The nations of East-Central Europe have attracted the attention of scholars since the 19th century, when the multi-national composition of the empires of Russia and Austria-Hungary became a problem. World wars and the creation and the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia only heightened this attention. Many authors claimed that Eastern European nationalism differed from that of the West. During the course we will analyze some of these theories and contrast them with the opinions of some of the ‘founding fathers’ of the East-European national idea from the 19th century. We will discuss the views of the proponents of the national idea, its opponents, and its victims in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary and the Czech lands, from Romanticism up to World War II and Communism.
Representative prose works by leading twentieth-century Polish writers. Polish literature's critique of modern European civilization. The relation of historical memory, collective victimization, and the utopian imagination in Polish literature to political power and national survival.