Coming of Age under Martial Law

Coming of Age under Martial Law

The Initiation Novels of Poland's Last Communist Generation

Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova

Hardback
$85.00

University of Rochester Press

Overview

Overview

Examines a selection of post-1989 coming-of-age novels authored by the generation of Polish writers whose transition from adolescence to adulthood coincided with Poland's transition from communism to liberal democracy.
This volume is a study of approximately thirty coming-of-age Polish novels written by the so-called '89ers -- the generation who became adults just as Communist rule was ending. Narrating fictionalized childhoods in Poland in the 1970s and '80s and the transition to adulthood in the late '80s and early '90s, these novels depict the consequences of the fall of Communism for their protagonists' maturation process. Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova argues that the liminal aspects of these narratives, in which the protagonists' rites of passage remain suspended in important ways, reflect the effects of the cataclysmic events of the late 1980s as well as the ways in which, for the Polish '89ers, the clash with their predecessors did not produce the anticipated generational change in leadership. Instead, the elders refused to give up their leadership positions, while the young were stifled in their development and occupied marginal social spaces. In Vassileva-Karagyozova's fascinating account, these novels illuminate the authors' attempts to define themselves as a generation as well as to narrate the sociocultural shift in democratic Poland from collectivism to Western-style individualism.

Svetlana Vassileva-Karagyozova is associate professor of Slavic languages and literatures at the University of Kansas.

Details

August 2015
232 pages
9x6 in
Rochester Studies in East and Central Europe
ISBN: 9781580465281
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BIC DSK, 1DVP, 2AB, 3JJP
BISAC HIS010010, HIS037070, LIT004110
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Displaced Generation of the Children of Martial Law
Arrested Maturation
Emasculated Men, Absent Fathers
Exorcising Mother-Demons: The Myth of the Polish Mother Revisited
At the Roots of Apostasy
Conclusion: Kitschy Parents, Barbaric Children
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Reviews

Brilliantly reversing the traditional inquiry--how do generations shape literature?--Vassileva-Karagyozova asks: "How do (works) shape 'the identity of Poland's last communist generation'?" . . . This is a much-needed addition to the scholarship on cultural work in Poland, as it overthrew the chains of communism and moved toward democracy and freedom. In sum, this is a brilliant work by an original and perceptive scholar. Essential. CHOICE

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