The Columbia Literary History of Eastern Europe Since 1945
Covering Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the
Czech Republic, East Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia,
Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Ukraine, Harold B.
Segel, a longtime scholar of Slavic literatures and of comparative
literature, writes a clear, concise, and balanced history of
Eastern European literature. Segel not only examines the literary
response to the quasi-colonial oppression that stretched across
Eastern Europe between 1945 and 1991 but also details the impact of
the downfall of communism and the way in which the challenges of
the postcommunist period are being met.
Segel's history follows a unique chronological-topical approach
that begins with the treatment of World War II in Eastern European
fiction and follows with such topics as the postwar imposition of
Soviet-style literary controls, primarily in the form of socialist
realism; literary responses to the brutal campaign of
collectivization after 1945; the impact of the death of Stalin and
expectations of change; exile and creativity; strategies of
literary evasion and subterfuge; writing born from the experience
of prison and labor camps; and the rise of solidarity in Poland. He
also handles varieties of postmodernism throughout the region;
poetry by women and the continued struggle for freedom of
expression; the resonance of the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s on
imaginative literature; Eastern European writers and their
relationship to America; and the major postcommunist trends of new
urbanism, nostalgia, emigration, and minority concerns.
Subjects: Language & Literature, History
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