Radical Revisions of Collective Identity
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Publication date: 
452 pages

The last volume of the series presents 46 texts under the heading of “anti-modernism”. Formed in a dynamic relationship with modernism, from the 1880s to the 1940s, and especially during the interwar period, the anti-modernist ideological constructions of national identification had a considerable impact on the political culture of our region. These texts rejected the linear vision of modernization as well as the liberal democratic institutional frameworks and searched instead for alternative models of politics. The Second World War and the communist takeover in most of these countries seemingly erased these ideological subcultures, who were often engaged in war-time pro-Nazi collaboration. However, their intellectual heritage proved more resilient and influenced the formation of “national communist” narratives in the 1960-70s, while after 1989 many of these references became actualized in the context of the post-communist search for ideological predecessors.



Balázs Trencsényi and Sorin Antohi: Approaching Anti-Modernism


Chapter I.

Integral Nationalism


Nikola Pašić: The Agreement of Serbs and Croats

Georg Schönerer: The Pan-Germans’ program for the future

Roman Dmowski: Thoughts of a modern Pole

Nicolae Iorga: On national culture

Aurel C. Popovici: At the crossroads of two worlds

Vladimir Čerina: In the city of cynics

Babanzâde Ahmed Naim: The question of nationalism in Islam

Jozef Tiso: The ideology of the Slovak People’s Party

Dezső Szabó: Tomorrow’s nationalism


Chapter II.

The Crisis of the European Conscience


Karl Kraus: The last days of mankind

Mircea Eliade: Spiritual itinerary

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar: On East and West

Leopold Andrian: Austria through the prism of the Idea

Mihály Babits: Mass and nation

Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz: Unkempt souls

Ivan Hadzhiyski: An optimistic theory of our people


Chapter III.

In Search of a National Ontology


Ion Dragoumis: Hellenic civilization

Jaroslav Durych: The mission of the Czech state

France Veber: The ideal foundations of Slavic agrarianism

Anton Wildgans: Speech about Austria

Lucian Blaga: The Mioritic space

Vladimir Dvorniković: Epic man

Nikolaj Velimirović: Serbian nation as a servant of God

Nayden Sheytanov: The Bulgarian worldview

László Németh: In the minority


Chapter IV.

Conservative Redefinitions of Tradition and Modernity


Hugo von Hofmannsthal: Writing as the spiritual space of the Nation

Gyula Szekfű: Three generations

Heinrich von Srbik: Austria in the Holy Roman Empire and in the German Confederation

Živojin Perić: Religion in the Serbian Civil Code

Milan Šufflay: The depths of national consciousness

Karel Kramář: In defense of Slavic politics

Petar Mutafchiev: Towards a philosophy of the Bulgarian history

Nichifor Crainic: The meaning of tradition

Ömer Lütfi Barkan: The legal status of the peasant class in the Ottoman Empire

Ladislav Hanus: Slovak statehood

Manifesto of the Slovenian National Defense Corps


Chapter V.

The Anti-Modernist Revolution


      Ideological declaration of the Camp of Great Poland

Janko Janev: The spirit of the nation

Hüseyin Nihal Atsız: Turkish unity

Ioannis Metaxas: Speech on the occasion of the inauguration of public works

Emil Cioran: The transfiguration of Romania

Lazër Radi: Fascism and the Albanian Spirit

Štefan Polakovič: Slovak National Socialism

Emanuel Vajtauer: Czech myth

Svetislav Stefanović: The building of New Serbia as a peasant state

Edvard Kocbek: Comradeship


Basic secondary literature on identity discourses in Central and Southeast Europe



"The linguistic diversity of Europe (to stay within the limits of our continent) makes it culturally rich; yet, how hard-to-attain this cultural wealth sometimes is! This becomes particularly relevant when it comes to a content that is complicated and related to things of personal importance to people. And such is the case with problems of collective identity – particularly, national questions – that have been arousing strong emotion from time immemorial, attracting interest of numerous researchers in several last decades. While these problems cannot possibly be completely helped, they can be alleviated. Entering into international – that is, English-language – scientific circulation at least a selection (even if just samples) of original reference texts, not quite accessible due to the language barrier (among other factors), is one possible method. A task of this sort was undertaken a dozen years ago by a multinational team of young researchers who enjoyed institutional... more
"This intelligently chosen and extremely useful anthology provides insight into the way narratives of national identity were shaped in the region noted in the book's title. Items include such richly varied materials as anthems, songs, constitutions, manifestos, novels, correspondence, autobiographical materials, and contemporary historical narratives. Each item is accompanied by information on the author and context as well as bibliographical material. Summing up: Highly recommended. All levels and libraries."
"Discourses of Collective Identity bietet eine eindrucksvolle Lektüre und sei auch solchen Lesern empfohlen, die sich jenseits der ostmittel-, südosteuropäischen Area Studies für Nationalismusforschung interessieren. Für jene Regionalstudien bedeutet er einen gewichtigen Versuch, das Feld für eine kritische Ideengeschichte zurückzugewinnen, nachdem besonders für Südosteuropa ethnologisch-anthropologische, kultur- und sozialgeschichtliche Fragestellungen in letzter Zeit eine dominierende Stellung einnehmen."
"This volume, as the entire series, is a challenging collection of essential primary sources, accompanied by introductory essays and contextual analyses in the best senses of the term: their high level of scholarship demands the intelligent engagement of the reader throughout; it invites the educated elites of Eastern Europe to throw away the crutch of myth and half-truth when promoting or interrogating their unique national identity; it demands that scholars working in the Western humanities rethink widely-held assumptions about ‘Eastern Europe, what constitutes conservatism and progressiveness, and the idea of a ‘normal’ path to a liberal modernity. The introduction proposes a concept of ‘anti-modernism’ to categorize phenomena in Eastern Europe that may be difficult to grasp for those whose path to liberal democracy has not been blocked by decades of totalitarianism, since they evoke an atavistic rootedness (conservativism) but in a paradoxically futural spirit (modernism). As... more
"The editors hope to overcome two tendencies. The first tendency is to treat the 'process of creating national identity in Central and Southeast Europe' as something exceptional. The editors very much reject the idea of studying these cultures only in terms of themselves. However, they also reject any notion of explaining these cultures by comparing them to an ideal Western type: 'we sought to abandon the 'Platonic' image dividing the continent in two ontologically incompatible worlds: the transcendent world of the Real – the Occident, and its ontologically inferior imitation – the Orient, the 'Remainder of Europe'. The editors of this series very much succeed in their attempt to get readers to look across national boundaries when studying the region. The multitude of languages required by any scholar to pursue cross-cultural comparisons in the region is no doubt a discouragement to many. By taking the time to provide the documents in English... more