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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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 to point out blindspots in cultural memory that are produced by power shifts and implicit silences – and which can be seen as structural, showing the mechanisms and historical-social expectations that create the context for the shaping of an individual woman

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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

At the turn of the 19th–20th century the different Jewish groups in Hungary had to face many challenges. They had to reconcile the demands made by modernity and the majority society with their own group interests. The changing environment endangered the survival of the group and questioned its basic values. There were big differences in the modernisation strategies of the Jewish groups examined (Neology, Budapest Orthodox, Zionists). Religion, as the primary determinant of value, shifted from the community sphere to the private sphere and lost some of its importance. History became the new model for interpretation of the world, that could be manifested at community level. Cultural memory based on shared history became the most important adhesive force of the group. The press, the most important attitude-shaping communication media of the period, played a major role in preserving and strengthening memory.

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The connecting theme for all museums of the 21st century is the meaning of the museum as a medium at present time and the discussible question, why something is mediated. The aim of this article is to introduce and give theoretical reasons for both the ideas that were born and realized at the Estonian Open Air Museum (EOAM) during the final years of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century and those that are still waiting to be realized. The EOAM is the central state museum of vernacular architecture in Estonia. Its experience is of interest from two complementary aspects.First, getting to know the history and present of the EOAM inspires one to reflect upon the stability of an open air museum as a medium in the context of a certain cultural memory and notwithstanding the conditions of cultural competition in the 21st century.Secondly, the experience of the EOAM justifies the flexibility of different museological ideas and methods, the possibility of tolerance and intertwining as well as the economy of choices. In the 21st century open air museums take not only theme parks as a pattern, but they also approach the classical museums of history and folk culture.

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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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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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“From now on, Kolozsvár is always the way the train takes us home…” •

(The appearance of the Trianon theme in contemporary Hungarian fiction)

Hungarian Studies
Author:
Júlia Vallasek

‘Trianon’ in a fundamentally grievance-based approach. In other words, we have arrived at the point in time where, as Jan Assmann writes, with the extinction of personal memory, a local cultural memory has arisen, which is meant to express a particular

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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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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

In Central Europe the social and cultural processes within various groups of Jews before the First World War were determined by the imperial frames. While the nation states that came into being set the general frames, the attitude of the Jews towards modernity as a process, their religious and cultural strategies extended beyond these frames. The new borders drawn after the First World War fundamentally changed the social and cultural environment in which the earlier Jewish strategies had emerged and functioned; and shaped their attitude towards Hungarian symbolic politics. After 1920 there was also a change in the proportions of the different Jewish trends in Hungary. The group strategies of the denominations and movements represented in the Hungarian-language Jewish press in Hungary interpreted Hungarian symbolic politics after the Trianon peace dictate in different ways and incorporated these interpretations in their discourses. The borders appeared not only in their physical state as an unbridgeable reality that had to be dealt with but also created new borders in the organisation of groups and society.

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