbuszewska’s “Living Pictures in the Works of Stephen King” (pp. 69–78) examines King’s reservations about the...