MARIA TODOROVA IMAGINING THE BALKANS PDF

This book traces the relationship between the reality and the invention. Based on a rich selection of travelogues , diplomatic accounts, academic surveys, journalism , and belles-lettres in many languages, Imagining the Balkans explores the ontology of the Balkans from the eighteenth century to the present day, uncovering the ways in which an insidious intellectual tradition was constructed, became mythologized , and is still being transmitted as discourse. The author, who was raised in the Balkans, is in a unique position to bring both scholarship and sympathy to her subject. A region geographically inextricable from Europe, yet culturally constructed as "the other," the Balkans have often served as a repository of negative characteristics upon which a positive and self-congratulatory image of the "European" has been built. With this work, Todorova offers a timely, accessible study of how an innocent geographic appellation was transformed into one of the most powerful and widespread pejorative designations in modern history.

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Professor Hannes Grandits, review of Imagining the Balkans, review no. Concerns about the situation in Southeast Europe at the time, in the aftermath of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, guaranteed that its impact reached beyond the specialist public.

Within only a few years, the book was translated into a multiplicity of European languages Bulgarian, Serbian, German, Romanian, Greek, Slovenian, Macedonian, Italian, Turkish, Polish, and a second updated and enlarged edition in English was published in , which immediately received a French translation. Imagining the Balkans and the respective translations were widely reviewed. Almost 70 reviews probably more do exist by scholars and journalists discussed the different arguments of the book in length and detail.

It very soon gained the status of a classic and it can certainly be regarded as one of the most influential books about Southeast European history of the past decades. It was aimed at deconstructing an emerging tendency toward new polarizations in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War and the breakdown of state-socialist regimes in Europe. In the Balkanist discourse, as Todorova highlights, most of these aspects are missing.

Todorova argues that, in order to understand such a development, it is important to have a deeper understanding of the partly long-lasting historical processes that led to such a perception. The objective of Imagining the Balkans is to re-construct these processes within intellectual and political discourses. The author demonstrates how this process of expansion took place by reconstructing and commenting on the writings of educated travelers, from the 15th and 16th up to the late 19th century.

In impressive style, Todorova is able to give empirically precise, clearly readable and illustrative examples of different understandings and changing perceptions of the region and the way the authors were depicting, explaining and reasoning, from sources in the Venetian, German, French, Russian or English languages.

In addition, even within the different national stereotypes, informed as they were by their respective political realities and political and intellectual discourses, there was a great diversity of opinion and an even greater variety of nuance.

Moreover, within the whole natural spectrum of positive and negative assessments addressed to the region as a whole, one could rarely, if ever, encounter entirely disparaging or scornful judgments addressed to the regions as a whole, let alone attempts to exclude it from the fold of civilization.

When the new post-Ottoman nation states in Southeastern Europe entered a policy of irredentist expansion, in particular towards Macedonia, Ottoman rule face the threat of losing control of its remaining possessions in Rumelia. Particularly in Ottoman Macedonia, repeated political anarchy was the consequence of such a political constellation.

Different guerilla and irredentist movements were fighting the Ottoman authorities and each other, with more or less open support from the Serbian, Greek or Bulgarian governments. Simultaneously, the Great Powers actively became involved into different scenarios of how in the long or short run to benefit best from a possible dissolution of the Ottoman Empire as a whole.

This was based on a constellation of events, which brought the region to the front pages of newspapers: The May coup in in Belgrade, in which the Serbian king Alexander and his wife were murdered and shocked the aristocracy around Europe , the outbreak of the First Balkan War, soon followed by the Second one, and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June This continued to be a strong tendency also in the following decades.

Socialist modernization now became placed into the context of a new ideologically framed East-West divide. The chapter discusses ideas developed by intellectuals from Hungary, Czechoslovakia and partly Poland about the concept of Central Europe. However, there is no need to look only at such extreme cases.

This is a dilemma, from which it is generally not easy to escape. She describes two basic tendencies in the historiographical approach to this period of imperial-national dynamics.

This is a framework, which could, when looking at the interplay of the above mentioned levels, open up very promising agendas for the ways in which further research can be formulated. Back to 3 Writing Culture. The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography, ed. December

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Imagining the Balkans

Updated Edition Maria Todorova Includes new afterword on the impact of Imagining the Balkans since its publication in and the coining of the term Balkanism. Discusses recent on-the-ground political developments in the Balkans. Over ten years ago, Maria Todorova traced the relationship between the reality and the invention. Based on a rich selection of travelogues, diplomatic accounts, academic surveys, journalism, and belles-lettres in many languages, Imagining the Balkans explored the ontology of the Balkans from the sixteenth century to the present day, uncovering the ways in which an insidious intellectual tradition was constructed, became mythologized, and is still being transmitted as discourse. Maria Todorova, who was raised in the Balkans, is in a unique position to bring both scholarship and sympathy to her subject, and in a new afterword she reflects on recent developments in the study of the Balkans and political developments on the ground since the publication of Imagining the Balkans. With this work, Todorova offers a timely, updated, accessible study of how an innocent geographic appellation was transformed into one of the most powerful and widespread pejorative designations in modern history.

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Maria Todorova

Professor Hannes Grandits, review of Imagining the Balkans, review no. Concerns about the situation in Southeast Europe at the time, in the aftermath of the wars in the former Yugoslavia, guaranteed that its impact reached beyond the specialist public. Within only a few years, the book was translated into a multiplicity of European languages Bulgarian, Serbian, German, Romanian, Greek, Slovenian, Macedonian, Italian, Turkish, Polish, and a second updated and enlarged edition in English was published in , which immediately received a French translation. Imagining the Balkans and the respective translations were widely reviewed. Almost 70 reviews probably more do exist by scholars and journalists discussed the different arguments of the book in length and detail. It very soon gained the status of a classic and it can certainly be regarded as one of the most influential books about Southeast European history of the past decades. It was aimed at deconstructing an emerging tendency toward new polarizations in the aftermath of the end of the Cold War and the breakdown of state-socialist regimes in Europe.

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