THE EXPERIENCE OF THE CENTRAL-EUROPEAN LITERATURE (Skusenost stredoeuropskej emigrantskej literatury)
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The article presents a publication which pursues one of the few discussed subjects of the comparative literary studies, literature of the Central-European literature of emigration from the viewpoint of the comparative studies. All of the literatures of emigration in the region lying between the German and Russian language areas are closely studied in the publication. The subject is innovatively and widely analysed, drawing on findings that in spite of considerable ideological differences, the situation of emigration disposes of several common general features. Although the narrowing of the subject in the publication is arguable (leaving out Baltic and Bulgarian material), the range is still impressively wide and deep. The extensive introductory study of John Neubauer not only presents the historical context of the given phenomenon, and the nodal points of the 'short twentieth century', but it brings a progressive special distribution of emigrations - it mentions the most important emigrant cultural centres from Vienna through Paris to Constantinople, or Moscow, or even New York and Argentina. It presents Moscow, in an innovative way, as an international cultural centre established after Hitler's rise to power and the subsequent emigrations from the East to the West; and for the first time the reader has a chance to read a relevant summary of the activities of Hungarian communist emigrants there. The collective of authors approaches the subject of the research in various ways, from institutional history to characteristic emigrant literary genres, or to outstanding literary careers. The multilayer and wide question of emigration is studied in a densely-woven net of text-focused analyses also using the methods of social sciences, psychology, sociology, communication theory. It is a pleasant feature of the book that it re-examines or revises topoi, stereotypes connected with the subject of research. It is an inspiring publication from the viewpoint of theory as well as a methodology. It represents rich material and is unavoidable for the further research.
- Magdolna Balogh, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Literary Studies, Menesi ut 11-13., 1118 Budapest, Hungary
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