Quest for a Suitable Past
Myth and Memory in Central and Eastern Europe
The past may be approached from a variety of directions. A myth provides a sense of direction: it reunites people around certain values and projects and pushes them in one direction or another. The present volume brings together a range of case studies of myth making and myth breaking in east Europe from the nineteenth century to the present day. In particular, it focuses on the complex process through which memories are transformed into myths. This problematic interplay between memory and myth-making is analyzed in conjunction with the role of myths in the political and social life of the region. The essays include cases of forging myths about national pre-history, about the endorsement of nation building by means of historiography, and above all, about communist and post-communist mythologies. The studies shed new light on the creation of local and national identities, as well as the legitimization of ideologies through myth-making. Together, the individual contributions show that myths were often instrumental in the vast projects of social and political mobilization during a period which has witnessed, among others, two world wars and the harsh oppression of the communist regimes.
About the Authors
Claudia-Florentina Dobre has a doctorate in history from Laval University, Québec (2007). She is currently the director of Centre for Memory and Identity Studies and an associate researcher at the Regional Center of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (CeReFREA), University of Bucharest. She has published extensively on the memory of Romanian communnism and political persecution, museums, monuments, and memorials, and on everyday life under communism.
Cristian Emilian Ghiţă has a PhD in classics and ancient history from the University of Exeter. His interests include Hellenistic studies, Asia Minor, and ancient warfare, Asiatic mythologies, cultural memory. He is the editor-in-chief of MemoScapes: Romanian Journal of Memory and Identity Studies.
Lucian Boia is Professor of History at the University of Bucharest,
Other Titles by Lucian Boia
Other Titles in HISTORY / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Other Titles in Marxism & Communism