Strangeness, the state of being a stranger, pervades the fiction of Imre Kertész. As a child and as a Jew in wartime Budapest, his early years were blighted by segregation, deportation, and liquidation. After the camps, there was socialism and the compulsion to conform. Authors faced the spectre of the censor; now, when travelling is possible, the isolation brought by writing in Hungarian is the obstacle. Helga Leiprecht travels to meet Imre Kertész in his native Budapest.
Read more than 6000 articles in 35 languages from over 90 cultural journals and associates.
In order to decide whether liberalism is the right course for Slovakia, Samuel Abraham first looks at the true meaning of the term. He finds liberalism’s greatest strength in its ability to open up public discussions and encourage tolerance.
Drafted by: Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights; Center for Cultural Decontamination; Civic Initiatives; Helsinki Commission for Human Rights in Serbia; Belgrade Circle; Women in Black; Humanitarian Law Center; Youth Initiative for Human Rights.
An interview with Mihajlo Markovic and Vasilije Krestic
In 1986 the Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences published a “Memorandum” that compiled the central theses of Serbian nationalism. Several authors have seen in this document evidence of early and systematic preparation for the establishment of a state of Greater Serbia, and with it the war in Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
When it seems self-evident that commemoration averts recurrence of that being commemorated, it takes a psychoanalyst to point out that making people remember assumes that their responses to their memories can be calculated. An obsession with memory blinds us to the abuses of memory and to the uses of forgetting, argues Adam Phillips.
This year Germany is celebrating the centenary of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The journal Gegenworte reflects on the “eventization” of sciences.
The western political representatives who met Putin in Moscow on 9 May to celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II were confronted by a version of history very different from their own. The event highlighted the way in which the comfortable historical consensus long obtained within and among western European countries has been undermined after the eastern enlargement. For Russia, this will mean breaking the taboo surrounding the Great Victory if relations with its neighbours are to be harmonious.
In the European political climate today, more than sixty years since the end of WWII, eastern European experiences of subjugation are often glossed over. This creates misunderstandings that could be avoided by an awareness of a common European history, argues Timothy Snyder. Then, solidarity rather than national prejudice would motivate public opinion on matters of European politics.
The Bush-Putin summit in Bratislava could make one think that Slovakia is a country without spirit and influence. But Samuel Abrahám turns the attention to another meeting at the eve of the summit. There Slovakia is a shining example. Not because of the Velvet Revolution of 1989 or the peaceful break-up of Czechoslovakia of 1993, and not because it hosted Bush and Putin. It is because of 1998, when Slovakia voted out its own autocrat.
Lithuania wakes up to a new social and cultural reality
In the academic and intellectual Lituanian debate, globalisation and Europeanisation is often regarded as a deadly threat to the national culture, an “evil mission”. Almantas Samalavicius looks at the arguments and proposes a completely diffent concept of identity.
There are moments in history when one must think broadly and ambitiously. To secure democracy in Ukraine is certainly in the interest of the European Union, writes Timothy Snyder. It is also a test for a Europe that wishes to play a role in the world.
Ukrainian author Oksana Zabuzhko walks the streets of Kiev and witnesses an unprecedented upsurge of national solidarity. “To put it simply,” she writes, “‘they’ are the power – the most widely hated power in Ukraine since Soviet times. And ‘we’ – we are the people.”
The dialogue of cultures in music
A look at the musical history of Saint Petersburg and the intercultural dialogue between Russian and European music.