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European Identities After the Crisis
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Jul 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The economic crisis has forced European societies to re-think their identities as members of a globalised community. However, new social circumstances did not lead to complete disregard for the past and its values. On the contrary, the last decade in European literature has seen an uexpected revival of the authors’ interest in history. This is not merely a sign of nostalgic escapism. Contemporary literature employs references to the past as a means of commenting, criticising and solving the problems of the present. The aim of this project is to introduce to the Polish reader diffferent literary modes of writing about the past which contribute to forging new ways of self-identification after the crisis across strict national, social and cultural boundaries. First two works to be translated scrutinise interrelations between the past and individual identity. Birgul Orguz’s "Hah" revolves around a young Turkish woman who returns to the revolutionary year 1968 in order to deal with the loss of her father. Sara Mannheimer’s "Handlingen" depicts another female protagonist for whom exploring European history serves to overcome the trauma of miscarriage. Another two works focus on the history of European cities in order to shed light on the problems of contemporary urban life. Ioana Parvulescu’s "Viata incepe vineri" elucidates the problem of 21st-century multiculturalism through the lens of fin de siecle Bucharest. Armin Ohri's novel, set in 19th century Berlin, uncovers the dark side of the metropoly that has become a symbol of the unification of Europe. The third set of works tackles the problem of history and collective identity. Szilard Borbely’s novel "Nincstelenek. Már elment a Mesijás?", set in post-WWII rural Hungary, is a strong voice in the ongoing debate about the country’s totalitarian and anti-Semitic past. In his work Възвишение Milen Ruskov returning to 19th century Bulgaria attempts to explain contemporary Bulgarian's feeling on the margins of Europe.
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