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Adventures of a Young Man (District of Columbia, Book 1) by John Dos Passos

By John Dos Passos

In a unique that heavily parallels writer John Dos Passos's personal ideological struggles throughout the Spanish Civil warfare, protagonist Glenn Spotswood, an American, travels to Spain to struggle at the Republican facet. There, Spotswood joins the Communist get together to assist identify a extra simply society, yet his idealism fast degrades below the strain of occasion orthodoxy and hypocrisy.

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In the time of the Cold War, Yugoslavs looked down on citizens of Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary, further down on those who lived in Romania and Bulgaria, yet reserved their greatest contempt for the ‘backwardness’ of Albanians. Given Albania’s ironic geographical coordinates, a popular question-and-answer joke was born: What is the poorest country in the world? ) In the broader post-Yugoslav context, the phenomenon is just as easily exemplified by the 1995 declaration of then Slovenian prime minister, Janez Drnovšek, that his electorate faced a choice ‘between Europe and the Balkans’118 or the 24 Writing Postcommunism persistent Croatian insistence that the country has always been part of Central Europe: ‘What do they mean, Balkans?

It was as if Andric´’s tale of the construction of the Mehmed Paša Sokolovic´ Bridge in Višegrad and its constant destruction and reconstruction was the only suitable narrative to convey the present and historical tragedy of the Balkans. There is, however, another particular reason why writers and literature have historically been very important in eastern Europe: with the exception of Russia, eastern Europe is made up of ‘small nations’. ) In an essay entitled ‘The Provincialism of Small Nations’, Kundera elucidates the problematic nature of the relationship between writers from small nations and their homelands: The small nation inculcates in its writer the conviction that he belongs to that place alone.

To set his gaze beyond the boundary of 36 Writing Postcommunism the homeland, to join his colleagues in the supranational territory of art, is considered pretentious, disdainful of his own people. 16 The end result of this osmosis is that the writer from a small nation is never simply just a writer, but a national representative – a position, it is fair to say, that historically many appear to have quite enjoyed, and in our time, one in which many still take pleasure. The difficulty is for those who didn’t then, and those who don’t now.

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