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Literary perspectives
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Carl Henrik Fredriksson

Literary perspectives: An introduction

The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

Editorial Eurozine's new series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. [ more ]

30.01.2006

Read also A longer version of Carl Henrik Fredriksson's article The re-transnationalization of literary criticism. [ more ]

 

Literary perspectives special: Witold Gombrowicz

Piotr Kiezun, Jaroslaw Kuisz

A brutal auto-vivisection

Witold Gombrowicz's secret diary published in Poland

life writing The recent publication of the private diary of Witold Gombrowicz provides unparalleled insight into the life of one of Poland's great twentieth-century novelists and dramatists. But this is not literature. Instead: here he is, completely naked. [ more ]

16.08.2013
Pawel Majewski

Life itself (whatever that is)

survival If Gombrowicz would have written these notes just for himself, to refresh his memory, he would have asked his wife to destroy the manuscript. On the contrary: he always wanted her to save "Kronos" from the fire. It was meant to survive, writes Pawel Majewski. [ more ]

16.08.2013
Jerzy Jarzebski, Adam Puchejda

No mean bookkeeping

An interview with the editor of "Kronos"

conversation We should not think of "Kronos" as a testimony similar to Gombrowicz's "Diary", says Jerzy Jarzebski to "Kultura Liberalna". While the "Diary" is his contribution to "European and world thought", "Kronos" is an attempt to record an objective, sometimes very candid, truth. [ more ]

16.08.2013
 

Ukraine 2

Peter Pomerantsev

Sometimes we dream of Europe

essay Until 1991, Ukraine had largely failed to establish a narrative for itself in the world. Peter Pomerantsev shows how, thereafter, a new literature emerged that made contemporary Ukrainian writers Europe's grittier Latin Americans, mixing magical realism with domestic abuse, folklore and mafia. [ more ]

20.09.2013
 

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FLANDERS

Tom Van Imschoot

Literary perspectives: Flanders

Reality-check

Flanders In the last decade, Flemish fiction has stepped out of the shadow of its Dutch older sister, writes Tom Van Imschoot. One discernable trend is the turn from metafiction towards various forms of realism, be it the regional, the semi-autobiographical or the "virtual". [ more ]

06.04.2011
 

Lithuania

Almantas Samalavicius

Literary perspectives: Lithuania

Almost normal

Essay The literary field in Lithuania has established itself since independence, despite vastly smaller print runs. Today, a range of literary approaches can be made out, from the social criticism of the middle generation to the more private narratives of the post-Soviet writers. [ more ]

27.12.2009
 

Denmark

Andreas Harbsmeier

Literary perspectives: Denmark

The contemporary literary reservation

Essay Committed, critical writing in Denmark is emerging from its sheltered existence in a literary reservation, in doing so collapsing the boundaries between the literary field and the broader public sphere, writes Andreas Harbsmeier. [ more ]

30.10.2009
 

croatia

Andrea Zlatar

Literary perspectives: Croatia

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Essay A new generation of post-feminist writers in Croatia has emerged in the crossover between literature and journalism. Common to much new Croatian writing is the postwar experience, with authors using marginal characters to explore tensions between individual and society. [ more ]

31.03.2009
 

sweden

Jonas Thente

Literary perspectives: Sweden

Beyond crime fiction, handbags and designer suits

Essay Recent literary debates in Sweden have dwelled, among things, on authors' love lives and penchant for designer handbags. Yet there is more out there if one looks: Hans Koppel's satire of suburban manners, for example, or Magnus Hedlund's explorations of human perception. [ more ]

23.09.2008
Pär Thörn

We're like a boat with water up to the gunwales and there are waves breaking over the sides the whole time!

Prose Pär Thörn, one of Sweden's most acclaimed young writers, studied the discussions between the executive managers on the web forum www.ledarna.se ("the executives"). Read the results of his copy-pasting. [ more ]

23.09.2008
Hanna Hallgren

Depressive European

Prose Chocolate cigarettes, AIDS, and homes for battered wives. Hanna Hallgren conducts a critical, poetic search for European identity. [ more ]

23.09.2008
Athena Farrokhzad, Tova Gerge

Manual for postmodern childrearing

Prose How would you bring up a child if you took the lessons from postmodernism literally? [ more ]

23.09.2008

Read also Ida Börjel, "European waistelines"; Andrej Tichy, "The scream of geometry"

 

Austria

Daniela Strigl

Literary perspectives: Austria

Anything but a "German appendix"

Essay Austrian novelists are still referred to as Germans despite recent critical and commercial success. From the new narrative "miracle" to the darkly humorous "writer's novel", Daniela Strigl finds a contemporary Austrian scene at the top of its game. [ more ]

10.06.2008
 

Estonia

Märt Väljataga

Literary perspectives: Estonia

Waiting for the Great Estonian Novel

Essay While the Great Estonian Novel has yet to be written, the range of fiction in Estonia is wide enough to serve as an indicator of the post-communist country's hopes and fears, anxieties and obsessions. writes the editor of "Vikerkaar". [ more ]

30.06.2007

Read also Jaan Kaplinski's 1992 parable of writers in transition: From harem to brothel. [ more ]

Jaan Kaplinski

The visitor

Prose One evening, the director of a zoological museum receives a visitor with a very unusual interest in the exhibits... [ more ]

30.06.2007
Andrus Kivirähk

A brave woman

Prose Cynical and naive mentalities mix in an absurd short story by Estonia's most popular young author. [ more ]

30.06.2007
 

Ukraine

Tymofiy Havryliv

Literary perspectives: Ukraine

Longing for the novel

Essay In Ukraine, the demand for engagement with the recent past has produced a series of novels that are better described as autobiographies. But, asks Timofiy Havryliv, is autobiography equal to the task? [ more ]

28.06.2007
 

Northern Ireland

Matt McGuire

Literary perspectives: Northern Ireland

Shaking the hand of history

Essay While the Northern Irish literary tradition is closely bound up with the experience of sectarian violence, contemporary Northern Irish writing defies the assumption that "the Troubles" are all there is to the country's literature. [ more ]

21.06.2007

Read also Alan Gillis's poem The Ulster way. [ more ]

 

Slovenia

Ales Steger

Literary perspectives: Slovenia

A hollowed-out generation

Essay Slovenian novelists are developing original responses to the experience of post-communist society, writes Ales Steger. While male novelists take a hyper-realist, social-critical approach, their female counterparts are creating fictions only loosely connected to contemporary time and space. [ more ]

27.06.2007

Read also Protuberances: poetry by Ales Steger. [ more ]

Read also The first chapter of Fuzine blues, a novel by Andrej E. Skubic. [ more ]

 

The Netherlands

Margot Dijkgraaf

Literary perspectives: The Netherlands

"Profound Holland" and the new Dutch

Essay While the work of novelists Jan Siebelink and Arnon Grunberg reflect the new need for security in the Netherlands, a parallel strand of contemporary Dutch literature sidesteps such concerns: writers with migrant backgrounds are introducing new styles into the Dutch literary repertoire. [ more ]

29.06.2007

Read also Hella S. Haasse's short story, A stone jar from Arelate (in French) [ more ]

Read also The first chapter of Jan Siebelink's novel Kneeling on a bed of violets (in German) [ more ]

Read also Excerpts from Arnon Grunberg's novels: The asylum seeker and Tirza (in Dutch) [ more ]

 

Hungary

Gábor Csordás

Literary perspectives: Hungary

Mastering history through narrative?

Essay Gábor Csordás reads the newest Hungarian novels, that all share a concern with narrative, holding out to the reader the hope of mastering history. [ more ]

30.01.2006

Read also György Spiró in interview: A witness of the first century. [ more ]

Satire Literary EU standards? A satire by György Spiró. [ more ]

Gábor Csordás

The body of the text

Corporeal writing in Péter Nádas's "Parallel Stories"

Essay Parallel Stories, the new novel by Péter Nádas, interweaves four sets of narratives driven by the twin motors of politics and eroticism. But Parallel Stories is more than the sum of its plot lines. [ more ]

30.01.2006

Read also Peter Nadas on Hungary '56: A headless revolution. [ more ]

Zsófia Bán

A box of photos

(Captions on the back)

fiction A man looks at photographs of his youth in pre-war Budapest. Above all he remembers his love, the seductive Jolika. Yet memory is tainted by sorrow as it becomes clear that this is a story of loss and displacement. [ more ]

19.07.2007
Tim Wilkinson

Why does anyone translate?

On translation The English translator of Imre Kertész talks about the lack of literary translations in the UK and US, and assesses past, present, and forthcoming efforts to bring Hungarian literary fiction to the English-speaking market. [ more ]

30.01.2006
György Spiró

Imre Kertész and his time

Not Jewish. Not Hungarian. Not anti-German enough.

Essay The "perfect normality" of his fiction placed Imre Kertész on the sidelines of Hungarian literature during socialism, and still causes dislike, says a leading Hungarian playwright. [ more ]

20.07.2005
Attila Bartis

Resting

An excerpt

Literature Attila Bartis's Resting (2001) portrays a consciousness for which "rest" is unattainable. Both private psychodrama and portrait of the end of the Communist era, the novel is one of the darkest to have emerged from contemporary Hungarian literature. [ more ]

27.02.2006

Read also Ilma Rakusa's introduction to Bartis's novel. [ more ]

András Forgách

Zehuze

Literature A Hungarian-Israeli mother addresses her daughter in Europe in a letter she never sends. In a fictional monologue, András Forgách explores the private suffering and political ambivalence of a life in postwar Israel. One of Hungary's most interesting authors for the first time in English translation. [ more ]

18.05.2007
 

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More literature in Eurozine

Märt Väljataga

Why study literature?

Essay Literary studies in Estonia has taken a crash course in twentieth-century theory. With mixed results, says the editor of cultural journal Vikerkaar. Now literary critics should stop baffling one another with jargon and aim at a wider readership. [ more ]

05.10.2005
Richard Tempest

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, (anti)modernist

Russia For Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, modernism in Russia foretold "the most destructive revolution of the twentieth century". Exploring Solzhenitsyn's (dis)engagement with European modernism, Richard Tempest argues he employed modernist means to achieve anti-modernist ends. [ more ]

12.11.2010
Margriet de Moor, Marek Seckar

"Water is more dangerous than the rise of Islam..."

Interview with Dutch writer Margriet de Moor

In conversation Although often using female heroines in her novels, Margriet de Moor finds pigeonholing literature into male and female categories is a pointless exercise. "The social issue of women suffering under a male dominance – no, I don't find it terribly interesting." [ more ]

24.04.2008
Stig Sćterbakken

My heart belongs to Europe. Therefore it is broken

Essay Does literature help maintain individual and collective identity, or does it inspire us to discredit it? [ more ]

02.02.2006
Bernard Magnier

The presence of African literature

The evolution of literary criticism, publishing, and readership

Essay Africa’s growing role in western European culture is reflected in the increasing interest in its literature. Soon Kourouma will be shelved between Kafka and Kundera. [ more ]

03.10.2005
Anna Friman

Pornographers in black

Essay Is the female pornographic eye dangerous? Or is it just another male fantasy? Anna Friman on what happens when women write about sex. An award-winning essay on posh porn. [ more ]

16.11.2006
Andrzej Tichy

The scream of geometry

(modified excerpts)

Literature "How can these cities, villages, and their people exist? How can they stand there selling tomatoes and speaking their language and drying their laundry without considering the infinite number of other places where someone else is standing, selling tomatoes or potatoes and speaking their language and drying laundry?" [ more ]

21.02.2007
Ida Börjel

European waistlines

Literature Swedish poet Ida Börjel confronts us with our favourite and most insulting national prejudices about ourselves and our European neighbours. But does she confirm them? [ more ]

23.11.2005
Amir Or

Anthology of contemporary Hebrew poetry VII

Poetry Helicon editor Amir Or's latest addition to the Hebrew poetry anthology presented in Eurozine. [ more ]

29.08.2006
Jesper Gulddal

A heavy prelude to chaos

Aspects of literary anti-Americanism in the interwar years

Essay Interwar European literature represented the US as the quintessence of unbridled modernity that prefigured the destruction of Europe. Jesper Gulddal surveys the uncharted territory of literary anti-Americanism. [ more ]

20.03.2007
Ieva Lesinska, Christopher Ricks

A lesson in Dylan appreciation

Interview When Christopher Ricks, author of critical works on Milton, Keats, and Eliot, turned his attention to Bob Dylan, critics grumbled that he could talk one into believing that even a phone book is poetry. Now that Dylan has won the Pulitzer Prize, they may have to reconsider. [ more ]

11.04.2008
Harold Bloom, Ieva Lesinska

Breakfast with brontosaurus

An interview with Harold Bloom

In conversation "Partly from encountering wisdom, I have to say I have no wisdom." American literary critic Harold Bloom talks to Latvian journal Rigas Laiks about his twenty-ninth book, Where Shall Wisdom Be Found? [ more ]

07.10.2005
Karin Sarsenov

Is it a sin to travel?

Itinerant women in post-Soviet narrative

Russia Three contemporary Russian novels undermine the stigmatization of Russian women as prostitutes and destabilize the patriotic discourse that forbids women's travel. [ more ]

07.09.2006
Ismail Kadare

Don Quixote in the Balkans

Essay Ismail Kadare on why Don Quixote belongs to Balkan folklore, how Cervantes first came to be translated into Albanian, and why today's politicians should be banned from using the knight errant's name as a term of abuse. [ more ]

31.05.2006
Jiri Travnicek

Twenty-two years later

A second reading of Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being"

Literary criticism Twenty-two years after it was first published in Czech, Jiri Travnicek discovers a new appreciation for the narration, characterization, and above all wisdom of Milan Kundera's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being". [ more ]

15.06.2007
Jörg Magenau

On the privileges of the literary critic

Literary criticism Literary lunches aside, what are the critic's privileges? According to Jörg Magenau, it's all about accumulating others' experiences, about "being in the world", about avoiding the media's barrage of facts. And about having lots of books... [ more ]

04.06.2007
Erica Johnson Debeljak

Gained in translation

On translation What is the translator's job? To bring the text to the reader or the reader to the text? And either way, do translators receive the credit they deserve? [ more ]

25.07.2005
Rainer Just

Against love

Seeking the literary traces of the Natascha Kampusch affair

Radical critique "The birth of love out of the spirit of totalitarianism expressed itself in exemplary manner in the Kampusch abduction story. A person is shut in, all the others shut out – that is the ideological core of romantic love."[Czech version added] [ more ]

27.03.2007
 

Focal points     click for more

Ukraine in focus

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/publicsphere.html
Ten years after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is in the throes of yet another major struggle. Eurozine provides commentary on events as they unfold and further articles from the archive providing background to the situation in today's Ukraine. [more]

The ends of democracy

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/democracy.html
At a time when the global pull of democracy has never been stronger, the crisis of democracy has become acute. Eurozine has collected articles that make the problems of democracy so tangible that one starts to wonder if it has a future at all, as well as those that return to the very basis of the principle of democracy. [more]

Russia in global dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In the two decades after the end of the Cold War, intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified. It has not, however, prompted a common conversation. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" seeks to fuel debate on democracy, society and the legacy of empire. [more]

Hungary

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In recent years, Hungary has been a constant concern for anyone interested in European politics. We have collected articles published in Eurozine on recent developments in Hungary and broader issues relating to Hungarian politics, history and culture. [more]

The public sphere in the making

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/publicsphere.html
The public sphere is not something given; it is made - over and over again. But which actors are involved and what roles do they play? Is there a difference between an intellectual and an expert? And in which media or public space does the debate take place? [more]

The EU: Broken or just broke?

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
Brought on by the global economic recession, the eurocrisis has been exacerbated by serious faults built into the monetary union. Contributors discuss whether the EU is not only broke, but also broken -- and if so, whether Europe's leaders are up to the task of fixing it. [more]

Time to Talk     click for more

Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch a new online platform. Here you can watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
Robert Skidelsky
The Eurozone crisis: A Keynesian response

http://www.eurozine.com/timetotalk/the-eurozone-crisis-a-keynesian-response/
Political economist and Keynes biographer Robert Skidelsky explains the reasons for the failure of the current anti-crisis policy and how Europe can start to grow again. Listen to the full debate organized by Krytyka Polityczna. [more]

Support Eurozine     click for more

If you appreciate Eurozine's work and would like to support our contribution to the establishment of a European public sphere, see information about making a donation.

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Editor's choice     click for more

Marcus Rediker
Ghosts on the waterfront

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2012-07-27-rediker-en.html
Historian Marcus Rediker describes the sailing ship as linchpin of the emergent transatlantic economic order and instrument of terror for slaves transported from Africa, going on to discuss European harbour cities' role in the slave trade and their responsibilities in reckoning with its moral legacy. [more]

Literature     click for more

Olga Tokarczuk
A finger pointing at the moon

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-01-16-tokarczuk-en.html
Our language is our literary destiny, writes Olga Tokarczuk. And "minority" languages provide a special kind of sanctuary too, inaccessible to the rest of the world. But, there again, language is at its most powerful when it reaches beyond itself and starts to create an alternative world. [more]

Piotr Kiezun, Jaroslaw Kuisz
Literary perspectives special: Witold Gombrowicz

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2013-08-16-kuisz-en.html
The recent publication of the private diary of Witold Gombrowicz provides unparalleled insight into the life of one of Poland's great twentieth-century novelists and dramatists. But this is not literature. Instead: here he is, completely naked. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/literaryperspectives.html
Eurozine's series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. Covered so far: Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Hungary. [more]

Debate series     click for more

Europe talks to Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/europetalkstoeurope.html
Nationalism in Belgium might be different from nationalism in Ukraine, but if we want to understand the current European crisis and how to overcome it we need to take both into account. The debate series "Europe talks to Europe" is an attempt to turn European intellectual debate into a two-way street. [more]

Conferences     click for more

Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983. Since then, European cultural magazines have met annually in European cities to exchange ideas and experiences. Around 100 journals from almost every European country are now regularly involved in these meetings.
Making a difference. Opinion, debate and activism in the public sphere
The 25th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Oslo, 29 November - 2 December 2013

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/oslo2013.html
Under the heading "Making a difference. Opinion, debate and activism in the public sphere", the 2013 Eurozine conference focused on cultural and intellectual debate and the production of the public sphere. [more]

Multimedia     click for more

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/multimedia.html
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]


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