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Intellectuals and (following them) also common people remember their distant origin. Cultural memory institutions maintain references to factual and historical past, and it looks back also to mythical origins, or connections with old (since then have often been extinguished) peoples. Virgil heroificated the Trojan origin of Rome. The identity of France embraces also the Celtic Gauls, the German Franks, and the local ancestors, speaking Romance languages. Moscow heralded herself as “third Rome” (Byzantium being the “second Rome”). There are many particular forms of the so called “cultural memory”: in pointing towards the glorious or unjustly lost ancestors.Hungary is another — not neglectful — clear case of constant searching for “intermediate” forefathers. Since the Middle Ages Hungarians have been connected (both from outside or inside of the country) with the Huns, and the country’s tragic history in 15th–17th centuries was compared with that of Israel, already depicted in the Old Testament. Historians of the 18th and 19th centuries, interested in Hungary, tried to prove the “oriental” (Persian, Aryan, Turanian, etc.) bases of Hungarian language and culture. My historical report ends by the end of the 19th century, but the same tendency is actual in our days too. I call that as “proxy cultural memory” — presenting one’s own culture through a “creative reference” to different and other (old) cultures. The “proxy identity” is not constructing one’s actual identity, but it aims to invent a constructed image about something else. It has two main characteristics: it covers the times from which we do not know proper historical facts — and it is a part of ideology. As such it serves the “nation’s characterology”, ethnic stereotypes and imagology as well.

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Cult or spirit?

Integration strategies and history of memory in Jewish groups in Hungary at the turn of the 19th–20th century

Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Author: András Zima

Assmann , Jan 2004: A kulturális emlékezet. Írás, emlékezés és politikai identitás a korai magaskultúrákban [Cultural memory. Writing, remembering and political identity in the early high cultures]. Budapest

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Assmann , Aleida 2004: Zur Mediengeschichte des kulturellen Gedächtnisses . — Media and Cultural Memory (Medien und kulturelle Erinnerung. Edited by) herausgegeben von Astrid Erll, Ansgar Nünning. 1. Medien des kollektiven gedächtnisses. Konstruktivität

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Abstract  

In 1865 short poem “Obraz VII” (Picture VII) published by the Slovenian post-romantic poet Simon Jenko (1835–1869), paradigmatic figures of speech (exclamation, apostrophe, and rhetorical question) subvert the presence of the speaking persona and the subjectively modalized landscape (Stimmungslandschaft) that were characteristic of the obraz genre. Rhetoricity of the lyrical voice may be seen as the trace of the underlying traditional intertext of ruins stemming from the early modern topos, in which the image of demolished buildings is linked to the notion of vanitas vanitatum, i.e., to the idea of the elusiveness of being, society, and culture. Jenko’s short poem is a variation within the vast and intermedial imaginary of ruins that has been central to the fashioning of European cultural identity (viewed as the presence of the past under permanent de- and reconstruction), especially since the eighteenth century. Compared to other variations of the ruin motif in romanticism (e.g., Byron, Uhland, Lenau, Mickiewicz, Petőfi), Jenko’s ascetic, fragmented poem re-writes the topos differently, through semantic undecidability that comes close to the post-modern existential condition.

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Abstract  

Focusing on the work of Miljenko Jergović, Nenad Veličković, Alma Lazarevska, and Saša Stanišić, this paper examines how the representation of the recent past intertwines with the construction of collective memory in contemporary Bosnian prose. The author argues that a first, significant function of recent Bosnian literature consisted of not only witnessing the horror of the Bosnian war but also turning historical events into sites of memory. This is especially true for the literature about the wars of the nineties—the siege of Sarajevo, Srebrenica, etc. However, the involvement of Bosnian authors with the recent past—in prose written during the war as well as in more recent works—proves to be more complex and seems to be indicative of a growing interest in and reflexivity upon the ways in which collective and individual memory are constructed. This paper suggests that the interest in memory/remembering the recent past has been accelerated by the war and the social and political turmoil of the nineties. This liminal situation urged writers firstly to represent the horrors of the recent past in order to prevent them from falling into oblivion. Secondly, because war emerged as a kind of turning point, a radical break between past and present, writers were compelled to reflect on the processes of remembering and oblivion and on the ways identity is constituted by a strange and often unpredictable interplay of both.

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Az evéssel kapcsolatos civilizációs zavarok gyakoribbá válásának hátterében a kulturális hatások lényegesek. Ezek között a nemzeti identitásvesztés fontos lehet. A nemzeti identitás kialakulásában az ételekkel és étkezéssel kapcsolatos hagyományok szerepe alapvető. A nemzeti szimbólumok között számos étel található, amelyeket gyakran használunk a nemzetek jellemzésében. Az ételek fontos szerepet töltenek be a kulturális emlékezetben is. A közös emlékezet jelentősége nagy az identitásban, s az ételekre, ételkészítésre való emlékezés a kultúrákban fontos etnikai összetartó erő. Ezt segíti az ételek és az étkezés időt strukturáló hatása is. A globalizáció korában a nemzeti ételek segítik a speciális nemzeti karakter megőrzését, de az európai szokásokhoz való alkalmazkodás megkívánja az ételkészítés átalakulását is. A jövő kérdése, hogy ez a hatás mennyire jár a nemzeti identitás csökkenésével, és fokozza-e az evéssel kapcsolatos patológiás megnyilvánulások gyakoriságát.

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Unchangingness In Change

The changed self-image of Budapest Jewish groups in the interwar years as a result of the changed borders in the Carpathian Basin

Acta Ethnographica Hungarica
Authors: Norbert Glässer and András Zima

[ Cultural Memory . Writing, memory and political identity in the early high cultures]. Budapest: Atlantisz Könyvkiadó. Assmann J. A kulturális emlékezet. írás, emlékezés és politikai identitás a korai magaskultúrákban

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The aim of this paper is to show how communal apartments were perceived by many authors of Russian songs. The analysis of these texts proves that communal apartments clearly characterize Soviet everyday life. Communal apartments can be called a Soviet microcosm, a non-idealized portrayal of Soviet society in miniature that represents the invasion of individual life. Communal apartments were Stalin’s institute of social control. The forms of communal life left significant imprints on the mentality of Soviet people, causing their moral deformation. The analyzed songs express memories of Soviet citizens. Communal apartments are shown: 1) as a manifestation of negative features of collective mentality; 2) as a model of common life with justice, peace, and social equality; 3) as a place of forced communication with neighbours. The songs of communal apartments became part of collective memory, and they affect the representation of listeners, forming their image of Soviet everyday life.

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The paper describes the structure of the local space of the Croatian villages of Chunovo and Jarovce, and the Slovak (earlier predominantly Hungarian-German) village Rusovce (Southern Slovakia, the region of Bratislava) in the form in which it conceptualities in the minds of local residents. The material was oral records on the results of the field survey of villages in May 2018. It is noted that the specificity of the structuring of local space in the villages was influenced by their complex geographical and sociohistorical peculiarities since the villages are located within the capital of Slovakia and at the same time they became part of the state only after 1947.

It is shown that each of the three villages is characterized by orientation to a certain type of space which is significantly transformed with the passage of time. Thus, in Chunovo, which is located closer to the Hungarian border, the mythological and sacred space is supported. The natural space in the village is closely intertwined with the mythological, and the domestic is subordinated to the sacred, while the historical space does not play any significant role.

Rusovce, located five kilometres towards the capital, is a completely different type of spatial organization, a significant imprint on Rusovce was imposed by the deportation of indigenous people after the Second World War. The disintegration of the ethno-cultural tradition is perceived by the remaining indigenous people as a traumatic experience. Sacred space in Rusovce is the subject of the opposition “real (old)” and “fake (modern)”. Domestic space is characterized by the deprivation of former buildings from their household functions, while they are turning into symbols of the past.

The transformation of the village takes place not on the principle of expanding its borders but on the principle of concentration, filling the old coordinates with new objects. Natural space bears traces of human intervention and is associated with the consequences of the territory's accession. In the structuring of the mental map of the old residents of Rusovce, the opposition “real” and “false” plays a significant role. The false, artificial, is associated with modernity, and the signs of the present remain within the village but either lose their direct function or are “lost” as a result of the concentration of the village space by objects which are similar in form and but foreign in origin.

The village of Jarovce, which is the closest to Bratislava, is dominated by a focus on specific historical events and on the functional relevance of the locus. The sacred space in the village is subordinated to the historical, and the domestic, in turn, is subordinated to the sacred, the dominants of which structure the village and at the same time are clearly associated with specific events in the relatively distant past. Mythological space in Jarovce is almost not structured but natural topos serves for orientation about weather events or specific localities.

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Jost , Steffen 2007: Tagungsbericht: How collectivities remember: Structures and spaces of social and cultural memory, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/tagungsberichte/id=1702>ccm/afp Kadritzke , Niels 2005: Die Ermordung

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