Endnotes are by David Short. Masaryk Medal, awarded for her services to literature. This is the only Slovak item here, but from a poem widely included in Czechoslovak early readers. The issue of visibility becomes a crucial factor leading to pessimism. The failure of the heroes to leave their mark on official presentations of their nation highlights the exclusions of nation narratives.
Q to be her most important. Its reception has differed considerably from that of her other texts. Both its split perspective and the multitude of facts on divergent subjects make it difficult to trace the development of one dominant theme. Die Fassade is political, but also fantastical and self-reflective.
Her heroes, for example, reveal its homogeneity and intactness to be an illusory projection which covers over internal differences and divisions. The forgetting which is part of forging national identities is foregrounded in the novel.
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She examines how projected narratives of nation, that is, those dictated by the state, can be altered and looks for agency in the optimism of individuals. For Homi Bhabha, perhaps the most cited commentator on the nation at the present time, nations are never homogeneous, but ceaselessly displaced and never complete.
Their performances, that is, their everyday gestures and acts, become part of a whole which is visible and represented. For her, however, writing from the perspective of Eastern Bloc Europe during the Cold War, the existence of internal differences within the nation does not easily lead to a disruption of an official unified discourse. Furthermore, she depicts subculture without celebrating it, but rather highlights its isolation. In order to restore the faded designs, the artists apply a new layer of mortar to the wall and bring forth the motifs by chiselling this off to reveal the contrasting colour underneath.
Their work is therefore a covering over and a selective retrieval of existing images. Only occasionally is the previous image retained in the restored image. More often, it can no longer be made out or the artists are feeling inventive and apply their own new images. Here restoration represents a process of remembering the past where history is not static, but rather subject to a constant process of reinterpretation and redefinition. In the passages of the novel which depict the artists at work, their manipulation of the original is foregrounded: Inzwischen arbeiten alle im oberen Drittel.
In doing so, I highlight the ironic tone of the novel which in my view ultimately thwarts any faith in the agency of the people. Here an opportunity is found in the private realm for preserving stories which challenge, or run counter to, official histories.
As elsewhere in the novel, we find that the past is only accessible through the palimpsest of the present and that it is furthermore wholly contingent on present concerns. Hayden White has been widely acclaimed for condemning traditional narrative accounts for their failure to acknowledge the personal and political interests involved in the creation of meaning. He stresses that the choice of a representational medium for history is dependent wholly on the social context of the text production and rejects the possibility that representation can be objective.
Likewise, in Die Fassade, national history is made up of personal, rather than impartial tales. National Performance and Visibility in Die Fassade 45 In the following, I discuss the story Marie tells of Vilma as an example of a national narrative which does not iron out complexities, but also one which is not communicable to a wider audience. Marie is essentially a peripheral figure in the novel. She is reminded of Vilma by the sight of her own outstretched hand as she spontaneously reaches out to her admirer. The gesture makes her think of how Vilma must have held out her hand to her husband Jan as his body disappeared into the swamps of Belorus.
For Marie, reconstructing her family history is clearly a way to interpret and experience events in her own life by comparing her situation to that in which others found themselves in the past. The history which follows is therefore depicted as relevant as it interacts with and informs the present.
It is a fascinating account which shatters dichotomies which are central to standard historical accounts for example, the Revolution as a struggle between the Reds and the Whites in favour of experience which defies categorisation and runs counter to the narratives imposed by history.
By beginning with the end of the war, it also disturbs the focus of historiography on the events of and blurs the standard opposition between war and peace. Forgotten histories, such as the anarchist movement led by Nestor Machno, are remembered and the unambiguous roles commonly assigned to historical figures dissolve into complex webs of affiliations which take more than one reading to unravel.
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Vilma and Jan themselves support first the Reds, then the anarchists, while Jan originally came to the Ukraine with the Austrian army. The designation of her outsider status changes in accordance with the changing political views. Thus meaning and coherency are subordinated in this account to a view of non-conformity and experience which falls outside the traditional definition of war as military conflict between nations and in binary opposition to peace.
It does not seek to define our unique threshold of emergence, the homeland to which metaphysics promises a return: it seeks to make visible all of those discontinuities that cross us.
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It redirects the attention of history away from the traditional foci of political figures and central events. But the historically more central conflict between the communists and White Russians becomes peripheral to the movements of the Czech Legion, reclaiming what would become Soviet parts of Eastern Europe as sites of Czech as well as Russian history.
By relating what is generally recounted under the auspices of Russian history from the perspective of Czech and Slovak involvement, and by viewing events in terms of their impact on the birth of Czechoslovakia in , the narrator places a Czech perspective on events otherwise known by German readers, for example from the perspective of the Russian Revolution.
However, throughout this episode, this narrative voice remains impersonal and at no point speaks to us explicitly as Marie. This makes the account seem more historical, thus blurring the boundaries between history and the stories of individuals. There are no stylistic differences between the embedded story and the rest of the novel.
Objective description alternates with passages which are internally focalised and encourage our emotional involvement in the story. Changes in pace do, however, differentiate this section from the main story. We can on the one hand forget Marie, while on 48 Sarah Goodchild the other hand the change in pace ensures that the episode remains distinct from — and subordinated to — the main diegetic level.
Although we do momentarily forget her, the use of Marie as the implied narrator of chapter four means that the subjective nature of narrative can be laid bare. In this way, history is not allowed to stand alone, to be told for its own sake. Rather, its telling is seen to be dictated by the circumstances and needs of the person who is recalling.
Full text of "Estnisch-deutsches Wörterbuch : Eesti-saksa sõnaraamat"
In this context, Vilma embodies everything Marie herself seems to lack. Vilma followed the Czechs in the Ukraine to Kiev and then remained behind in Samara with the supporters of the Revolution. There she nursed Jan who had typhoid, fled further south with him and continued homeward to Prague after he had committed suicide in order not to be a burden to her.
There she continued her political involvement, helping German socialists find work in Prague and organising an air raid to England. The past helps Marie to understand the present. It opens up to her an arena where she can consciously explore the problems she faces in her own life. His enthusiasm for his work made her realise that others lead lives which they have freely chosen.
Thus remembering an historical figure becomes a vehicle of self-definition; remembering the past a strategy which can help shape our values. The act of narrating is a form of dialogue through which the narrator can reach an understanding of her present position. Jan in particular fails to display the loyalties expected of him as a German.
In her discussion of the literature of World War I, Friederike Emonds has highlighted the central role of war narrative in shaping national identity. History as Farce: National Origins II The second sustained example of historical reception is a comedy which the four artists perform in the castle theatre to pass the time until more materials are delivered.
The genre of the farce participates in the novelistic project of remembering the past by reviving a distinctly Czech theatrical tradition. Thus a performance of nation is also a subversion of existing representations. The Friedland artists perform Czech history by acting it out and providing commentary on it: by over-emphasising and pushing the traits of their characters to ludicrous extremes, their performance cannot be mistaken for an authentic reconstruction of the past.
Podol has assigned each of the artists the role of one of the Czech national revivalists from the nineteenth century. At the same time, the artists enter into competition with one another, each intent on proving that his particular character was the most patriotic.