In the latest issue of the European Journal of Life Writing, guest editors Agnieszka Mrozik and Anja Tippner explore the role of autobiographical writing in commemorating the past as well as in demonstrating the demise of socialism, as represented in contemporary literatures in Czech, Polish, Romanian, and Russian – supported by transform! europe.
Since the fall of communism in 1989 and 1990/91 literature has dealt with this epochal societal change, trying to come to terms with the past and assessing its influence on the present. In the last years, the focus has turned towards the era of late socialism, that is the 1970s and 1980s. Many writers who attempt to present and reevaluate these decades and their ongoing influence on biographies and societies today grew up or came of age in this era. Our main contention is that different forms of life-writing, especially autofictions and autobiographical novels, have become the dominant narrative device for addressing and narrating the socialist past. Accordingly, the contributions to this cluster explore the era of late socialism, examining its different and often contested meanings not only from the perspective of the past but also from the perspective of today.
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