Ultimo aggiornamento: 14 settembre 2022
Continuing the work undertaken in Vol. 1 of the History of the Literary Cultures of East-Central Europe, Vol. 2 considers various topographic sites—multicultural cities, border areas, cross-cultural corridors, multiethnic regions—that cut across national boundaries, rendering them permeable to the flow of hybrid cultural messages. By focusing on the literary cultures of specific geographical locations, this volume intends to put into practice a new type of comparative study. Traditional comparative literary studies establish transnational comparisons and contrasts, but thereby reconfirm, however inadvertently, the very national borders they play down. This volume inverts the expansive momentum of comparative studies towards ever-broader regional, European, and world literary histories. While the theater of this volume is still the literary culture of East-Central Europe, the contributors focus on pinpointed local traditions and geographic nodal points. Their histories of Riga, Plovdiv, Timişoara or Budapest, of Transylvania or the Danube corridor – to take a few examples – reveal how each of these sites was during the last two-hundred years a home for a variety of foreign or ethnic literary traditions next to the one now dominant within the national borders. By foregrounding such non-national or hybrid traditions, this volume pleads for a diversification and pluralization of local and national histories. A genuine comparatist revival of literary history should involve the recognition that “treading on native grounds” means actually treading on grounds cultivated by diverse people.