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A late victory for socialist realism? | Eurozine

A late victory for socialist realism? | Eurozine

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Published by Cengiz Erdem
Eurozine Review
Varlik 9/2013

The Gezi Park demonstrations involved the artistic community in ways not seen for many years in Turkey and showed that the birth of a "poetic politics" is not as "distant or alien" as many in the country may have thought, writes Baris Acar in Varlik (Turkey).

The current issue re-examines the potential for, and power of, an aesthetics of politics. This includes the presentation of texts by the likes of Jacques Ranciere and Slavoj Zizek, with a view to establishing how these thinkers can help Turkey interpret the "spirit of Gezi".

Gezi Commune: Not for nothing did the foreign press refer to the "Gezi Commune", writes Cengiz Erdem: "As small-scale models of many conceptual structures", the clinic, library and free food distribution established within the park "demonstrated to the world that a state-free communism can be created". The occupation of the park also represented "the greatest fear" of Turkey's ruling political party, the Justice and Development Party. It was a collection of individuals blind to religion, language, ethnicity and political views, who established an "evental site" (or site événementiel in Alain Badiou's parlance), a "space where the state oligarchy in the shape of the police force could not enter".

No role for the intellectual: Critic Feridun Andac also celebrates the communality of the movement in the park, where there was "no role for the intellectual figure and nothing for that figure to do". Instead, the activists were "able to progress without creating their own 'prophet': it was actually this that appalled the current government".

The ideal reader: Mehmet Rifat considers the textual implications that new Turkish editions of Orhan Pamuk's novels will have. My Name Is Red and Snow now appear with new afterwords and chronologies provided by the author. Such additions to a text are rare and warrant a reassessment of the novels in terms of the Nobel laureate's search for his "ideal reader", argues Rifat.

The full table of contents of Varlik 9/2013
http://www.eurozine.com/journals/varlik/issue/2013-10-07.html
Eurozine Review
Varlik 9/2013

The Gezi Park demonstrations involved the artistic community in ways not seen for many years in Turkey and showed that the birth of a "poetic politics" is not as "distant or alien" as many in the country may have thought, writes Baris Acar in Varlik (Turkey).

The current issue re-examines the potential for, and power of, an aesthetics of politics. This includes the presentation of texts by the likes of Jacques Ranciere and Slavoj Zizek, with a view to establishing how these thinkers can help Turkey interpret the "spirit of Gezi".

Gezi Commune: Not for nothing did the foreign press refer to the "Gezi Commune", writes Cengiz Erdem: "As small-scale models of many conceptual structures", the clinic, library and free food distribution established within the park "demonstrated to the world that a state-free communism can be created". The occupation of the park also represented "the greatest fear" of Turkey's ruling political party, the Justice and Development Party. It was a collection of individuals blind to religion, language, ethnicity and political views, who established an "evental site" (or site événementiel in Alain Badiou's parlance), a "space where the state oligarchy in the shape of the police force could not enter".

No role for the intellectual: Critic Feridun Andac also celebrates the communality of the movement in the park, where there was "no role for the intellectual figure and nothing for that figure to do". Instead, the activists were "able to progress without creating their own 'prophet': it was actually this that appalled the current government".

The ideal reader: Mehmet Rifat considers the textual implications that new Turkish editions of Orhan Pamuk's novels will have. My Name Is Red and Snow now appear with new afterwords and chronologies provided by the author. Such additions to a text are rare and warrant a reassessment of the novels in terms of the Nobel laureate's search for his "ideal reader", argues Rifat.

The full table of contents of Varlik 9/2013
http://www.eurozine.com/journals/varlik/issue/2013-10-07.html

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Published by: Cengiz Erdem on Jan 14, 2014
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Eurozine Review
A late victory for socialist realism?
Blätter 
 acquires a taste for
 rea lismo viole nto 
;
Osteuropa 
 gives Russian literaryawards its full attention;
New Easter n Eu rope 
 wills Europe's integration with the Eastto succeed;
Dilema veche 
 follows the new social movement that has erupted aroundRosia Montana;
dérive 
 wants the free society and the urban life NOW;
Revista Crítica 
 longs for the post−creative city;
Host 
 still feels more or less at home in Brno's café culture.
Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 10/2013
Following the agreement with Syria on chemical weapons,struck at the end of August at Moscow's bidding, the UnitedStates has suffered a "massive loss of influence in the Nearand Middle East", writesMichael Lüders in
 Blätter 
(Germany). It is, above all, the United Nations that hasbenefited, he continues: a military strike on Syria byWashington, even if seconded by "wannabe great power"France, would have favoured the rule of might over right (formally known asinternational law), established with the invasion of Iraq a decade ago.
Realismo violento:
 A 20 centavo rise in the price of a bus ticket was all it took back in June of this year: "Brazil's cities exploded in mass demonstrations,further aggravated by the billions that had been stuffed up the arses of the Fifaoligarchy for the football World Cup. One of the poetic demands of theprotestors promptly ran: 'Schools and hospitals of Fifa−standards!'"In an article on Brazil, special guest at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, GerhardDrekonja−Kornat continues, "Since then, Brazilian civil society has continuedto seethe. 'Globo', Brazil's gigantic TV conglomerate, interrupted the dailytelenovela for the first time ever in order to report live from the streets".As if the literature alone wasn't reason enough, the prospect of finding outwhat's really going on in Brazil makes this year's offering in Frankfurtirresistible, in Drekonja−Kornat's view. His own tip −− the strain of literatureknown as
 realismo violento
:"Much of this is rooted in Ignacio de Loyola Brandão, whose work isdominated by the difficult everyday life of the rising middle classes in themegacities, over which the rich fly their helicopters. His young successors arecreating a specific form of Brazilian urban literature: laconic, no−frills, notearful sentimentality, it has done away with all things provincial and displaysa transcultural quality, with intellectual references to Japan or France."
An article from www.eurozine.com1/7
 
The full table of contents of 
 Blätter für d eutsche und internationale Politik 
10/2013
Osteuropa 8/2013
The poet and publicist Olga Martynova once summed up the1990s as a period of literary diversity in Russia, whereas theyears that followed signalled the return of literature for themasses, smacking of Soviet times and a "late victory forsocialist realism" −− a dig at the "new realists" grouped aroundZakhar Prilepin. This is Karlheinz Kasper's point of departurein
 Osteuropa
 (Germany) for examining the latest and mostcelebrated Russian literature.Martynova's comments may have caused indignation, but they didn't stopPrilepin receiving the 100,000 dollars that came with the award in May 2011of the National Bestseller book of the decade (2000−10), for his novel
 Sin
(2007). Indeed, he was in the running (for his novel
 Sankya
, 2006) for TheRussian Booker book of the decade too, which was finally awardedposthumously to the Chekov scholar Alexandr Cudakov (1938−2005) for hisonly novel, written in 1987 and first published in 2000.Kasper looks ahead to the biggest Russian literary award, aptly named The BigBook Prize: second only to the Nobel Prize for Literature in terms of prizemoney. From the shortlist of eleven titles, he highlights three, includingAlexander Terekhov's latest, billed as a novel of manners for the Putin era.Kaspar's other two favourites support his observation of a current tendency forliterature in Russia to take on a religious hue. He characterizes Maxim Kantor's
 Red Light 
 as a "pamphlet for 'Christian communism'" (and compares it withWilliam Vollmann's
 Europe Central
 of 2005); while Anton Ponizovsky's latestnovel, according to one critic, reveals "the secret of the Russian soul".The winner of The Big Book Prize 2013 will be announced at the end of November.
Also:
Sebastian Kinder and Nikolaus Roos on "Nowa Amerika", an art project aimed at overcoming the legacy of old German−Polish divisions along formerborderlands.The full table of contents of 
 Osteuropa
 8/2013
New Eastern Europe 4/2013
Launched in Prague in May 2009, the Eastern Partnership isintended to promote closer relations between the EU andAzerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus.In
 New Eastern Europe
 (Poland), Carl Bildt and RadoslawSikorski −− the respective ministers of foreign affairs of theEaP's initiators, Sweden and Poland −− sum up their hopes forthe third summit of the EaP in Vilnius, Lithuania.Drawbacks −− such as Armenia's about turn in the form of its recentlyannounced intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and
An article from www.eurozine.com2/7
 
Kazakhstan −− are also discussed. However, as Sikorski readily admits, "thePartnership is not a fix−all. It demands constant effort on both sides." Asentiment that Jana Kobzova, member of a London−based think tank, amplifiesin a third article:"When it comes to its eastern policy, the EU seems to have been sufferingfrom attention deficit disorder. Moreover, having put the principle of 'more formore' (i.e. more funds and support for those countries willing to carry outreforms) at the centre of its neighbourhood policy, in practice the EU hasmainly conducted its affairs with its eastern neighbours as if this principle wasa purely rhetorical exercise rather than a guidance for its everyday actions."Changes are taking place in the six post−Soviet states, but the EU will have todo more if it is to capitalize on them, concludes Kobzova.
Post−Soviet virtual reality:
 It's not only that "social media cannot substitutehard and patient party work or grassroots organizing", writesNatalyaRyabinska in her penetrating contribution on "New media and democracy inpost−Soviet countries", part of a special section on "Digital eastern Europe".There is also an array of techniques to contend with that governments use "tomanipulate public opinion, to thwart online discussions on independentwebsites and undermine public trust in the independent sources of informationon the Internet".The full table of contents of 
 New Eastern Europe
 4/2013
Dilema veche 497−503 (2013)
The debate on the exploitation of Carpathian gold reservesaround Rosia Montana has provided a new social movementin Romania with unique momentum.
 Dilema veche
 dedicatestwo dossiers (501, 503) to voices on recent developmentssurrounding the project.
Gold rush:
 Political scientist Victoria Stoiciu (501) explains how attention haslatched on to "the complex of problems and contradictions that the country isfacing":"Rosia Montana is more than Rosia Montana. The question concerning foreigninvestment is one of the most pressing ones. Like it or not, Romania is aneconomically dependent country that needs to attract foreign money to fuel themotors of development. Having admitted this, the really difficult questionsstart: do policies that are friendly to foreign investors mean rushing to acceptall funds from outside the country at any cost without further reflection?"
Critical masses:
 Press voices may attempt to brand a generation of youngpeople as "eco−terrorists". But Luiza Vasiliu speaks out for her generation, forwhom the Romanian Revolution of 1989 that put an end to the communistdictatorship is only familiar second−hand: "We are beginning to educateourselves politically and civically and to transform ourselves, slowly butsurely, as some intellectuals predicted, into critical masses." Hence hereuphoria: "Leaving home to join the protests with an uncharged mobile phonewas like a '68 protester attending a demonstration without a brick in his
An article from www.eurozine.com3/7

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