Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination
By: Vesna Goldsworthy (author)Paperback
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First published in 1998, Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination achieved a rare combination of critical success, broad readership and enduring academic influence. It is now recognised as a key contribution to the study of Balkan and European identity. Offered by Hurst in a long-awaited and updated paperback edition, Inventing Ruritania is just as topical in the context of Europe's current turmoil as it was when it first appeared. Vesna Goldsworthy explores the origins of the ideas that underpin Western perceptions of the Balkans, the 'Wild East' of Europe. European and Oriental at the same time, the Balkans are tantalisingly ambiguous: simultaneously attracting and repelling outsiders, an exciting alternative to the familiar ennui of the West, both completely different from 'us' and exactly as 'we' used to be. Writers and film- makers in Western Europe and America have found in the peninsula a rich mine of images for literature and the movies. In her prodigiously researched but very readable volume, Goldsworthy shows how this lucrative exploitation of Balkan history and geography by the entertainment industry has affected attitudes toward the region.
She considers the religious, national, and sexual taboos and fears projected onto Balkan lands, and discusses the political exploitation and media uses of the Balkan archetypes.
Vesna Goldsworthy is Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University and the author of several widely translated and award-winning volumes. Following Inventing Ruritania, she published a best-selling memoir, Chernobyl Straw- berries in 2005, which was serialized in The Times and read by Goldsworthy herself as Book of the Week on BBC Radio 4, and a Crashaw Prize winning poetry collection, The Angel of Salonika, one of The Times' Best Poetry Books of 2011.
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- ID: 9781849042529
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