By Natasa Kovacevic
The transition of communist japanese Europe to capitalist democracy post-1989 and within the aftermath of the Yugoslav wars has concentrated a lot scholarly awareness - in heritage, political technological know-how and literature - at the fostering of latest identities throughout japanese ecu international locations within the absence of the previous communist social and ideological frameworks. This publication examines an immense, yet hitherto principally ignored, a part of this tale: the ways that the West has outlined its personal identification and beliefs through the demonization of communist regimes and japanese ecu cultures as a totalitarian, barbarian and Orientalist "other". It describes how outdated Orientalist prejudices resurfaced in the course of the chilly struggle interval, and argues that the institution of this discourse helped to justify transitions of jap ecu societies to marketplace capitalism and liberal democracy, suppressing jap Europe’s communist histories and legacies, while perpetuating its dependence at the West as a resource of its personal feel of id. It argues that this technique of Orientalization used to be bolstered via the literary narratives of jap eu and Russian anti-communist dissidents and exiles, together with Vladimir Nabokov, Czeslaw Milosz and Milan Kundera, of their makes an attempt to provide themselves as local, jap ecu specialists and in addition emancipate themselves – and their homelands – as civilized, enlightened and Westernized. It is going directly to recommend that the best strength for spotting and overcoming this self-Orientalization lies in post-communist literary and visible narratives, with their subject matters of unhappiness within the social, monetary, or political alterations because of the transitions, problem of the unequal discursive energy in East-West dialogues the place the East is located as a disciple or a mimic of the West, and many of the guises of nostalgia for communism.
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Extra resources for Narrating Post/Communism: Colonial Discourse and Europe's Borderline Civilization
Although, as in Pale Fire, there is no direct reference to actual countries in these novels, there is an attempt at thematizing certain features of the totalitarian regimes of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. The narrative of Bend Sinister thus satirizes Nazi efficiency and includes parts of Lenin’s speeches and the Soviet constitution. The possibility of Kinbote-style, dreamlike escape, or escape from the world of totalitarian dictatorship which itself appears surreal or illusory, also informs the aforementioned novels through the acts of their persecuted protagonists Cincinnatus and Adam Krug, respectively.
The overwhelming use of Orientalist topoi especially permeates the episode where King Charles/Kinbote seduces and later abandons 17-year-old Fleur, whose graceful walk is described as that of Arab girls (Nabokov 1989a: 108). In the course of two paragraphs, Kinbote describes ‘‘the Persian rug-covered floor’’ in his royal chamber, where on a huge down pillow slept the scantily-clad Fleur, ‘‘under a coverlet of genuine giant panda fur that had just been rushed from Tibet by a group of Asiatic well-wishers’’ (Nabokov 1989a: 110).
As Julian Wolfreys observes, this overidentification with – or surrender to – ‘‘self-acknowledged figures of other discourses, other contexts we think we know’’ precisely points to the irreducibility or undecidability of any one ‘‘identity’’ (1997: 15–16). This is because the very idea of the copy, of mimicry, ‘‘implies a failed fidelity and the constantly frustrated desire for . . verisimilitude’’; it is this frustration of verisimilitude, the inherent ‘‘failure’’ to mimic an established discourse perfectly that becomes an ‘‘affirmation of difference’’ (Wolfreys 1997: 16).