The Adriatic-Baltic Transversal: Danilo Kiš Through the Prism of Baltic Writing on Essentialism and Diversity

John K. Cox

Abstract


The purpose of this paper will be to compare the ideas of one highly regarded southeast European writer, Danilo Kiš (1935–1989) of Yugoslavia, with those of some leading writers and thinkers from the Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania. My analysis will center on the vague concepts of “identity” and “national culture”. I will explore, by reference to the many essays and interviews of Danilo Kiš, concrete topics such as essentialism and linguistic and ethnic diversity and look for parallels or contrast in the works of some Baltic writers. These thoughts will, I hope, spark a discussion based on sources broader than those that I command about what terms such as identity and national culture actually mean and how they effect the production, or reputation, of writers. It should also be possible to look at some issues relating to cultural translation in Kiš, because he grew up in the contested border area between Hungary and Serbia, was the product of an ethnically and religiously mixed marriage, and translated and taught internationally for much of his life.

Keywords


Central Europe; the Baltics; Baltic literature; the Balkans; postcolonialism; regional identity; nationalism

Full Text:

PDF

References


Kasekamp, A. 2010. A History of the Baltic States. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kelertas, V., ed. 2006. Baltic Postcolonialism. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Kiš, D. 1995. Homo Poeticus: Essays and Interviews, edited by Susan Sontag. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

Kiš, D. 2012. The Lute and the Scars: Stories. Translated by John K. Cox. Champaign, IL: Dalkey Archive Press.

Milosz, C.1968. Native Realm: A Search for Self-Definition. Translated by Catherine S. Leach. Garden City. New York: Doubleday.

Milosz, C. 1981. The Issa Valley. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

Plakans, A. 2011. A Concise History of the Baltic States. New York: Cambridge University Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511975370

Purs, A. 2012. Baltic Facades: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania since 1945. London: Reaktion.

Venclova, T. 2002. Forms of Hope: Essays. Riverdale-on-Hudson, NY: Sheep Meadow Press.

Venclova, T. 2006. Vilnius: Eine Stadt in Europa. Translated by Claudia Sinnig. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp.




DOI: https://doi.org/10.12697/IL.2015.20.2.8

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


ISSN 1406-0701 (print)
ISSN 2228-4729 (online)