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Picture of Worlds Apart? A Postcolonial Reading of post-1945 East-Central European Culture

Worlds Apart? A Postcolonial Reading of post-1945 East-Central European Culture

Author(s): Cristina Sandru

Book Description

This study explores the relation of the Eastern European problematic to postcolonial critical practice, interrogating the extent to which postcolonialism can help illuminate instances of imperial domination in non-Third World contexts. It argues that colonisation is to be understood principally as a condition of ideological domination that has engendered similar forms of literary and cultural resistance; consequently, it offers a comparative framework which enables a reading in differential contexts of texts that ostensibly have little in common, but which, on close examination, reveal a shared imaginative space, rhetoric and narrative agency.

The book consists of two interrelated parts. Part one is a critical discussion of the ideologies, cultural imaginaries and representational practices articulated in a diverse range of representative postcolonial and post-1945 East-Central European texts; these are shown to share, despite dissimilar conditions of production, uncannily related narrative modes and thematic emphases. Part two is a comparative literature case-study which discusses two authors whose work is both highly representative of the cultural formations discussed in the first part (Milan Kundera and Salman Rushdie) and, at the same time, highly controversial. The chapters dedicated to Kundera’s and Rushdie’s work examine the cultural geography of their novels, particularly in the writers’ use of memory and story-telling to reconfigure history and personal identity in conditions of literal and metaphorical displacement. While their novels thrive on ironic subversion and ambiguity, they simultaneously gesture towards a redemptive space of the imagination, transcending the constraints of both locality and history.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-3999-0
ISBN-10: 1-4438-3999-X
Date of Publication: 01/08/2012
Pages / Size: 310 / A5
Price: £49.99


Dr Cristina Şandru is currently Managing Editor of The Literary Encyclopedia ( and teaches at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She previously taught at the universities of Northampton and Aberystwyth; University College London; Goldsmiths, University of London; and the University of Sibiu, Romania. She has published articles and reviews in Critique, Euresis, The New Makers of Modern Culture Routledge series and English, and co-edited the volume Re-routing Postcolonialism: New Directions for the New Millenium (Routledge, 2009) and the special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing on Postcolonialism/Postcommunism (48.2, May 2012).


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4814-5
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4814-X
Date of Publication: 01/07/2013
Pages / Size: 318 / A5
Price: £34.99