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BALTIC POSTCOLONIALISM

On the Boundary of Two Worlds: Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics 6

Editor Leonidas Donskis, Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, and Director of the Political Science and Diplomacy School at Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania Editorial and Advisory Board Timo Airaksinen, University of Helsinki, Finland Egidijus Aleksandravicius, Lithuanian Emigration Institute; Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania Endre Bojtar, Central European University; Budapest, Hungary Kristian Gerner, University of Uppsala, Sweden John Hiden, University of Glasgow, UK Mikko Lagerspetz, Estonian Institute of Humanities, Estonia Andreas Lawaty, Nordost-Institut; Lneburg, Germany Olli Loukola, University of Helsinki, Finland Alvydas Nikzentaitis, Lithuanian History Institute, Lithuania Rein Raud, University of Helsinki, Finland, and Estonian Institute of Humanities, Estonia Alfred Erich Senn, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA, and Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania David Smith, University of Glasgow, UK Saulius Suziedelis, Millersville University, USA Joachim Tauber, Nordost-Institut; Lneburg, Germany Tomas Venclova, Yale University, USA

BALTIC POSTCOLONIALISM

Violeta Kelertas

Edited by

Amsterdam - New York, NY 2006

Cover illustration: Stasys Eidrigevicius; Triangel of silence, 1991, pastel pastel, ink, 420 x 295 mm The paper on which this book is printed meets the requirements of ISO 9706:1994, Information and documentation - Paper for documents Requirements for permanence. ISBN: 90-420-1959-X Editions Rodopi B.V., Amsterdam - New York, NY 2006 Printed in the Netherlands

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgments Violeta Kelertas, Introduction: Baltic Postcolonialism and its Critics Notes vii 1 9

David Chioni Moore, Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Towards a Global Postcolonial Critique 11 Notes 31 Karl E. Jirgens, Fusions of Discourse: Postcolonial/Postmodern Horizons in Baltic Culture Notes

45 75

Vytautas Rubaviius, A Soviet Experience of Our Own: Comprehension and the Surrounding Silence Notes Piret Peiker, Postcolonial Change: Power, Peru and Estonian Literature Notes Nazi and Soviet Dysphemism and Euphemism in Latvian Notes Toward a Postcolonial Perspective on the Baltic States Notes Learning to Curse in Russian: Mimicry in Siberian Exile Notes Estonias Time and Monumental Time Notes The Sieve and the Honeycomb: Features of Contemporary Lithuanian Cultural Time and Space Notes

83 101

105 130

Andrejs Veisbergs,

139 160

Krlis Raevskis,

165 182 187 198 203 227

Jra Aviienis,

Maire Jaanus,

Arnas Sverdiolas,

233 250

vi Violeta Kelertas,

Baltic Postcolonialism Perceptions of the Self and the Other in Lithuanian Postcolonial Fiction Notes Viivi Luiks The Beauty of History: Aestheticized Violence and the Postcolonial in the Contemporary Estonian Novel Notes Searching for National Allegories in Lithuanian Prose: Saulius Tomas Kondrotass The Slow Birth of Nation Notes Estonia and Pain: Jaan Krosss The Czars Madman Notes Postcolonial Subjectivity in Latvia: Some Signs in Literature Notes

251 267

Tiina Kirss,

271 288

Dalia Cidzikait,

291 305 309 327

Maire Jaanus,

Inta Ezergailis,

331 356

Karl E. Jirgens,

Labyrinths of Meaning in Aleksandrs Pelcis Siberia Book and Agate Nesaules Woman in Amber: A Postmodern/Postcolonial Reading 359 Notes 383 Interstitial Histories: Ene Mihkelsons Labor of Naming Notes

Tiina Kirss,

387 405

Almantas Samalaviius, Lithuanian Prose and Decolonization: Rediscovery of the Body Notes Thomas Salumets,

409 427

Conflicted Consciousness: Jaan Kaplinski and the Legacy of Intra-European Postcolonialism in Estonia 429 445 Notes Foot-Loose and Fancy-Free: The Postcolonial Lithuanian Encounters Europe Notes

Violeta Kelertas,

451 459 461

Authors

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
My deep-felt thanks for help with the editing of these articles and preparation of the manuscript for publication go to Elizabeth Novickas, Dalia Cidzikait, and Aida Novickas Lerner. Many pleasurable hours were spent together discussing various pertinent questions as well as chasing down obscure references and points of grammar and punctuation. This group work provided much needed encouragement and support in the isolation of writing, but above all it improved the quality of the various texts. Thanks to Dzidra Rodins for deciphering some fine points of the Latvian language. Karl E. Jirgens was supportive throughout and provided balance, valuable insights, quite a bit of red ink and some, mostly black, humor. Thanks also to Darius Furmonaviius for comments and improvements on the Introduction.

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Baltic Postcolonialism and its Critics Violeta Kelertas


This book on Baltic postcolonialism features the groundbreaking effort of some 15 scholars. Yet, it is still unusual to see or hear the term postcolonial applied to the Baltic States. Thus, the title of this introduction plays on the ambiguity inherent in the word critics. Are such literary and cultural critics using postcolonial methodologies or are they criticizing the use of the concept itself when applied to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? I have both notions of criticism in mind precisely because applying colonialism and postcolonialism as epithets is still a matter of debate to some. Resistance to the application of these terms overlooks the facts that Russia and/or the Soviet Union were colonial empiresthat Russia was a colonizer and that the Soviet Union was one as well. Soviet and post-Soviet self-descriptions have contended that both the U.S.S.R. and, later, Russia served as a liberator of workers of the world and a facilitator of emergence from other real colonial empires. Technically, for Marxist (later Marxist-Leninist) propaganda purposes, 20th century Russia recognizes only old capitalist empires like England, Germany, Spain, France, Holland, and Portugal as colonizers. It fails to acknowledge its own hegemonic, self-serving interests and actions. Yet, the U.S.S.R. was decidedly expansionist. It should be noted that since the Cold War ended, criticism of the former U.S.S.R. has been deflected, partly due to Russias tentative new alliances with the U.S.A. There are new evils in the world to contend with, including terrorism. Nonetheless, we should not forget the impact and importance of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact which divided Europe into zones of influence, nor should we obliterate the consequences of the 1945 Yalta conference at which one half of Europe was granted to Joseph Stalin. Russia never acknowledged its goal of communist world domination. Instead, when speaking of foreign diplomacy it employed rhetorical terms to speak of the brotherhood of nations; among other euphemisms, as Andrejs Veisbergs catalogues in his article in this collection. The self-perceptions of the former U.S.S.R. and reluctance over the application of the terms colonial and post-colonial to Baltic and other post-Soviet nations raise some concerns. For these reasons almost all the authors published here feel compelled to begin their analyses with discussions of the validity of postcolonial criticism applied to what some Washington bureaucrats like to call the successor states of the former Soviet Union. At the risk of some repetition, these discussions have all been included, because each has a different slant and argues his or her case with unique supporting

Violeta Kelertas

materials. It is our common hope that this book will demonstrate the assured validity of this application and, will stimulate further discussion: not on whether postcolonialism fits the Baltic case, but how it applies in the wider context of post-Soviet nations. As some researchers have pointed out,1 the term totalitarianism in regard to the Soviet Union was much in favor in the 1950s and 1960s at the beginning of the cold war, especially after the publication of books by Zbigniew Brzezinski, among others. The Baltic migr communities were composed of refugees who fled their homelands before the advancing Soviet army in 1944. These escapees fully expected to return to their homes soon after the war, but with the hostile conditions of annexation and occupation found that return was impossible. And so, they found themselves to be in what they interpreted as a prolonged exile. Yet, with time, these escapees realized that in reality no one had exiled them and instead, the term political refugees came into use. Perhaps these labels have their uses in military and political contexts. Most objectionable, however, in my estimation is the term totalitarianism as it has been applied to the conditions of annexation and occupation. Realizing that it has a noble history to which Hannah Arendt, for one, contributed, I feel that totalitarianism is a loaded term for the independence-minded Balts, who did have their own democratic governments before the Second World War and wished to reinstate them. The terror imposed on the Balts by the Soviets was unusually inhumane. Hence, totalitarianism obscures the severity of the occupation and undercuts the Balts drive for freedom and democracy. As a term, totalitarianism should apply only if one accepts that a regime turned authoritarian is the regime of ones own state. The application of totalitarianism in reference to the Baltic has been misapplied to suggest that one accepts the terms and conditions of the occupying nation in spite of the forceful annexation. The label seems to imply that those occupied are merely dissatisfied with the form of government. The use of the term deflects attention from the reality of an oppressive occupation and instead implies that if by some chance, the government should change to a democratic form (or socialism with a human face as was the hope in 1968 in Prague), then presumably the Balts would embrace Russia and give up their aspirations to independent statehood. This was never the case. Before 1991 and Yeltsins victory, even the United States delayed Lithuania diplomatic recognition and some politicians tried to convince the state that it was too small a country to function alone. Yet Lithuania is larger in territory than Belgium and its population is close in number to Israels. Belgium and Israel are rarely, if ever, referred to as tiny, while the Baltic States are invariably called tiny or small by the media. Whatever their size, they did not accept the communist government as their own and would not have wished to stay in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics even if it had turned into a democracy. They

Baltic Postcolonialism and its Critics

demonstrated this by refusing to join the Commonwealth of Independent States that Russia offered as a hastily patched together alternative. In hindsight then, totalitarianism never defined the Baltic case. Russia itself has been called a case of post-totalitarianism by decay by Linz and Stefan,2 but its situation is not analogous to that of the Baltics. After all, Russia was master of the situation and could not colonize itself. The rich theory developed around postcolonialism offers a more contemporary approach to analyzing the situation in the Baltic States and provides many useful insights in dealing with the past. Meanwhile the present remains contradictory (corruption, crime, disappointment in democracy) and an excellent example of postcolonialism, in spite of the Baltic countries now having achieved membership in the European Union. One can find early references to the colonization of the Baltic States in 1950s articles,3 and the poet Jonas Aistis use of the term in his journalistic essays, where it seems to function merely as a synonym for occupation. However, even at that time Vaclovas Sidzikauskas, the head of the Chief Commission for the Liberation of Lithuania (VLIK) in the West, was already pointing to russification, to the psychological consequences on the population, and other aspects that have come up in discussions of postcolonialism only recently. Vytautas Landsbergis, the leader of Sjdis and the Singing Revolution in Lithuania, certainly uses it in his speeches. Writers in this collection have been following the spread of postcolonial theory, absorbing its contents for their own work. Research has grown markedly since 1998, when a special issue of World Literature Today devoted to the Baltic States appeared. That issue included the works of several North American critics, who in 1997 formed a special panel on Baltic postcolonialism at the Modern Language Association meeting in Toronto. A number of these presentations from the MLA soon appeared in the Baltic issue of World Literature Today. Nevertheless, even the journals editor, William Riggan, had reservations about the application of the term post-colonial to the Baltic States, stating that it shifts attention from the here and now to the condition(s) that prevailed before the epochal events of 198991 in Eastern and Central Europe.4 Riggans comments suggest that he overlooks the fact, reiterated many times in the literature, that postcolonialism also includes the period of colonialism5 and not just the period since liberation, when the consequences on the populace and the culture become clearer. Regardless of editorial perceptions of the term, the Baltic issue of World Literature Today, and the 1997 Baltic MLA panel provided a breakthrough which galvanized scholarship in this direction. Soon after, Baltic scholars in the West were heartened and mobilized by the publication of David Chioni Moores wide-ranging article, reprinted here, Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in PostSoviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique. They were heartened and gratified because of the prestige of the PMLA and because Moore was not

Violeta Kelertas

part of the diaspora communities, as many Baltic scholars were. The sense of gratification was tempered by the awareness of statements by the Australian group speaking through the seminal text, The Empire Writes Back, which says that most often it is critics educated in the West and looking back at their homelands who do postcolonialism. It is encouraging, perhaps even empowering to have a prominent scholar outside the diaspora community confirm the application of postcolonial perspectives to the Baltic States. In his article, Chioni Moore argues that he is identifying an absence in currently constituted Western postcolonial discourse and searches for reasons for this neglectnot only in the Baltic States, but in all of the scholarship related to the former Soviet Union. He finds several strands operative, one in the West, the other in the colonized countries themselves. According to Chioni Moore, there is too great an allegiance to the three-worlds theory by scholars who thought that socialism was the best system (this returns us to Sartre, if not before, as Krlis Raevskis outlines in his work). Western Marxists showed naivet and disbelief in the face of knowledge about Soviet concentration camps and the true faces of Lenin and Stalin. Many early messengers attesting to atrocities under the Soviet system (such as Czesaw Miosz and Aleksander Solzhenitsyn) were ignored. Chioni Moore also notes that the Balts themselves lost out by claiming to be European, while labeling the Russians as Asiatic and therefore Other. Chioni Moore calls this compensatory behavior. However, I would look more deeply into this feature by pointing out that the rejection of the colonial marker by the Balts is essentially psychologically based. Preferring to think of themselves as superior to other colonized peoples (as they understand themsee the fine work of probably the collections youngest scholar Dalia Cidzikait on Lithuanian attitudes to the Other), the Balts find being lumped together with the rest of colonialized humanity unflattering, if not humiliating, and want to be with the civilized part of the world. Too often they still fail to recognize, as Chioni Moore observes, that postcolonialism is fundamental to world identities, taking in Canadians and even Americans from the pre-Revolutionary historical period. Postcolonials make up a motley crew that cannot be avoided. Even the doyenne of world Marxism and the propagator of subalternity and other fundamental postcolonial concepts, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, has stated my work has shown me that we must formulate new ideas of nationalism, postcoloniality, and multiculturalism in terms of the diversified, centuries-old imperial history of the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Russian Federation.6 Thus we have Spivaks blessing for our work, though in this collection only Piret Peiker, originally from Tartu University, deals with the Tsarist period in Estonian culture; everyone else deals with the precursor to the Russian Federation. Another sign that the concept of postcoloniality is

Baltic Postcolonialism and its Critics

becoming accepted with reference to the former Soviet bloc are the musings of prominent anthropologist Katherine Verdery,7 who in her part of the introduction Whither postsocialism? sees the way clear to creat[ing] a parallel with postcolonial studies enriching each field thereby. As she observes, The Soviet empire was more self-consciously invasive and ambitious than West European empires: its instruments were generally more blunt, and its plans for ideological transformation emphasized different routes to that end.8 This book aims to examine some of these blunt instruments and the subtle variations in how the colonized person attempted to speak. In the last few years things have begun to turn around. At conferences in the Baltics, calling the natives postcolonials no longer elicits as much of a negative response as it did in the late 1990s, or even in the very early 2000s. It must be admitted, however, that Balts in the homeland have a greater interest in postmodernism, which is also not well understood, at least in Lithuania. In his research Karl Jirgens emphasizes how and why postmodernism is especially attractive to Balts because they had lost their belief in grand narratives and one central truth a long time ago. Even their pagan roots suggest that they were comfortable with multiplicity (e.g., in Lithuanian and Latvian mythology there were three goddesses who ruled destiny). Postmodernism, if it can be made to include things like magical realism, was also convenient for the colonized mentality in various cultural efforts, as it disrupted the colonizers unilateral discourse and opened it up to possibilities for censorship evasion. Censors read only on a superficial level and could not delve into the depths of a normal analysis because subtexts and extra-textual allusions were too complicated to prove. There was a complicity between the author and the reader and this was a loop the censor was left out of.9 No one was calling this Subaltern Studies, as the scholars working on India were, but certainly it fits just as well with many of their categories and insights and contributes to what they call Resistance Theory, only the power being resisted was not the British Empire and the language being resisted in remained for the most part not the colonizers language, but rather the native languages in the Baltics. Although literature was still allowed to be written in the native tongues, the linguistic clock was ticking, as most scholarship was required to be written in Russian and after the 1978 Tashkent conference intensive russification in the schools was taking a toll. The calculations by local intellectuals, especially in Latvia and Estonia, were that their cultures were only a generation or two away from extinction. In their approaches Tomas Salumets and Karl Jirgens have in common that they both investigate how colonial discourse (and inevitably ideology, even if the populace thinks it is rejecting it) in Gadamers lexis fuses or according to the Estonian poet Jaan Kaplinski is internalized. Homi Bhabha would call this mimicry where consciously or mostly

Violeta Kelertas

unconsciously adopting the colonizers view of the world results in psychological consequences because the mimesis is always incomplete and verges on parody. This is not the same as the normal influence of one writer on another tracked in literary studies. Although Salumets does not use Bhabhas terminology, the tendencies that his research object Jaan Kaplinski sees in Estonian culture are exactly the same ones. Kaplinski, and through him Salumets, refers to them as self-colonization, reverting to a masochistic vocabulary of guilt and self-blame: ultimately the colonized himself is responsible for the colonization. The colonized should have resisted more fiercely; they should not have so willingly aped the colonial powers. Like Jirgens, Kaplinski goes back to all the conquerors that Estonians have endured for the last 700 years. According to him, to resist modernizing trends the Balts should have turned to ecology (a form of nativism) to survive in this global environment. Mimicry is also analyzed in Jra Aviieniss contribution, but she sees it in a positive light as a mode for survival in the Gulag. In the memoirs of Dr. Dalia Grinkeviit that Aviienis takes apart and puts back together, she observes the effect that the reading of 19th century and socialist realist Russian writings has had on the structure and stylistics of her authors text. Unbeknownst to herself, the memoir writers mind is infiltrated by the colonizers mentality. This is what colonialism and its aftereffects are all aboutnot economics or politics, though these are vital as well, but the psychological consequences on even those who dissented with the ideology, yet were unable to keep ideas and mindsets from creeping into their brains. Postcolonial conditions in the culture and other questions, like the search for a new identity, interest many of the writers in this collection (Jaanus, Ezergailis, Kirss, Rubaviius, Sverdiolas, Kelertas). Another relevant topic, it seems especially for the Estonians, is that of the reconception and rewriting of history (Jaanus, Kirss, Samalaviius). Most of the critics, as Ashcroft, et al. had foreseen, are from the migr diaspora and Western educated. The editor made an attempt to include critics from the Baltic States (Rubaviius, Peiker, Veisbergs, Sverdiolas, Cidzikait, Samalaviius). There is a preponderance of Lithuanians just because of better connections to that culture, however, inquiries from Latvia and Estonia failed to turn up more research from that perspective, though it may exist. As can be seen in the contributions from the two Lithuanian philosophers (Rubaviius and Sverdiolas), the native critics are less interested in literature, but are able to analyze their recent escape from colonialism and make demands on the postcolonial conditions that they find themselves in. There is less familiarity with Western postcolonial theory (exceptions are Cidzikait who received her PhD in the West and Peiker who has also spent a good deal of time in the West), however, the native critics display an intimate knowledge of the situation that is interesting in itself. The Western scholars favor Homi

Baltic Postcolonialism and its Critics

Bhabha, sometimes Said and Lacan, and manipulate their access to good libraries and familiarity with the theory without neglecting their knowledge of the cultures and especially the written word that crossed the Iron Curtain first and the free borders later. A survey of what other post-Soviet countries and their critics are doing with postcolonialism demonstrates that it is in its very early days and that there is still much confusion, even though there is a wealth of examples to follow. Closest on the heels of the Baltics perhaps are the Ukrainians like Vitaly Chernetsky (2002), probably because their experiences with Russia are even grimmer: they underwent the Stalinist terror with its staged famine in the 1930s earlier and are self-aware enough to know that they have been colonized. More scholars agree that the countries that were annexed to the USSR are to be considered postcolonial states now;10 nevertheless, others still argue as to the status of the former satellite states.11 One can maintain that the Russian scholars make up the rear, both in refusing to admit that they were occupants and colonizers and in forwarding the tired argument that Russia suffered from its colonization the most.12 Both views are apparent in the issue of the journal Ulbandus. The Slavic Review of Columbia University, dedicated to Empire, Union, Center, Satellite. The Place of Post-Colonial Theory in Slavic/Central and Eastern European/(Post-)Soviet Studies, a topic with a grandiose title that yields either critics who know the Russian context well, but know little of postcolonial discourse as produced in the last 25 years, or scholars who know the theory, but have meager knowledge of the Soviet Union (an exception as mentioned is Chernetsky on Ukraine). The editor of Ulbandus, Jonathan Brooks Platt, fears that in investigating whether postcoloniality fits a territory as vast and various as ours [mentioned in the title], we shall inevitably end in exploding the discourse even more than it has done so internally already (emphasis mine, V.K.). This reminds me of the Pepsi Cola executive, interviewed on American national television in 1989 or 1990, who also feared that if the Soviet Union disintegrated, multinationals would have to deal with 15 independent republics and that would cut into their profits. Its high time that the discourse was exploded, as explode it must to reflect the reality of the various ethnicities, languages and experiences of the several colonial (the Baltic States under the Tsars, the Baltic States under the Soviets), postcolonial and attempts at neocolonial (overt as in Chechnya and covert as in the Baltic States) periods in Russian expansionism and hegemony. As Krlis Raevskis and others make clear, it was the collusion of Marxism-Leninism and of Western Marxism that led to the neglect of the colonial aspects of this relationship. Like feminism, which had two waves, postcolonialism can also be seen to have two waves, if one considers Frantz Fanon to be one of the early initiators, with a second wave occurring after Edward Saids Orientalism (1978), extended by the Australian group of Bill Ashcroft and

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others around The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in PostColonial Literatures (1989). To put politics aside and to return to the origins of postcolonialism as an attempt to give a name to human suffering and the injustices perpetrated by the powerful on the weak, the best antidote is yet again by Bill Ashcroft in a new formulation, PostColonial Transformation (2001), which follows his and his original cohorts in the postcolonial enterprise (Gareth Griffiths and Helen Tiffins) useful explanatory text Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies (1998). In his latest book, Ashcroft has obviously continued not only following the extensive literature and debates in the field, but has also continued thinking about the main concept. He has widened it to embrace what for many is fortunately becoming the postcolonial past, and harks to the future of combining the local and the global. In his project he redefines postcolonialism in a fruitful way that should bring an end to the impasse that some scholars find themselves in. Ashcroft now describes post-colonial as representing a form of talk rather than a form of experience [...] If we see post-colonial discourse in the Foucauldian sense as a system of knowledge of colonized societies, a space of enunciation in which the experience of oppression, of invasion, of domination13 can be expressed, discussed and analyzed from a fresh perspective, then we can begin to comprehend, validate and honor all the suffering and give it a name. We can second Spivak when she states: I have long said that history should join hands with literary criticism in search of the ethical as it interrupts the epistemological.14 This book was written in such a spirit and with the hope that it will find its reader.

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Notes
1. Comisso and Gutierrez, 2002, 1617. 2. Linz and Stefan, 1996, 375. 3. Sidzikauskas, 1953. 4. Riggan, 1989, 230. 5. Ashcroft, etc. 1996. 6. Spivak, 1996, 29798. 7. Verdery, 2002, 15. 8. Ibid, 16. 9. Kelertas, 1992 and forthcoming. 10. Carey, 2003, 72. 11. See Deltcheva, 1998. 12. Kyst, 2003. 13. Ashcroft, 2001, 13. 14. Spivak, 2003, 16.

Bibliography
Ashcroft, B., G. Griffiths and H. Tiffin (1989), The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London and New York: Routledge. _________. (1998), Key Concepts in Post-Colonial Studies. London and New York: Routledge. Ashcroft, B. (2001), Post-Colonial Transformation. London and New York: Routledge. Carey, H. (2003), The Postcolonial State and the Protection of Human Rights, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, XXII.1&2: 5975. Chernetsky, V. (2003), Postcolonialism, Russia and Ukraine, Ulbandus, 7: 3262. Comisso, E. and B. Gutierrez (2002), Eastern Europe or Central Europe? Exploring a Distinct Regional Identity, http://repositories.edlib.org/uciaspubs/edited volumes/3/7 Deltcheva, R. (1998), Two Difficult Topos In-Between: The East-Central European Cultural Context as a Post-Coloniality, The Sarmatian Review, XVIII.2.

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Kelertas, V. (1992), Introduction, in: V. Kelertas (ed.) Come into My Time: Lithuania in Prose Fiction, 19701990. Urbana, Chicago: University of Illinois Press. _________. (forthcoming), Soviet Censorship in Lithuania 19451989, in: J. Neubauer and M. Cornis-Pope (eds.) History of the Literary Cultures in East-Central Europe:Junctures and Disjunctures in the 19th and 20th centuries v. 3. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Kyst, J. (2003), Russia and the Problem of Internal Colonization, Ulbandus, 2631. Linz, J. and A. Stepan (1996), Problems of Democratic Transition and Consolidation. Southern Europe, South America, and PostCommunist Europe. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press. Riggan, W. (1989), Introduction, World Literature Today, Spring, 229 230. Schpflin, G. and N. Wood (eds.) (1989), In Search of Central Europe. Totowa NJ: Barnes and Noble Books. Sidzikauskas, V. (1958), Soviet ColonialismSocial and Cultural Aspects, Lituanus, 4.3: 6673. Snyder, T. (2003), The Reconstruction of Nations. Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 15691999. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. Spivak, G.C. (1996), Subaltern Talk: Interview with the Editors (1993 94), in: D. Landry and G. Maclean (eds.) The Spivak Reader. New York and London: Routledge, 287308. _________. (2003), Empire, Union, Center, Satellite. The Place of PostColonial Theory in Slavic/Central and Eastern European/(Post-)Soviet Studies. A Questionnaire, Ulbandus, 7: 1517. Verdery, K. (2002), Whither postsocialism? in: C.M. Hann (ed.) Postsocialism. Ideals, ideologies and practices in Eurasia. London and New York: Routledge, 1521.

Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique David Chioni Moore
The enormous twenty-seven-nation post-Soviet sphereincluding both former Soviet Republics and East Bloc statesare virtually never discussed in the substantial Western discourse of postcolonial studies. Yet Russia and the Soviet Union exercised colonial control over the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Baltics, and Central and Eastern Europe for between fifty and two hundred years. Thus this essay interrogates the possible postcoloniality of the post-Soviet sphere. The investigation is complicated by Russias seeming Eurasian status and its history of perceived cultural inferiority to the West. Many theoretical, historical, cultural, and geographical positions are examined, and figures such as Curzon, Conrad, Lermontov and Shohat are addressed. In conclusion the essay argues against the current West-centric privileging of Western European colonization as the standard, and proposes a fully global postcolonial critique. It encourages Western postcolonial scholars to consider the former Soviet sphere, and equally encourages scholars of the former Soviet sphere to consider postcolonial perspectives. Except for Australia in the old days and Cayenne, Sakhalin is the only place left where it is possible to study colonization by criminals: all Europe is interested in it, and we pay no attention to it. Anton Chekhov, The Island: A Journey to Sakhalin, 1895 You have delved deeply into the Russian mind of the nineteenth century [...]. It was filled with the same disquiet, the same impassioned and ambiguous torment. To be the extreme eastern end of Europe? Not to be the western bridgehead of Asia? The intellectuals could neither answer these questions nor avoid them. Cheikh Hamidou Kane, Laventure ambigu, 1961

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But it is above all Budapest and Suez which constitute the decisive moments of this confrontation. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 1961 Marlow comes through to us not only as a witness of truth, but as one holding those advanced and humane views appropriate to the English liberal tradition which required all Englishmen of decency to be deeply shocked by atrocities in Bulgaria or the Congo of King Leopold of the Belgians or wherever. Chinua Achebe, An Image of Africa: Racism in Conrads Heart of Darkness, 1975 As scholars of both global and Baltic affairs may know, in the United States and several other anglophone locations the term postcolonialbeginning in the 1980s, with massive growth by the middle 1990shas become the principal designator for a range of activities formerly known as the study of Third World, non-Western, world, emergent, or minority literatures. The term postcolonial came into fashion not only because of evident defects in the former vogue labels but also because postcolonial accurately describes, to varying degrees, good chunks of the contemporary political, social, cultural, and literary situations in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean, the Arab world, and to lesser or different extents Latin America, Australia, Canada, Ireland, and even the United States. According to a rough consensus, the cultures of postcolonial lands are characterized by tensions between the desire for autonomy and a history of dependence, between the desire for autochthony and the fact of hybrid, part-colonial origin, between resistance and complicity, and between imitation (or mimicry) and originality. Postcolonial (or former Third World) peoples passion to escape from their once-colonized situations paradoxically gives the excolonials disproportionate weight in the recently freed zones. And the danger of retrenchment, or of a neocolonial relation, is ever present. In the hands of postcolonial and resistance theorists such as Frantz Fanon, Edward W. Said, Ngugi wa Thiongo, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Aim Csaire, postcolonial perspectives have generated powerful analyses of societies and texts. Postcolonial critique has also illuminated parallels between areas heretofore seen as noncomparable, such as Senegal and India, and it has energized fields like Irish culture studies.1 Postcolonial studies have also become remarkably autocritical: since its inception, many important scholars have interrogated the discourse itself.2 Yet these autocritiques, now a genre of their own, have only strengthened the fields hold in the West. These critiques have tackled questions such as the political utility of the category postcolonial, the near-disappearance of formerly important terms such

Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet?

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as Third World and more specific terms like Africa, the often difficult vocabulary of postcolonial studies, and specific concerns about its major claims. In the following pages I supplement these debates by examining an enormous geographic, or rather geopolitical, exclusion embodied in the range of situations that have been generally understood to be postcolonial. The new space investigated in this paper may be of great interest to scholars of Baltic issues, because after reviewing what today counts as postcolonial, I will turn to the post-Soviet sphere: Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asiaa space which expressly includes the three newly independent Baltic states. This essay thereby proposes simultaneous critiques of both too narrow Western postcolonial and too parochial post-Soviet studies. It is written from the perspective of a scholar of Africa and the Atlantic world, whose grandmother Josephine Regina Dolores Grinciulaitis Chioni, born in 1894, was Lithuanian, and whose post-Soviet views are those of a comparatist. It is no doubt true that there is, on this planet, not a single square meter of inhabited land that has not been, at one time or another, colonized and then postcolonial. Across Eurasia, Africa, the Americas, and more, peoples have formed and re-formed, conquered and been conquered, moved and dissolved. And virtually all groups on this earth, from the Baltics to Beijing to Benin, whatever their claims to migrant, exile, conquering, returned, or indigenous status, have come, at some remove or other, from somewhere else. The result of all this movement, much of which has been arguably criminal, is that many cultural situations, past and present, can be said to bear the postcolonial stamp, often in ways only partly corresponding to current Western notions. In roughly 1387, for example, the English poet Geoffrey Chaucer chose to write his Canterbury Tales in English, a choice somewhat similar to that which the Kenyan writer Ngu~gi wa Thiongo made in 1980 when he wrote his novel Devil on the Cross in Gikuyu. Chaucer lived at a time when England was a relatively poor marginal country off Europes northwest shore, and Englands elite culture had been dominated by Latin and French since the Norman Conquest of 1066. And so, Chaucer asked, do I write in Latin or French, both foreign, formerly colonial, transnational Romance tongues, thereby guaranteeing international and local elite readers and participating in a rich, old, but largely external tradition? Or do I write in English, the vernacular, my language, of narrower geographic compass and socially lower, principally oral use? A similar dilemma for Ngugi and Chaucer, but only the Kenyan Ngugi is today called postcolonial, while Chaucer is perceived to stand at the head of a colonizers literary history. And yet much of Ngugis critique of colonial English circa 1980 (Decolonising) echoes the sense of French and Latin circa 1440 expressed by Chaucers near contemporary Osbern Bokenham:

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David Chioni Moore This corrupcion of Englysshe men in ther modre-tounge [] toke great augmentatcioun and increes after the commyng of William Conqueror. [] By decree and ordynaunce [] children in grammer-school, ageynst the consuetude and the custom of all other nacyons, her own modre-tonge left and forsakyn, learnyd [] Frenssh [and] Latin on the same wyse. [] By the same decree, lords sons and all nobyll and worthy mens children were first set to learnyn and speaken Frenssh, or then they could speakyn Englyssh, and all writyngs [] in courts of the law [] be done in the same [] thus by process of time barbarized they in both, and spoke neithyr good Frenssh nor good Englyssh.3

Eighty years later, in 1521, when the Spanish brigand Hernn Corts reached what is now Mexico, early in one of the most brutal chapters in all history, he did not arrive in a pristine land of independent peoples. Rather, he stumbled on a political maelstrom in which the Mexic state dominated neighbor peoples. The young Teticpac woman Malintzn, who served Corts as translator and guide, was a member of one of these subject peoples. Malintzns hybridizing, other-identifying, certainly not wholly voluntary, and ultimately self-defeating choice to ally herself with Corts was therefore initially intended as a decolonizing act. The Khoisan people, in present-day South Africa, are a third nonstandard example. The current broad narrative of South African history is that, beginning in the 17th century, first Dutch and then English colonists usurped lands rightfully belonging to indigenous Africans such as the Zulu and the Xhosa. It was only in the 1990s that this power distribution began to change. And yet for other South Africans, in particular the Khoisan, the Zulu were also late arrivals and so also counted among the colonizers ranks. Thus in South Africa today one sees, at fleeting moments, an unusual uniting of the Khoisan with the formerly ruling white minority in the interests of reversing perceived Nguni domination. I raise these worldwide examplesnone of which is clear-cut, unambiguous, or unchallengableto make the following point. When the term postcolonial arose in the Western academy it was rightly envisioned, as I have mentioned, as a replacement for terms like nonWestern, Third World, minority, and emergent. The notion nonWestern was a sham since it lumped four billion people under a single name and privileged the fragment called the West.4 Emergent worked no better, since the cultures and peoples so described had been producing literature for millennia before most Europeans stopped wearing bearskins or began to read; even Goethe was aware of that.5 Minority was even worse. And Third World, though of honorable, even revolutionary, birth and still strongly defended, also seemed to have flaws: the tertiary status;

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the recent disappearance of the Second [or Communist] World; the presence of Third Worlds within the First; the odd lumping of, say, Singapore with Mali; and more.6 The term postcolonial apparently worked better: it lacked the derogations of the former labels; it specified what unified its compass (a former subjugated relation to Western powers); it embodied a historical dimension; and it opened analytic windows onto common features of peoples who had only recently, and to the extent possible, thrown off their European chains. Equally importantly, though less honorably, postcolonial still allowed Western university literature departments to hire just one person in this field, this severalbillion-person space, an outcome that would not have happened (the embarrassment would have been too great) had categories like African, Indian, and Caribbean emerged as strongly separate. Much less expected, however, has been the degree to which the notion postcolonial has exceeded its initial scope. Western academic postcolonial theory, as I have observed, was initially a critique of Western colonial power. And yet the West has hardly monopolized colonial activity. For one thing the West has often colonized itself, as when Englands subjects colonized what is now Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States, and then fought to free themselves of England. Irelands long history of English domination can also be invoked. Thus, the contemporary literatures of Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and more reluctantly the United States have been admitted into postcoloniality.7 But still these additional cases fit, since the colonial power is still England, the familiar villain in places such as Africa and India. It is more troubling, however, when the postcolonial model reaches even further, if never simply, as in the case of 1380 England, the 16th century Mixtec state, the contemporary Khoisan, or, for that matter, Norway and Finland, which emerged from Swedish and Russian control only early in the 1900s.8 In what follows, therefore, I will propose that the term postcolonial is a useful designation for yet another zone: the postSoviet spherethe Baltic states, Central and Eastern Europe (including both former Soviet republics and independent East Bloc states), the Caucasus, and Central Asia. In my view, at least two features of this giant area are significant for this paper and its readers: first, how extraordinarily postcolonial the societies of the former Soviet regions are; and, second, how extraordinarily little attention is paid to this fact, at least in these terms. To suggest a richer understanding of what I mean by post-Soviet (including Baltic) postcoloniality, I will describe an area whose postcoloniality is clearsub-Saharan Africa. A historically rich and important set of cultures, of great diversity and sometimes little unity, subSaharan Africa before the arrival of the Europeans has a long history of independence, though at times internal strife there is great. Then, an

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external colonization or imperial control begins at the borders and extends into the center. Indigenous governments are replaced with puppet control or outright rule. African education is revamped to privilege the colonizers language, and histories and school curricula are rewritten from the imperiums perspective. Autochthonous religious traditions are suppressed in the colonial zone, idols are destroyed, and alternative religions and nonreligious ideologies are promoted. The colonized areas of Africa become economic fiefs. Little or no natural trade is allowed between the colonies and economies external to the colonizers network. Economic production is undertaken on a command basis and is geared to the dominant powers interests rather than to local needs. Local currencies, if they exist, are only convertible to the colonial powers money. Agriculture becomes mass monoculture, and environmental crisis follows. In the human realm, African dissident voices are heard most clearly only in exile, though accession to exile is difficult. Oppositional energies are therefore channeled through forms including mimicry, satire, parody, and jokes. But a characteristic feature of society is cultural stagnation. And then independence comes, across Africa, all at once. Although resistance has been continuous throughout the colonial period, as moments of heroic struggle have alternated with quieter times and times of great repression, in ways the newfound freedom is less won than handed over. External forces, world forces, or forces internal to the colonizing powers seem responsible for the sudden change. There is no moment of full liberatory satisfaction, as when the English general Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington at Yorktown in 1781, or when Vietnam defeated France in 1954 and the United States in 1974. Not surprisingly, the newly independent African states are often underprepared for self-rule. Once rich domestic political cultures have withered, and nationals with government experience are tainted by colonial complicity. Thus, in places the former opposition rapidly assumes control, though it seems at times that they still are better at opposing than at leading. New governments, anxious to expel the colonizers demons, swing the ideological pendulum, seeking alliance with the former imperiums opponent. Attempts are then made in Africa to apply wholesale the principleseconomic, social, and otherwise-of this great ideological alternative, at times without regard for the applicability of those principles or for their tragic dislocations. In some places lawlessness, graft, corruption, and a continuation of colonial-era ways take hold. In other places dictators emerge, often drawing on their training in the colonial regime. Thus, after an initial euphoria, disillusion sets in, resulting from what Neil Lazarus has called Africas preliminary overestimation of emancipatory potential.9 Now neither the collapsed imperium, nor the outside alternative, nor the local elite is seen to have the answers. At times these tensions are expressed in ethnic terms, since map lines, ethnic

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categories, and the newfound states themselves are often inventions of the former powers. Settler colonies uncomfortably remain in some places, while in other places large imported populations stay. These map distortions, combined with more or less authentic differences, economic hardship, and radical uncertainty, can result in tragic interethnic tensions. Postcolonial Africa, I suggest, is like this. But is it only Africa, South Asia, the Caribbean, and such places that are like this? For does not the description of postcoloniality offered here reasonably as well apply to the giant crescent from Estonia to Kazakhstan, which also includes (it is worth mentioning the rest of the twenty-seven nations) Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the former East Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the remaining Yugoslavia, Macedonia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan? These nations, some quite young and some quite old, were unquestionably subject to often brutal Russian domination (styled as Soviet from the 1920s on) for anywhere from forty to two hundred years. From this long list I have left out only Afghanistan, whose Anglo- and Russo-coloniality was never complete, and Chechnya, whose grim coloniality is hardly post. Africanist readers of the prior paragraphs will note exceptions in Africa to the postcolonial characteristics I have listed. And scholars of Eastern and Central Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia might note ways in which these paragraphs apply imperfectly to specific states there. The post-Soviet world, like the postcolonial world, is enormously diverse. But review the three preceding paragraphs, only now with the former Soviet sphere in mind: Koreans in Uzbekistan like Indians in Uganda; Russians in Kazakhstan and Latvia like Dutch and English in South Africa; Russian language in Baltic schools like French in Vietnam and Cameroon; corruption in Armenia and Indonesia; inter-ethnic and post-independence economic and cultural strains all over. Thus it should be clear that the term postcolonial, and everything that goes with it language, economy, politics, resistance, liberation and its hangover might reasonably be applied to the formerly Russo- and Soviet-controlled regions post-1989 and -1991, just as it has been applied to South Asia post-1947 or Africa post-1958. To paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, East is South. In view of these postcolonial/post-Soviet parallels, two silences are striking. The first is the silence of Western postcolonial studies today on the subject of the former Soviet sphere. And the second, mirrored silence is the failure of many scholars (other than those appearing in this volume) specializing in the formerly Soviet-controlled lands to think of their regions in the useful postcolonial terms developed by scholars of, say, Indonesia and Gabon. South does not speak East, and East not South. In detailing these two silences, let me turn first to Western postcolonial studies. In notable synoptic articles on postcolonial studies and in recent

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major classroom-use anthologies (such as those by Williams and Chrisman, or by Ashcroft et al.), the broadest range of nations is generally mentioned, both colonial and colonized, except for those of the former Soviet sphere. Ella Shohats fine 1992 article Notes on the PostColonialwhich today is a classic postcolonial-studies referenceis an excellent example of this silence on the post-Soviet. One reason Shohats essay is so widely cited is that it is apparently exhaustive: it tackles an enormous range of the issues surrounding postcolonial, including the terms origins, implied temporality, supplanting of prior designations, political effects, specificity, potential overgenerality, relation with neocoloniality, and more. The geopolitical range of Shohats essay is very large, but in a way it is also strange. I apologize in advance for reproducing here every geographic and cultural designator in Shohats essay, but I ask the reader imaginatively to take a colored pencil and cross-hatch on a world map all the places mentioned. What will be blank once you finish? Shohats article refers specifically to Algeria, Angola, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Egypt, Germany, Grenada, Italy, Jamaica, Lebanon, Libya, Mozambique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Panama, the Philippines, Senegal, and South Africa, and it mentions with particular frequency France, India, Iraq, and the United States. Adding complexity to those invocations, her article also speaks of (these citations are verbatim) Israel/Palestine, India/Pakistan, Iraq/Kuwait, Kuwait-Iraq, the Gulf states, Anglo-America, Euro-Israel, Europe, North America, the Americas, European Empires, Africa, Asia, central America, the Middle East, Southern Africa, Latin America, Central and South America and the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. The essay often uses Third World and First World, partly as descriptive terms and partly to interrogate them. Shohat also offers designators for peoples and identities, including (and this list is again complete and verbatim) Aboriginal Australians, the Jindyworobak in Australia, white Australians, Algerians, the Algerian in France, the Pied Noir, the Arab-Jew, Middle Eastern Jews, the [Amazonian] Kayapo, the Zuni in Mexico/U.S., indigenous peoples of the Americas and Afro-diasporic communities, Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Cubans, Anglo-Dutch Europeans, Egyptians, Fourth World peoples, Indians, Malians, New Worlders, Nigerians, Pakistanis, South African Blacks, Sri Lankans, Tunisians, and Turks. The article refers to identities that are African, African American, Anglo-American, Arab, Brazilian, Cuban, Latin American, Mexican, Middle Eastern, Native American, Nicaraguan, Palestinian, and Senegalese. It also mentions the Gulf War, New World Order, Intifada, International Monetary Fund, Anglo-American informational media, Monroe Doctrine, Carter Doctrine, U.S. Independence Day, [United States] Ethnic Studies, Camp David, [the Brazilian] Tropicalist [movement], rap music, pre-Nasser imperialism, [United StatesMexican] Trade Liberalization Treaty, First World

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multinational corporations, Third World nation-states, [Christopher] Columbus, and New York Harbor. Finally, Shohat quotes the suggestion that the post-colonial might arguably include African countries, Australia, Bangladesh, Canada, Caribbean countries, India, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Pakistan, Singapore, South Pacific Island countries, and Sri Lanka.10 The great blank space on the map I have asked my reader to create is, of course, the former Soviet sphere and China, which Shohat relegates to two passing mentions of the Second World. These two mentions, despite their brevity, are worth assessing. On the essays second page she notes, entirely in reference to the eclipse of the term Third World, the collapse of the Soviet Communist model [and] the crisis of existing socialism.11 The penultimate page again situates the massive Soviet sphere and China solely in relation to perceived desires of traditionally constituted Third World peoples: The collapse of Second World socialism, it should be pointed out, has not altered neo-colonial policies, and on some levels, has generated increased anxiety among such Third World communities as the Palestinians and South African Blacks concerning their struggle for independence without a Second World counter-balance.12 What is remarkable or, rather, remarkably ordinary here is the way in which a Western-located scholar enormously concerned with the fate of colonized and recently decolonized peoples across the planet treats events that were widely perceived, at least in the twentyseven nations from Estonia to Kyrgyzstan, as a decolonization, instead as a distant, indeed abstract (see Shohats term model), noncolonial event, and as a loss, since it increased the anxieties of, for example, Palestinians and Black South Africans. I should underscore that I do not mean to single out Shohats essay, which I admire. Rather, I mean only to identify an absence in currently constituted Western postcolonial discoursea world system with no theory of its former Second Worldwhich I could demonstrate in dozens of similarly apparently comprehensive essays. In most scholarship since 1990 on Eastern and Central Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia, a mirrored lack of engagement with postcolonial perspectives obtains. There has been, to be sure, a growing Western scholarship on 19th century Russian literary orientalism. Drawing on the colonial discourse analysis inaugurated by Edward Saids 1978 Orientalism, this work focuses on those Russian texts, from Pushkins 1822 Prisoner of the Caucasus to Tolstoys 1904 Haji Murat, that thematize the Russo-Caucasian colonial encounter.13 However, when one chats with intellectuals in Vilnius or Bishkek, or when one reads essays on any of the current literatures of the former Soviet sphere, it is difficult to find comparisons between Algeria and Ukraine, Hungary and the Philippines, or Kazakhstan and Cameroon.14 At times today, the Western media treat the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the former Yugoslavia in Third World terms of barbarity and despotism, but these treatments tend

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more to stereotyped Asiatic tropes than to serious considerations of postcoloniality.15 It is difficult to theorize a silencethat is, this lack of dialogue between current postcolonial critique and scholarship on Central, Eastern, and Baltic Europe, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. On the postcolonial side, one cause of silence is a historical indebtedness to three-worlds theory. In three-worlds theory, Western Europe and North America constitute the First, the socialist economies the Second, and all that remainslargely the worlds economically weakest statesby default becomes the Third. A large and honorable political commitment to the Third World has been central to much in three-worlds theorizing, a direct ancestor of Western postcolonial critique. One aspect of that commitment has been the reasonable belief that the First World has largely caused the Third Worlds ills, and an allied, less-justifiable belief that the Second Worlds socialism was the best alternative. When most of the Second World collapsed in 1989 and 1991, the collapse resulted in the silences apparent in Shohat, and it still remains difficult, evidently, for postcolonial theorists to recognize the postcolonial dynamic within the Second World. In addition, many postcolonialist scholars, in the United States and elsewhere, have been Marxist or strongly on the left, and therefore have been absurdly reluctant to make the Soviet Union a colonial villain on the scale of France or Britain. The reluctance, in contrast, of most scholars of the post-Soviet sphere to make a mirrored moveto recognize that their situations might profitably be analyzed with postcolonialist tools initially developed for, say, Tanganyikamay be laid to different reasons. Here I mention two. One reason for ignoring postcolonial perspectives is offered specifically by post-Soviets with claims as European: all those peoples north and west of the fractured, fissured, racially and religiously inflected line that places Azeris, Chechens, Ossetians, Kabardians, Abkhazians, Tatars, and the like (in short, Asiatics) on one side and all Georgians, Armenians, Balts and Slavs (or Europeans) on the other. Because of this invented line between the East and West, Asia and Europe, the post-Soviet regions European peoples may be convinced that something radically, even racially differentiates them from the postcolonial Filipinos and Ghanaians who might otherwise claim to share their situation.16 Across the entire zone, however, on both sides of the post-Soviet regions European-Asian split, a second factor blocks postcolonial critique: that factor is, indeed, the regions postcoloniality. As many colonization theorists have argued, one result of extended subjugation is compensatory behavior by the subject peoples. One manifestation of this behavior is an exaggerated desire for authentic sources, generally a mythic set of heroic, purer ancestors who once controlled a greater zone than the people now possess. Another such expression, termed mimicry, occurs when subjugated peoples come to crave the dominating cultural form,

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which was long simultaneously exalted and withheld. In postcolonial India a worst case would be the perfectly anglicized Anglo-Indian subject, whose accent, manners, and literary and sporting interests caricature those of some English gentleman who does not exist. This postcolonial compensatory pull plays out differently in postSoviet space, since postcolonial desire from Riga to Almaty fixates not on the fallen master Russia but on the glittering Euramerican MTV-andCoca-Cola beast that broke it. Central and Eastern Europeans type this desire as a return to Westernness that once was theirs. Any traveler to the region quickly learns that what for forty years was called the East Bloc is rather Central Europe.17 One hears that Prague lies west of Vienna and that the Hungarians stopped the Turk, and one witnesses an increasingly odd competition to be at Europes geographic center. The claimants for this mythic, definition-dependent prize range from Skopje, Macedonia, to a stone plinth twenty miles east of Vilnius, in Lithuania. These assertions of Western affiliation are, of course, not without reason, but one who makes them also, as Shakespeare would have put it, doth protest too much. In short, I am arguing that it is, in circular fashion, a postcolonial desire, a headlong westward sprint from colonial Russias ghost or grasp, that prevents most scholars of the post-Soviet sphere from contemplating southern postcoloniality. From all these factors comes the double silence. In the remainder of this essay I have two aims. First, I investigate the differences between Russo-Soviet and Anglo-Franco forms of (post)colonial relations, since in pressing parallels one must also interrogate their limits. Second, I address the possibility that this paper which leaves no corner of the planet outside the postcolonial compass inflates postcoloniality into a category so large that it loses all analytic bite. First, then, some Russo-Soviet and Anglo-Franco differentiation. Standard accounts of Western colonization suggest a three-part taxonomy. The first colonization type is what one might call the classic: that of, for example, the British in Kenya and India or the French in Senegal and Vietnam. Here a long-distance but nonetheless strong political, economic, military, and cultural control is exercised over people taken as inferior or, in Edward Saids terms, Orientalized. A second colonization type is that found in, for example, the United States, Australia, and South Africa, in which the colonizers settle, turning the indigenous populations into Fourth World subjects. A third standard type of colonization is what one might call dynastic, in which a power conquers neighbor peoples. Ottoman and Hapsburg empires spring to mind, but one must also recall the more successful empiressuch as France inside its once diverse hexagon-that resulted in the disappearance of the subject peoples as such. Both Ernest Renan and Benedict Anderson have characterized this as a

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dynamic of memory and forgetting,18 a process Daniel Defoe memorably described in his 1701 The True-Born Englishman, a fragment of which I reprint here: The Western Angles all the rest subdud; A bloody Nation, barbarous and rude: Who by the Tenure of the Sword possest One part of Britain, and subdud the rest. And as great things denominate the small, The Conquring Part gave Title to the Whole. The Scot, Pict, Britain, Roman, Dane submit, And with the English-Saxon all unite: And these the Mixture have so close pursud, The very Name and Memorys subdud: No Roman now, no Britain does remain; Wales strove to separate, but strove in vain: The silent Nations undistinguishd fall, And Englishmans the common Name for all. Fate jumbld them together, God knows how; What eer they were, theyre True-Born English now.19 Now, Russo-Soviet colonial activity fits imperfectly with this three-part Western taxonomy. Certainly the notion of dynastic reach can be applied to many Russian moves, though Russias dynastic rhetoric is suffused with claims of sibling unity, as with Ukraine and Belarus, and with claims of back-and-forth, as with historical Polish control or German invasion of Russian-speaking lands. For the Baltic states as well, historically swapped among larger Germanic, Scandinavian, and Slavic neighbors, the notion of a pristine prior autochthony, a pure original existence, is mainly a 19th century Herderian invention: no people have ever simply emerged as such. Second, settler control over native peoples is also found in the Russo-Soviet experience, described most recently for the Eurasian north in Yuri Slezkines Arctic Mirrors. The inhabitants of Kazakhstan and Latvia today, large portions of whom are ethnic Russian, are another case in point,20 and the million Koreans now in Central Asia bear comparison with imported Indians in former British East Africa. Third and finally, the classic colonial control over distant orientalized populations (again, as with the British in India or the French in Vietnam) is found in 19th century Russian conquests of the Caucasus and Central Asia. Here, however, the case of Russia deviates in two respects from standard Western models: in the lack of ocean between Russia and what it colonized; and in the way that Russia has long been typed (and has typed itself) as neither East nor West.

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The first of these two deviations is captured early in Edward Saids more recent Culture and Imperialism, a book devoted largely to colonial texts from France and Britain. In explaining why he does not tackle Russia, Said writes that Russia, however, acquired its imperial territories almost exclusively by adjacence. Unlike Britain or France, which jumped thousands of miles beyond their own borders to other continents, Russia moved to swallow whatever land or peoples stood next to its borders, which in the process kept moving farther and farther east and south.21 What is puzzling about this explanation is not only how it seemingly excuses brutality by adjacence but also how it grants odd primacy to water. For when one considers the easy Marseille-Algiers sail or the generally pleasant London-Cairo voyage, one is puzzled that the infinitely rougher path from Moscow to Tashkentwhich until the opening of the colonial Central Asian railroads in the 19th century took months to travel and traversed over a thousand kilometers of freezingbroiling steppe and desertis granted an adjacence. Indeed, a lack of adjacent ice-free ocean was exactly Russias problem, and much of its expansiontoward the Baltics, the Crimea, the Persian Gulf, and finally the Pacificwas a frank attempt to get some. This widespread adjacence myth is likely influenced by Russias purported Eurasian charactera notion (expressed at various times by Russians and non-Russians) that has long typed Russia as neither European nor Asiatic but as somehow in between, and particularly as more primitive than (Western) Europe.22 Whatever the truth of this odd, unprovable idea, which rests on imaginary continental essences, that notion causes analysis of Russian colonization once again to deviate from Western models. It is true that the 19th century Russian southward push to Central Asia mirrored British forays north from India. Indeed, these movements were in explicit competition. One need only scan the curious finger of Afghanistans northeastern Wakhan valley, ten miles across at its narrowest and two hundred miles long, to see how the imperial enterprises intertwined. In the 19th century, as the Russians and British rushed to map the interceding high Pamirsa process well described in Rudyard Kiplings novel Kim, though Kim is generally read solely as a document of British colonizationthe fear was that the colonizers spheres might touch. Thus, in 1893 the slim, separating Wakhan strip, extending all the way to Chinaa sheer colonial fantasy of the Russo-British mindwas inscribed on maps as belonging to Afghanistans emir and remains there to this day. And yet, despite this clear connection, the Russian venture south and east to Central Asia, or north and west to the Baltic states, was not identical to that of Britain overseas in India. Whereas the British mimicked no one but themselves, the Russians were mimicking the French and British, to whom, again, they had long felt culturally inferior. In the later 19th century, colonial expansion was the price of admission into

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Europes club, and this was Russias ticket. Recall this essays first epigraph, from Chekhov: Except for Australia in the old days and Cayenne [in French Guiana], Sakhalin is the only place left where it is possible to study colonization by criminals: all Europe is interested in it, and we pay no attention to it.23 Chekhov made this observation in a 9 March 1890 letter, written six weeks before he began his ethnographic expedition to Sakhalin, an island off Eurasias Pacific coast. Note that Chekhov not only offers Europe as the colonizing standard but also suggests that we Russians do not belong to Europe. Still, even beyond this colonial adventure on a Western model, the Russian colonial experience embodies yet one other difference from that of France and Britain: a rhetoric of revenge or, indeed, return. Only several centuries before, Muscovy was a Mongol vassal state, and Central Asias khans held European slaves into the 19th century. For those who would characterize Russians as different from the peoples to their south and east, the 19th century Central Asian colonizations thus become revenge. But for those others who held that Russia was already partly Asiatic, from Russian Eurasianists and Scythianists to Western European Russo-orientalists, Russias Central Asian conquest constituted a return. Here is George Curzon, British viceroy in India from 1899 to 1905, sketcher of the 1919 Polono-Soviet frontier, and self-described authority on Eurasia, in his 1899 book Russia in Central Asia: [Russias] conquest of Central Asia is a conquest of Orientals by Orientals, of cognate character by cognate character. It is the fusing of strong with weaker metal, but it is not the expulsion of an impure by a purer element. Civilised Europe has not marched forth to vanquish barbarian Asia. This is no nineteenth-century crusade of manners or morals, but barbarian Asia, after a sojourn in civilised Europe, returns upon its former footsteps to reclaim its kith and kin.24 The complexity of this situation, full of inflammatory typings but by no means a projection of the British only, is perhaps best illustrated by a passage from Mikhail Lermontovs 1840 novel A Hero of Our Time, which is set in the Caucasus in the 1830s and concerns Russian military officers sent to secure a colonizers peace. Though much of the novel offers a society tale along classic European lines, and the pacification of the Caucasian tribes is intended merely as a backdrop, one must be alert, as the great Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe informs us (Image 12), to read such tales from the perspective of those cast as savage, even incidental, decoration. At one point Lermontovs angry anti-hero Pechorin, off in the forest, jumps out from behind a bush to surprise the mounted party of the delicate Princess Mary:

Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Mon dieu, un circassien! [My God, a Circassian!] cried the princess in horror. To reassure her completely, I made a slight bow and replied in French: Ne craignez rien, madame. Je ne suis pas plus dangereux que votre cavalier. [Fear nothing, madam. I am no more dangerous than your mounted escort.].25

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Several items are of interest here, items that challenge an interpretation of this famous text that would read Russia only as a major power. First, and classically, the Asiatic Circassianas with Joseph Conrads Congolese characters in his Heart of Darknessis typed as horrifying. But then the Russian Pechorin adopts Circassian identity as a sort of anti-bourgeois, anti-establishment, perhaps super-Russian romantic wild mask. Finally both Pechorin and Princess Mary use, as was normal for elites in Russia, a Western European language to discuss it. Importantly, and consistent with long-term Russian literary practice, in the Russian-language text the French is rendered in the Latin alphabeta courtesy wholly normal in the culturally subaltern Russian context but one that no Western literature returns even for directly borrowed terms like .26 Russias relations with its colonial possessions east and south and its cultural relations with the West are, then, quite complex. When Russia moves its colonial enterprise to its West, the situation sharply changes, and I speak here principally of the post-World War II Soviet expansion to the briefly independent Baltic states and into nations such as Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. By most classic measureslack of sovereign power, restrictions on travel, military occupation, lack of convertible money, a domestic economy ruled by the dominating state, and forced education in the colonizers languageCentral and Baltic Europes nations were indeed under RussoSoviet colonial control from roughly 1948 to 1989 or 1991. It is, of course, possible to see these cases as dynastic, since Russia had often come and gone there, especially in Poland and the Baltics, just as Poles, Lithuanians, and others had invaded Russia. But in ways dynastic colonization is unavailable as a category by 1948: the 19th century ideologies of organic ethno-nationhood and national rebirth had culminated, immediately after World War I, in the end of intra-European empires and the establishment of new sovereign and generally ethnically focused states like Finland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Hungary, Czecho-Slovakia, and a reconstituted Poland. Thus, at least psychologically, the European dynastic era was no more. It is perhaps due to this deep belief in sovereign ethno-nationhood that the Lithuanian Forest Brothers fought a guerrilla war against the KGB as late as 1956, their last holdout, like some Japanese soldier in the tropic jungles.

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Thus, if dynastic colonization cannot properly characterize the Russo-Soviet experience, it might be profitable, I would argue, to consider the Baltic and Central European states as a distinct fourth case I call reverse-cultural colonization. Once again, the standard Western story about colonization is that it is always accompanied by orientalization,27 in which the colonized are seen by their masters as passive, ahistorical, feminine, or barbaric. However, in RussianCentral European colonization this relation is reversed, because for at least several centuries Russia has, again, been saddled with the fear or belief that it was culturally inferior to the West. Mittel-European capitals such as Budapest, Berlin, and Prague were therefore seen in Russia, at least by some, as colonial prizes, rather than as burdens needing civilizing from their occupiers. In return, the Baltic and Central Europeans often saw the colonizing Russo-Soviets as Asiatics. In the closing days of World War II, for example, it frustrated Stalin that while German troops on western fronts surrendered relatively readily to American and British armies, those in the East fought desperately to avoid Soviet capture. The Soviets would exploit this fear in later years when they stationed Central Asian troops in Central Europe during troubled moments in the Warsaw Pact. It is useful here to recall that Joseph Conrad, the deepest chronicler of the Wests colonial forays, was born a Pole in Russian-ruled Ukraine in 1857, a date his father called the eighty-fifth year of Muscovite oppression.28 Though Conrad scholarship has thoroughly investigated both his Polish and his world-colonial lives, only rarely do these two investigations meet. Heart of Darkness (1899), Conrads bestknown tale of the colonial encounter, seems focused on the supposed incomprehensibility of the Congo, but the most unreadable text mentioned in the story is a book marked up in Russian, or in cipher! in the narrators words.29 In Conrads Swiss- and Russian-set Under Western Eyes (1911), the narrator, a specialist in languages, is an Englishman, or rather someone described as an Englishman,30 who reveals that though he acquired Russian as a boy he feels profoundly my European remoteness when faced with Russia.31 Using language strikingly similar to that he uses for the Congo, in this tale Conrad terms Russia incomprehensible to the experience of Western Europe and burdened by the confused immensity of [its] Eastern borders,32 a victim of the slavery of a Tartar conquest33 and producer of the gigantic shadow of Russian life deepening [] like the darkness of an advancing night.34 It is reasonable to suggest, then, a relation between Conrads masterly, vexed narration of Western colonial encounters and his upbringing in and lifelong identification with the Russo-colonized Poland of his birth. These questions of the shifting, gradated eastern-western European border, especially as regards post-Soviet postcoloniality, are enormously complex. Recently they have been addressed historiographically by Larry Wolff (Inventing and Voltaires Public) and

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Milica Baki-Hayden. They have been asked specifically for the Balkans in two superb Said-inflected studies, by Maria Todorova and by Vesna Goldsworthy, and in two explicitly postcolonialist dissertations, by Nikola Petkovi and by Dubravka Juraga. All these works highlight the degree to which Eastern Europe and especially the Balkansinheritors of centuries of colonizing waves from all directions, often more Ottoman and Hapsburg than Russo-Soviethave returned to their former status as the Wests original Third World, its nearest quasi-oriental space. Chinua Achebe, because of his colonial education, is well aware of this. As noted in the last epigraph to this essay, drawn from Achebes famous essay on Conrads Heart of Darkness, in Achebes view the 19th century English mind judged Bulgaria to be the psychological equivalent of the Congo of King Leopold of the Belgians, to which Achebe adds a genericizing or wherever.35 Separately, intellectuals such as Michael Ignatieff, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Timothy Garton Ash have provided comparative though not expressly postcolonial perspectives on this East/West subject. Much more remains unwritten, or indeed is freshly present in other chapters in this volume. I conclude with a brief account of some of this essays omissions, and with an answer to the question, Can postcolonial be a coherent label if it covers the entire globe? The largest omission in this paper results from my thin consideration of the specifically Soviet (as opposed to Russian) experience from 1917 to 1991 and my too easy yoking of it in my repeated Russo-Soviet. By all accounts, the Soviet Union attempted something very different from the Russian imperium it succeeded: instead of declaring itself an empire, it proposed a multilayered voluntary union of republics. Though according to the strictest Marxist-Leninist approach, national identities would eventually dissolve into homo Sovieticus, Lenin and his Commissar of Nationalities, Joseph Stalin, developed an approach, nationalist in form, socialist in content, that offered an alternative to the worlds prior imperial, colonial, caste-based, universalist, and melting-pot ideologies. Thus, in judging if the Soviets were colonizers, one must consider many questions. Those who would characterize the Soviet experiment as non-colonial can point, inter alia, to the Soviet Unions wish to liberate its toiling masses; its dismantling of many ethnic-Russian privileges in its east and south; its support of many Union languages; its development of factories, hospitals, and schools; its liberation of Central Asian women from the harem and the veil; its support of Third World anticolonial struggles, seen as intimately connected with the Soviet experiment, from 1923 to 1991; and the fact that some minority of the Soviet spheres non-Russians wished the Bolshevik regime. Those who would argue that the Soviets were simply differently configured colonists could point, again inter alia, to the mass and arbitrary relocation of entire non-Russian peoples; the ironic Soviet national

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fixing of countless formerly less defined identities, and the related tortured intertwining of the Uzbek-Kyrgyz-Tajik border to guarantee an ethnic strife; the genocidal settling of the Kazakh nomad millions from 1929 to 1934; the forced monoculture across Central Asia and the consequent ecological disaster of the Aral Sea; the Soviet reconquest of the once independent Baltic states in 1941; the invariable Russian ethnicity of the number-two man in each republic who was actually number-one; the inevitable direction of Russias Third World policy from its Moscow center; and tanks in 1956 in Budapest and 1968 in Prague. Complicating either argument is that the Soviet Union and its predecessor Russian empire were often as abusive to their ethnic Russians as to nonRussians (Stalin, of course, was Georgian), and that the USSR radically devalued specifically Russian identity for several decades. What is more, as all Baltic readers will know, Soviet colonial life varied very widely; the Chuvash and the Estonians hardly had the same experience. Is the net result of all these itemseach subject to a complex bibliography36some version of colonial, and are its consequences post? From an Uzbek, Lithuanian, or Hungarian perspective one would have to answer yes. As for the risked inflation of the category postcoloniala category of Western scholarship already so crazily diverse, ranging from financial accounting to the Middle Ages, nautical archaeology to the Bible, 37 that one wonders how anyone could unify it even before a Sovietsphere inclusionI recognize that when terms expand their scope they risk losing analytic force. There is little sense in claiming terms like colored, for example, if all the world has color. Or perhaps not. In closing, then, I would like to defend an inflation of the postcolonial to include the enormous post-Soviet sphere. Primarily I do so because Russia and then the Soviet Union exercised powerful colonial control over much of the earth for from fifty to two hundred years, much of that control has now ended, and its ending has had evident effects on the literatures and cultures of the postcolonial-post-Soviet nations, including the colonizer Russia. Of course, as I have noted, the specific modalities of Russo-Soviet control, as well as their post-Soviet reverberations, have differed from the standard Anglo-Franco cases. But then again, for Western postcolonialist scholarship to privilege the Anglo-Franco cases as the colonizing standard and to call the Russo-Soviet experiences deviations, as I have done so far, is wrongly to perpetuate the already outdated centrality of the Western or Anglo-Franco world. It is time, I think, to break with that tradition. As for universalizing the postcolonial condition, I close by supporting such a move. Recall the imaginative world map I asked readers to draw in response to Ella Shohats geography. Shohats signifiers drew a map of the First and Third Worlds, to which I added the Soviet portion of the Second. One might now add China, for China has been buffeted by the Mongols, Manchus, Japanese, and British, and today it imperiallycolonially controls Tibet and the giant Turkic Muslim Xinjiang Uighur

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region.38 But even after these regions are marked as being postcolonial, certain smaller zones remain unmarked. However, these zones, by their rarity at least, stand not outside but in relation to a global (post)coloniality. I speak here, for example, of created buffer states like Nepal, the aforementioned Afghanistan, Iran, and once colonizing Turkey, whose historic freedoms from Western and Russo-Soviet control were due, in part, to occidento-Russian calculation. And now that I have added these, the reader may rightly wonder what still has gone unmentioned. Japan, for one. Long isolated by a conscious choice, Japan ironically avoided the global hegemony of 19th century European power with a westernizing program: a French-style army, a British navy, Dutch civic engineering, a German-model government, and United States-style public education. 20th century Japan saw struggles with the Russians and its own deplorable colonial forays, followed by a total United States military occupation. Does Japan, rarely included in discussions of the postcolonial, stand outside (post)colonial dynamics? And what, theoretically, can one make of Fiji, Western Sahara, American Indian reservations, Mauritius, Kurdistan, Kaliningrad or Cuba? The African American tradition also includes a substantial discourse on coloniality. Participants from W. E. B. Du Bois to Malcolm X have debated whether African Americans, like other colored peoples around the globe, could be termed colonial. Indeed, the African American engagement here includes a 1930s interchange with Soviet Central Asia.39 One of the earliest important texts in postcolonial theory, Albert Memmis 1957 Portrait du colonis, had its English version dedicated to the American Negro / also colonized. And more recently, the great colonialTrinidad-born and ordinarily centrist literary scholar Arnold Rampersad, in a review of the notion of the universal in African American poetry, reflects powerfully and at length on the poetic influence of the colonial relationship such as that existing between blacks and whites in the United States.40 Beyond endocolonial situations like these,41 one has also seen the argument that, for example, even 19th century German national identity, in the absence of major colonial engagements, depended heavily on Germans imaginative participation in the imperial conquests of their English, Dutch, French, and Spanish neighbors.42 In sum, the worldwide colonial encounters of the past two hundred yearsfrom Dakar to Calcutta, Samarkand to Jamaica, Skopje to Tallinn, or Vladivostok to Seattle by the long route43were so global and widespread, in unstandardizable diversity, that every human being and every literature on the planet today stands in relation to them: as neo-, endo- and ex-, as post- and non-. This observation, as this essay has suggested, should recast the views of postcolonial and post-Soviet scholars alike: not so much to help them judge whether place X is postcolonial or notthis is not an essay in ontologybut rather to cause them to ask if postcolonial hermeneutics might add richness to studies of place or

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literature X or Y or Z. In sum, the colonial relation in the early years of the new millennium, whatever and wherever it may be, is thus not theoretically inflated to a point of weakness, nor is it the property of a certain class or space of peoples, but rather it becomes as fundamental to world identities as other universal categories, such as race, and class, and caste, and age, and gender.

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Acknowledgments
This essay was originally published in PMLA [Publications of the Modern Language Association of America] vol. 116, no. 1, special issue on Globalizing Literary Studies (Jan 2001): pp. 111128, and has been revised by the author for publication in this volume. Early sparks for this essay were afforded by a Macalester International Faculty Development Seminar in Budapest in July 1995. Fractional versions were given at Crossroads in Cultural Studies in Tampere, Finland, and the Open Society Forum in Vilnius, Lithuania, in July 1996; an African Literature Association meeting in March 1997; the Institute for Oriental Studies of Tashkent State University and the Samarkand State Institute of Foreign Languages, both in Uzbekistan, in October 1998; and the Race in Europe seminar at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University, in April 1999. My great thanks go to the organizers and participants in all these venues. I owe further debts to numerous Macalester and national colleagues and Macalester students, and to Nicole Palasz, Jennifer Evans, and Eric Wirth. Much of my research was supported by International Research Exchange Board (IREX) and Wallace Foundation grants for travel to the former Soviet Union, and by an American Council of Learned Societies / Social Science Research Council International Postdoctoral Fellowship for 199899. The title of this paper marks the broader influence of Anthony Appiah.

Notes
1. See, e.g., Kiberd (Inventing, 1996, White Skins, 1997) and Waters on Ireland, 1996. Though a postcolonial perspective on Ireland is seen as recent, it is not; cf. Hechter, 1975. 2. Landmarks include Parry, 1987, Hutcheon, 1989, Prakash (Whos Afraid, 1996, and Writing, 1990), McClintock, 1992, Shohat, 1992, Huggan, 1993, Dirlik, 1994, Ray and Schwarz, 1995, and Ghosh, 1998. After 1998 the autocritical debate becomes too large to track. Here I leave apart the related controversies surrounding Ahmad (see esp. his Jamesons Rhetoric; 1987 and In Theory; 1992), which dont focus on the postcolonial. 3. Qtd. in Burnley, 1992, 172, with spelling lightly modernized by the present writer. Ironically, Bokenham here adapts Ranulph Higdens c. 1327 Latin Polychronicon. For discussion, see Burnley, 1992, 13336. 4. For the West, see Lewis and Wigen, 1997, chs. 2 and 3. 5. In the 31 January 1827 conversation in which Goethe famously first pronounces Weltliteratur, he discusses a Chinese novel he has just read.

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His amanuensis Eckermann asks whether it is one of the best. Not at all, Goethe answers, the Chinese have thousands of them and already had them at a time when our forefathers still lived in the forests (1973, 228n7). 6. For a characteristic discussion of Third World and Third World literature, see Ahmad, In Theory, 1992, chs. 1 and 8. 7. For Canadian literature as postcolonial, see Hutcheon, 1989 and the response by Brydon, 1990. For white Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, and South Africans as postcolonial, see Slemon, 1990. Slemon appropriates the term second world for these settlers, whom he sees as neither First nor Third. He ignores the more common definition of Second Worlda sign of the Soviet-sphere absence from the postcolonialist academy. For United States 19th century literature as postcolonial, see Buell, 1992; the reluctance I refer to is shown by the limited influence of Buells article. Subsequent work on United States postcoloniality comes in Stratton, 1993; Sharpe, 1995; Hulme, 1995; andevidence that the reluctance has recededthree books: Watts, 1998; King, 2000; and Singh and Schmidt, 2000. See also Krupat, who notes that contemporary Native American writers live in a postcolonial world but write from within a colonial context (1996, 54). The strength of settler studies within postcolonial studies partly stems from the Australians Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin, who wrote the first monograph in the field (Empire, 1989) and produced one of its first classroom-use anthologies (Reader, 1995). 8. After the death of Hkon VI in 1380, Norway was ruled by Denmark and then Sweden for five centuries. In 1905 the king of newly independent Norway took the name Hkon VII on accession. Finland operated as a Swedish duchy for centuries before being transferred to Russia in 1809, and it gained independence in the turmoil of the Russian Revolution in 1917. 9. Lazarus, 1986, 50. 10. Shohat, 1992, 100 expresses reservations about this claim, which is quoted from Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin (1989, 2). 11. Ibid. 12. Ibid, 111. 13. See, e.g., Austin, 1984; Scotto, 1992; Layton, 1994; and Brower and Lazzerini, 1997. 14. Rare exceptions include Pavlyshyn (Ukrainian Literature, 1993 and Post-colonial Features, 1992); Tottossy, 1995; Yekelchyk, 1997; and Lyons, 1999. 15. For clear examples, see Kaplan (Balkan Ghosts, 1993 and Ends, 1997). 16. An exception is the immediate popularity in Poland of Ryszard Kapuscinskis Cesarz (1978), which chronicled the downfall of the emperor of Ethiopia and was widely read allegorically for its applicability

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to local Polish conditions. Notably, Cesarz was quickly translated into Spanish but only later into English. 17. Early considerations of this rebirth are found in Schpflin and Wood, 1989. 18. Renan (cf. Anderson, 1991, ch. 11) famously observed that a nation must forget the historical brutalities that produced its present unity (1990, 11). 19. Defoe, 1708, 15. 20. Postcolonial Mikhail Baryshnikov, born in Riga, Latvia, in 1948 of Russian parents (his father was a senior military officer sent there after reannexation) is a notable product of this population. In his sole return (1997) to the former USSR since his 1974 defection, Baryshnikov visited only Riga, and not Moscow or Saint Petersburg. Baryshnikov had felt himself a guest always in Russia, yet he termed his parents occupiers in Riga. The minute I stepped again on Latvian land, he said during his visit, I realized this was never my home (Acocella, 1998, 44). 21. Said, 1993, 10. 22. Russian intellectual and literary movements, including Eurasianism (Riasonovsky, 1967; Trubetzkoy, Legacy, 1991 and Pan-Eurasian Nationalism, 1927), and Sycthianism (Zamyatin), 1970 have promoted this view. 23. Chekhov, 1967, xix. 24. Curzon, 1889, 372. 25. Lermontov, 1966, 114 (my trans.). 26. That is, perestroika. My deferral of the Latin script aims to underscore that point. 27. Or Africanization, Latinization, or other classic forms of Western othering and self-construction. See Trouillot, 1991 in general and Trubetzkoy, Europe, 1920. 28. Najder,1984, 11. 29. Conrad, 1995, 66. 30. Conrad, 1985, 192. 31. Ibid, 198. 32. Ibid, 322. 33. Ibid, 164. 34. Ibid, 210. 35. Image 10. The context comes from my telephone interview with Achebe. On the Bulgarian horrors, see Gladstone, 1876; Butler-Johnstone, 1876; Shannon, 1975. 36. Among many recent studies in this shifting landscape, see Motyl, 1992; Suny, 1993; Lazzerini, 1994; Mesbahi, 1994; Slezkine (USSR), 1994; Brubaker, 1997; and Khalid, 1998. 37. See, respectively, Chua, 1995; Cohen, 2000; McGhee, 1997; and Sugirtharajah, 1998.

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38. See Adas, 1998. For direct considerations of China and postcoloniality that are highly derivative of standard theorists and shamefully say zero about Tibet or Xinjiang Uighur, see Ning, 1997; Ning and Xie, 1997; M. Xie, 1997; and S. Xie, 1997. For historically broad Third World support of Tibet, see Report. Here I note that all major powers test-detonate their nuclear weapons exclusively in their post- or endocolonies, including China (Lop Nor, in Xinjiang Uighur), the USSR (Kazakhstan; Novaya Zemlya, in the Arctic), the United States (Nevada; the South Pacific; Amchitka Island, in the Aleutians), France (Algeria in 1960; the South Pacific), and Britain (Western Australia in 195256). The joint 1980s antinuclear Kazakh-Shoshone Nevada-Semipalatinsk Movement exemplifies truly global endocolonial resistance. 39. See, e.g., Bunches early Marxism and the Negro Question (1929; 1995) or Hughess Moscow-published 1934 A Negro Looks at Soviet Central Asia (1934), which embraces Soviet Central Asian peoples as liberated versions of their also southern, colored, cotton-growing American brethren. Cf. Moore, 1996. For Afro-diasporic intersections with Soviet-colonial questions, see Blakely, 1986; Von Eschen, 1997; Padmore, 1946; and C. L. R. James on Hungary in 1956 (Lee, Chalieu, and Johnson). 40. Rampersad, 1981, 2. 41. The writings of the Ogoni Nigerian Saro-Wiwa are considered landmarks in endocolonial resistance literature. 42. See Zantop, 1997 for an account of German imaginary colonialism. I recognize, of course, that Germany held colonies in Africa from 1884 to 1918, a fraction the size of colonies held worldwide by England, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, or Russia. 43. For the trip from Vladivostok to San Francisco by the short route, see the Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatovs 1980 The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Yearsa novel that, despite its galactic scope, can be read against Western-colonial railway novels such as Ousmane Sembnes Les bouts de bois de Dieu (1960).

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Lewis, M. and K. Wigen (1997), The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography. Berkeley: University of California Press. Lyons, S. T. (1999), Uzbek Historical Fiction and Russian Colonialism, 19181936. Diss. University of Wisconsin, Madison. McClintock, A. (1992), The Angel of Progress: Pitfalls of the Term Post-colonialism, Social Text, 10.23 (3132): 8498. McGhee, F. L. (1997), Toward a Postcolonial Nautical Archaeology. M. A. thesis. Austin: University of Texas. Memmi, A. (1957), Portrait du colonis, prcd du Portrait du colonisateur. Paris: Buchet. _______. (1965), The Colonizer and the Colonized. Trans. H. Greenfield. New York: Orion. Mesbahi, M. (ed.) (1994), Russia and the Third World in the Post-Soviet Era. Gainesville: University of Florida Press. Moore, D. C. (1996), Local Color, Global Color: Langston Hughes, the Black Atlantic, and Soviet Central Asia, 1932, Research in African Literatures, 27.4: 4970. Motyl, A. J. (ed.) (1992), Thinking Theoretically about Soviet Nationalities: History and Comparison in the Study of the USSR. New York: Columbia University Press. Najder, Z. (1984), Joseph Conrad: A Chronicle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ngugi, wa T. (1982), Devil on the Cross. Trans. from the Gikuyu by Ngugi. Oxford: Heinemann. ________. (1986), Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: Heinemann. Ning, W. (1997), Postcolonial Theory and the Decolonization of Chinese Culture, Ariel, 28.4: 3347. Ning, W. and S. Xie (eds.) (1997), China and Postcolonialism: A Special Section, Ariel, 28.4: 772.

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Padmore, G. (1946), How Russia Transformed Her Colonial Empire: A Challenge to the Imperialist Powers. London: Dobson. Parry, B. (1987), Problems in Current Theories of Colonial Discourse, Oxford Literary Review, 9.12: 2758. Pavlyshyn, M. (1992), Post-colonial Features in Contemporary Ukranian Culture, Australian Slavonic and East European Studies, 6.2: 4155. ________. (1993), Ukrainian Literature and the Erotics of Postcolonialism: Some Modest Propositions, Harvard Ukrainian Studies, 17: 11026. Petkovi, N. (1996), The Post in Postcolonial and Postmodern: The Case of Central Europe. Diss. University of Texas, Austin. Prakash, G. (1990), Writing Post-orientalist Histories of the Third World: Perspectives from Indian Historiography, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 32: 383408. ________. (1996), Whos Afraid of Postcoloniality? Social Text, 14.4: 187203. Rampersad, A. (1981), The Universal and the Particular in AfroAmerican Poetry, CLA Journal, 25.1: 117. Ray, S. and H. Schwarz (1995), Postcolonial Discourse: The Raw and the Cooked, Ariel, 26.1: 14766. Renan, E. (1990), What Is a Nation? in: H. K. Bhabha (ed.) Nation and Narration. New York: Routledge, 822. Report of the Afro-Asian Convention on Tibet and against Colonialism in Asia and Africa. (1960). New Delhi: Afro-Asian Council. Riasonovsky, N. V. (1967), The Emergence of Eurasianism, California Slavic Studies, 4: 3972. Said, E. W. (1978), Orientalism. New York: Pantheon. ________. (1993), Culture and Imperialism. New York: Knopf. Schpflin, G. and N. Wood (eds.) (1989), In Search of Central Europe. Cambridge, England: Polity.

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Scotto, P. (1992), Prisoners of the Caucasus: Ideologies of Imperialism in Lermontovs Bela, PMLA, 107: 24660. Sembne, O. (1960), Les bouts de bois de Dieu. Paris: Le Livre Contemporain. Shannon, R. T. (1975), Gladstone and the Bulgarian Agitation 1876. Hassocks: Harvester; Hamden: Archon. Sharpe, J. (1995), Is the United States Postcolonial? Transnationalism, Immigration, and Race, Diaspora, 4.2: 18199. Shohat, E. (1992), Notes on the Post-Colonial, Social Text, 10.23 (3132): 99113. Singh, A. and P. Schmidt (eds.) (2000), Postcolonial Theory and the United States: Race, Ethnicity, and Literature. Jackson: University of Mississippi Press. Slemon, S. (1990), Unsettling the Empire: Resistance Theory for the Second World, World Literature Written in English, 30.2: 3041. Slezkine, Y. (1994), Arctic Mirrors: Russia and the Small Peoples of the North. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. ________. (1994), The USSR as a Communal Apartment; or, How a Socialist State Promoted Ethnic Particularism, Slavic Review, 53: 41452. Stratton, J. (1993), The Beast of the Apocalypse: The Postcolonial Experience of the United States, New Formations, 3563. Sugirtharajah, R. S. (ed.) (1998), The Postcolonial Bible. The Bible and Postcolonialism. Sheffield: Sheffield Academy. Suny, R. G. (1993), The Revenge of the Past: Nationalism, Revolution, and the Collapse of the Soviet Union. Stanford: Stanford University Press. Todorova, M. (1997), Imagining the Balkans. New York: Oxford University Press. Tottossy, B. (1995), Hungarian Postmodernity and Postcoloniality: The Epistemology of a Literature, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue canadienne de littrature compare, 22: 88191.

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Trouillot, M. R. (1991), Anthropology and the Savage Slot: The Poetics and Politics of Otherness, in: R. G. Fox (ed.) Recapturing Anthropology: Working in the Present. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 1744. Trubetzkoy, N. S. (1920), Europe and Mankind. Trans. K. Brostrom. Trubetzkoy, Legacy, 164. _______. (1925), The Legacy of Genghis Khan: A Perspective on Russian History Not from the West but from the East. Trans. K. Brostrom. Trubetzkoy, Legacy, 161231. _______. (1927), Pan-Eurasian Nationalism. Trans. K. Brostrom. Trubetzkoy, Legacy, 23344. _______. (1991), A. Liberman (ed.) The Legacy of Genghis Khan, and Other Essays on Russias Identity. Ann Arbor: Michigan Slavic. Von Eschen, P. M. (1997), Race against Empire: Black Americans and Anticolonialism, 19371957. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Waters, J. Paul (ed.) (1998), Ireland and Irish Cultural Studies. Spec. issue of South Atlantic Quarterly, 95.1: 1278. Watts, E. (1998), Writing and Postcolonialism in the Early Republic. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia. Williams, P. and L. Chrisman (eds.) (1994), Colonial Discourse and Postcolonial Theory: A Reader. New York: Columbia University Press. Wolff, L. (1994), Inventing Eastern Europe: The Map of Civilization in the Mind of the Enlightenment. Stanford: Stanford University Press. ________. (1995), Voltaires Public and the Idea of Eastern Europe: Toward a Literary Sociology of a Continental Division, Slavic Review, 54: 93242. Xie, M. (1997), The Postmodern as the Postcolonial: Recognizing Chinese Modernity, Ariel, 28.4: 1132. Xie, S. (1997), Rethinking the Problem of Postcolonialism. New Literary History, 28: 619.

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Yekelchyk, S. (1997), The Location of Nation: Postcolonial Perspectives on Ukrainian Historical Debates. Australian Slavonic and East European Studies 11.12: 16184. Zamyatin, Y. (1970), Scythians, in: M. Ginsburg (ed. and transl.) A Soviet Heretic: Essays by Yevgeny Zamyatin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2133. Zantop, S. (1997), Colonial Fantasies: Conquest, Family, and Nation in Precolonial Germany, 17701870. Durham: Duke University Press.

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Fusions of Discourse: Postcolonial/Postmodern Horizons in Baltic Culture Karl E. Jirgens


In response to recent theoretical debate over developments in postcolonial analysis, this essay includes direct references to Ngugis concept of decolonizing the mind (1986), Gadamers theory of an interpretive fusion of horizons (1975), and to David Chioni Moores article Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique (2001, revised and reprinted in this volume). This historical overview argues that the Baltic States are eminently suited for postcolonial analysis because of their collective histories, which feature roughly one millennium of recurring colonial activity. Further, as in psychoanalytic theory, so in postcolonial, if one grasps that the Self and Other are linked, then freedom from colonial oppression may initially involve physical change, but ultimately must turn to a liberation of the mind. This analysis further contends that through the fusions of cultural horizons, postcolonial perspectives are mutually complementary to postmodern innovations that represent and inspire psychic freedoms.

Introduction The applicability of postcolonial perspectives on contemporary Baltic culture has become a contentious subject of debate. I believe that this debate can be ameliorated by an abbreviated examination of Baltic history. A summary of germane theoretical viewpoints may help readers grasp the larger implications of this discussion. To date, numerous accomplished scholars, including members of the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, have conducted both postcolonial and postmodern analyses of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian literature and culture (Violeta Kelertas, Tiina Kirss, Maire Jaanus, Rimvydas ilbajoris, Krlis Raevskis, and Mdris Eksteins, among many others). To these and other scholars of Baltic origins, the appropriateness of postcolonial and postmodern analyses is selfevident. The Baltic states have a lengthy colonial history and recent writing

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displays decidedly postmodern stylistics. However, a complicating theoretical issue has arisen with the Soviet occupation during the 20th century. Some critics challenge the validity of postcolonial analyses of the Baltic states purportedly because the postcolonial approach should be restricted to capitalist, not socialist occupations. Recent scholars have challenged this restriction. Among them is David Chioni Moore (republished in this volume), who challenges the exclusion of former Soviet satellites from postcolonial discussion. Moore raises important questions and argues for the inclusion of post-Soviet states under the postcolonial rubric. I agree, and feel that Moores research establishes two important points. The first confirms that world Marxist or socialist scholars have been reluctant to include former Soviet satellites in postcolonial debate because of the conventional association of postcolonial theory with capitalist models.1 Moores first point is supported by the dearth of articles on this topic by non-Baltic critics. However, as many scholars have already noted, the Soviet occupation, regardless of its purported political ideology, featured conditions that one would expect in a colonial occupation. Other scholars add to Chioni Moores first point, including Krlis Raevskis (also published in this volume), who contends that a second reason why postcolonial theory has been applied sparingly to postSoviet nations is that early left-wing French scholars felt uneasy criticising political agendas to which they felt an allegiance. While French intellectual views stimulated global theoretical discussion (including post-structural and postcolonial debate), they also tended to stifle responses when it came to Soviet matters. It was not until after the atrocities of the Gulag became painfully obvious to the world that thinkers such as Michel Foucault raised both the Soviet and the Gulag question. Foucault simply adopted a postcolonial perspective. The niceties of the applicability of the term postcolonial to socialist as opposed to capitalist agendas proved secondary to the massive atrocities committed in Siberia. As Foucault explains, it seems to me that one must make a distinction between the Gulag institution and the Gulag question. Like all political technologies, the Gulag institution has its history, its transformations and transpositions, its functions and effects... The Gulag question on the other hand, involves a political choice.2 The politics of the Gulag question have proven to involve imperial agendas in spite of their socialist origins. The Baltic states were subjugated: they never chose to join the Soviet Union, despite the mock appeal to join organized in Moscow. In a second, related point, Chioni Moore notes that subjugated/occupied people respond with either an exaggerated desire for their own cultural roots or with a craving to imitate the patterns of the subjugating culture.3 With reference to this second point, some critics have argued that the adoption of the ways of the occupying nation indicates a

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willingness to be subjugated. This questionable viewpoint is used to argue that the Balts were not really colonized by the Soviets. Such reasoning has been forwarded by the Muscovite party line, but does not represent the political position of either Balts in exile or Baltic peoples still residing in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. However specious the argument may be, I believe that further examination of the point is valuable because it reveals a form of psychic colonization, a colonization of the mind. Even after a cursory survey, it is apparent that in both recent and deeper history, the Balts have been dominated by some benevolent and many malevolent subjugating governments. Similarly, socio-political analysts have occasionally supported, but more frequently disregarded, the views of the Balts themselves. Just as the subjugating governments have held vested interests in their own agendas, so have analysts. Too often, the agendas of governments and analysts have clashed with the better interests of the Baltic peoples. My own contribution to this discussion involves two inter-related points: 1) that a deeper historical reading reveals that the colonization of the Baltics includes the occupation and subsequent attempted genocide not only by the Soviet Union during the 20th century, but also roughly one thousand years of intermittent colonization by wave after wave of aggressive foreign forces, and 2) that the act of forcibly re-defining a cultural identity through systematic censorship and propaganda results in a form of cultural genocide which, when it is simultaneous with an agenda of physical genocide, serves to colonize the minds of any survivors. Thus, the Real-Politik of economic exploitation is inscribed in a strategic battle of discourse between colonizer and colonized. The Balts can be analyzed in postcolonial terms not only as victims of the Soviet occupation, but as victims of earlier imperialist occupations spanning over one thousand years at the hands of the Teutonic Knights, the Germanic invaders, Tsarist Russian forces, and so on. It should be carefully noted that Lithuanias situation over the past millennium is somewhat different from that of Estonia and Latvia in that Lithuania as the Grand Duchy also partook in colonization, but, at other times, like Latvia and Estonia, fell victim to more powerful forces. To exclude the Balts from any postcolonial discussion not only overlooks ten centuries of recurring colonial activity, but extends the effects of oppression against these nations by deflecting or muzzling open debate. Given these historical conditions, it is not surprising to see that the Baltic nations have developed cultural and literary forms that forward postcolonial concerns and deeply ironic postmodern stylistics. While I fully support Chioni Moores argument that the Balts should be admitted into postcolonial discussion, I nonetheless find it disturbing that Baltic scholars are in some ways obliged or compelled to prove what appear to be selfevident postcolonial conditions in the Baltic region. Further, I find it

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troublesome that an argument such as Chioni Moores did not find publication in a large-circulation scholarly journal until January of 2001, a full decade after Baltic independence and some sixty years since the Soviet occupation. And I sympathetically note the irony that such an article was written by an excellent scholar but a non-Balt. Somewhat earlier, World Literature Today4 produced a special issue on Baltic literature. The issue includes postcolonial analyses of contemporary Baltic writing by scholars (myself included) who already accept that Baltic literature in the post-independence period demands both a postcolonial and postmodern analysis. Editor William Riggans introduction to that Baltic issue anticipates some of the issues raised by Chioni Moore, in particular, the question of naming. Riggan refers to Ivar Ivasks comments: Ja, wie nennen wir das Kind? [So, what do we call this child?]. That was the question Ivar Ivask almost invariably asked me each quarter for over fifteen years as a new issue of World Literature Today was nearing completion.5 The question of naming in reference to Baltic cultures is important given the fact that these three nations have been named, renamed and in some ways un-named by occupying powers. It is worth noting that it has become standard practice to apply postcolonial analysis to former colonies in Africa, South America and Asia. And in first-world nations such as Australia, Canada and even the United States, postcolonial discourse flourishes in spite of misgivings over the endurance of this branch of scholarship. Perhaps because colonizations happened in other nations a century or more ago, such analyses permit a polite distancing and emotional detachment that does not cast direct blame on current governments. Perhaps because the Soviet occupations were so recent, and there is not sufficient distance through time, there appears to be a reluctance to address the condition of the nations formerly occupied by the U.S.S.R. The ongoing situation in Chechnya demonstrates that the issue has yet to be resolved. The new economic alliances between the West and Russia may also play a role in perpetuating this attitude of reticence and the notion that the past is best left in the past. Arguably, the fear of offending Russia, now purportedly contrite over atrocities committed during the Stalinist period, has given rise to a scholarly hesitation to grapple with the facts. However, as we have seen with natives of Africa, North America, Australia and others, such reticence avoids the truth and tacitly approves the aggressions. The truth is that from political-economic and cultural perspectives, the colonization that was carried out by the Soviets socialist regime applied all of the conventions typically associated with imperial or capitalist aggressions. Furthermore, the casting of blame is not the point of postcolonial debate. Instead, an analysis of the transformation of occupied and occupying peoples, and in this case the transformation of the Baltic

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people over the past one thousand years, is the point. One should not overlook the fact that both colonized and colonizer are transformed in any occupation. Lessons that can be learned from this sort of examination benefit not only Baltic scholars but those interested in postcolonialism, aggressive models of oppression, and their results. Before carrying out any direct applications, I will offer a few points on historical developments in postcolonial theory. Early critical writing sometimes posited postcolonial as an omnibus term covering a wide range of inter- and intra-cultural circumstances. However, by the late 1980s and early 1990s thinkers such as Arun Mukherjee contended that the term postcolonial was too often used as a blanket term. She was quick to point out that the field refers to a heterogenous set of writings and earlier postcolonial theory, as forwarded by individuals such as Frederic Jameson or as presented in collections such as The Empire Writes Back, which advanced the notion of a universal postcolonial condition: If Jameson propounds about what all third-world cultural productions seem to have in common then Ashcroft, Griffiths, and Tiffin declare that the term postcolonial covers all the culture affected by the imperial process from the moment of colonization to the present day.6 Although not all the practitioners of postcolonial theory are so explicit about the grounding assumptions of their theoretical framework, the frequent use of terms such as postcolonial people, postcolonial culture, postcolonial literature, postcolonial texts, postcolonial writing, (and, more recently, the nominal the postcolonial) in their writing suggests to this reader that a postcolonial essence is being posited that is supposedly shared by geographically dispersed and historically, culturally, linguistically, politically, and racially different societies and the texts produced by their members.7 Although they have by now become obsolete, and their proponents have largely discarded these older universalist theoretical positions, these positions remain noteworthy within a contemporary context because they serve as benchmarks of attitudinal shifts from earlier to more recent theory. Mukherjee points out that the perceived commonality across postcolonial cultures and literature was said to be based on the shared

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relations to the experience of imperialism.8 Mukherjee also notes that some claimed that the colonial encounter and its aftermath, whatever its form throughout the postcolonial world, provides a shared matrix of references and a shared set of problems for postcolonial cultures.9 Such universalist notions develop two overarching categories of response that include discursive resistance to imperialism and retrieval or creation of independent identities. In turn, sub-categories to these responses are perceived to emerge which include the subversion of imperialist myths, texts, and history, the challenging of imperial literary forms, quests for pre-colonial cultural unities, healing of ruptured identities, and recoveries and rewritings of history. Mukherjees point is that considering a postcolonial condition in universal terms is theoretically misleading. She uses the example of the untouchables, a much-derided cultural sub-group in India, to illustrate that within any given postcolonial culture, there is a kaleidoscope of possible reactions and responses to imperialism. Given the geographic size and topographic range of the Indian sub-continent, the diversity of cultures and languages, and the numerous political, religious and cultural subgroups, it is more accurate to recognize a heterogeneity of possible responses to colonial rule. If we take this argument to a global scale, then diversity, not unity, emerges as the predominant pattern. One can extrapolate from Mukherjees early but astute perception, and argue that any hegemonic view that seeks uniformity and adherence to over-arching theoretical frameworks of the postcolonial is bound to overlook the conditions of some while overstating the conditions of others, simply because certain groups better illustrate the theoretical frame but not the actual condition. Incidentally, this insightful line of argument was used earlier by Frank Davey in his ground-breaking objection to universalist or thematic criticism of Canadian literature in Surviving the Paraphrase (1983). Typically, within a universalist, postcolonial, theoretical model, some authors will be privileged and discussed more because they better illustrate the tenets of a proposed postcolonial cultural response that matches the hegemonic model. Writers who do not quite fit the theoretical template may be overlooked or even excluded. Such exclusion could happen, for example, if a writer displays too many postmodern tendencies that become problematic for postcolonial critics. I argue here that it serves us well to consider the manner in which the postmodern and the postcolonial, along with other cultural tendencies, have entered into a fusion which is more complex than any single-minded critical approach. Most critics would concede that there is an affinity between postmodern writing, post-structuralist thinking, and ideologically motivated literature such as the postcolonial. However, it helps to keep in mind that the

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postmodern generally involves an ironic detachment (by choice), whereas the postcolonial displays a more directly engaged political posture. However, it is possible to combine postmodern and postcolonial modes by maintaining a detached voice while directly engaging the audience in any socio-political statement. Typically, a hegemonic or universal approach tends to undervalue some conditions while valorizing others. Similarly, an exclusively postcolonial approach can distort or under-represent contributions by postmodern writers living in occupied or formerly occupied territories. Potentially, a universal theoretical model could exclude those who have been all but obliterated by imperial aggressions, while privileging other flourishing groups who have only been marginally colonized. One could consider, for example, the limited academic discourse on Korean writers following the Japanese occupation in the 20th century or Armenian writers who survived the genocide under Turkish aggressions. When one compares the limited academic discourse on Korean or Armenian authors to the extensive discussion of postcolonial elements in the writings of more politically and economically privileged authors like Michael Ondaatje or V.S. Naipaul, then, arguably, a distortion becomes evident. It is worth noting that the question of the applicability of postcolonial discourse to discussions of Baltic culture is as much a matter of language as it is a political-economic issue. It should be clear that the economics of book trade, the need to establish marketable academic credentials, the intimate connections between the high finance of book publishing with literary criticism as its economic adjunct, and the general level of awareness (or lack thereof) of academic and general audiences, all play a role in what can only be called the industry of academic scholarship. More recently, theorists such as Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin have reconsidered the global situation and now present a far more heterogeneous view relating to an unresolved dispute between those who would see the postcolonial as designating an amorphous set of discursive practices, akin to postmodernism, and those who would see it as designating a more specific and historically located set of cultural strategies.10 They argue, as do many, including myself, that if we agree to use the term postcolonial to describe a post-occupation condition, then political independence does not mark the end of colonial or imperial aggression, damage, and/or influence. For years the lingering and often culturally fatal effects of colonial rule have been addressed by a diversity of thinkers including Franz Fanon, Trinh Minh-ha, Basil Johnston, Mingwon Mingwon, Chinua Achebe, Benjamin Lee Whorf, Patrick Brantlinger, and Hans Georg

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Gadamer, among others. These thinkers have demonstrated that diverse socio-cultural issues of class, race, slavery, gender, economics, nationality, education, spiritual beliefs, and cultural development complicate readings of any postcolonial condition. Wa Thiongo Ngugi has explained that abuses involving these socio-cultural issues contribute to the colonization of the minds of occupied peoples. For example, half a century ago, Fanon issued his response to occupation, colonization and slavery. His Wretched of the Earth (1961), and in his much earlier Black Skin, White Masks (1952), address the need for revolutionary change. Fanons analysis of colonialism includes his remarkably current discussion not only of racism, but of psychopathology, gender, and sexual anxiety. Fanons writings had a profound influence on black civil rights leaders within the United States, an area of the colonial discourse that includes discussions of slavery, which finds resonance with the history of slave or serf culture in the Baltics. More recently, thinkers such as Trinh T. Minha-ha and Mingwon Mingwon (Shirley Bear) address the lasting effects of a multiple colonization that results through the oppression of nationality, race, economics, and gender. The same publication that features Mingwon Mingwon also includes Basil Johnstons essential essay One Generation from Extinction,11 which examines oral cultures that traditionally pass on from one generation to the next. A cultural genocide results in an oral culture when its members are forced to abandon their traditional language. In North America, a forced abandonment of traditional aboriginal languages was implemented by a compulsory public educational system that insisted on using the occupiers language of English. This forced education in English finds parallels with the Soviet model in the Baltics, where Russian became the official language and a means of asserting control over business and education. In North America, as in the Soviet-occupied nations, the forced shift to the language of the occupying power was aggravated by an accompanying oppression of religion or traditional sacred values. Furthermore, the forced educational system erected a language barrier that contributed to a communication breakdown between the elder generation and the younger. Typically, elders only spoke their native languages. Young natives, separated from their families and forced to attend residential schools for years, learned only English. Consequently, it became almost impossible to pass on cultural traditions. Canadas mode of isolating and containing its aboriginal peoples through methods that included the reservation system served so effectively that they inspired visiting South African governmental delegates in their development of the apartheid system. If one considers some of the parallels between North American, South African and Soviet modes of oppression, one can conclude that at times there are some similarities in colonial modes and

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their effects. However, to avoid the distortions of a universalist model applied to all postcolonial or post-occupation conditions, it is advisable to consider cases individually. Perhaps the strongest statement on the lingering effects of occupation is voiced by Kenyan writer and theorist Wa Thiongo Ngugi, who, as far back as the 1960s, noted a recurring pattern in psychic oppression as it affects individuals both during occupations and following independence. Ngugi witnessed the Mau Mau rebellion of the Kikuyu tribe in the 1950s during his adolescence and by the 1970s was offering regular cultural critiques. His thoughts are available in translated form in his study Decolonizing the Mind (1986) where he speaks of cultural oppression as a bomb: The effect of the cultural bomb is to annihilate peoples belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from the wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is further removed from themselves; for instance, with other peoples languages rather than their own. It makes them identify with that which is decadent and reactionary, all those forces which would stop their own springs of life. It even plants serious doubts about the moral rightness of struggle.12 For some sixty years, following the Second World War, natives of the Baltic States endured the effects of what Ngugi has called a cultural bomb that attacked their worldview. This bomb was calculated to shock the mind into submission. In the Baltics, this war was waged in the arena of language. In the broadest and narrowest terms, language serves as a key to both imprisonment and liberty. Consequently, literature plays a fundamental role in resisting psychic colonization and in re-asserting the various Baltic identities and worldviews. At times, the language used to describe this cultural genocide aggravates the condition. For example, the Soviets use of euphemism to define massive agendas of genocide was received with ironic derision by the victims.13 Terms such as for the betterment of the state (used to describe the death purges), and rehabilitation (describing the Gulag experience), carried roughly the same significance as the term ethnic cleansing does today. Significantly, the very term postcolonial is a signifier that is potentially more indicative of the perspective of the colonist

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rather than the colonized. It is perhaps the Nigerian thinker, Chinua Achebe, who first noted the linguistic deficiency in that term. Achebe, a novelist, and theorist, speaks Ibo, but studied English from an early age. In the mid 1970s, Achebes lecture on Colonialist Criticism (first published in 1975) identified a number of problematics long before other thinkers had. He perceived two parts to the postcolonial question, as follows: 1) universalism furthers the interests and hegemonic worldview of the empire that perceives the colonized as a homogenous unit, and 2) universalism overlooks the heterogeneity of the colonized culture. It has been some thirty years since Achebe argued that every literature must speak out of a particular time and place and that only through its specificity can a culture introduce meaning that can reach a universal audience. The term postcolonial illustrates the potency of language in perpetuating an implied ethos. It has been generally noted that definitions of occupied nations are often presented in terms of the imperial Other. Even with the withdrawal of an occupying force, the newly independent nation continues to be identified with the colonization. Nor does the term postcolonial consider the condition of the original inhabitants in the formerly occupied territory prior to invasion. For example, to think of a nation with a history as ancient as Indias in terms of a relatively brief period of British occupation, and then to label India forever as existing in a postcolonial state is to stigmatize and brand that nation with the mark of imperialism. Such a naming implicitly retards self-assertion and psychic liberation. It is this question of naming that I believe underscores the problem of language itself in postcolonial discourse. Perhaps the simplest resolution is to follow the example of Alexander the Great who simply cut through the Gordian knot without attempting to untie it. For now, an acknowledgement of the inherent inadequacies of language will serve. As my brief consideration of the term postcolonial reveals, language frequently carries with it an implied worldview. In his study on linguistic patterns Benjamin Lee Whorf discusses early conceptions of language. He explains that a language actually embraces the worldview of a people. There is more to translation than simply finding corresponding words. This view is extended by Jacques Derrida who identifies metaphysical and meta-linguistic challenges, noting that translation, in effect, constitutes a rewriting of a text, and not a transference of ideas. No translation can truly transcend the boundaries of language and the numerous choices that a translator must make will render the translation into a rewriting. One should recognize implications of cultural differences and differences in worldviews that inhabit each language. The conception of time, for example, can be radically different in various cultures. Whorf has used the Hopi as an example of a culture whose language has no past or present tense. The Hopi view of space-time is radically different from most

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Eurocentric cultures and perhaps finds its closest conceptual counterpart in the worldview of nuclear physicists. In some of his more extreme arguments, Whorf has argued that any change in language will transform ones appreciation of the Cosmos. If one considers the importance of language and its relationship to worldview within the contexts of both Whorfs theory and Ngugis statement regarding psychic colonization, then the Russo-Soviet agenda of deliberately eroding the Baltic languages can be read as an act of psychic annihilation. In the recently independent Baltic states a clash of worldviews still manifests itself in language and culture. This clash is evident through the practice of censorship and self-censorship, still actively practised in the decade following the achievement of independence. What is remarkable, but perhaps not entirely surprising is that after independence, this censorship was inflicted, rather paradoxically, by Balts against themselves. Yet, as Holquist explains in his 1994 essay, censorship forms a double-edged sword. That is, propaganda and censorship invite responses in order to have meaning. If the response is derisive irony or satire, then the weapons of discourse cut back at the oppressors, but one is defined and confined by ones oppositional Other. The discursive relationship between oppressor/oppressed is inevitably dialogical. However, any response against censorship perpetuates the relationship between oppressor and oppressed. To respond to oppression is still to deflect from what one might otherwise be doing in the absence of both oppressor and oppression. Dialogical or open models allow for a heterogeneity of views and voices that permit escape from this dialectic trap. A more open or heterogenous understanding of the Baltic states requires perspectives that not only account for the period just prior to, including and following the Soviet occupation, but also consider a deeper historical context. It is too limiting to consider these three nations purely from the perspective of their reaction to the Soviet occupation or the aggressing Other, replete with its manifold influences on developments in culture, politics, economics, religion, psyche, and so on. Such limiting narrows the scope and excludes the influence of other cultures prior to, during, and after the occupation. For example, particularly in the 19th and 20th centuries, both Imperial Russias and Germanys effects on the Baltic nations were profound and overlapped with those of the Soviet Union. The generation of meaning through discourse (whether cultural or theoretical) is not limited to any single discourse, even a developing discourse as broad as the postcolonial. Roughly a decade ago, Patrick Brantlinger responded to Mikhail Bakhtins notion of dialogism and addressed the question of meaning in language as it emerges from the interplay of complex cultural responses: Meanings are dialectically or dialogically produced, at once conflictual and communal, individual and social. And

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one way of defining cultural studies is as the exploration of the social production and circulation of meaningsthat is, culture.14 Brantlingers view finds resonance in the diversities of Baltic culture. With reference to the Baltic states, I contend that this question of social and linguistic meaning involves a complexity of overlapping impulses that extend beyond considerations of the so-called postcolonial, and often include, for example, postmodern responses which raise a set of significantly extended cultural and theoretical criteria. By way of illustration, it is a commonplace that the Balts have often looked to the West and frequently emulated European and North American political, economic and cultural models. This interest in the West was evident prior to, during and after the Soviet occupation. The Balts were, and remain, as interested in formal theatre, ballet and opera as much as they remain interested in jazz, boogie-woogie and rock-and-roll. Hans Georg Gadamers theory of an interpretive fusion of horizons in Truth and Method rules out hegemonic or universalist notions of truth in favor of schismatic, intersecting and variegated perspectives that acknowledge and account for diverse social orders. Thus, it serves us well to consider what is already there in a culture, and how that has intermixed with the influences not only of occupying nations, but indigenous cultural histories and the influences of outside cultures which may have been admired and/or emulated by the occupied peoples. Theoretical models that acknowledge a fusion of mutually interdependent political and socio-cultural synergies intertwining postcolonial, postmodern, and other impulses offer more accurate perspectives onto the diversity and heterogeneity of Baltic expressions. It is this fusion that perhaps best serves in discussions of the inter-zone that typically conjoins postmodern and postcolonial discourse in contemporary Baltic expression. Some contemporary thinkers, such as Stephen Slemon, help illuminate and develop Gadamers approach by defining the relatively open conceptual space that this fusion generates.15 The expansiveness of this space is also addressed by Linda Hutcheon, as she responds to the views of Helen Tiffin and Gayatri Spivak and concurs that the underpinnings of both postcolonialism and postmodernism are recognizably humanist and patriarchal. She confirms that this patriarchy becomes a subject of controversy that points to a double colonization of women.16 Hutcheons views are supported by the aforementioned assertions by Mingwon Mingwon and Trinh T. Minha-ha, who consider questions of nationality, race, economics, and gender to affirm a multiple colonization of women. Adding a feminist reading to a heterogeneous postcolonial/postmodern theoretical approach can further define the expanded fusion of horizons in this discourse. Stephen Slemon concurs and adds to this view, commenting on relations between postcolonial and

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postmodern impulses in literature and discussing texts such as Salmon Rushdies Midnights Children (1981), which turn to pre-colonized cultural grounds while deploying anti-hegemonic strategies and structures. Slemon elaborates: As post-colonial discourse continues to negotiate the relationship between colonialist power and the possibilities for post-colonial freedom, however, it may come in for some serious attention within postmodernism and assist it in rediscovering its cultural location. Perhaps also, post-modernism may yet find a way to join with, not assimilate, post-colonial critical discourse in the necessary post-modernist work of decolonising Western culturedecolonising it, that is, from a residual modernism, which continues to mark for Western culture its relations with the world.17 Ironically, postmodern form, however rebellious it may seem, is in and of itself indicative of yet another form of psychic colonization, that of European and North American cultures reactions to their own pasts. We may add yet another horizon to this already complex theoretical fusion by considering the intersections between the postmodern and the postcolonial. Such positions are put forth by thinkers such as Homi Bhabha. The partial overlap between the postmodern deconstruction of master narratives and the postcolonial reaction against colonial discourse, with its tension between the included/privileged/centrist and the excluded/censored/marginalized voices, results in yet another fusion of cultural-theoretical horizons. Bart Moore-Gilbert responds to Bhabha and addresses the importance of thinking beyond binarisms. Moore-Gilbert notes that Bhabha is concerned with issues of a third space of hybridity and the in-between which operate in conformity to the general conditions of language. But Moore-Gilbert points out a paradox: If every culture is in fact in-between, and none is self-identical, the postcolonial loses the particular modes of agency and identity which Bhabha has earlier claimed for it.18 I agree, for these and other reasons. One could consider interactions of the individual and the collective in terms of conscious and unconscious, passive and active social responses, but this will only return us to further binarisms. Instead, I find it more useful to consider the non-binarist fusion of horizons that results when cultural and political elements act and interact through mutually interdependent collective and individual consciousnesses. The complex composites of history, and the manifold permutations of those influences in the present, all offer worthy topics for consideration in any so-called

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postcolonial interpretation. Ato Quayson discusses such fusions, noting that among non-Western nations, postmodernism is simply a state in an extended crisis of consciousness. He cites critics such as the Nigerian Denis Ekpo, who argues that the preoccupation with the postmodern is nothing more than a response to an indeterminacy of identity brought on by hyper-capitalism, irremediable boredom, and pathological narcissism. Quayson qualifies his discussion of the relations between postmodernism and postcolonialism by stating that both can illuminate conditions in formerly occupied territories. Beginning with Ihab Hassans well-known definitions of the postmodern, Quayson suggests that the Hassanian model is somewhat reductionist in its polarization of fields such as stylistics, theology, philosophy, and political science. However, he does note that the postmodern is typically anti-systemic and often contingent upon pluralism, borders and multiple perspectives being highlighted as a means of disrupting the centralizing impulse of any system.19 Moving through thinkers such as Lyotard (1984), Baudrillard (1983), and David Harvey (1989), Quayson concludes that differences between postmodernism and postcolonialism emerge when one considers their representational domains: Postmodernism references a particular socio-cultural configuration in the West and theorizes globalization from an essentially Western standpoint, generalizing about global economics and culture as they are seen from the vantage point of the Western metropolis. As has been noted earlier, postmodernity is the era of surfaces, of the flattening out of affect, of multiple and shifting subjectivities, and of the total subordination of the real under the irreality of the images generated by visual culture under capitalism. And yet, on the other hand, one of the central problems which brings the two closer together is the question of double vision that a peripheral existence in the world engenders.20 It is this binocular vision or sense of doubleness that permits a recognition of fusions between postmodern and postcolonial expression. Referring to thinkers such as Du Bois, Fanon, and Ngugi, among others, Quayson contends that a double consciousness emerges in the postcolonial just as it does in the postmodern. He argues that this doubleness is traceable to an ontological crisis that inspires a culture of otherness. I would add that if one recalls Achebe, then it is apparent that any sense of self with reference to the notion of an other is indicative of a colonized mind. Incidentally, I use the terms Other and other here in the Lacanian sense (i.e.; Other

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as projected self, and self as an illusory extension of a spectral other. An other is the ineffable, and is coincidently the site of language that undefines the self). I also use the term other (without quotation marks) in the more conventional sense of alterity. It is this awareness of self, always as defined with reference to an other, that marks the colonized mind. If, as many have contended, the postmodern is shaped by late capitalism, however decadent that influence may be, then there are obvious corelations with the postcolonial, which is similarly shaped by politicaleconomic forces. Both generate a political economy of the sign that is evocative of the crisis of consciousness that Quayson identified. More recently, Quayson has investigated the applicability of a Lacan-inspired psychoanalytic reading to postcolonial African literature. In this investigation, he speaks of the split of the Self and the Other in an informative manner while developing an analytic method that accounts for both intertext between psychoanalytic categories and literary texts while considering content (characters and their dispositions) and form (the dramas of desire played out in tropes and narrative structure) with an eye to a domain beyond the text.21 As such, he strives to interrogate a social domain into view. I will add here that this methodology has merit, but one should recognize that the so-called split between Self and Other that so many critics refer to is, in fact, less of a separation than a union. Indeed, the Self and Other are contiguous, joined in a Mbius strip configuration that grants the illusion of separation but more accurately unites the two as one. Self is Other, as Lacan strove to illustrate throughout his career. The Mbius-like union is best seen through language, and to engage with any pre-supposed Other is to unite that other with ones Self. Hence, colonial occupations of any sort ultimately settle in the mind of both colonist and colonized, and it is this aspect of any postcolonial condition that I keep returning to when speaking of the cultural bomb. As such, freedom from a colonial Other may initially involve physical limitations, but ultimately must turn to a liberation of the mind. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak reminds us that Derrida and Lyotard have established that language itself is a condition of a cultural and political condition that responds to and forwards psycho-sexual-socio-and other influences.22 The questions of cause and effect become integrated to the point where they are mutually interdependent. Nietzsches notion of metalepsis is helpful here in that discussions of language and its shaping function as well as its influence tend to substitute an effect for a cause, when one thinks causally. To invert, one can argue that effects can serve as causes. Spivak expands on this point and adds that from a poststructuralist perspective, causes are produced as effects of effects.23

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Language itself provides the arena for the discussion of metaleptic fusions of postcolonial and postmodern impulses. To a great extent, the postcolonial and the postmodern are closely linked in contemporary Baltic literature. The development of language and culture during the last millennium in the Baltics has been correlative to numerous periods of imperial aggression, colonization and occupation by hostile nations. This fact, coupled with the Baltic states more recent tendency during the past two centuriesand particularly since the Second World Warto idealize Western socio-cultural modes, has generated a poco-pomo (postcolonial/postmodern) response to what I call a psyche of rupture following occupation. Stylistic tendencies toward indeterminacy, pastiche, dialogism, aporia, bricolage, and so on, that are typical of postmodern writing, are as much a response growing out of the conditions of rupture typical of long-term colonization as they are responses to idealized Western cultural modes. Add to this fusion the rich oral cultural tradition of the Baltic nations, and one is reminded of Derridas sense of diffrence with respect not only to notions of alterity or the Other, but in regard to the development of language itself as the ineffable other, as surrogate or stand-in for thought. Artistic expression in chirographic form is recognizable not only as a trace of an emergent cultural impulse or tradition through writing, but as a manifestation of the fused horizons of rupture, myth, worldview, and emulation, which blur, conjoin, and create horizons of possibilities. These horizons deconstruct the false dialectics of binarist views, which include individual and collective consciousness, or co-relative attitudes of occupier and occupied, conqueror and conquered, etc. Similarly, numerous attempts by theorists to identify clashes and/or interactions between postmodern and postcolonial agendas are helpful in that they reveal and isolate specific expressive tendencies. But such attempts typically tend to overlook the significance of the fusion of the postcolonial and postmodern impulses that emerged as a predominant condition of contemporary Baltic culture. A short survey of the deeper history of the three Baltic nations can illuminate the sense of heterogeneity of the three cultures and provide a background to the manner in which diverse fusions of horizons have manifested themselves in recent cultural expression. With reference to such fusions of horizons, the histories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania demonstrate that all three Baltic nations have experienced colonial aggression and occupation, not only from socialist, but also from capitalist nations. And while Lithuania did also act as a colonial power, it was also a victim of larger colonial nations both before and after the Polish-Lithuanian alliance. Both Estonia and Latvia have been victims of aggression throughout their histories, experiencing colonial occupations by

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numerous nations including monarchies, republics and soviets. It is helpful to keep in mind that the period of occupation under the Soviet Union constitutes a brief 50 years. Applying a deeper historical perspective, it becomes clear that colonization is an intrinsic element of Baltic history over a thousand years. Given these backgrounds, critics should find it possible to transcend issues of left- or right-wing politics as they relate solely to the Soviet occupation, and instead turn to the larger questions not only of colonization but of cultural histories that transcend the colonial or postcolonial.

Language and Fusions of Worldviews At present there is a double impulse evident in the cultural expression of the Baltic States. One such impulse is decidedly postcolonial, while the second is postmodern. Given roughly one millennium of colonial activity, it is not surprising that the Baltic States have generated cultural expressions that respond to such activities. From a deeper historical perspective, the Latvian and Estonian responses are relatively one-sided and directed towards the hardship of lengthy periods of occupation. The same historical perspective shows that the Lithuanian response is more doublesided and speaks both of occupation in the past and more recently of being occupied. It is my contention that the second postmodern impulse has arisen out of at least two influences. The first is connected with the long history of colonization. In particular, when language is used as a weapon to contest oppressive regimes, it tends to take on particular forms, which include irony and satire. Dystopian novels are among the best examples of this form. However, contemporary Baltic writers have avoided such directly didactic works and instead have opted for more subtle ironies that include implied native perspective while excluding and deriding the worldview of the occupying power. Perhaps because of the last half century of aggressive genocide and Russification, intermixed censorship and propaganda, a kind of double-speak emerged. In many cases, Baltic writers have adopted literary styles that avoid open challenges to the dominant power. Instead, meaning emerges through discursive labyrinths which eventually require that readers draw their own conclusions. Typically, such works feature dialogical structures with shifting or multi-stable, narrative perspectives. Polysemous language, heterogenous viewpoints, and disjointed narratives all support such perspectives. Such literary structures serve to reveal the provisionality of official, state-sanctioned truths, while suggesting alternate worldviews that are informed by often ruptured or traumatized psyches.

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The second postmodern influence undoubtedly has arisen from contact with writers and theorists from other nations. As so many contemporary Baltic writers have demonstrated, Balts are quite aware of contemporary post-structural literary techniques and have taken to them like fish to water. The concepts of open textuality, defeat of closure or Telos, and the refusal of final Thetic statements, are natural extensions of the Baltic psyche, which, through centuries of encounters with hardship, has somehow arrived at a level of consciousness that recognizes the potential folly of socalled empiricism and instead prefers an epistemological posture. Questioning rather than stating is as much a response to colonization as it is to an enlightenment that finds itself aligned not only with ancient myth but with contemporary physics (e.g.; relativity, probability theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, chaos theory, etc.). Master narratives and final truths are no longer entertained. Thus, the postmodern impulse as it emerges in contemporary Baltic literature is a double bifurcation that responds to both external and internal postcolonial and cultural influences. This double bifurcation does not come close to fully defining all cultural activities within the Baltics, but serves as an opening indicator of the many fusions of cultural horizons. Due to space limitations, I will offer only one example for each Baltic nation of a fusion of cultural horizons, which I hope will be indicative of the tip of the iceberg that gestures to the remarkable diversity of these nations. This diversity transcends conventional dialectic views of the colonizer and colonized and instead indicates a much broader fusion of socio-political and cultural horizons. It is worth noting, for example, that aspects of Lithuanian history are still making an impact today. In a recent New York Times article, correspondent Michael Wines reports the findings of remarkably large mass graves near Vilnius: When construction workers excavating an old Soviet military base for roads and apartments unearthed the first of their grisly discoveries last fall, the conclusion was obvious: here lay the handiwork of Stalinist death squads that spread terror throughout Lithuania in the 1940s and 1950s. Then they found the buttons. Scattered like pebbles among perhaps 2,000 contorted skeletons, the buttons were embossed with numbers, the last traces of military uniforms of the regiments of an earlier tyrant. What the workers had found, it soon became clear, were remains of the Grand Army of Napoleon, reduced to frozen, starving rabble after the retreat from its disastrous siege of Moscow in 1812.24

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The article goes on to explain that anthropologists suspect as many as 7,000 soldiers and camp-followers are interred in this one site alone, and further, that this site includes only a fraction of the dead. One Russian officer at the time tallied some 40,000 soldiers in Vilnius alone. More recently, Dr. Virgilijus Pagaiauskas, of the Institute of Lithuanian History, states that the actual number of French troops buried is approximately 80,000. In 1812, the French on their march to Moscow were received by the Lithuanians as heroes who might bring about an end to the Russian occupation in the Baltics. Vilnius became the rear-guard headquarters for Napoleons army, which was made up of roughly fifty percent French soldiers with the remainder from other European countries. The full force numbered some 500,000 troops. However, upon Napoleons retreat from Moscow, his army was faced with the Russian slash and burn tactics, which left the land devoid of any sustenance. In defeat, the soldiers were frozen and starving as they re-entered Lithuania. Most died. Soon after, the pursuing Russians began trying to cremate the bodies, but, overcome with the smoke and stench, chose instead to dump the remaining dead into the V-shaped French defensive trenches. It took from December till March to cover the dead. The scale and scope of this event is quite astonishing within its historical context. For example, there is strong evidence to suggest that the troops were sexually active, leading one to surmise that Lithuania may have seen a population surge shortly after the visit of the Napoleonic troops, which, in turn, may have shifted the demographics of the nation. Wines also notes the high incidence of syphilis among the buried soldiers, who are accompanied by a smaller contingent of women, assumed to be laundresses, servants, and more than likely prostitutes. At the time, the number of French troops equalled roughly one half of the population of Lithuania. The demands for food, water, shelter and other amenities must have been especially heavy for a nation the size of Lithuania. Lithuanias participation, response, and experience of the direct effects of the Napoleonic campaign provide only one page in a very rich history that can only be gestured to here. The complex blending of socio-cultural and political horizons evident in events such as the Napoleonic Wars invite an open critical methodology. In Latvia, as with the other Baltic States, significant ancillary events demonstrate the broad fusion of socio-political horizons within the cultural matrix. For example, Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassies official visit to Latvia during the 1930s is noteworthy. Selassie, also known as Ras Tafari, inspired the Rastafarian movement in the Caribbean, as first articulated by Marcus Garvey in Jamaica during the 1930s. The postcolonial ramifications of this movement are well documented and are based on the shared identity and interests of all black people, the decadence of dominant white socio-political values, known as Babylon, and the eventual return to

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Zion or Africa.25 The fact that there were Baltic holdings in the Caribbean (e.g.: Latvia, or more specifically, the Duchy of Kourland in the 17th century had conducted an economic colonization of Tobago as a crown colony), and the fact that Selassie acknowledged and condemned the history of serfdom of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians in the Baltics, made this visit politically significant.26 The remarkable nature of events in the Baltic states involving important historical figures, such as Napoleon in Lithuania and Selassie in Latvia, supports the value of an open analysis that considers a fusion of horizons. Estonian scholarship offers an engaging example of these fusions. For example, the Tartu-Moscow school of Semiotics that emerged during the post-World War II period in Estonia, offered a significant contribution to world critical theory. Lithuanian theorist Algirdas Julius Greimas helped spearhead a theoretical breakthrough and influenced a variety of thinkers not only in the world, but in Estonia, including Tartu school founders Yuri Lotman, Igor Chernov, Peeter Torop, and Mikhail Lotman. Tomas Venclova was in turn influenced by Yuri Lotman. Jri Talvet explains that through Tartu, the latest post-structural theory was offered to the Lithuanian intellectual community. The translated works of Heidegger, Ortega y Gasset, Huizinga, de Man, and Derrida, among others, helped reshape the academic and intellectual horizon of the nation.27 While Tartus research in Semiotics was largely published in Russian, it nonetheless contributed to the reshaping of international literary and theoretical discourse. While one may consider the colonial effects of occupations, it is beneficial to include consideration of cross-influences and inter-relations with the world community that extend beyond the confines of postcolonial discussion. In analyses of the Baltic cultures, it is beneficial to consider the broader fusion of theoretical horizons. To limit this commentary to the three examples above, one only need think of interconnections between Haile Selassie and Napolean channelled through the Semiotics of the Tartu school. The interacting postcolonial and postmodern ramifications are stimulating. In contemporary Baltic literature, ancient linguistic patterns fuse with equally ancient myths and cultural traditions to find themselves expressed within postmodern structures. Also embedded in the rich cultural matrix of the Baltic languages are diverse pre-Christian myths. For example, Estonia has deep Finno-Ugric roots, which help define its language and identity. Pre-Christian Estonia embraces a Nordic cultural heritage that includes shamanic ritual and pantheistic belief patterns. Among the various roots of Estonian culture and language are unique blends of runic folksongs, featuring rare combinations of pre-Christian, Balto-Finnic and Nordic myths. Similarly, Indo-European influences in Latvia and Lithuania reach back to myths and belief structures of ancient India. The diversity and complexity of the fusions of cultural

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horizons is remarkable in these three nations. To elaborate, philologist and historian Tadeus Puisns reminds us of the direct connection between the Latvian and Lithuanian languages and ancient Sanskrit. In fact, Latvian and Lithuanian, along with Celtic, are the oldest living Indo-European languages and are linked to a mythology that recognizes the sacred in all animate and inanimate aspects of being and perceives all of existence as a manifestation of god-head. These belief structures are embedded in the languages themselves. For example, the Anglo-German ethnologist Max Mller (18331900) has identified links between the Sanskrit Deva (deity: bright or shining one), and the Lithuanian Dievas, or the Latvian Dievs (both signifying God). Linguistic and mythic roots exert a profound influence in all three Baltic nations. Rimvydas ilbajoris comments on myth with specific reference to Lithuanian culture: The deepest well the nation could look into in the hopes of seeing its own face was the ambience of ancient myth.28 Incidentally, this view anticipates Chioni Moores contention, raised in the introduction to this essay, that postcolonial cultures typically look to their own roots in order to retrieve their identities. ilbajoris explains that by observing ancient myth, Lithuanians were able to recover a sense of self that had become interwoven with the influences of other cultures, notably, the Polish, German, Russian and Soviet. Much the same could be said for the other two Baltic nations. If one wishes to consider the deeper impact of colonialism, then it helps to set issues of socialism or capitalism temporarily aside. Only then can one consider pre- and post-Christian phases and much earlier attempts to subjugate the people and minds of this region. The point is that if one wishes to consider the post in Baltic postcolonial, then one should be aware of the number and diversity of posts that can be addressed. The history of the region demands an examination that begins at least some 1000 years ago. Even a cursory investigation of the Baltic reveals evidence of colonial aggression for nearly one thousand years. There are numerous recorded histories, including The Baltic Crusade by William L. Urban; Baltic History, a collection of essays edited by Arvids Ziedonis Jr, William L. Winter and Mardi Valgeme; and Latvijas Vstures Atlants by Edgar Dunsdorfs, to name only a non-representative few. Dunsdorfss study is comprehensive. It begins with excavations of sites dating to ca. 2000 B.C. and goes on to examine early Stone Age and Bronze Age settlements in the region. His history concludes with the 20th century occupation of the Baltics by the Soviet Union. Urbans focus is primarily on the period from 1100 to 1500 A.D. and considers the effects of enforced Christianization in the Baltic region. The collection Baltic History offers perspectives ranging from the Medieval period up to and including the post-Second World War period. Succinct and detailed summaries of the Baltic states are offered in the Encyclopaedia Publishers reference book, The Baltic States. Tadeus

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Puisns offers an engaging and deep history of the Balts, and in particular the Latvians, in his The Emerging Nation. More recently, scholars such as Mdris Eksteins offer historical views of the psychic disruption that has emerged as a result of centuries of colonial aggression. Desmond Sewards The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders also offers an extensive history of the Crusades, including details of conditions in the Baltic from 1200 to 1560. Seward supports the views of other historical scholars that colonization was as much a part of the crusade as conversion to Christianity.29 Lithuanias situation differed somewhat from Latvia and Estonia in that during the Middle Ages and beyond it established itself as a powerful Duchy and successfully expanded its territory into far-flung regions. Thus, Lithuanias past is shaped by its roles as colonizer and colonized. However, it is clear that during lengthy periods in history, all three nations suffered oppressive occupations.30 More recently, scholars such as Chioni Moore consider the impact of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic nations. The current debate over whether or not to evaluate the postSoviet period in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as postcolonial is helpful if only because it serves to raise awareness of the three Baltic states which are too often marginalized or excluded in such discourse. It is ironic that this quest for admission to the larger postcolonial debate comes on the heels of a millennium of colonial activity in the region. For more recent discussions of the Baltic past, there are a variety of worthy studies including: Longworth Philip. The Making of Eastern Europe: From Prehistory to Postcommunism, 2nd ed. (New York: St. Martins Press, 1997; Smith, David J., Artis Pabriks, Aldis Purs and Thomas Lane, The Baltic States. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania. London/New York: Routledge, 2002; and Snyder, Timothy. The Reconstruction of Nations. Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 15691999. New Haven/London: Yale University Press, 2003. When considering the deeper history of the region, it is clear that the fifty-year Soviet occupation left a profound mark on the Baltic nations, but, it is only one of very many expansionist activities in the region. If one is considering acts of cultural naming, re-naming, and unnaming as forms of aggression, then one should note that the Baltics have inspired a metonymic chain of desire through a lengthy series of occupations and attempted conversions. This chain of conversion can be traced backward from the Soviets, to the Nazis, to the Russian Tsars, to the Teutonic Knights, to the Vikings, and so on. In all cases, attempts to re-name or re-define the region were only partly successful. For example, most Christian holidays are underscored by ancient pagan holidays. Pagan rituals are still practiced today, and the life-affirming tradition of Christmas trees, the fertility rites of painting of Easter eggs, and the Dionysian revelries of St. John the Baptist day have as much to do with pagan observances of the winter and summer solstices, and the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, as they do with the life of

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Christ. The various attempts to colonize the minds of Baltic peoples that happened under each successive colonial advance have contributed to even more fused horizons in the Baltic. Within this larger historical context, a wry irony arises when considering the futility of the Soviet Unions attempt to eradicate the folk and mythological traditions of the three Baltic nations and its effort to replace them with a Marxist ideology that embraced dialectic materialism and class struggle. Such aborted attempts are now the topic of contemporary and ironic postcolonial/postmodern Baltic writing, which continues to embrace both its mythic and linguistic roots. As a first-generation Canadian writer with a Baltic background, I have followed postcolonial literary and cultural debate with interest. For example, my cultural exchanges with First Nations people of North America, in particular, the Ojibwa, Odawa and Pottawatami tribes, have led me to illuminating perspectives. Antonio Gomez-Moriana (1992) has discussed an implicit violence that potentially arises through the act of naming or labelling a culture. He explains that the term Indian, as applied to indigenous Teotihuacans by Columbus, failed to consider the position and consent of the natives. Without this consent, such naming constitutes an act of violence because it imposes an unwelcome condition upon a people. Soviet attempts to homogenize, re-define and re-name the Baltics through puppet governments, cultural genocide, propaganda and censorship, constitute a similar act of psychic violence. Gomez-Moriana recalls Jacques Derridas explanation that one may invent by producing a new operational possibility.31 Interestingly, the application of a term such as postcolonial could also constitute such an operational possibility, in that it restricts discussion of Baltic literary texts to a particular scope without necessarily allowing for broader horizons of interpretation. Certainly one agreeable interpretive strategy would involve asking the Baltic natives to name themselves. The literature of the three nations offers such a self-reflexive naming. Often this literature takes an oral form and includes references to attempts to silence the act of self-naming, either through censorship, punishment, exile, or execution. By way of illustration, I will offer here one meaningful example involving the oral tradition of the dainas (folk-songs), as they reveal constructions of identity during periods of extended occupation. Both Vaira Vis-Freibergs and Maruta Lietia Ray offer useful backgrounds here. Vis-Freibergs knowledge of Baltic culture is estimable, and her expertise in the Latvian dainas (folksongs) is highly detailed and extensive. VisFreibergs Dzintara Kaln (On amber mountain) confirms Mays analysis of the attitudes of serf-cultures that existed in the Baltics during the centuries of occupation. The oral tradition is vital in the Baltic and serves to reveal the harsh conditions of life under foreign occupational forces. Lietia Ray (2003) reminds us that by 1938, after extensive collection and

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documentation by Krijanis Barons, among many others, some 2,308,000 songs were collected in the Archives of Latvian Folklore. Ray notes that the dainas feature accounts of oppression during Baltic serfdom, including the buying and selling of slaves, the separation of families, corporal punishment with flogging, the absence of any means of legal redress, seizing and control of peasant property, sexual exploitation of peasant women through the droit du seigneur, extensive child labor, long working hours, sleep deprivation, extreme work conditions leading to physical deformity, and deplorable living conditions. Incidentally, parallels with the slave-culture in the United States are remarkable. On the other hand, the dainas also present an ethos and moral philosophy which challenge the presence of the occupiers, reveal the peasants awareness of their role in generating the masters wealth, affirm the peasants sense of superiority and true ownership of the land, portray the peasants strong work ethic, declare faith in magic and the gods, betray an underlying desire for revenge, and transcend degradation and oppression through satire and humor. These ancient songs were acts of rebellion, just as literary expressions were in more recent times. Among other things, the dainas predicted that during their after-lives serfs would stoke the fires of hell in order to boil their masters in massive kettles for eternity. Significantly, this conception of hell was less a Christian manifestation than it was a time and place of ultimate revenge and vindication. But we must remember the double edge of discourse that Holquist, for one, refers to. Michael Holquist, who is noted, among other things, as the translator of Mikhail Bakhtin (yet another author who endured censorship and Siberian exile), explains that censorship can be viewed as a complex phenomenon that results in a dynamic and multi-directional relationship between the censor and the censored. He claims that in attempting to establish a discursive hegemony, a dominant power is nonetheless locked into a negotiation with those it attempts to suppress.32 This negotiative posture demands answers from the colonized, and by necessity, gives them voice. In some cases, the voices of the suppressed refuse the conditions of the negotiation and the suppression backfires. Holquist goes on to explain that the censors attempts to inflict a hegemonic worldview drew a number of reactions generating unpredictable side effects. An example of one such side effect during periods of extensive censorship was that Latvians learned to work with ideological loopholes by generating a subversive form of oral and written literature that eludes the censors detection through complex literary forms and ironic modes that shared an insiders literary vision but exclude or counter-censor the discursive hegemony of the colonizer. Within the context of Holquists perspective, the writings of the colonizers during these periods are especially revealing. Lietia Ray notes that poetry by the colonizers served to colonize the minds of the

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impoverished Balts. She cites the Baltic German pastor, Gotthard Friedrich Stender (171496) who wrote poetry that argues, for example, that it is much better to die poor and malnourished than well-fed and wealthy, because the rich mans corpse provides a luxurious meal for the maggots, while the poor mans bones will offer only slim pickings.33 The ironic sense of satire that informs Cold War works such as Dr. Strangelove is typical of the combined postmodern-postcolonial perspective of recent Balts who have survived the Nazis, the Red Army, the Gulag, and the Cold War, only to find themselves, once again, independent. As the old joke goes, We Balts know much about freedomwe have been liberated many times. The role of oral culture during periods of occupation reveals deep-rooted irony, determined stoicism, and a cautious optimism that fortune will eventually offer liberty and a new order. As the dainas and other historical chronicles reveal, language and physical oppression are the means by which occupying forces attempt to colonize the mind, body and spirit. Yet, it is language that persists as the primary means of physical, psychic and spiritual resistance to oppression, occupation, and attempts at cultural and physical genocide. Culture Bombs and the Carnivalesque The Balts have been wary of psychic colonization for centuries. In the 20th century, resistance through language took many forms. For example, in the Resolution with Appended Documents concerning the Decolonization of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations General Assembly (1977), representatives not only from the Baltic, but from Byelorussia and Ukraine, present their case for independence. Referring to the UN Report on the Spanish Sahara (May-June, 1974), the delegation that issued this publication, reminds the United Nations assembly of its own words: The decolonization of a territory must take into account the wishes and aspirations of all the population of the territory, including those who are at present living abroad as political exiles or refugees. Their current and future interests must be protected.34 Apart from detailed summaries and chapters outlining issues such as the Bolshevik Revolution, Violations of Human and National Rights, Genocide, Religious Persecution, Cultural and Linguistic Russification and Colonization, Economic Exploitation, Imperial Administration and Military Occupancy, Population Control and Soviet (puppet) Representation in the United Nations, this resolution includes documentation of historical documents and treaties, including declarations of independence by the Baltic states, non-aggression pacts between the U.S.S.R. and the Baltic states

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(some that were signed by V. Lenin yet), United Nations legal acts, appeals and historical documents involving the decolonization of the U.S.S.R. In particular, the resolution includes commentary on the policy of the Soviet Communist Party (1961), and that partys systemic attempts to eliminate national differences, specifically linguistic ones. The intention of Soviet policy was to de-nationalize, Russify, amalgamate and assimilate all of the occupied smaller nations into one super-nation: Russian colonization is designed to change gradually the national composition of the non-Russian republics, and eventually to make the native populations minorities in these republics. This large-scale population redistribution is motivated by several factors, primarily military and political. Russian officers of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Russian administrative civil servants are permanently stationed in non-Russian republics in order to supervise political activities. Soviet military troops, particularly the officers and their families, are overwhelmingly of Russian nationality. Secondly, Russian colonization is encouraged by rapid industrialization. This is carried out by the central Soviet Russian Ministry of Industry in Moscow. Decisions in relation to the establishment of new factories in the various republics are made centrally in Moscow, and the Russian plant managers, engineers, workers and their families are transferred, in many cases, from Russia to the new factories. The result of this systematic channelling of Russian workers to non-Russian industrial areas is that many non-Russian towns and cities, particularly in the Baltic States, Byelorussia and Ukraine, today show a Russian majority.35 The Resolution goes on to discuss the systematic and forced dispersal of non-Russian populations, especially the youth, over the Soviet hinterland. The model of colonization that was adopted by the Soviet Union includes capitalist or imperial methodologies. The fact that the Moscow Politbureau was socialist changes little in terms of the effects of colonial rule. From the perspective of international law, and from the viewpoints of heads of state from a broad international spectrum who addressed the plight of nations such as the Baltics, Ukraine and Byelorussia, there is no question that the Soviet occupation was understood and discussed as a colonization. While

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the position of those outside the Baltics is quite clear on this, particularly from a legalistic perspective, the position is equally clear from within the Baltics. If one juxtaposes the longer Baltic history to the more recent Soviet occupation, then the effects of language become apparent through what Ngugi has called a cultural bomb, or a systemic attack against regional or indigenous worldviews, calculated to shock the mind into submission. The question of colonization is not only a matter of economy or ideology (socialist, capitalist or other), but a question of linguistics. Language has always been and remains the main tool of colonial oppression and colonial resistance. Post-World War II Baltic literature is often characterized by a spectrum of outlooks, ranging from Horatian light-hearted scepticism to Juvenalian apocalyptic cynicism. Irony is second nature to the Baltic worldview. During some of the more virulent battles of the Second World War, Balts were known to encourage each other by saying, Enjoy the war while you can, the peace will be horrendous. The words were all too prophetic. Critic Linda Hutcheon has commented on the use of irony for political purposes when she notes that both irony and satire can either defuse or engage anger. Further, irony may have a charged or loaded message, which is interpretable both emotively and politically, but only by those familiar with a given socio-political condition.36 It is the exclusion of the colonists mind-state that establishes the militant posture of recent Latvian fiction. Post-independence Latvian writing was at first more aligned with anger than delight, and Latvian writing is often characterized by a peculiar, perhaps Bergsonian sense of distance or detachment. More recent Baltic writing offers wry perspectives that move beyond the Soviet occupation to larger and more pressing, contemporary global issues, as well as questions of literary form itself. A prominent characteristic that distinguishes recent Baltic authors of the past decade or so is the self-reflexive tendency toward matters of language and style. This postmodern stylistic tendency finds roots in postcolonial experience. Editor and literary critic Violeta Kelertas identifies responses to censorship in Lithuania following the Second World War. She cites the rise of nonconformist literary forms inspired by Lithuanian writers desires to communicate information that might be too dangerous to state openly. Literary expressions using allegory, magic realism, complex subtexts, and irony became popular. Kelertas explains: By writing in this modern fashion, writers hoped to evade the censor, who was notoriously obtuse and not up to deciphering the meanings of strange, convoluted texts whose point usually required that the reader work to see it.37 Among other things, this recent writing demonstrates a fusion, not only of postcolonial response, but also of autobiographical and postmodern strategies. Such fused strategies are often practised by contemporary novelists and short

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story writers in Latvia, the Baltic, and elsewhere within the former Soviet sphere. Northrop Frye explains that autobiographies are inspired by an impulse undifferentiated from the impulse that produces fiction. He explains that the distinctions between stylistic mannerisms of novels and autobiographies are virtually impossible to define.38 This fusion of the postcolonial and postmodern is addressed by Mdris Eksteins in his books, Rites of Spring (1994) and Walking Since Daybreak (2000). In the latter book, Eksteins discusses the fragmented and postmodern consciousness that informs the ideological battle ground of discourse and identifies a provisional borderland syndrome in the Baltic region characterized by unstable frontiers, blurred definitions of identity and place, and a fragmented psyche of ambiguity and trauma emerging from centuries of violent occupation.39 The struggle to de-colonize the Baltic mind is implicit in the arena of language and literature. Themes of imprisonment mark an earlier postcolonial literary response to this psychic violence that nonetheless embraces postmodern form. While it is clear that contemporary Baltic writers are highly cognizant of contemporary postmodern expression and poststructural theory, they are equally aware of recent postcolonial debate. Recent Baltic engagements with North American writers and scholars contribute to global thinking. Frequent cultural exchanges, conferences and publications generated by scholarly groups including the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies regularly demonstrate this vital engagement. The Baltic tendency towards open texts that fuse postcolonial reactions with postmodern structures generate expressions that tend to be associational rather than linear, absurd rather than rational, disjunctive rather than unified, dialogical rather than monological. Such expressions can be read as a rejection of imposed conventions and limiting worldviews. Through their ironic and disrupted structural forms, contemporary Baltic writers meld an ironic and postcolonial sense of psychic dismemberment and a profound awareness of the polysemic play available through the ambiguities of language that is as much in keeping with their ancient cultural heritages as it is with contemporary postmodern innovation. Literary counterparts using similar fusions of autobiography, postcolonial resistance, and postmodern form can be found in other former Soviet bloc nations and include authors such as Milorad Pavi (Dictionary of the Khazars, The Inner Side of the Wind, and The Novel of Hero and Leander). Affinities with Baltic writers who fuse the postcolonial with the postmodern can also be found in the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Julio Cortazar, Carlos Fuentes, Milan Kundera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Thomas Pynchon and Josef Skvorecky. As elsewhere, so, in the Baltic, the present is informed by the recent and distant past. The diverse fusions of cultural horizons throughout the history of the Baltic reveal the varied impulses for

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contemporary postcolonial and postmodern expression and indicate the fusion of many posts or cultural markers within the larger context of this open discourse.

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Notes
1. Moore, 2001, 117. 2. Foucault, 1980, 135. 3. Moore, 2001, 118. 4. Spring 1998. 5. Riggan, 1998, 229. 6. Mukherjee, 1991, 2. 7. Ibid, 29. 8. Brydon, 1989, 9. 9. Slemon, 1988, 165. 10. Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin, 1995, xv. 11. Johnston, 1990, 1015. 12. Ngugi, 1986, 3. 13. See Andrejs Veisbergs article in this book. 14. Brantlinger, 1990, 71. 15. Slemon, 1995, 109. 16. Hutcheon, 1995, 130. 17. Slemon, 1990, 9. 18. Moore-Gilbert, 2000, 130. 19. Quayson, 2000, 136. 20. Ibid, 140141. 21. Quayson, 2004, 759. 22. Spivak, 1990, 25. 23. Ibid, 23. 24. New York Times, Sat. Sept. 14, 2002: A5. 25. Bullock, Stallybrass and Trombley, 1988, 720. 26. Dunsdorfs, 1982, 166. 27. Talvet, 1998, 309. 28. ilbajoris, 1998, 231. 29. Seward, 2000, 65. 30. Some original, historical sources in translation include The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, the Chronicle of Novgorod 10161471, The GalicianVolhynian Chronicle, and The Livonian Rhymed Chronicle. Excellent histories are also offered by Robert Bartlett, Alfred Bilmanis, Eric Christiansen, Edgar Johnson, and Stephan Rowell, among many others too numerous to list here. Some other sources of information on the history of the Baltic States include Desmond Sewards The Monks of War, William Urbans The Baltic Crusade, Edgars Dunsdorfs The Baltic Dilemma (parts one and two), Arvids Ziedonis, William Winters and Mardi Valgames Baltic History, The Encyclopedia of Baltic States, and the U.S. Library of Congress U.S. State Department Web-site on Foreign affairs. 31. Derrida, 1989, 32. 32. Holquist, 1994, 17. 33. Ray, 2003, 11.

76 34. Resolution [], 1977, 3. 35. Ibid, 23. 36. Hutcheon, 1994, 15. 37. Kelertas, 1992, 7. 38. Frye, 1971, 307. 39. Eksteins, 2000, xi.

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Bibliography
Achebe, C. (1992), Colonialist Criticism, in: H. Adams (ed.) Critical Theory since Plato. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers. _______. (1988), Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays, 19651987. London: Heinemann. Ashcroft, B., G. Griffiths, H. Tiffin (eds.) (1989), The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures. London, New York: Routledge. Bakhtin, M. M. (1981), The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays, trans. by M. Holquist and C. Emerson. Austin: University of Texas Press. Baltic States. Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius: Estonian Encyclopaedia Publishers, Latvian Encyclopaedia Publishers, Lithuanian Publishers, 1991. Bartlett, R. (1993), The Making of Europe: Conquest, Colonization and Cultural Change, 9501350. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Baudrillard, J. (1983), Simulations, trans. by P. Foss, P. Patton and P. Bleitchman. New York City, NewYork: Semiotext(e). Bhabha, H. K. (1990), Dissemination: Time, Narrative, and the Margins of the Modern Nation, in: B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths (eds.), The Postcolonial Studies Reader. London, New York: Routledge. _______. (ed.) (1990), Nation and Narration. London, New York: Routledge. Bilmanis, A. (1951), A History of Latvia. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Brantlinger, P. (1990), Crusoes Footprints: Cultural Studies in Britain and America. New York: Routledge.

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Brydon, D. (1989), Commonwealth or Common Poverty?: The New Literature and the New Discourse of Marginality in: S. Slemon and H. Tiffin (eds.), After Europe: Critical Theory and Postcolonial Writing. Sydney: Dangaroo Press, 116. Bullock, A., O. Stallybrass and S. Trombley. (1988), The Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought, 2nd ed. London: Fontana Press. Christiansen, E. (1980), The Northern Crusades: The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier, 11001525. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia. (1961), trans. by J. A. Brundage. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Davey, F. (1983), Surviving the Paraphrase: Eleven Essays on Canadian Literature. Winnipeg: Turnstone Press. Derrida, J. (1988), The Ear of the Other: Otobiography, Transference, Translation. Lincoln: University Nebraska Press. _______. (1989), Psyche: Inventions of the Other, in: L. Waters and W. Godzich (eds.), Reading de Man Reading. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, Vol. 59: 2566. Dunsdorfs, E. (1982), The Baltic Dilemma, Parts 1 and 2. Melbourne: Baltic Council of Australia. _______. (1976), Latvijas Vstures Atlnts (Latvian historical survey). Melbourne: General Karla Goppera Fund. Eksteins, M. (1994), Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age. Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys. _______. (2000), Walking Since Daybreak: A Story of Eastern Europe, World War II, and the Heart of our Century. Toronto: Key Porter Books. Fanon, F. (1963), The Wretched of the Earth. New York: Grove Press. _______. (1967), Black Skin, White Masks. New York: Grove Press. Foucault, M. (1972), The Archaeology of Knowledge and the Discourse on Language, trans. by A. M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Pantheon Books.

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_______. (1980), Power/Knowledge. New York: Pantheon Books. Frye, N. (1971), The Anatomy of Criticism. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press. Gadamer, H. G. (1975), Truth and Method, trans. by G. Barden and W. G. Dorpel. New York: Seaburry Press (Wahrheit und Methode: Grundzge einer philosophischen Hermeneutik. Tbingen: J. C. B. Mohr, 1960; 2nd ed. 1965). Gomez-Moriana, A. (1992), Discourse Analysis as Sociocriticism: Columbus and the Invention of the Indian, Social Discourse, 4:12: 89110. Harvey, D. (1989), The Condition of Postmodernity. Oxford: Blackwell. Holquist, M. (1994), Introduction. Corrupt Originals: The Paradox of Censorship, PMLA, 109.1: 1425. Hutcheon, L. (1995), Circling the Downspout of Empire, in: B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths, H. Tiffin (eds.), The Post-colonial Studies Reader. London, New York: Routledge. _______. (1994), Ironys Edge: The Theory and Politics of Irony. London, New York: Routledge. Johnston, B. (1990), One Generation form Extinction, in: W. H. New (ed.) Canadian Literature, Special First Nations Issue. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1015. Kelertas, V. (ed.) (1992), Come Into My Time: Lithuania in Prose Fiction, 197090. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. Lietia Ray, M. (2003), Recovering the Voice of the Oppressed: Master, Slave and Serf in the Baltic Provinces, Journal of Baltic Studies, 34/1. The Livonian Rhymed Chronicle. (1977), trans. by J. C. Smith and W. L. Urban. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Lyotard, J. F. (1984), The Postmodern Condition: A Report of Knowledge. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Michell, R. (1914), The Chronicle of Novgorod, 10161471, Vol. 25 of the Camden Third Series. London: Offices of the Society.

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Mingwon Mingwon (Shirley Bear) (1990), Equality Among Women, in: W. H. New (ed.), Canadian Literature, Special First Nations Issue. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Moore, D. C. (2001), Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique, PMLA, 111128. Moore-Gilbert, B. J. (1997), Postcolonial Theory: Contexts, Practices, Politics. London, New York: Verso. Mukherjee, A. P. (1991), The Exclusions of Postcolonial Theory and Mulk Raj Anands Untouchable: A Case Study, Ariel: A Review of International English Literature, 22:3: 2748. Ngugi, wa Thiongo. (1986), Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: James Currey. Pavi, M. (1988), Dictionary of the Khazars, trans. by C. Pribicevic-Zoric. New York: Vintage Books. ________. (1993), The Inner Side of the Wind, or The Novel of Hero and Leander, trans. by C. Pribicevic-Zoric. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Quayson. A. (2000), Postcolonialism: Theory, Practice or Process? Cambridge, United Kingdom: Polity Press. ________. (2004), Symbolization Compulsion: Testing a Psychoanalytic Category on Postcolonial African Literature, University of Toronto Quarterly, 73//2: 754772. Resolution with appended Documents concerning the Decolonization of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics to the United Nations General Assembly. (1977), N.Y.: The Conference of Free Byelorussians, The Estonian World Council, The Lithuanian World Community, The World Congress of Free Ukrainians, The World Federation of Free Latvians. Riggan, W. (1998), Preface, World Literature Today. Special Issue on The Baltic Literatures in the 1990s, 72.2: 229230. Rowell, S. C. (1994), Lithuania Ascending. A Pagan Empire within EastCentral Europe, 12951345. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Rushdie, S. (1981), Midnights Children. London: Picador. Seward, D. (2000), The Monks of War: The Military Religious Orders. London: Folio Society. ilbajoris, R. (1998), Post-Soviet Literature in Lithuania: An Overview, World Literature Today. Special Issue on The Baltic Literatures in the 1990s, 72.2: 231239. Slemon, S. (1988), Postcolonial Allegory and the Transformation of History, Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 23.1: 15768. _______. (1991), Modernisms Last Post, in: I. Adam and H. Tiffin (eds.), Past the Last Post: Theorizing Post-Colonialism and PostModernism. New York, London: Harvester Wheatsheaf. _______. (1995), Unsettling the Empire: Resistance Theory for the Second World, in: B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths (eds.), The Post-colonial Studies Reader. London, New York: Routledge. Spivak, G. C. (1990), The Post-colonial Critic: Interviews, Strategies, Dialogues, S. Harasym (ed.). New York, London: Routledge. Talvet, J. (1998), The State of Estonian Literature Following the Reestablishment of Independence, World Literature Today Special Issue on The Baltic Literatures in the 1990s, 72.2: 307312. Trinh, T. M. (1989), Woman, Native, Other. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Urban, W. L. (1994), The Baltic Crusade. 2nd ed. Chicago: Lithuanian Research and Studies Center. _______. (1981), The Livonian Crusade. Washington: University Press of America. _______. (1973), The Military Occupation of Semgalia in the Thirteenth Century, Ohio State University: Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies, 2134. Valgeme, M. and W. L. Winter, A. Ziedonis, Jr. (eds.) (1974), Baltic History. Columbus, Ohio: Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies. Vis-Freibergs, V. (1989), Dzintara Kaln (On amber mountain: essays on Latvian folk songs). Montreal: Helios.

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Whorf, B. L. (1966), Language, Thought and Reality: Selected Writings. Cambridge: M.I.T Press. Wines, M. (2002), Baltic Soil Yields Evidence of a Bitter End to Napoleons Army, New York Times, Sept. 14: A5.

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A Soviet Experience of Our Own: Comprehension and the Surrounding Silence Vytautas Rubaviius
The causes determining the lack of works analyzing the Lithuanian Soviet past, and the conscious and unconscious avoidance and erasing of this past, are discussed in this essay. The causes are connected to a need, one that has come to dominate humanitarian academic circles, to create a new Western identity while preserving accrued symbolic and institutional capital. The claim is made that a well-founded analysis of the recent past is only possible by acknowledging it as ones own; therefore, the importance of ones Soviet experience for post-Soviet and postcolonial studies is raised. This would allow one to examine the relationship between strategies of resistance to the occupational government and strategies for getting along with it as essential factors in the creation of a group or individual identity. The problem of the relationship between the apparatus of bureaucratic surveillance and the authors voice is raised. That part of the archive which has not entered the researchers field of vision, but is closely related to the control, production and distribution of humanitarian discourse, is referenced. These are the protocols of meetings of the Party organizationsactive in all offices having to do with education and cultureand in the creative associations, in which clear traces of totalitarian supervision remain, traces that can help researchers to understand both everyday life and the nature of Soviet totalitarianism. The conclusion is reached that coordination between the efforts of foreign and local researchers is required in order to round out the archive, as the view from outside cannot ever fully penetrate the Soviet experience. I Here in Lithuania we have survived Soviet oppression and attempts to establish the new man; now we are living through a change in values fated by the period of transition from communism to capitalism.

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We are undergoing the uncertainty related to this change and a time when social differences are appearing. We increasingly feel ourselves members of the capitalist system and we associate the hopes and visions of a bright future with the spread of capitalist interrelations. How do we perceive our past and present selves, how do we imagine the crumbling as well as the rebuilding of our national and personal identity, how do we see ourselves in the past and how do we narrate all of this? Questions like these inevitably direct us toward literature, literary history, and literary criticism, because it is through these spheres of verbal creation and conceptualization that certain features of the old and the new worldview and its perception are clarified. A shift in worldviews and identities occurs when we consciously contrast the state of occupation and enslavement with the move toward liberation. In attempting to grasp our present selves, we inevitably base ourselves on one or another conscious or subconscious mental image of the past we have experienced, although when we scrutinize this same past, we use notions that are being created in the present. Although almost everyone recognizes that Lithuania after the Second World War was a country occupied by the Soviet Union in which the policy of sovietization of all spheres of life was implemented in an especially brutal manner, the creation of life and culture under conditions of occupation and forced sovietization has been little analyzed and especially poorly theorized. Based on the reality of occupation, the rather widespread concept of the silent resistance is important for the construction of a new identity; it is claimed (and has come to be believed) that almost all the members of the state and cultural elite, even those placed in high posts of the nomenklatra (those working in cultural offices, creative unions, and publishing houses, and editors of periodicals were also Party members), were in one way or another in their actions opposed to the regime or at least disapproved of it in their hearts. As time went by, this disapproval slowly turned into conscious opposition; the party and cultural elite tried to preserve Lithuanian ethnicity, even though they were forced to compromise with the government. The silent resistance appeared to link the elite who had matured under the Soviets to the heroic and tragic decade-long postwar Lithuanian guerrilla resistance. Every possible attempt had been made to erase this resistance from the national cultural memory. The acknowledgement of occupation and resistance should have directed analyses toward postcolonial studies and the formation of theoretical frameworks, but this did not happen. Elsewhere in this book, arguing for the necessity of postcolonial postSoviet studies, David Chioni Moore has discussed the doubly paradoxical silence connected to the countries occupied by the Soviet Union that regained their independence after the fall of the Berlin Wall: first, postcolonial studies avoid these countries; second, scholars of the formerly occupied countries are in no hurry to adapt postcolonial

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analysis, its conceptual insights or its theoretical concepts to their work.1 Karlis Raevskis convincingly explains the first aspect of this paradox. The occupational, colonizing politics of the Soviet Union were able to evade the attention of postcolonial studies because Soviet Marxism criticized the practice of colonial imperialism and, in its time, formed the theoretical basis for understanding colonialism as well as for seeking liberation from colonial oppression. Therefore, it is hardly astonishing that most theoreticians of postcolonial studies were and continue to be leftist intellectuals, who a few decades ago believed the Soviet Union to be an anti-imperialist (that is, a non-imperial) power that was liberating the oppressed of the whole world.2 This conviction still has a tenacious hold. The ideology of Soviet liberation was instilled in the occupied countries as well. The liberation of Lithuanian working people from the fascist oppression of Antanas Smetonas regime was proclaimed not only in ideological writings in Lithuania but also in historical and artistic works. In their works, writers were obliged to demonstrate how a characters gaining higher consciousness inevitably led to the ideals affirmed by Soviet propaganda until, at the moment of enlightenment, the positive hero would comprehend the goodness, greatness and global significance of the Soviet system. The second aspect of the paradoxical silence mentioned above, which will be analyzed in greater depth later, is related to the present state of the Lithuanian elite in the humanities and the new construction of this elites identity: a viewpoint based on postcolonial studies would demand the acknowledgement that the elite matured creating various strategies for getting along with the colonizer; to start researching it would unavoidably involve the theme of collaboration, which would problematize the legitimacy of the established cultural power. The theme of collaboration opens up a dimension of moral decay, as well as of responsibility, because these are understood as ethically flawed actions that would be difficult to camouflage as silent resistance. So postcolonial studies up until the present have been introduced from outside by scholars who matured in the emigration.3 II Naming and understanding the pastbe it as occupational, soviet, colonial, or postcolonialis important for the creation of both national and personal identity. It could be said that the comprehension and evaluation of the recent past, combined with the weighing of the most painful moral problems, is the catalyst for the self-representation of culture. History is not just a particular set of data about things past, quietly waiting for an attentive, objective scholar to brush the dust off; an understanding of the past reveals it to be essentially connected to the future. While analyzing the concept of the archive, Jacques Derrida raises an important and apparently self-evident fact that is usually bypassed by

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literary scholars and historians. That is, that we learn about the past (if we learn about it at all) only in the future; only in the future does the past acquire (or not acquire) its recognizable shape.4 For the past to be grasped it must be put in order; that is, it must become an archive. The archive grows by being put in order, by having the data stored in it linked and classified. Its configuration, however, depends not only on the will of the arranger but also on the dominant cultural consciousness and on the forms of political power present. Therefore, the archive can never be completely at the mercy of any one person. Using psychoanalysis as the scientific archival model, which in the economy of memory covers all the events impressed on it, their traces as well as traces of traces, including documents, their arrangement, access and methods of distribution, Derrida draws the conclusion that the archive raises the question of the very future, the question of response, promise and responsibility.5 The psychoanalytic model clarifies the connection between the mechanisms of memory and culture, while simultaneously problematizing comprehensioncomprehension not only clarifies but also conceals, especially when the past is associated with traumatic experiences or when comprehension exalts the goodness as well as normalcy of that past life, which now appears morally flawed because it was determined by collaborating with the past government. In this respect, comprehension is potentially traumatizing and requires confession, recognition and repentance. The nature of such discourse raises its own theoretical problems,6 which we cannot go into here. Currently, one basic feature evident in our society, one connected to the paradox of silence mentioned earlier, is the tendency to avoid either speaking about the recent Lithuanian past or to provide analyses of it, and especially to eschew naming it as the Soviet experience that we have all lived through and accumulated, now embodied in various cultural forms. This may be regarded as an important characteristic of the transitional phase of existence, marked in its own way by a simultaneous dearth of works devoted to analyses of the past and to the present. For this reason, my title consciously juxtaposes the problematic words own and Soviet. On the one hand, no one wants to acknowledge that experience as ones own. All kinds of stories of an early realization of the situation or of the perception of what Soviet meant are popular now and are often created after the fact. They elevate their authors beyond the bounds of that experience and verify the authenticity of the creation of their current, already Western identity. Another vital fact is that in those days the concept of soviet (a Russian word, hence foreign) was used by the migr community, while in Lithuania it was not just the reality that was called tarybinis (the Lithuanian word for council), but man was also referred to as tarybinis. So we matured in the tarybinis environment and participated in tarybinis life. This linguistic difference is difficult to convey in other languages; in other languages the words soviet,

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sovietisch, sovitique refer to the dominant order as well as to the nature of culture in the Soviet Union. Occupied Lithuania, however, was called Taryb Lietuva, translating the word soviet into Lithuanian at all times, while all aspects of its inner life were described by the adjective tarybinis. In independent Lithuania the Soviet Union and its system had been referred to, according to European practice, as sovietinis (soviet), not tarybinis. The translation into Lithuanian strictly differentiated the tarybinis, the occupiers liberated reality, from that of the former independent states, in which the occupiers system and power were referred to as soviet.7 At that time tarybinis and soviet marked a clear cultural slippage and oriented texts to differing discoursesthe migr, which clearly had in mind the state of an occupied country, and the local discourse, one of whose aims was to cover up this state by renaming it. After independence was regained, the word sovietinis was again used to refer to the past reality. At present, it seems to connect both periods of independence, to continue the Western tradition, to reinforce the basic authenticity of the identity being created, and, at the same time to force out and erase the tarybinis experience. In this text the word sovietinis marks a certain subconscious aspect, related not only to the traumatic postwar experience, whose tragedy has not yet been suitably comprehended and described, but also to a personal history of the relationship with the tarybinis reality in which reality becomes the Other who has to be conquered: tarybinis seems more and more like sovietinis. The conquest and comprehension of this reality in itself encourages the re-creation of ones identity. Applying the widening insights of postSoviet postcolonial studies would help raise the question as to when and how individual identity and worldview, as well as writing, were influenced by the comprehension of the occupying, oppressing Other and at the same time bring about the realization that singling out the Other transforms him into a necessary component of the means whereby the identity isolates, battles, overcomes and liberates itself from the Other. The complications inherent in understanding the Soviet experience are determined by several factors. First is the need to change the conceptual tools of the humanities, to internalize Western theories as well as concepts. Understandably, even in those times Western theories were known; however, their application was very limited. All public and cultural conceptualizations were permissible only if they were based on the established Soviet Marxism or the so-called scholarly communist doctrines, while bourgeois and idealistic theories were only to be criticized. The problem is that in the course of adapting new theories and learning to apply them, we forget the fact that they were created for the study of other kinds of societies. In the case of literature and literary criticism, they were formulated under completely different conditions of textual production and distribution; this in turn influenced the theoretical notions of interpretation. Thus the problem arises as to how, in spite of

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everything, to conceptualize the society called mature socialism, its development and its ideology, which had become the unique property of a great part of society. This problem is clarified through the attempt to comprehend and give theoretical basis to the separate totalitarianisms of different origin and naturethe Soviet and the Naziwhich are usually generalized into a single concept of totalitarianism, taking into account the insights of Hannah Arendt.8 When these two systems are conflated, the unique mechanism controlling the order and power of Soviet discourse is concealed. Another factor stimulating the evasion of the Soviet experience is related to the continued existence of the contemporary elite in the humanities. The intellectual elite, in creating its Western identity, inevitably has to appear as a whole, the identity of ones whole life. Nevertheless, it is almost impossible to reconcile the scholarly texts written in those days and those being written now; they point to totally different identities. These two identities, however, are able to co-exist the academic layer has essentially preserved and even increased the scholarly and cultural capital accumulated in those days. The career path that was traversed during the years of occupation influenced important contemporary institutional positions. Understandably, the social significance of this layer of society has changed, because the function of ideological consciousness-raising and the power necessary to perform it assigned by the former regime to it has been lost. This circumstance of the preservation of symbolic and institutional capital and its successful conversion can be apprehended as a certain kind of trauma, once again forcing the understanding of the past to be put off into the future. This attitude is passed down to the younger generation of researchers; they are constricted by the inner rules of the game dominating the academic sphere. Its as if they are uncomfortable consciously bringing to the surface those texts written by their now senior colleagues and taking the archive of former times into their hands. Especially since the seniors are not only their colleagues but also influential leaders of various stripes, holding positions of power on which the rule of the current scholarly discourse depends, as does the career path associated with its production. The understanding of the past is postponed and the past itself is evaded not only by passing over it in silence, but also by filling it with certain images as well as demythologizations. History is rendered heroic with the help of the image of silent resistance already mentioned. It is presented as a diverse cultural resistance to Soviet ideology, forgetting the concrete strategies of accommodating the regime, which guaranteed not only access to scholarly work but also to cultural power. Therefore, it is possible to continue to comprehend the Lithuanian elites present existence not as traumatized, or post-Soviet, or as having experienced an essential turning-point in its identity, but rather as a consequence of the former resistance, giving one the right to dispose of the cultural capital

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and power built up during times past. Understandably, the image or ideologeme of silent resistance is not invented merely for selfish aims, to obscure the past or to rewrite ones biography. This image refers to a certain opposition between the private and the public, between the tarybinis and the sovietinis, that emerges as a possibility for personal selfcreation when a clearer understanding of totalitarian conditions obtains. It could only come into play, however, in coming to terms with Soviet reality in one way or another. I have in mind those people who did not experience deportations, extinction or the horror of the concentration camps and who participated in cultural, scholarly and artistic life. With respect to the interpretation of culture and texts it is important to explain the relationships between the strategies of resistance and accommodation, as well as the concept of silent resistance or its ideologeme, providing opportunities to conceal ones past or to adjust it to the needs of the present. So far the ways of Soviet governance have not been delved into, especially those in the spheres of culture and scholarship, which were not based purely on force (although its true that the horror of the possible use of force was an effective governing device), but on temptation as well as manipulation, with everyone having a good feel for the advantages and consequences of ones personal choices and decisions (e.g. joining the Party or refusing to join it). Neither the temptors nor the temptees are anxious to discuss this, because this type of discussion would attest to the participation of both groups in the events of Soviet life, their agreement to the execution of tasks assigned by the Party, and the compensation they received. III In discussing the problematic nature of comprehending traumatic postcolonial experience, Linda Hutcheon raises an aspect important to the writing of literary history, namely, the present and its relationship to the past: [...] for literary history the post-colonial is always the propter-colonial: it is after (post)colonial but also because of (propter)colonial [].9 This idea is also relevant to the analysis of postsoviet (or post-communist) postcolonial reality. The essentially contradictory connection between the experience of the past and the present needs to be clarified. All types of distancing, circumlocution, omission, and conscious and unconscious amnesia are particularly contemporary forms of the bond to the past, whose effectiveness grows the more they are rejected or evaded. An experience which is repeatedly not comprehended (with all the consequencesgrief, repentance and the likeemerging from them) operates in the present as habits which havent been discarded and cannot be discarded. They are characteristic of intellectual activity as well. Like Hutcheon I do not claim that all of literary history has to nurture this post-communist featureit does not deny but rather supplements other means of literary analysis, which are

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based on an understanding of the spontaneous development of literature. However, the experience of those times can only be begun to be defined by the kind of literary history that analyzes the development of a literature in the process of liberating itself from totalitarian discourse and its related practices of forming an identity. In this respect it is necessary to take into account not only an understanding of the postcolonial discourse of captivity, liberation and the power of domination, but it is also essential to explain concrete features of the local totalitarian discourse. Why do literature and history achieve importance in this case? Primarily because the discourses of literature and its history most clearly consolidate the dominant linguistic practice and also create particular ways to refer to the evaded reality. This discourse is the only way to give a meaningful definition not just to history but also to ones life; that is, a definition that can be comprehended, debated and passed on. Language is an occupying powers first objective for reordering: The control over language by the imperial centre whether achieved by displacing native languages, by installing itself as a standard against other variants which are constituted as impurities, or by planting the language of empire in a new placeremains the most potent instrument of cultural control.10 An active program of Russification was in operation in Lithuania; bilingualism was established. Although culture was propagated on the basis of the national language (this should be considered an important feature of Soviet colonialism), regardless, the ideology of the colonizer and a vocabulary based on it were quickly inculcated into the Lithuanian language. They constructed their own frameworks for comprehending the world and dislodged the religious dimension from public language. On the other hand, literature and its history encompass the largest variety of narratives about the world that humans live in, as well as the way they feel about themselves, while its entire complex structures cultural memory as well. In this respect, literary history is not just closely related to history proper, but in its own way provides a basis for it, since it is precisely literary history that is capable of and indeed must embrace that area of everyday history that exists as recorded or unrecorded speech. From a historians viewpoint, Dominick La Capra emphasizes the importance of literary history and at the same time describes its goal as the discussion of the operation of texts in a diverse sociocultural environment. He explains that the studies of contemporary historians raise the question of how to read texts and documents and connect them to the processes of understanding the context, and how to recreate the differing sociocultural activity and behavior that arise from them.11 This again points to the field of postcolonial studies, in which the relationships

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of subjugation and liberation are analyzed with the aid of various devices provided by contemporary social theory, which in turn has internalized the practice of deconstruction. IV In extending Karlis Raevskis reference to an essential feature of Soviet postcolonialism so valuable to post-soviet postcolonial studies, namely, its totalitarian nature,12 Id like to focus on a part of the past archive that up till now has been evaded (true, a good deal of it has already been destroyed or rewritten). These documents concretely demonstrate how soviet totalitarianism functioned and are directly related to the production as well as control of various types of discoursethe documents of the Party organizations activity in all cultural and academic institutions, including the minutes of closed meetings of various offices. These records are traces of the discourse of power, which, in order to be understood, must fit the interpretative techniques of literary history to the conceptualizations of social matter. It was the Party organizations that established the process of culture; they also set up the landmarks of public self-awareness, evaluated scholarly, pedagogical and artistic successes, and doled out portions of prosperity to all those who toiled in these areas. The speech transcribed in these records raises its own problems of interpretation, if only for the fact that the writing of records is a genre based on certain conventions, but I will not go into that question here. An important feature of this Party discourse (the minutes and recording of resolutions as well as of conclusions determining certain actions) is that it was invisible, and yet it ordered the visible space of cultural expression and in turn was acted upon by it. The Partys surveillance takes up the entire sphere of discourse production; it is much broader and more effective than the perfectly obvious operation of official censorship (the Bureau of CensorshipGlavlit) because censorship received only works which had already been checked and restricted in multiple ways. It was precisely Party supervision that was the essential factor in the formation of self-censorship. The extent of the Partys discourse of power was enormous. At Party meetings of the creative unions (e.g. the Writers Union, the Artists Union, etc.) all significant works were weighed, the limits of ideological effects were set, people were assigned to write important official accounts, the artistic direction of the younger generation and the methods necessary for their education process were discussed, and so on. In institutes of the humanities and universities the ideological characteristics of the historical and soviet outlook, and the methods of more effectively inculcating them were discussed, research directions were certified, programs and plans for teaching were laid out; how to react to new Party initiatives was considered, how to criticize bourgeois ideology more convincingly, etc. In the publishing houses the suitability of works was supervised;

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understandably, their conception changed over time. It is hardly necessary to mention the necessity of placing so-called ideological accents in scholarly works about the humanities. In this diverse activity one essential thing can be singled outundivided concern for the attitude toward recent history. Therefore, firstly, educational institutions directed their research plans toward a final all-encompassing writing of the history of their discipline, as if crowning their various investigations; secondly, the stages of this work were constantly under discussion both from the point of view of their methodology as well as of their ideology. Literary historians also wrote surveys of the history of Lithuanian literature. When these were published after numerous rounds of approval, it meant that this history became the standard foundation for all literary interpretation, an essential component of the cultural landscape. The evaluations of writers works formulated therein would adhere to them for a long time and would be understood to be actual features of their artistic personality. As an example I will use the second volume of the History of Lithuanian Literature, covering the years 1956 to 1980. This publication came to my attention in 1989 when I read Antanas Mikinis Psalms (The psalms) in the first issue of the literary monthly, Pergal (Victory). The shock I experienced forced me to think about the not so rarely tragic ambiguity of resistance and conformity, the subjectivity of later interpretations as well as, I must say, their self-interest. Mikinis wrote these particular poems while condemned to death in a concentration camp. The poems claim that man has fallen and has ended up in a demonic soviet world; he has lost his soul and has been turned into a beast that now starts to worship the demonic powers activity in the guise assumed by the Soviet government. On the other hand, however, the cycle of poems in The Psalms demonstrates the speech of a soul who sees reality and understands the truth and still holds out hope for resistance and resurrection. The Psalms is a counterbalance to the communist poetrys tarybinis man, who had come to dominate Lithuanian poetry during the years of colonization and achieved its final shape in Eduardas Mieelaitis poem Man. Its publication, first in Russian translation in 1961 and then later in the original Lithuanian in 1962, shows that the poet was orienting himself to the so-called all [Soviet] Union reader and to the highest reaches of government, whose power it was to dispense awards, which were not long in coming. The work was acknowledged to have reached a new level of Soviet poetry, attesting to this poetrys renewal and relevance. In a short time, it was translated into probably every language in the Soviet bloc. The work claims that Soviet Man is Humanitys Man, who is already on his way to becoming the ruler of the Universe, because the history of the Soviet Union is opening the cosmic historical dimension wherein the Kremlins stars shine the brightest.13 The question which I will now raise, without discussing it in more depth,

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would be: how did the reading of The Psalms change Lithuanian literary scholars attitude to the literature of the time, and if their attitude did not change, why didnt it? After all, there were literary scholars who knew of the existence of a work of such explosive Christian, anti-Soviet and antitotalitarian power in the archives. How did this knowledge function and why did it not function? I took it upon myself to investigate how Mikinis post-war work was officially described and that is how I came to read the History of Lithuanian Literature mentioned above. In the chapter devoted to Poetry the literary critic Vytautas Kubilius writes: Antanas Mikinis [...] did not avoid a certain tone of proclamation and description; like other poets of his generation, he was late in experiencing the ideological turning point. In his best poems, however, he spoke out about present-day Soviet life with a feeling of joy and blessing.14 This is scarcely a great compliment for the author of The Psalms; more likely, it is a devaluation of his whole life. The experiences of deportation and persecution are converted to a late ideological turning point. Understandably, all of Lithuanian official history was given the task of concealing and erasing the horrors of postwar occupation, the experience of deportation and exile. At the same time this practice of erasure is a characteristic of ones own Soviet experience. Therefore, scholarly works were dominated by clichd descriptions and rhetorical stock phrases. Nevertheless, a feeling of joy and blessing can be attributed to the critics personal opinion, which is attached to an author who has no way of justifying himself, particularly since the feeling is connected to his best poems. However, the poet had already justified himself by his Psalms. Interestingly, the ideological rhetoric disappears when speaking of poets of a younger generation. The change in rhetoric marks a certain difference in ideological requirements when interpreting the work of these generations. This could perhaps be most clearly traced in the Party discourse that went with the preparation and approval of manuscripts. Ideological rhetoric becomes firmer as we approach writers who experienced the postwar years and exile as well as re-education. In this period, some authors of this older generation, after a rather long absence, rejoined literary life. They attempted to express socialist ideals, basing themselves on the folkloric images that they were accustomed to, an intimate narrative tone, and a ringing melodiousness.15 With the expression after a rather long absence, the postwar tragedy is contained and erased, while a voluntary re-education is ascribed to the

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authorswe are to understand that they wished to express socialist ideals. A complex of contradictory rhetorical strategies can be detected in this quotation. By describing the work of former anti-Soviet writers this way, their work is ideologically legitimated and drawn into the whole of Soviet literature. It seems that the critic thus confirms its appropriateness. Therefore, it can be maintained that this kind of rhetoric helped the writers under discussion return to public literary life. This ideological function of criticism, which should be referred to as its screening function, is characteristic of many critical texts of that period. This kind of ideological rhetoric also protected the critics texts. On the other hand, the writers themselves paid inevitable tribute (in images, clichs or public statements) to the ideological requirements. They themselves were responsible for making the appropriateness of their work convincing. At present, when someone wishes to justify his own accommodation strategies or to give exceeding importance to his opposition of the time, they find it very easy to exploit some writers statements that episodically praised Soviet Reality or the Party. In analyzing the artistic features of these writers works, we are supposed to ignore their testimonies of loyalty to the regime as well as the part of their work marked by Soviet ideology. It is precisely this part, however, that should interest representatives of postcolonial studies examining the particulars of how totalitarian discourse functioned. We could say that the writers deserve having their conformity ignored because of the tragic fate they suffered; however, they do deserve to be discussed. When the critics certify their works as appropriate and impute goals to them, they make ignoring the writers statements impossible. The act of necessary conformity is held up as an act of ideological maturity and selfrealization. In its turn, the conformity of the writers justifies the critics strategies for accommodating the occupational regime and their participation in the production of ideological discourse. On the other hand, when this kind of criticism pays obvious tribute to sovietization, it appears to mock the writers efforts to fight against becoming sovietized. This volume of History of Lithuanian Literature makes more precise a generalization posed in Elena Baliutyts book Laiko kait ir partner: lietuvi literatros kritika 19452000 (Hostage and partner of time: Lithuanian literary criticism 19452000). It also forces one to question interpretations of texts from those times and compare what was written then with what is written about them now. This helps to shed some light on how images of the recent past, dominating the current scholarly environment, are understood. When Baliutyt describes the quality of normal literature in the 1960s1970s brought by a new generation of writers, she claims that: analogically, without fanfare, a new direction of criticism, an alternative to Socialist Realism, was

A Soviet Experience of Our Own crystallizing in literary criticism. This was the hermeneutic tradition represented by Kubilius, as well as the stance of Zalatorius and Daujotyt emphasizing the meaning for the reader; and the criticism of Nastopka analytically reading the texts self-contained meaning.16

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The very concept of alternative criticism is problematic. All criticism, in one way or another, was forced into a certain necessary ideological form or was camouflaged by other critical texts; it was, however, allowed to flourishall critical texts went through screening processes in which their appropriateness was certified. By the way, the experts evaluating this suitability were also responsible for their judgments. This is not what is most important, however. What happens is that in her own way Baliutyt makes the criticism (which essentially concerns the layer of literary scholars) heroic and transfers to the past the convictions of antisovietism whose signs in public literary life, if they existed at all, were very few. However great the feelings of opposition being praised and the understanding of Soviet Reality that stimulated them, they did not affect the strategies of getting along with the regime, nor the writing of scholarly texts which were discussed and sanctioned. Traces of this kind of oppositionary writing are much more evident in the works of those writers to whom Violeta Kelertas words apply: [...] writers had internalized the rules of the allowable while constantly trying to extend its limits.17 To move the oppositionary feelings of the academic community to the past demonstrates that history is evolutionary and, in its turn, raises a rather painful questionfor if alternative criticism began to function so early, then the ideologically correct texts of those critics demonstrate that they had consciously engaged in a double life and had taken advantage of the opportunities provided by this kind of duplicity. This would point to the trauma that is only now starting to become clearer and for which we have neither the energy nor the conceptual tools to adequately describe. What does energy mean in this sense? The clear decision to try to understand ones experience, determined by the production of ideologized discourses that guaranteed the conditions for scholarly work and financial survival, and the repetition of this experience, no matter how painful or unpleasant it would now appear. In this respect, the thoughts of Stephen Greenblatt, directed against the widespread straightening out of history, understanding it as evolutionary, neglecting (or putting off) the realization of essential national as well as personal gaps in identity, gaps and tragic doublings, conformity as well as its consequences, are in their own way instructive. He says,

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Vytautas Rubaviius To write literary history, we need more a sharp awareness of accidental judgments than a theory of the organic: more an account of purposes mistook than a narrative of gradual emergence; more a chronicle of carnal, bloody, and unnatural acts than a story of inevitable progress from traceable origins. We need to understand colonization, exile, emigration, wandering, contamination, and unexpected consequences, along with the fierce compulsions of greed, longing and restlessness, for it is these disruptive forces, not a rooted sense of cultural legitimacy, that principally shape the history and diffusion of languages.18

V A particular manifestation of obscuring the past by claiming to demythologize it is the repeated, recent vigorous attempt to degrade the work of the poet Justinas Marcinkeviius. The first attempt arose right after the return of independence and was connected to the efforts of the new political leaders to weaken the widely recognized moral authority of the poet and to force him out of active politics, as a large part of the society considered Marcinkeviius to be the most suitable candidate for the future presidency. The current attempt can be connected to the construction of a new academic and cultural identity that is Western and emphatically non-Soviet, as well as with the desire to self-create a particular understanding of literature and history together with the bureaucratic apparatus to control this understanding, one empowered with setting the boundaries for writing the new history and reevaluating cultural figures. In other words, now we should consider the controlled discourse of recent history and the Soviet experience. As an example, I would like to take Paulius Subaius text Mito pradia (The beginning of myth), paying attention to the rhetoric of his interpretation and the blindness characteristic of this interpretation, showing how the critic evades the ambiguity of quotations from the criticism of the time. He rejects not only the poetic texts excesses of meaning but also the functional features of the critical texts, the reading strategies dominant at the time and especially the developed ability to discern hidden meanings having to do with Lithuanian ethnicity, the history of the Lithuanian state and the significance of its statehood. To confirm the interpretations of Marcinkeviiuss poems, the critic co-opts the generalizations of Rytis Trimonis, one of the most ideological critics of the time, thus making the assumption that Trimonis was already telling the truth about this poem.19 The question arises, however, as to how the truth can be told and how it is told in the jargon of official language; how is a contemporary interpreter of the text to discover the truth breaking through in this kind of discourse? We could understand

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ideological statements as a statement of truth only in the broader context of theorizing about the operation of the discourse of power. In this case, the ideological statements are simply allocated to the field of truthvalue, intended to strengthen the interpreters original insight and in its own fashion to diminish the work being analyzed. Here I will not delve deeply into the obvious ideological features of the poets work, which regardless did not drown out the images and ideas that encouraged national consolidation. As one manifestation of truth-saying Paulius Subaius co-opts an idea of Vytautas Kubilius (who at the time was still quite young), which is meant to authoritatively support his discussion: The talented onesVincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, Albinas ukauskasin the Soviet poems that they were forced to write tried to avoid calling the Leader father and the Party mother. Therefore, as Kubilius in one of his first articles, with quite good reason, stated, quite often [...] in the poems [of the time] we find [...] a cold paper pathos.20 Subaius with quite good reason presupposes that the critic Kubilius correctly described the poetry of that time, that he told the truth and said what he thought. If Subaius, writing now, had gone into the purpose of the article from the 1950s, the conditions of its operation, and had not abbreviated the quote, this presupposition would painfully hurt the critic. So let us read the entire quote attentively, keeping in mind its implied context and especially its purpose: However, these searchings, this poetic disclosure of the Soviet everyday and its pathos, we could say, occurs only at the beginning. Only the poets Tilvytis, Mozrinas, and Grybas are still firmly on this path. True, one can sometimes find concrete pictures of Soviet reality, breathing with direct freshness and power, in the work of other poets. However, this path of careful and direct analysis of Soviet realitythe creation of portraits of Soviet people in the forefrontis not being tread with the required consciousness and determination. Therefore, quite often in a poem, instead of a concrete picture of Soviet tarybinis reality, we find bare literary constructions and cold paper pathos. The latter as a rule is thrust into the poem when the poet fails to sense the power of the phenomena he is portraying, the power of the soviet man being represented, when he touches on reality only with a

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The essential requirement formulated regarding consciousness is applied in particular to poets who are in need of reeducation: the critic finds superficial rhetoric, as well as ideological buzz words that are not overflowing with inner feelings, suspicious. It is necessary, however, to take into account the fact that this text is to be considered the critics first (he was then 22 years old) and only in this way could Kubilius prove his political and ideologicaland this also meant his professional trustworthiness. Literary criticism had been given the role of turning the writers works in the required direction, defining the requirements that they had to act on. On the other hand, initiation also works by denouncement. In this case, because certain official Soviet poets are selected, the articulated requirements become much more weighty for the unmentioned others. The requirements are made stronger by accusing Vladas Grybas of a certain lack of soviet poetic qualities: Here one can clearly see that the poet was more concerned with his themes and rhymes, that he is more passionate about the matters of his lyre than watching the great Soviet Reality with an open heart.22 The Soviet poet has no right to relax, or to devote himself to his lyres matters. He is under the constant observation of the vigilant critic who knows what Soviet Reality is and how it should be represented. If we acknowledge this kind of reasoning by the critic as justifiable and well founded, then inevitably we have to consider it as evidence of the initiatory denouncement characteristic of the Soviet years. Critical denouncement was a widely spread phenomenon because the ideological powers that were in control looked on all critical and scholarly texts as messages about the Soviet quality of the literary texts being discussed. Manipulation by means of ideological and literary clichs, and at the same time of ones own statements, contexts and allusions, having a good sense of the reaction it would bring from the powers that be (true, sometimes it could be quite unexpected) was more or less understood; i.e., the rules of writing texts were internalized and their sum total was formed by self-censorship. migr authors writing about the work of literary critics inside the country sensed the consequences of ideological denouncement quite well. They knew that if they emphasized certain allusions to nationalist aspects or to particular historical circumstances in the works they were analyzing, or if they pointed out aspirations toward the spread of national consciousness or referred to connections with Western theories of literary analysis, the authors of

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those works would be put in real jeopardy. The authors would be forced to account for those elements in their work, they would have to give a rebuff to the slanderers of Soviet Reality, they would have to testify clearly to their Soviet aspirations in future texts. Therefore, even the evaluations of Soviet Lithuanian works written in the emigration have to be read keeping in mind the unique form of inner self-censorship which had developed there and which was dominated by the fear of denouncing someone. Some of the migr authors texts were written trying to erase the possibilities of denunciation and this, in its own fashion, deformed the authors textual voice. The Vytautas Kubilius text mentioned is characterized by a certain ambiguity, perhaps even irony. After all, in it the most Soviet of poets are criticized; however, in this instance, when Kubilius raises the ideological requirements for poetry, this means that the apparatus of control can now use this fact to chastize writers who are not showing the necessary consciousness. The apparatus of power makes use of all types of texts written by those critics who have survived the initiation trial. Thirty years later, Kubilius used the same wording to describe Antanas Mikinis works, hence the earlier text can be regarded as a warning to those writers who co-opt important Soviet themes to demonstrate [their own] reeducation. Kubilius declares this action a paper one; i.e., insincere. We might ironically say that something similar happens with Paulius Subaius recent emphasis on the clever Soviet quality of Justinas Marcinkeviiuss work: He was able to humanize the party without deviating from ideological requirements, which echoes the requirement raised in earlier times by Kubilius. A certain interpretative blindness hampers Subaius from seeing that the strategy eschewing the invisible discourse of totalitarian power he chooses in essence equalizes the positions of the young Kubilius and the official party critic Rytis Trimonis. Both of them validly bring out some features of Soviet poetry, and their statements help Subaius to demythologize the essential Soviet nature lurking in Marcinkeviiuss work. This comparison can hardly have been pleasing to Kubilius, who had become an important element in the Western identity that is being created by the current collective voice of literary scholars and critics. Subaius interpretative strategy has a clear political and moral aspect to it that emphasizes the political significance of textual analysis in post-Soviet countries. It turns out that Marcinkeviius work is like a litmus test establishing the Soviet quality of societythose who respect and adore it remain in the sovietized grip, while those who show contempt for it are completely liberated Westerners. The society which has experienced Soviet times (the nation in the poetic mythological metaphor: manvillage manthe peoples manSoviet man) is divided into two parts: onethe current demythologizers, whose position allows them to erase their past, and those who caught on early or claimed with substantiation certain things

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about that period (paradoxically including some of those who spread ideological clichs), and the otherthose without land, without citizenship, with no clue as to what or why they believe, yet Soviet Lithuanians, adoring village life and the forest, feeling the need to arouse their patriotic feelings.23 By upholding Marcinkeviius poetry the government was satisfying this need. The classification of society is an important element in creating and establishing ones own bureaucratic apparatus. VI It is characteristic of the writing and publication of texts under conditions of totalitarian power that various bureaucratic apparatuses control both the writing (e.g., the generalized histories of one or another field, as mentioned above) and the publication (publishers editors, Party committees, censorship) as well as the critical evaluation (Party editorial boards of publications, Party organizations, monthly editorial meetings at the Party Central Committee). For this reason, at this time it is problematic to understand texts written back then and to gain insight into the authors statements, the so-called authors voice. In reading and interpreting a text we usually put generic conventions, the conditions of writing, and the values as well as the influences dominant in academic circles into parentheses and consider the text to be an expression of the authors ideas. In other words, we assume that in the text we are hearing the authors voice saying what he believes without reflection on the complicated structure of that voice. Therefore, in our interpretations we use expressions like X states, Y thinks that and the like. This kind of naturalization of the authors voice, however, is impossible when this voice is endlessly being checked and approved by the invisible discourse of power. Apparatuses of power insert themselves into the text, correcting the authors plan for his ideas (e.g., sometimes without the authors knowledge placing the required ideological emphases or strengthening them, adding certain conclusions, etc.), check the final version, and foresee the frameworks of future interpretations. Thus, when we say that a critic in former times had grounds to claim, we have to be especially attentive to the invisible discourse of power, its interaction with the implied authors voice. Sometimes we have to speak of the institutions voice shielding itself with the authors voice, or even a hybrid of author and institution: in this case the authors signature does not certify the truth of his voice but rather testifies to his agreement to take responsibility for wording coordinated with the apparatuses of censorship or surveillance. In this way the latters actions are concealed. In analyzing the work of writers from the occupied Baltic countries, representatives of postcolonial studies from outside take note of the significance of censorship and self-censorship, stressing that everything that was officially published was heavily coded and self-

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censored24; nevertheless, it was difficult for them to see the features of the functioning of the local totalitarian discourse of power for the reason that this discourse, as we said, has not yet become an archive in which the accumulated footprints could correct the memoirs being written, as well as the dominating tendency toward silent resistance. Therefore, Westerners interpretations are based on a naturalist conviction: the author is considered to be his texts producer, responsible for the statements made, which have to be corrected taking into account the influence of censorship. The authors voice itself can be problematized only by the coordination of the analysis with theoretizing from outside and from inside. Equally necessary is the postcolonial perspective from inside, analyzing the Soviet experience of ones own and dialogically supplementing the insights of foreign researchers. Translated by Violeta Kelertas

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Notes
1. Moore, 2001, 115; also reprinted in this book. 2. Raevskis, 2002, 43; also reprinted in this book. 3. See Kelertas, 1992; 1998; also reprinted in this book. 4. Derrida, 1996, 36. 5. Ibid. 6. See Oliver, 2001, about witnessing and the problematics of its recognition. 7. See more on this: Veisbergs in this collection. 8. drew attention to this problem and discussed some features of Soviet totalitarianism, 2002. 9. Hutcheon, 2003, 18. 10. Ashcroft, Griffiths, Tiffin, 1995, 283. 11. La Capra, 1989, 4. 12. Raevskis, 2002, 45. 13. For an attempt to describe the exceptional layers of public consciousness and the unconscious in Lithuanian literature with regard to Mieelaitis mogus (Man) and Mikinis Psalms (The psalms) see Rubaviius, 1997 (1989). 14. Antanas Mikinis [...] neiveng tam tikro deklaratyvumo ir aprainjimo, kaip ir kiti jo kartos poetai, pavluotai patyr idjin l. Bet geriausiuose savo eilraiuose jis prabilo apie iuolaikin tarybin gyvenim su diaugsmo ir palaimos jausmu (Kubilius, 1982, 437). 15. Kai kurie vyresniosios kartos poetai iuo laikotarpiu po ilgesns pertraukos sijung literatrin gyvenim. Jie siek ireikti socialistinius idealus, remdamiesi jiems prastu folkloriniu vaizdu, intymaus pasakojimo tonu ir skambiu dainingumu (Ibid). 16. [...] analogikai literatros kritikoje nesigarsindama jau kristalizavosi sovietiniam realizmui alternatyvios kritikos kryptis: tai ir Kubiliaus atstovaujama hermeneutin tradicija ...; ir skaitytojo prasm pabrusi Zalatoriaus, Daujotyts pozicija; ir teksto savaimin prasm analitikai skaiiusi Nastopkos kritika (Baliutyt, 2002, 279). 17. Kelertas, 1992, 3. 18. Greenblatt, 2001, 62. 19. Subaius, 2003, 178179. 20. TalentingiejiVincas Mykolaitis-Putinas, Albinas ukauskasi reikalo paraytuose sovietiniuose posmuose veng Vad pavadinti tvu, o PartijMotina. Todl, kaip Vytautas Kubilius visikai pagrstai teig viename pirmj savo straipsni, to meto danam eilraty [...] randame [...] alt popierin patos (Ibid, 173). 21. Taiau ie iekojimai, is poetikas tarybins kasdienybs ir patoso atskleidimas, galima sakyti, tik uuomazgoje. iuo keliu plaiai teengia dar tik Tilvytis, Mozrinas, Grybas. Tiesa, ir kit poet kryboje

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pasitaiko konkrei tarybins tikrovs paveiksl, alsuojani betarpiku vieumu ir jga. Taiau iuo keliuatidaus ir betarpiko tarybins tikrovs tyrinjimo, prieakini tarybini moni portret krimo keliu dar nra engiama su reikiamu smoningumu ir rytingumu. Todl daname eilratyje vietoj konkretaus tarybins tikrovs paveikslo randame plikas literatrines konstrukcijas, alt popierin patos. Pastarasis, kaip taisykl, brukamas eilrat tada, kai poetas nejauia savo vaizduojam reikini jgos, pieiamo tarybinio mogaus jgos, kai jis tikrov palieia vienu kitu brkteljimu, jos kaip reikiant nepaindamas (Kubilius 2000 (1950), 10). 22. ia aikiai matyti, kad poetui daugiau rpi jo temos, rimai, kad jis labiau serga savo lyros reikalais, negu kad atvira irdimi stebi didij tarybin tikrov (Ibid, 13). 23. Subaius, 2003, 178. 24. Kelertas, 1992, 3.

Bibliography
Ashcroft, B., G. Griffiths, H. Tifflin (1995), The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge. Baliutyt, E. (2002), Laiko kait ir partner: lietuvi literatros kritika 19452000. Vilnius: Lietuvi literatros ir tautosakos institutas. Derrida, J. (1996), Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press. Greenblatt, S. (2001), Racial Memory and Literary History, PMLA, 116 (1): 4863. Hutcheon, L. (2003), Postcolonial Witnessingand Beyond: Rethinking Literary History Today, Neohelicon, 30 (1): 1341. Kelertas, V. (1992), Introduction, in: V. Kelertas (ed.), Come into My Time. Lithuania in Prose Fiction, 19701990. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 142. _______. (1998), Perception of the Self and the Other in Lithuanian Postcolonial Fiction, World Literature Today, 72 (2): 253261. Kubilius, V. (1982), Poezija, in: Lietuvi literatros istorija, t. II. Vilnius: Vaga, 385446.

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_______. (2000 (1950)), Poetinis patosas, in: V. Paulauskas (ed.), Grto parko lyrika. Vilnius: Gairs, 713. LaCapra, D. (1989), Soundings in Critical Theory. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Moore, D. C. (2001), Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique, PMLA, 116 (1): 111128. Oliver, K. (2001), Witnessing: Beyond Recognition. Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press. , . (2002), : . : . Raevskis, K. (2002), Toward a Postcolonial Perspective on the Baltic States, Journal of Baltic Studies, XXXIII (1): 3756. Rubaviius, V. (1997 (1989)), Paauktojo psalms, in: Nevardijamos laisvs enklas. Vilnius: Raytoj sjungos leidykla, 203209. Subaius, P. (2003), Mito pradia, Naujasis idinysAidai, 4: 173179.

Postcolonial Change. Power, Peru and Estonian Literature Piret Peiker


This paper discusses postcolonial change in 19th century Estonian culture through a comparative reading of W. O. Horns Huaskar and its free translation from German into Estonian by Lydia Koidula. The texts deal with the struggle of native Peruvians against Spanish colonizers and Horns text is itself a translation, in that it combines various strands of Western anti-colonial thought through the centuries. Koidulas re-writing constitutes a new interpretation and re-negotiation of the principal questions, problems and arguments in this tradition. Proceeding from the theories of Homi Bhabha, Koidulas text is typologized as postcolonial. It is hybrid in that its signification processes are discontinuous, identities are fragmented, and all authority is open to questioning. This hybridity is development-optimistic and emancipatory, but also carries perceptions of insecurity, unease and loss. The final part of the paper briefly considers the different patterns of change at the time of decolonization from Soviet power in relation to Koidulas text. Introduction The problem of change, central to the human and social sciences, constitutes the underlying focus of this paper, which relies on textual analysis for much of its inquiry. Even when one mistrusts universalist and teleological interpretations of patterns of change, one is not compelled to abandon attempts to describe and theorize the workings of change entirely. For the purposes of this paper, investigating change involves investigating matrices of collective motivations, individual functions, notions of the normal and natural, as well as the impact that individuals can have on collective assumptions and motivations.1 It is assumed that individuals who seek change must have some sense of what it is they seek to transform in their own underlying thoughtworlds. They must have perceptions of the conditions in which they live as morally or culturally unacceptable while, at the same time, their world must not appear to them so utterly monological as to be impervious to all questioning. Such a situation is possible, as collective thought-worlds are

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always heterogeneous and contain gaps through which alternatives can be grasped.2 An individual may have the capacity to capture and articulate alternatives in a way that is consonant enough with the collective thoughtworld to be thinkable, yet simultaneously seek to change it. It should be stressed that any initiation of change also brings about unintended consequences and may sometimes lead individuals or collectivities to processes and situations they did not at all foresee or wish for. Issues and concerns relating to change are at the heart of agendas informing postcolonial investigations, which frequently address possibilities of changing relationships between dominator and dominated. Such agendas are often implicit because case studies frequently focus on localized, particular patterns and contexts rather than on general theories. Yet, descriptions and analyses of diverse patterns of change derived from case studies of different colonial experiences can provide valuable insights into the more general mechanisms and regularities of change and what, for a particular culture, remains unchanged. Such studies can clarify the boundary mechanisms of changing collectivities, as well as the filters that control the boundary traffic.3 They can reveal passages into liminality or suggest that the outcome of change is a new hybrid state of being and identity, incorporating elements of the old while interjecting aspects of the new. Case-study approaches can also give insight into larger cultural typologies; for example, it is freely acknowledged that postcolonialism is itself a cultural typology, although its qualities, characteristics, and boundaries are fiercely debated. This article offers a particular type of case study, dedicated to sketching the patterns of change in Estonian culture during the second half of the 19th century, as the Estonian cultural community emerged from the domination of the Baltic Germans. By way of comparison, the final part of this paper examines patterns of change at the time of decolonization from Soviet power. Late 19th century Estonia featured rapid and extensive change, and so presents a near-perfect, concentrated example of a cultural turn-around. In roughly fifty years, a semi-literate peasant underclass, lacking a high culture and a social network, without any historical memory of access to power (and thus without a significant symbolic and mythic underpinning to its actions), transformed itself into a complex, modern society with an ethnic consciousness, able to claim nation-state status when the opportunity presented itself. How, then, could this dramatic change occur? Estonian culture constructed its preliminary modern form in response to the German model. It defined itself by imitating the German precedent, while challenging and changing the model where necessary. In analyzing this process of identity construction, I use the concept of translation, with all its postcolonial baggage,4 as a key ordering principle.

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In examining the problem of how change happens, I shall concentrate on two textsthe German Volkschriftsteller W.O. von Horns (17981867) Huaskar, and its translation, Perama wiimne Inka (The last Inka of Peru), by Lydia Koidula (18431886). Koidula was an influential author of the Estonian National Awakening period. The story itself deals with the struggle by native Peruvians for freedom from the Spanish colonizers. Choosing one text to stand for Estonian postcolonial literature may seem like poetic licence, but there are cogent sociological reasons for doing so. Koidula is one of the emblematic figures of the Estonian decolonizing movement, and her text is one of its earliest. It is among the first Estonian historical fictions, and had several imitators. From 1860 to the 1880s, numerous slavery stories set in the Americas were written, and the Koidula text was repeatedly reprinted at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century. The texts popularity, its appearance at the advent of historical fiction in Estonia, its close links to the 19th century, the Estonian tradition of journalism (which played a central role in the national awakening), and the fact that Koidulas is one of very few works for which the German original has been identified, all suggest that The Last Inka of Peru offers valuable insights towards a postcolonial analysis. Furthermore, Huaskar, Inkas exemplar, can itself be seen as a type of translation, or actually a translation of translations. This unpretentious work by a little-known Volkschriftsteller reflects and combines various strands of Western (anti-)colonial thought through the centuries, displaying ideas and motifs debated by Las Casas, Voltaire, Rousseau, Herder, de Saint-Pierre, Cooper and Alencar. For all of them, America was the topos where one could dramatize history and discuss origins, identity, the lost Golden Age and ways to rediscover it. America was the place where the relations between self and Other could be negotiated. America provided a topos where one could translate ones longing for a New World and a new Self. When a re-figuration of this topos entered Estonian writing, it also served as a code for a range of new messages. 1. Translation, Hybridity and Savagery 1.1 From medieval times until the last decades of the 20th century, European aesthetics and literary history have perceived translation as being inferior to the originala copy secondary in terms of both chronology and authenticity. Proceeding from a similar primary/secondary thought-scheme, (former) colonies have often been described as alienated copies of their motherland (e.g. Naipaul). More recently, with reference to translation and colonial contexts, Susan Bassnett notes that in the English tradition the translator is posited as a servant/slave duty-bound to the Original (and its owner, the Author). The English view gained ground during the 16th17th centuriesthe period of grand colonial conquests.5

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However, by the late 20th century radical scepticism re-assessed originality. In postmodernist parlance translation moves beyond interpretation from one language to another. The etymology of translation, traduction or bersetzung refers to dynamics, movement, or rearrangement.6 Clearly, some recent concerns of postmodernism have long been ineluctable aspects of postcolonialism. For example, the Estonian word for translate, tlkima, is at first glance at odds with postmodernist etymology-games, as it does not mean rearrangement like the equivalents straight from the Latin stem, but is a loan of the Russian tolkovat (>loquor, locor). It is likely that the meaning of the word shifted from speaking to translating because of its use for political and trade negotiations.7 Thus, translation transcends monologism and provides insights into texts linked by tensions of interpretative dialogue and negotiation for change. Translation offers insights into stories featuring characters repeatedly crossing the stormy ocean to negotiate between Europe and South America. The figure of negotiations is wellestablished in postcolonial thought and writing and reverberates with Mikhail Bakhtins theories of dialogism and polyphony. 1.2 According to Bakhtin, any utterance is necessarily dialogical, as it is always in some sense aimed at an addressee and always connected to other discourses simultaneously existing in society; all utterances contain alien speech. For Bakhtin self and Other never form a synthesis: I cannot become homogenized; identity and existence involve dialogue and negotiations between different discourses. The theory of dialogism in language has been transferred to the dialogical situation of colonialism by one of the most influential and provocative of postcolonialist thinkers, Homi Bhabha. While much of earlier postcolonial studies claim that the language of the colonizing power system establishes itself as totalizing and monolithic in order to maximize its strength and self-legitimation, Bhabha argues that while the dominating discourse aims at monology, its seamless unity will always be an illusion. The end result of colonization will not be the noisy command of colonialist authority8 but the emergence of a hybrid. In contradiction to Naipauls vision of mimic men, Bhabha believes that the very same colonial structures that posit the colonized as translator, servant, or parrot, inevitably also imply his/her emancipation. When the allegedly solid and transparent messages and truths of the colonizing power are read, interpreted, translated and repeated in the colony, they are inevitably caught up in the general rules of text dynamics. When the universal truths of European Christianity, the Enlightenment and humanism are proclaimed in the colonial situation, their internal contradictions, doubts and fragmentariness, or their applicability and rightness in a particular context become perceptible.9 As the colonizers texts thus become alienated from their originators, the cracks that appear

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create spaces for hybridity. The repetitions of power-texts fluctuate between imitation and parody. 10 According to Bhabha, the narcissistic need of the colonizing power to be copied is itself enough to cause the heretical hybridity describedeven when the colonized do not rebel consciously. Postcolonial fragmentation opens up cracks and gaps, interstices, in-between spaces, where constantly changing and transforming new cultural identitiesnot determined by the fixity of the pastare being translated and negotiated, where future becomes (once again) an open question.11 Yet it is clear that Bhabhas description of postcolonial hybridity as a kind of permanent liminality, a crisis of authority characterized by general discontinuity and the alienation of signifying processes, does not easily lend itself to developing strategies of engineering cultural synthesis or relaxed multiculturalism. For one thing, an important dimension of living in-between is living in the midst of incomprehensibility,12 in a world threatened by chaos and characterized by cultural-psychological insecurity and untrustworthiness. Interestingly, Bhabha first formulated the concept of hybridity when discussing the typological thought-style and poetics of postcolonial literature. Analyzing Naipauls A House for Mr. Biswas, Bhabha shows that on the one hand the novel is connected to the Great Tradition of British realism, in which framework it had traditionally been read.13 On the other hand, the comparison with Western liberal humanist, individualist, universalist, or progressivist values remains problematic. The authors lack of authority does not fit; the narrator repeatedly loses control, the narratives negotiations with Indian and European traditions frequently slip into empty spaces. Bhabha sees this world-picture as symptomatic of postcolonial writing and more characteristic than local color. Bhabhas work is abstract, and though he does discuss particular postcolonial situations, his ideas are of wide applicability because of the structural universals that he develops. It is at this general level of tracing and theorizing characteristics of postcolonial poetics that his insights illuminate Koidulas writing about change. The dominant motif clusters of Koidulas and Horns texts include the New World, replete with its slavery, savagery and history. Horns text echoes European (anti-)colonial thought, synthesized into a seemingly seamless conservative Christian humanism. But old and new cracks are revealed in this multi-layered heap of ideas and motifs when Koidula re-arranges the text. In her version, continuities become discontinuous, implicit gaps and shifts present themselves as possibilities for new negotiations and change, permitting the future, to become again, an open question. Weird contradictions and illogicalities abound as Koidulas Inka forwards liberalist emancipatory negotiations implicit in Horns text, while simultaneously plunging into change as the in-between

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space, the place of incomprehensibility. Its vision of the history of the colonized holds both the claim for a long, noble and heroic past, and a wish to be fully freed of history, to start again. The figure of the colonized subject oscillates between the Rousseauist noble savage and its counterpart, the natural slave. Before turning to the texts, a short discussion of the cultural baggage of the above-mentioned motifs and figures seems appropriate. 1.3 A notable critic of the concept of natural slave was the Dominican missionary in America Bartolome de Las Casas, who appears as a protagonist in Horns and Koidulas stories. He contested Aristotles doctrine of natural slavery, which claimed that one part of humankind lives a virtuous life as lords and masters without doing any physical work, while another part was meant to serve them as slaves.14 He maintained that all peoples were able to understand Christianity and for that reason there was no justification for forcing it on them through violence or by enslavement. For good measure he added that the intelligent minds and relatively weak physiques of Indians of the Americas made them unlike Aristotles natural slaves anyway. Las Casas achieved little in practice, but native Americans became idealized by their defenders in Spain and Europe as virtuous and harmonious human beings akin to people of the classical age. These idealized images became the foundation for the later noble savage figure, customarily associated with Rousseau.15 Historically, the ideas of the noble savage and the natural slave became intertwined, often in irrational or uncanny ways. For example, Las Casas defended Indians, but was also believed to have been the progenitor of the importation of African slaves to America in order to free American natives from hard physical labor. By the end of the 18th century the Third Estate used the noble savage concept in an ideological battle to discredit European nobility,16 but it also described lower social classes very much in terms of their being natural slaves.17 1.4 Like its native inhabitants, America itself was idealized as a wild, pure and empty tabula rasa that invited documentation through writing. Despite socio-political changes in North America around 1800, the mainstream European literary view maintained the romantic view of America as an unpolluted site for a better New World. This view informs the writing of Horn and is later re-interpreted in the work of Koidula and her followers. Rousseaus views spread during the 18th19th centuries, forwarding criticisms of power structures in Europe while referring to New World concepts. Specifically, Rousseau argued that the alienated and alienating modern European society required reform. His references in Emile or in Discours sur lorigine de lingalit to the original inhabitants of the New World offered readers views of lives not yet

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alienated.18 Rousseaus romantic savage became an emblem of the repositories of moral and physical virtues that European civilization had lost,19 while his ideas of social reform offered up the Americas as laboratories for conceptualizing particular new political arrangements. Thus there are two aspects to Rousseaus doctrinethe exotic noble savage figure and the issue of social-political reformand these have generated two different traditions for conceptualizing non-Europe in general and the Americas in particular. The impact of these two aspects varied considerably in different European countries.20 In Germany, nostalgic discourses about America inspired by the nature/civilization opposition prevailed.21 1.5 Rousseauist discourses resonate in the Baltics. During Koidulas time (the second half of the 19th century), Baltic German aristocrats legitimized their position of power in Estonia and Latvia by drawing on German Conservative historicism (e.g. the work of Adam Mller) and the Hegelian view that the peak of social development was found in the German model of feudalism.22 Up until World War I, the German landowning nobility, descendants of Teutonic crusaders of the 13th century, saw themselves as a unified ancient historical organism made sacred by history and so justified their administrative and judicial systems, their political privileges and their lordship over Latvian and Estonian peasants. If not Nature, then God and history had proven this state of affairs to be normal and natural, sacred and unchangeable.23 The German nobles portrayed Estonians and Latvians as fragments of peoples incapable of independent existence, but with a role in Gods world that harmonized with the greater German mission: The task of Estonians and Latvians is certainly not the pursuit of intellectual knowledge or skills. Their cultural mission is not there, it is in the field of practical activity. Long centuries have ripened them into a honorable peasant people whose hard work, serious mind and frugality can serve as an example for all other agricultural workers of the Russian state.24 This predominant Baltic German view had a weaker anti-historicist counter-current, most importantly represented by the bourgeois thinker Garlieb Helwig Merkel, whom Koidula read ardently.25 To undermine the Baltic-German nobility, Merkel interpreted the ancestors of the Baltic peasant as noble savages and, conversely, portrayed the crusaderancestors of the German overlords as savage plunderers, thus removing the halo of inevitability from the contemporary situation. Merkels portrayal of Estonians and Latvians drew connections between the noble savage ancestors and the numbed slaves of the present. He claimed that

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slavery caused the once kind-hearted and merciful Latvians to become weak and spineless, and the once brave and firm-spirited Estonians to become malicious and obstinate.26 Both people, thus, still had the noble savage in them, but in a perverse disfigured form. Merkels descriptions of these sad disfigurations were clearly meant as an accusation against the Baltic-German nobility and as food for thought for the wider German audience, Merkels intended reading public. Yet, as a part of Merkelian legacy, the rather ghostly muddled mirror-set where the same features appear once in the face of the noble savage, and once in that of a numbed slave, time and again worried Merkels unforeseen later readers, the new Estonian literati who created their peoples Golden Age drawing on Merkels ideas and motifs. 1.6 Although the tradition of German Volksliteratur that the conservative German pastor and Volksbuch-author W.O. Horn represents clearly dovetails with the social values of the Baltic German landowners, this tradition provided the most accessible and most important models for Estonian literature in its early phase. Up to a point, Estonian and German Volksliteratur overlapped in intent (to entertain and instruct) and in target readership.27 Furthermore, although the Estonian writers of the time, as children of serfs, shared the culture of their Estonian readers, through their education they also shared the culture of the Germans. However, similarities between Estonian and German Volksliteratur are superficial. Unlike the Estonian literati, the German Volkschriftstellers were less concerned with transmitting information and provoking thought (as many of their earlier compatriots had done). Rather, they defended the status quo, including traditional values and the social order (Church, feudal system, patriarchal family), to fight what is new, alien and disturbing.28 Conversely, the Estonian texts, drawing upon German-provided sujets and literary topoi, strategically re-worked their German exemplars and were purposefully selective in their choice of German Volksgeschichte. Generally, among German authors, exotic stories had been displaced by rather narrow-minded and xenophobic Volksbuchen. According to Mller-Salget, Horn was exceptional as the only popular German writer at this time writing on America. It is thus significant that Koidula chose to translate specifically Horn; to turn his exoticism into a productive tradition in Estonian literature. In Horns America the natives are stylized into noble savages who, in their melancholy, individualism, and love of peaceful home-life, seem to represent the values of the German middle class, offering a subdued criticism against aristocratic excesses. Of course, Horns South America is by no means an ideological battleground; rather, it is a soothing space of delightful exotica that permits conflicting ideas to coexist. Not politics, but personal intrigues take center stage. Koidulas Inka,

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on the other hand, started a strong line of popular stories about slavery and America in Estonia in the 1860s through 1880s. Authors like Koidula, Kirsel and Martson appropriate what seem to have been exotic love-stories in their German models (many originals remain unknown), and historicize these by integrating them into accounts of political events, like serf uprisings. The Estonian authors are of peasant background, and peasant serfhood, abolished in Estonia in 18161819, is still a fresh historical memory at the time of their writing. Thus, their texts identify with and ideologize their native/slave characters very differently from the preceding Rosseauist literature. On the one hand, the Estonian stories turn the timeless noble savage figures into historicized political actors. On the other, the natural slave as a shameful, yet inescapable, shadow-side of a native character, however worthy, haunts the Estonian texts persistently. 2. Story and Narration in Huaskar and The Last Inka of Peru 2.1 Summary of main events. The Spanish missionary Las Casas sailed to Peru as he felt the calling to introduce Christianity to the natives. Upon witnessing violence, bloody power struggles and low morality among his compatriots, he soon fled Lima in order to find shelter in the more secluded native villages. On his way, Las Casas was joined and his life saved by Halipa, a native and former slave of Pizarro, who Las Casas then adopted. On one of their mission trips they met young Huaskar, the last descendant of the Peruvian Incas. He had been adopted by Halipas father, who had gone missing and was believed to be dead. At Halipas fathers actual death immediately after, Las Casas adopted Huaskar as well. Following a Spanish attack on their village, Halipa disappeared and was thought killed. Desperate, Las Casas went back to Spain with Huaskar, told the Spanish Emperor, Charles V, about the Peruvian situation and received his promise to put a stop to it. In Spain, Huaskar attended the University of Salamanca and fell in love with a Spanish noblewoman, Elvira, whose father later became the next, more law-abiding governor, sent to Peru by the Spanish Emperor. Back in Peru, Huaskar found Halipa and saved Elviras and her fathers life on several occasions. Finally, with much difficulty, Huaskar also gained Elviras hand in marriage, and was named His Majestys governor in Peru, thereby enabling him to help his people. In Koidulas text this ending is followed by a second, rather contradictory one, describing how the native Americans died out, launching the importation of black slaves from Africa. 2.2 In the final analysis, the Huaskar and Inka texts emerge as very different, so much so that by strict criteria, Inka would probably not be called a translation at all, but an adaptation. Yet it should be noted that Koidula has stuck to Horns actual plot faithfully, allowing practically no deviation from it. Huaskar and Inka tell the same story. Both signal that they are narratives that draw from history, i.e. real stories backed up by

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historical documents. In spite of a congruence of plot and fact, the two texts are narrated differently and invite different readings. 2.3 Traditions and paratexts. As far as the 19th century reader was concerned, it is not Koidula but Koidulas father, the Volkschriftsteller and first Estonian professional journalist, who was the author of Inka. The author on the title page is Johann Jannsen and, added in brackets, are the words Eesti Postimeesthe name of the popular Estonian-language newspaper, an early and influential promoter of Estonian activism, which Johann Jannsen published with Koidulas help. In Koidulas time it was considered improper for a woman to publish under her own name and her authorship was only acknowledged later.29 The reference to the institution of Eesti Postimees also occurs in the advertisements preceding the publication30 and in the books foreword. At least one reason for stressing the relationship between the book and the popular newspaper was to launch an effective sales strategy. But an additional outcome is certainly to encourage the reader to approach the story as one written by a journalist and, if not as a journalistic text, then certainly in the journalistic context. The connections with Eesti Postimees are not limited to the paratext, but are continued in the beginning of the main body of the text: This town [Lima] is even now the capital of the Peruland, the very same one where so many womenfolk were killed in a fire in a Catholic church at Martinmass in 1863, as Eesti Postimees told us in 1864.31 W.O. Horns Huaskar was published in one of his annual almanacs, Spinnstube, thus, strictly speaking, also in a periodical. Yet actually the almanac is far closer to a work in the general Volksbuch tradition. This is indicated both by the subtitles of the parts (Die Spinnstube. Ein Volksbuch fr das Jahr [...] (The Spinning Room: An Almanac for the Year [...]) and by the non-topical discourse of the prefaces. The overwhelming majority of the Spinnstubes prefaces deal with timeless problems (Christian forgiveness, respect for ones parents, etc.), the strongest genre influence on them being the sermon. When current concerns do occur they are not very timely because of the long publishing-cycle. Horns condemnations of the revolution of 1848, for instance, were only published in the Spinnstubes of 1850 and 1851. 2.4 Reportage of history. It is not only the paratexts of the book that evoke connections with the journalism of the same period. The journalistic style Koidulas narrator uses recalls the voice of a well-informed villager discussing local events. Estonian media analyst Juhan Peegel notes that early Jannsenian journalism tries to diminish the distance between the reader-journalist-object-of-writing to the minimum both in time and

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space.32 Inka can be characterized in much the same way. The text abounds in the narrators rhetorical questions, asides and reminders to the reader, as well as in interventions into the story-space. For instance: Reader, what would you have said if it had been you [...] on that ship to hear the foul talk of these people [the Spanish colonists].33 Or: Looking at that womans face, in our minds eye we get the feeling that we have seen her somewhere already. But of course, she is the same as the one whom the Inca Huaskar addressed at the arena in the town of Madrid!34 This rhetorical strategy differs from Horns Huaskar, where the dear reader is mentioned only a couple of times in the foreword, and both the narrator and the narratee are strictly distant from the story-world. The two narrators temporal positions also differ. Horns Huaskar specifies the date of the events (16th century), but it does not give any references to its own time: the narrating could be happening at any time following the events recounted. Koidulas Inka foregrounds the time of narration, offering explicit dates and regular topical references to issues of slavery, colonialism, and social class. It also provides indications of overlaps and continuities between story-time and the time of narrating: the Southern slaveholders started a rebellion which went on for four years [...] before it was suffocated this spring (1865).35 The links so created are not only chronological but also causal. African slaves were brought to America in the 16th century and four years before this spring the war erupted (as extensively reported by Eesti Postimees). The temporal frame also includes the narrators future: Lets hope the Lord may give the poor blacks better days from now on.36 The narratological links of issues enable the text to generalize and to hint at ironic parallels between the savage Spaniards and the Kulturtrger German overlords: Already 400 years ago this missionary was sensible enough to perceive, even in our time, what many a pious wise man doesnt want to know: that no one with a clear mind should be refused worldly education only because we may think they are of lower birth.37 The historicized journalistic style permits inclusion of recent world history along with the writers and readers experiences and concerns. Also, the opening of Inka fortifies the effect of temporal isotopy. The first chapter starts with the words: I believe it can only bring pleasure if I tell you a story out of an old chronicle-book or annals that I myself have been reading with appreciation since my childhood.38 On the one hand, this stresses that the story is not from the narrators own experience but rather

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from another text and furthermore, that the text is an older one. On the other, the narrator claims personal knowledge and interest: it is her contemporary reading/translation of the story that provides the basis of retelling. Thus, while Horns Huaskar simply recounts a story from the 16th century, Koidulas Inka offers a story that begins in the 16th century but is directly related to the present. 2.5 We can gain a deeper insight into the effect and implications of the narrative techniques and thought worlds of Huaskar and Inka in the light of the linguistic categories of Emile Benveniste, notably, histoire (i.e., the preterite or the so-called literary past), and discours i.e., the spokenlanguage perfect tense). Benveniste explains that with the preterite or histoire there is no I-you (narrator-reader) relationship; it is the third person who is at the center of attention. In preterite-texts, events tell themselves; the speaker recedes while universal truths emerge. In discours the narrator-reader relationship is flaunted, the narrator wants to influence someone in some way.39 Roland Barthes identifies preterite/histoire as an abstract time that refers less to the past and more to causality through the interconnectedness of the events, or teleology.40 That makes it the ideal instrument for every construction of a world; it is the unreal time of cosmogonies, myths, History and Novels.41 Discours, through its attention to the narration, ruptures the self-evidence and closure of the created world because events do not just happen but are presented in a subjective interpretative form. Discours appears in speech, diaries, autobiographies, journalistic genres, and other first person narratives where the narrator offers ideological evaluations, comments on events, and movements back and forth in time, etc. In spite of their subjectivity, discours-texts do make truth-claims, albeit personalized and particular. Even if the reader detects obvious mistakes, gaps, or distorted interpretations in the narrations, these are accepted as certain additional aspects of the particular authentic speech act.42 The rhetorics of discours narration is frequent in writing categorized as postcolonial.43 Discoursrhetorics are well-suited for challenging dominant axiomatics from a disadvantaged non-dominant position. Sometimes the best or the only way to re-open a discussion on timeless or universal truths seems to be to drag them to the margins by subjective discourse, make them particular and present, and thus persuade the audience that there are alternative authentic perspectives. Although German and Estonian lack the grammatical categories with the same functions as the French perfect and preterite, one can still discuss two separate text-types of an equivalent nature: (1) the narrating instance aims at transparency and creating the idea that the story-world has a life totally its own and (2) the narrator makes references to his/her speech act and readership; discussing the circumstances of narrating is part of the story. Estonian historical fiction has used discours-writing to a great

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extent, particularly during the second half of the 19th century and the latter 1980s, as well as in general history writing. It has not always been a conscious rhetorical strategy, but frequently informal texts like oral accounts, letters or memoirs have been the only extant sources for some historical events. There emerges a tradition of historical conceptualizationreading old chronicle-books or annals from a new subject-position. Koidulas Inka can be seen as a trail-blazer for this tradition. 2.6 The thought-worlds of Inka and Huaskar. The topos of America was loaded with contradictory meanings long before either Huaskar or Inka were written. It is impossible to speak of America without implying Europe and the ensuing centuries of identity crises, dreams and political programs. From a Eurocentric perspective America is never just the New World. America is the Other of the Old World, a device for introspection for its noble-savage critic. Huaskar, the main character of the texts, is the last descendant of Peruvian pagan royalty, whom Las Casas christens as a youngster. Both he and Las Casas himself are commuters between their two worlds, who ponder and discuss in the spirit of Las-Casian Christian humanism. The narrators of both Huaskar and Inka generally share this Zeitgeistig worldview, yet, their value structures and ideological messages have intriguing differences, as do their ways of presenting and negotiating them. 2.6.1 Noble savages and savage Christians: Horns Huaskar. Huaskar establishes two main ideological camps early in the story: on the one hand the innocent and naturally noble Peruvians plus the true Christian Las Casas, on the other, Pizarros bunch of blood-thirsty, gold-obsessed Spanish fortune-hunters.44 The narrator speaks of the Spanish colonizers as barbarians: wilder and harsher [...] than the people they called wild, whom they sought with all coercive means to bend to the worship of the Cross, but who as heathens and wild men, by their beliefs, could make no claim on the true rights of men.45 At the same time the narrator himself also occasionally calls the natives savages.46 They are savages because they are still in the state of nature and immature. The Spanish colonizers, on the other hand, have grown savage, because they have lapsed from the Christian civilization. Yet, Huaskars world cannot be described as anti-European, anti-Spanish, or antiCatholic. On the contrary, the young convert prince Huaskar, who used to denounce the whole Spanish nation, changes his mind in Spain. Many

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Spaniards are good and friendly, 47 they have impressive religious ceremonies, wonderful churches and hymns.48 And, of course, Las Casas himself is a persuasive counter-example of a true Catholic Christian. Further, the noble savages are receptive to Christianity and grateful to its promoters. Las Casas first native ally Halipa even feels thankful to the generally hated, tyrannical, Pizarro: I owe him much, very much, above all knowledge of the true God; now since my lord [Pizarro] is dead, I cannot be anothers slave, for with him I was as free and cared for as a child.49 Las Casass own relations to all the natives other than Huaskar take the form of a friendly informal master-servant relationship. Huaskar is different as a border-lander figure, a child of nature with a European education, a native crown prince, who at the end of the story is also granted a European title. As a border-liner he is also the one to enter into a symbolic marriage with a Spanish noblewoman. His marriage to Elvira overrides her parents wishes that she marry her very close relative. Apparently, Gods will determines that she should form an exogamous alliance with Huaskar, and thus reconcile America and Europe, nature and civilization. 2.6.2 Space and time in America: Huaskar and Inka. Huaskars Las Casas is relieved when his ship is about to land in America: Soon he rejoiced to see the snow-covered and likewise leaf-green peaks of the Andes, as he travelled through the beautiful country.50 Huaskar does display a sense of injustice, but in his axiology the suffering in violent history is always juxtaposed to idylls in the almost timeless, closed spaces it creates. Las Casas Huaskar aims at quietness, peace, tranquillity. His greatest regret in travelling to Peru is giving up his peace and quiet.51 He finds these again by fleeing warring Lima for the countryside, and there, in enclosed isolation, a simultaneously Christian and nobly savage space is created, harmony with both God and Nature. Time stands still, days flow in uniform peace and quiet.52 The characteristic activities of this space are prayer and walks in the bountiful nature. Yet, the idyllic exotic space is never presented as independent. Fear of the cruel historical space is an integral part of its conceptualization, its descriptions always feed upon the juxtaposition with the space there, in history.53

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Inkas portrayal of time and space is quintessentially different. Upon reaching the New World, Las Casas is already carrying the pain of its history with him: Tears rose to Las Casas eyes when he saw the high peaks of Peru, some covered with eternal snow, some decorated with green forests. What an amount of injustice had already been committed and suffered there!54 The axiology of The Last Inka of Peru lacks the Huaskarian paradise motif. Further, its account of Perus history extends to the times before Pizarro, the conquest, and the wars between the Europeans. It describes prior Peruvian laws, customs, culture, power struggles and conflicts.55 Thus Inka creates a vision of a particular people, sketching its history in a way that is rather stylized but nevertheless complex. Inkas Peru never was a tabula rasa, or a paradise. Las Casas of Inka seeks no paradise, nor does he long for peace and quiet. Instead, he sees Peru as a landscape for actionmissionary trips, gathering herbs and knowledge of geography and society: he got to know the land and the people and saw how the injustice and greed for gold exhausted and pressured them too.56 In Inka there is no existential juxtaposition of history and idyll, although contrasts are expressed through temporal axes: One heard about those terrible things [that were happening in Lima] in the quiet valley of Las Casas as well but [...] one didnt see any of it yet.57 2.6.3 The Spaniards and their serfs: Koidulas Inka. Both Huaskar and Inka offer judgments of the Spanish colonizers Christian morality. In Inka from the introductory chapter onward this judgment appears through the narrators sarcastic commentary and in the text, ideological judgment is often presented through Huaskar and Las Casas. In both Horns Huaskar and Koidulas Inka, it is Las Casass job to describe the shocking world of colonized Peru while bearing witness to Charles V and to the reader. Yet, in Inka the judgments of Las Casas are accompanied by a shadow that is lacking in Huaskar. It is as if part of the characters ideological message is his frequent inability to ideologize, or even to comment on, or to interpret the situation he finds himself in. He is unable to answer Huaskars seemingly naive questions about colonial policies and often is reduced to contemplation without spoken reply. 58 The main story-lines in Inka and Huaskar end similarly (thanks to Las Casas, the lovers are united and political justice established), but Inka includes a controversial epilogue,59 where it is reported that it was Las Casas himself who recommended that black African slaves be imported to America. He did not mean it badly,

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the text claims, he just wanted to ease the lot of the native Americans: Las Casas could not understand what a horrible thing was being started.60 Another change in the relations between Spaniards and natives in Inka is that the savage/having become savage line is played down. The Peruvians are never called savages in the Estonian version; from the outset they are the enserfed. Further, Spaniard in many contexts becomes the signifier of a privileged social class. The notion of serfdom offers a direct allusion to the near-contemporary situation in Estonia. Furthermore, unlike the term noble savage, which concentrates timeless features, the term serf has a historical meaning that argues that the downtrodden situation of the natives is not eternal and God-given, but temporary. It is not in the nature of the Peruvians to be serfs. This line of ideology, developed by the narrator and passionately debated by the characters, is lacking in Horns Huaskar. The point is made in a variety of ways. For example, Las Casass relationship to the natives is not that of master-servant but of a foreign visitor meeting local hosts and guides.61 The declaration of Halipa quoted earliernow since my lord Adelantado [Pizarro] is dead, I cannot be anothers slave, for with him I was as free and cared for as a child62as it is translated and spoken by the Estonian Halipa presents no shadow of child-like gratitude: Nobody will set a yoke of slavery on Halipas head again or make me a slave! [...] in the midst of high mountains there will be enough of deep and secret valleys where none of your cruel people have stepped yet.63 Nevertheless, the most cutting and complex discussions of the Peruvians as a slave people take place in the context of Huaskars relations with the governor Nunez. In both Huaskar and Inka, Nunez is different from other Spaniards. He is not brutal, greedy or sadistic; he respects law and order and is polite to his inferiors. Yet, he perceives social standings as natural and eternal, thus he considers the romance between his daughter Elvira and Huaskar an inconceivable anomaly. His attitudes are described both in Inka and Huaskar, yet the emphases are different. In Huaskar, Nunez main fault is his excessive orientation to the world outside. In his social pride and ambition he destroys the natural patriarchal human relations of the little group of noble savages and true Christians in their idyllic paradise. Inka, on the other hand, is not interested in protecting closed topoi; instead the conflict between Nunez and Huaskar is dramatized seemingly in both a global and Estonian context. In Inka, class and class pride are portrayed as uncivilized and

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savage-like in a negative sense; class is dangerous but it is also ridiculous, old-fashioned: [In Spain] class divisions and pride separate one human being from another so frantically [...], that it couldnt be crazier even with pagan Hindu castes. [...] Fortunately this old mould is beginning to bleach off more and more in the light of newer sun.64 Koidula comments ironically on the idea that a serf is only playing the role of an emotionless and ambitionless servant in the society: As kind and grateful Nunez might otherwise have felt towards Huaskarhe never forgot his class and his name and Huaskar was nothing more in his eyes than just another Peruvianhis inferior and underling. How could he have forgiven the sin if such a Peruvian, his subordinate, or if he had wanted, his serf, had cast his eye on a noble Spanish girl [...]? Such an idea was so remote from him that he probably wouldnt have been surprised if he had seen Huaskar carrying Elvira in his arms; he would just have thought, he is doing it as a serf. Indeed, that is his duty to a high-born Spanish lady.65 A third difference becomes evident in the quarrel scene between Huaskar and Nunez over Huaskars right to have a love relationship with Elvira. Both Horns and Koidulas texts stress that Huaskar is a nobleman, albeit from Peru, and that all Christians are equal in the eyes of God. However, Inkas Huaskar perceives all social status, including his own, to be transitory. This is partly for the reason that human hierarchies are trivial for God, but mainly because he perceives history to be fluid and historical change unpredictable. He explains to Nunez: Everyone remains just that, human, and if they are in trouble like you and me, then all their glory and standing is worth less than naught. [...] Your glory and position as the governor of Peru went just the same way as my parents throne was destroyed and their scepter broken!66 2.6.4 Divine Providence and Human Fate. Opposing the next world to this one and asserting the vanity and transitoriness of worldly values is a traditional argument in Christian thought. In the post-1848 period, this perception is fundamental to German popular literature.67 Typically, such works present a character-ideologue like Horns Las Casas, a person

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spiritually withdrawn from the world who experiences tribulations but always trusts God. Such characters provide interpretational centers that can explain misfortunes or lucky coincidences as manifestations of the will of God. The two main models of interpretations are the view that Gods thoughts are not our thoughts,68 and the Finger of God.69 The first model explains unjust and inexplicable events, while the second model addresses desirable fortune within the storys axiology. 70 Thus, Gods will may be beyond understanding for the heroes in the middle of the story, but by the end everything is rationalized and the Finger of God provides both solution and meaning. Huaskar and Inka offer different ideologies of fate. In Huaskar, the principle of Divine Providence includes an established and unquestioned tradition embedded in the texts ideology. In Inka the fluctuations of the world are in constant debate. The following scene, dealing with the sudden turn of Pizarros fate, is a case in point. The German version describes Pizarros funeral as follows: The body of the murdered man was carried into the church by Las Casas and the loyal retainer of Pizarros; and only Las Casas and Halipa, the former servant, had the daring to place the body of the unfortunate man in state.71 By contrast, the same event in Inka is described as follows: This horribly grand and feared man, who had made everybody tremble when alive, was now not even considered worthy of a few spadefuls of earth. So goes many a thing in this world and some people still do not notice. [...] Las Casas and the poor Peruvian serf were the only two people who were not afraid of the wrath of the new governor Almagro and said Our Lords prayer at the grave of Francisco Pizarro, once grand and powerful, now disgraced and condemned by everybody. It is easy for God/And he often makes it so/That one who has been doing well/Will fast become a miserable beggar/The same God can help/To make a poor one rich in no time.72 This train of thought cannot be reduced to the Gods punishment motif. In Inka the same kind of ideas also relate to the far more ambivalent rich man Nunez73 and, as we saw above, also to Huaskars parents.74 The vagueness of Gods will, the ideology of change, and turns of fate color both large and small history in Inka. This coloring is distinctly antihistoricist and spells out that historical institutions and positions, the order

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of the things of the world, is not eternal but frequently in alteration and open to change. In such a thought-world, relations with the disappearing pastancestors, principles of fathers, historybecome problematic in themselves. In the context of Koidulas readership, this refers to their opportunity to question their existing regime from the Estonian perspective. Horns conservative notion of social domination as emerging from both a natural and implicit divine order finds a challenge in Koidulas postcolonial perceptions of change as both exhilarating and disturbing, but ultimately inevitable. 2.6.5 The curses and blessings of elders. Huaskar and Halipa, the two native American protagonists of Huaskar and The Last Inka of Peru, are both orphans; their parents or close relatives are killed by Spaniards. Both are symbolically adopted by the holy father.75 The ceremonial adoptions mark a cultural turning point, considering that Huaskars parents were killed by Las Casass compatriots, and Halipas aging Peruvian father and Huaskars first stepfather dies cursing all Spaniards. In Huaskar the cultural cleavage is diminished into nonexistence. Comforting Halipa after his fathers death, Las Casas states that Halipa will certainly meet his father again in Heaven because the aged Peruvian was noble and good.76 Thus Halipas father is brought into the Christian family tree; he will be a child of God in Heaven just like Las Casas himself, so it becomes natural for them to share the fatherhood of Halipa (and Huaskar) in a brotherly manner. Halipas fathers curse against the Christians is underplayed. His portrayal remains that of a noble proto-Christian, who even blesses Halipa before his death.77 The lines of the family tree in Inka are sketchier. Halipas dying father is more straightforward in his request for Halipa to support and protect Huaskar, their last Inka noble. He curses the Spaniards and wishes a blessing of ancestors to his own people.78 Las Casas words of comfort to Halipa are equally uncompromising: nothing is said about a heavenly reunion, even if Las Casas secretly recognizes that the accusations of the dying Peruvian are pure truth.79 His words to Halipa demand, in essence, the denial of his fathers world and beliefs: Look towards the Heaven, my son, there you have a better father than the one who is cold in front of us. What a mortal father can do, I have promised to do for you. 80 Following his fathers death, Halipa brings Huaskar to Las Casas and spells out several aspects of the culture-shift Inkas native characters undergo:

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Inka foregrounds the message that individual love and loyalty ought to be given precedence over duties that spring from birth or tradition. Later, when Huaskar is asked to lead his people, he chooses to do so for reasons of holy rights in Horns version, but in Koidulas translation, he bases his choice on love for ones own people.82 Unlike Horn, Koidula diminishes the traditional value of social status or inherited rights in favor of an open, new world.83 In Inka the attack against the status quo finds expression in images of suckling babes. Huaskars initial deep hatred against Europeans has been absorbed with mothers milk84but he also gains insights from this absorption. A parallel and more difficult case among the Spanish side involves Nunez. The reader is invited to learn from his tragic insight: how difficult it is for people to forsake and deny that which they have considered true and firm since they were at their mothers breast.85 In general, however, Inkas New World is a world where one puts up with the disappearance of the past to make (what is perceived as) the best of the present and the future. In principle, the same kind of difference between the forgettable past and relevant present-future is accepted by the Spanish colonists. Yet there is also a certain sense of loss built into the Brave New World. There are the glorious but deserted ancestors whom Inkas emancipatory axiology cannot honestly incorporate into the new family tree, but also cannot quite ignore. There is the edgy feeling that some things are gone so irrevocably that it is out of the question to try to get them back; the question can only be in replacing them somehow with possible compensation mechanisms. It is exactly replacing that Inkas (but not Huaskars) Charles V and Las Casas are talking of, when they decide to send Huaskar to the University of Salamanca, as a compensation for what his family had lost.86 2.6.6 The power of knowledge. Both Inka and Huaskar support the value of education, as well as the development and self-fulfillment it generates. Generally, the Estonian text is content to repeat the German discussions closely, but there are some aspects that appear only in Inka. In the Estonian story-world, education is far more emphatically presented as a source of social strength and power. Huaskar mainly agrees to go and study in Spain because education makes one tough and gives

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one power. If the Peruvians had had the same knowledge as the Spaniards, he believes, they may have retained control of their land.87 Furthermore, the Estonian text is obsessed with information and explanation, whereas Huaskar avoids these and instead emphasizes the exotic otherness of the activities, objects and scenes of action. While the narrator does offer some explanations, these are infrequent and limited in scope when compared to those in Inka.88 Clearly, knowledge and its mediation have considerable ideological significance in Inka, playing a role far greater than a simple need to provide the reader with relevant information. How else could we explain that even Huaskars extremely dramatic and ideologically central monologue is ruthlessly interrupted by an encyclopedic note by the narrator: God has created all people and when he created them, there was among them not a single Spanish grandee (count or prince)!89 With a rather similar explanatory function, Inka also uses Estonianisms and peasant comparisons to bring the unknown closer to the known: He looked at the angry chief like a hawk at a frog;90 as hot as if they had been in a baking oven.91 Such idiomatic expressions display Inkas perception of its readers and their extra-textual world-competence. Thus, parallel to the story-space the text is creating the space of the common geographical, social and emotional experience of the narrator and the reader. While Huaskars narrator enjoys describing the otherness of the exotic, Inkas narrator draws upon the domestic space, suggesting that the exotic may generate interest and excitement, but that the exotic realm can be explained and readily understood. Knowledgereceived, if possible, from the University of Salamanca but failing that, also from old chronicle books and contemporary newspapersis offered as a powerful tool to render the strange and the other accessible and controllable. Nonetheless, in Inka the power of knowledge remains ambivalent. The human ability to foresee and predict cause-effect relations is fallible and limited. As indicated by the aforementioned paratext, even the apparently enlightened Las Casas failed to recognize the tragic consequences of importing black slaves from Africa.92 Thus, the utopian outcome of the Huaskar-Elvira-Las Casas endeavor is partly overshadowed, and potentially inverted, by a fear of dystopia. One reason for Inkas incongruous ending may emerge from the incompatibility of different genre conventions: the happy ending of the sentimental folk story and the macabre indeterminacy of journalistic realism are structurally at odds. Yet, on a deeper level, there is more to it. Inkas world remains far from seamless. The concept of the noble savage, essential for Merkels third-estate revisionist view of history, fits Huaskars needs for drama and romance. However, the same notion of the noble savage cannot avoid becoming twisted in function in Inka, where serfdom prevails as a primary concern. The noble savage is ever doubled by his ignoble relatives, so

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he/she may try but must fail to solve the natural slave problem with any univocality. Thus, in Inka, the future remains an open and dialogical question implying ambiguity and unease. The anger, shame and guilt associated with the natural slave returns to haunt Estonian literature in later times, including the works of post-Soviet de-colonization. 3. The Last Inka of Peru and the Soviet Other. Precisely because of its dialogism, ambiguity, contradictions and repressions, Inka becomes an Estonian foundational fiction, elaborately working distinctly new cultural identity out ofand beyondits various preceding materials. Its emancipatory liberal journalism takes the notion of the noble savage as a popular story and translates it into an empowering marriage of politics and love, a basis for a modern New World prepared to give up the old world. Inka establishes arguments for a parity of esteem based on meritocracy. It legitimizes historical change and contests Baltic German rule as a natural phenomenon. Consequently, Inka helps to lay the foundation for modern Estonian identity. It is at Koidulas time, and through narratives like hers, that the modern Estonian self is created, elaborated and to a significant degree consolidated, paving the way for those who come after. Viewed in this context, it is obvious that although the postGerman and the post-Soviet settings in Estonia can both be called postcolonial, they operate qualitatively differently. Thus the negotiation of change and de-colonization work differently in the post-Soviet. Inka was constructing and negotiating ethnic and other anti-colonial identities relying on scarce resources. However, by the time of the Soviet occupation, these Estonian identities were already very much established and difficult to ignore, let alone eliminate. These identities, having successfully established an Estonian model of modernity that was seen as being in the European mainstream, were changing and developing all the time, but they were also sustained by a tradition of success as a culture of recognition. Estonian literature echoed and contributed to these changes and had attained a clear and irreversible sense of self. In consequence, although there undoubtedly was a massive break-down of cultural codes caused by the Soviet occupation, the new Soviet colonist as Other achieved far less authority as a cultural model. The political power that Soviet rule had did affect the Estonian sense of self, but it never enjoyed the cultural recognition and prestige the Baltic Germans had had. Hence, Soviet domination, unlike German, did not result in a relationship of translation for Estonian literary discourse, one from which positive values could be extracted from the literary works of the Other. Rather, it was a relationship where the key concept was restriction through censorship by the preeminent (perceived as illegitimate) power, paired with the colonizeds self-protection against its set of discourses. In literature, as in many other fields, innovation and change did take place

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under Soviet occupation, but in the determinant conditions of censorship, including self-censorship, of writing through repression. The same conditions, of course, shaped the modes of literary expression throughout the whole of the communist bloc, as a result of which the post-communist countries in general complain that the quality of humor, for example, has deteriorated considerably since the end of censorship. The reason is, naturally, not a lack of good targets in post-communism, but rather the disappearance of an obvious need to avoid crudeness and to polish subtle innuendo. Milder censorship in the final phase of Soviet colonial power also influenced the choice of literary topics in Estonia. Many authors rushed to write up what had until then been the blank spaces of Estonian history. These authors addressed the deportations and the life of the deportees in Siberia, the detention camps, the brutalization, the coercive collectivization, and offered new interpretations of the years of Stalinism. So, when Soviet Estonian writers could write more freely at the end of the 1980s and beginning of the 1990s, they did not want to write about a utopian New World, but about the Same World, as it really had been. Notably not much was written about the colonizing Other, but mainly about the Self, holding on to it, writing the historical truth about it. The Soviet Other was not an exemplar, not for marrying or interaction. Even stories of colonial violence tended to revert to the theme of the contamination of Self by colonial guilt and shamethe Self had undergone a fall from civilization and lapsed into (ignoble) savagery. A work clearly dramatizing postcolonial change in the Soviet context and touching on many of the features mentioned above is Viivi Luiks Seitsmes Rahukevad (The seventh spring of peace). First published in 1985, a time of growing political-economic crisis in the Baltic and in the Soviet Union as a whole, it deals with the early years in post-war Soviet Estonia. Thus, it brings together two eras of change: colonization and de-colonization. It is an I-narrative with two narrative perspectives. The first perspective features a narrator speaking from her superior knowledge from the middle of the 1980s and the second features her younger self as a pre-school girl protagonist. The contrasts in these two perspectives result in a technique that aligns itself with that of discours narrativewith all the implications discussed in 2.3. The sombre world of the 1950s represented in Luiks novel with its empty, haunted houses, frightening secrets (actual and imagined), death and doubt, aligns itself with Bhabhas account of postcolonial poetics. The space is over-determined with significations, with signs that one cannot but notice, but of which one must not speak. The child fights this frightening world by contrasting the sollen and sein, the is and the ought. The ought that she reads from Soviet booksthe happy children, the singing kolhozniks (collective farm workers), the heroic deedsis in contrast with her own reality and she blames the latter. The poverty,

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misery, constant fear of one thing or another, peoples pre-occupations with petty things like food and shelter, clash with propaganda extolling socialist utopian visions. The little girl does not see the Orwellian irony of such clashes and juxtaposition, as she reads a proclamation in the official party-line Soviet magazine. With her eyes she reads: The time for the greatest festivities has arrived, the time for songsthe tenth anniversary of Soviet Estonia. But, with her ears she hears: I can only thank my good luck! If I had come through the forest just fifteen minutes earlier, I would have been under fire in a man-hunt [of forest brothers (anti-Soviet guerillas)].93 The violence and persecution in the everyday life are worlds away from proclamations of festivities and songs. What the child misses, the adult narrator notes. From her adult perspective, the narrator expresses guilt and sadness over the situation where slogan-images are put above the pains and concerns of ones nearest and dearest. The postcolonial insecurity, misery and sense of loss of the child are turned into indifference, lack of compassion and direct cruelty. An interesting modification of Rousseau, the child of the Soviet time is someone who has no sense of the past, who is really without historyan ideal revolutionary, really. She enjoys breaking taboos and shocking peoples feelings, as it gives her a sense of power; thus she also comes to stylize herself into a stereotypical ignoble savage, shouting: Cant you still understand I am a cannibal! I only eat human flesh!94 as revenge for the dreary food, as well as for other troubles she does not know how to face. The adult narrator, on the other hand, has an awareness of history and of historical guilt as well as a moral sense which wants to differentiate between good and evil. At one point she says directly: We have to make up for the foolish and cruel cravings of our childhood.95 The simple world of childhood thus becomes the moral reductionism and hence the cruelty of the Soviet ethos, which stand in stark contrast to the complexity of an Estonian adulthood that must attempt to put away childish things. Notably, both The Seventh Spring of Peace and Luiks next novel, Ajaloo Ilu (The beauty of history), are rather indifferent to the world outside Estonia, even though this is where the latter novel is mostly set; the outside world may often be mentioned but exists only in a very abstract and sketchy mode. While the postcolonial writing of Koidulas Inka sought freedom for something, constructing that something, and being prepared to make sacrifices for it, Luiks postcolonial writing is seeking freedom from something, purification from contamination and regaining a tradition, stylized, of course, that is perceived as already there,

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waiting for re-legitimization. In this sense, the two sets of writings, Koidulas and Luiks, are quite different, and Inka has far more in common with those later Estonian novels that engage in a dialogue with the Western-European Other. The writing of the 1990s, notably Emil Todes Piiririik (Border state), re-establish the West, with all its disappointments and attractions, as the primary Other against which Estonia is to define itself. Apart from the slavery/savagery themes, Piiririik again brings up the topos of an inter-cultural love encounter and raises questions of sterility and fruitfulness in the context of Estonias relationship with the West. The Soviet Other never generated such an intense engagement.96 What emerges from this brief comparison of Luik and her successors is that the task assumed by post-Soviet Estonian literature quickly changed and returned to the prior model of what was considered appropriate and advantageous for Estonia. This model was the one that Koidula developed through her translation of Horn. The model provided a venue through which Soviet domination was perceived as a transient, polluting distraction. For the generation that followed Luik, the Soviet colonization was no longer the primary challenge. Instead, it was seeking to probe the nature and quality of Estonias reintegration into Europe, at both the symbolic and concrete levels.

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Acknowledgments
I would like to express my grateful thanks to Mikhail Lotman for his support during the preparation of the longer Estonian original of this study, as well as to George Schpflin and Jri Talvet for their help with the English version.

Notes
1. Douglas, 1975; Bourdieu, 1993. 2. Douglas, 1986. 3. Bauman, 1998. 4. Niranjana, 1992; Bassnett and Trivedi, 1999. 5. Bassnett, 1996, 16. 6. Niranjana, 1992, 8. 7. Karulis, 1992, 438. 8. Bhabha, 1997, 112. 9. Ibid, 115116. 10. Ibid, 86. 11. Ibid,, 219. 12. Ibid, 213; 1984, 114120. 13. Ibid, 1984, 114115. 14. Hanke, 1959, 13. 15. Robe, 1972; Honour, 1976. 16. White, 1985, 191. 17. Ibid, 193; Bauman, 1989, 6880. 18. Wassermann, 1994, 81. 19. Ibid, 77. 20. Scaglione, 1976. 21. Jantz, 1962; Mayer, 1980. 22. Kemilinen, 1956. 23. Garve, 1978. 24. Baltic German pastor and scholar F. Luther, quoted in Garve, 1978, 221222. 25. Undla-Pldme, 1981, 73. 26. Merkel, 1909, 48, 123, 124. 27. Peasants and minor artisanssee Mller-Salget, 1984, 27. 28. Ibid, 27; quoting the pastor and Volkschriftsteller Glaubrecht. 29. Vinkel, 1960, 1966. 30. Undla-Pldme, 1981, 70. 31. Koidula, 1866, 11. 32. Peegel, 1969.

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33. Luggeja, mis sa olleksid ttelnud, kui sa [...] hhes nendega laewa peal olleksid olnud ja kuulnud, kuida nende innimeste roppud snnad jubba tunnistasid (Koidula, 1866, 13). 34. Kui meie waimus selle naisterahwa silma watame, siis on meil, kui olleksime tedda kohhegil juba ninud. No muidugi, eks ta olle sesamma, kellega Inka Huaskar Madridi linna mnguplatsi peal knneles! (Ibid, 66). 35. [...] tstsid lunapoolsed orjapiddajad mssamist, mis 4 aastat turis [...], enne kui tnnawo kewwade (1865) lmmatud sai (Ibid, 138139). 36. Lodame nd, et Jummal waese Neegridele eddespiddi parremaid piwi annab (Ibid, 139). 37. Jubba 400 aasta eest olli sesinnane misionr ni mistlik, rratundma, mis meie aeal veel mitto wagga tarka ei tahha tunda: et kellegi terrase waimoga innimessele ilmliko tarkust ei pea keeldama ksi seprrast, et temma ehk meie arwates allamast soust innimenne on (Ibid, 40). 38. Ma mtlen, egga se kellegile wastomeelt ei peaks ollema, kui ma wannast kronika=ehk aearamatust hhe jutto knnelen, mis ma isse lapseplvest sadik hea melega ollen luggenud (Ibid, 4). 39. Benveniste, 1974, 275. 40. Barthes, 1984, 2627. 41. Ibid, 27. 42. Lejeune, 1982, 214. 43. See Peiker, 1998. 44. Horn, 1861, 293. 45. wilder und roher [...] als das Volk, das sie wild nannten, das sie mit allen Zwangsmitteln zu Verehrern des Kreuzes zu zwingen bemht waren, das aber auch als Heiden und Wilde, nach ihren berzeugung, nicht Anspruch an Menschenrechte machen durfte (Ibid, 296). 46. Ibid, 294. 47. Ibid, 319. 48. Ibid, 318. 49. ich verdanke ihm viel, sehr viel, und vor allem die Erkenntnis des wahren Gottes; nun da mein Herr [Pizarro] todt ist, mag ich keinen anderen Sklave werden, denn bei ihm war ich frei und gehalten wie ein Kind (Ibid, 305). 50. bald hatte er die Freude die schneebedeckten, mitunter auch grnebelaubten Gipfel der Cordillera de los Andes zu erblicken, wie sie sich hinziehen durch das herrliche Land (Ibid, 296). 51. Ibid, 295. 52. Ibid, 308309. 53. E.g.: 308. 54. Las Kasal tusis vesi silma, kui Peruama krged meringad, mis muist allalisse lumme, muist halja metsadega ehhitud, ta silma paistsid. Kui paljo llekohhut olli seal jubba tehtud ja kannatud! (Koidula, 1866, 14).

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55. Ibid, 78. 56. [...] ppis ta maad ja rahwast ikka ennam tundma ja nggi ka, kuidas llekohhus ja kullaahnus neid kurnas ja piggistas (Ibid, 34). 57. Neist hirmsaist asjust [mis Limas toimusid] kuuldi kll ka Las Kasa waikses orgus, agga [...] neist ei nhtud seal weel midagi (Ibid, 33; my italics). 58. Ibid, 28, 46; Horn, 1861, 306, 317, 319. 59. Koidula, 1866, 138. 60. Ibid. E.g. [the land where] every Spaniard can live following only his might and mind, gathering riches and governing serfs (Ibid, 14). 61. E.g.: Ibid, 28. 62. Horn, 1861, 305. 63. Keegi ei pea Halipa phhe enam orjaikket pannema egga mind prrisorjaks teggema! [...] krge mggede wahhel on meil ommeti weel sggawaid ja sallajaid orgusi, kus kegi teie kurja rahwa jalg ep ole kinud (Ibid, 27). 64. [Hispaanias] lahutavad seisuste vaheseinad ja uhkus ni meletumal wisil innimest innimesest [...], et assi Hindu pagganate kasti seltsides mitte hullem ei wiks olla. [...] nneks hakkab se wanna hallitus uema pwa paiste all ikka ennam ja ennam rraplekima (Koidula, 96). 65. ni hea ja tnnolik kui Nunez ka muido Huaskari wasto olliomma seisust ja nimmi ei unnustanud temma ial rra ja Huaskar ei olnud jo temma silmis muud middagi kui iggaks mu Peruameestemma allam ja kssoalune. Kuda wis temma sedda pattu andeks anda, et niisuggune Peruamees ja temma allam, ehk, kui ta tahtis, ka temma prrisorri, oma silma hhe suurtsugu Spania tttarlapse [...] peale julgeks tsta? Se mtte seisis temmalt ni kaugel, et wist immeks ep olleks pannud, kui ta Huaskarit olleks ninud Elwirat slles kandwad; waid olleks mttelnud: Sedda teeb ta kui prrisorri. Se on jo temma kohhus Spania suurtsugu naesterahwa wasto (Ibid, 1866, 87; see also 103, 108). 66. Iggaks jeb seks, mis ta on. innimesseks, ja kui ta, nago teie ja minna, hdda sees on, iis ei maksa au ja seisus mitte musta kne all. [...] Teie, Perua mawallitseja, kest on au ja ammet kaddunud, nago minno wannemate troon lhhutud ja nende wallitsuse kep katki murtud! (Ibid, 102). 67. Mller-Salget, 1984, 210. 68. Isaiah, 55: 8. 69. Exodus, 8: 19. 70. However, the interpretations are not always provided by a character. For instance, Horn also has a collection of stories where the title already gives the message: Der Finger Gottes. 71. Von Las Casas und den treuen Bedienten Pizarros wurde der Leichnam des Ermordeten in die Kirche getragen, und Las Casas und Halipa, ein gewesener Diener Pizarros wagten es allein, den Leichnam des Unglcklichen zu bestatten (Horn, 1861, 304).

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72. Sedda hirmus suurt ja kardetawat meest, kelle eest elloaeal iggaks wrrises, ei arwatud nd prrast surma mitte pari labida tie mulla wrt ollewad! Nenda on ni mitmed asjad mailmas ja mitmed innimessed ei panne sedda ommeti thele. [...] Las Kasas ja se waene Perua prrisorri ollid need kaks ainust innimest, kes ue mawallitseja Almagro wihha ei kartnud, ja endise wgewa ja sure, nd agga teutud ja keigest rahwast rranetud Prants Pitsarro haua res issa meie palwet tegid. Kl Jummalal on kerge assi,/ja temma teeb ka saggedast,/Et se, kel hsti kinud kssi,/saab waeseks sandiks ussinasst./Sesamma Jummal awwitab,/Et waene pea rikkaks saab (Koidula, 1866, 2425). 73. Ibid, 99, 113. 74. Ibid, 102. 75. Horn, 1861, 306, 312; Koidula, 1866, 29, 38. 76. Horn, 1861, 311. 77. Ibid. 78. Koidula, 1866, 37. 79. Ibid. 80. Wata taewa pole, mo poeg, seal elab sul parrem issa, kui se, kes klmaks jnud meie ees seisab. Mis surrelik issa wib tehha, sedda ollen ma sulle ka lubbanud (Ibid, 38). 81. Mo issa, siin on se wiimne wsso sest puust, kelle warjo al Peruama ja rahwas kaua on ellanud ja rahho piwi ninud. Wtta ka teda omma lapseks wasto ja ppeta tedda Issandat Jesust tundma! sureks ja rikkaks ei wi ta sind selle eest [...] teha, sest Perua Inkade aujrg on mberlkkatud, agga ta saab sind armastama nago minna ja mo wennad (Ibid). 82. Ibid, 117; Horn, 1861, 379. 83. See Lotman 1992, 403. 84. Koidula, 1866, 40. 85. kui raske se innimestel on, sedda mahhajtta ja walleks piddada, mis nad jubba emma rinnust sadik teks ja kindlaks piddawad (Ibid, 105). 86. Ibid, 52. 87. Ibid, 5, 8, 48. 88. Horn, 1861, 311, 320, 326, 352; Koidula, 1866, 4, 7, 11, 12, 15, 18, 20, 31, 47, 4849, 54, 56, 70, 86, 93, 96, 98, 99, 101102. 89. Jummal on keik innimessed lonud, ja kui ta neid li, ep olnud weel mitte ht ainust Spania grandi (grahwi ehk wrsti) nende seas! (Koidula, 1866, 101102). 90. Ibid, 76. 91. Nago kul konna peale, wahtis ta wihhase pealiko otsa; ni pallaw [...], kui olleks nemmad leiwa ahjus olnud (Ibid, 122). 92. Ibid, 138, see 2.4.3. 93. Luik, 2000, 207. 94. Ibid, 107. 95. Ibid, 209.

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96. For a perceptive and thorough interpretation of Border State see Jaanus, 1997 and in this collection; see also Peiker, 1999, forthcoming, for a briefer reading relevant in this context.

Bibliography
Van Baak, J. J. (1983), The Place of Space in Narration. A Semiotic Approach to the Problem of Literary Space. With an Analysis of the Role of Space, in: I.E. Babels Konarmija. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Bahtin, M. (1987), Valitud tid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. Barthes, R. (1984), Writing Degree Zero and Elements of Semiology. London: Jonathan Cape. Bassnett, S. (1996), The Meek or the Mighty: Reappraising the Role of the Translator, in: R. Alvarez, C. Vidal (eds.), Translation, Power, Subversion. Clevedon, Philadelphia, Adelaide: Multilingual Matters LTD. Bassnett, S. and H. Trivedi (eds.) (1999), Post-colonial Translation: Theory and Practice. London and New York: Routledge. Bauman, Z. (1989), Legislators and Interpreters. On Modernity, PostModernity and Intellectuals. Cambridge: Polity. ________. (1998), Globalisation. The Human Consequences. Cambridge: Polity. Benveniste, E. (1974), Obshchaya lingvistika. Moskva: Progress. Bhabha, H. K. (1984), Representation and the Colonial Text: A Critical Exploration of Some Forms of Mimeticism, in: F. Gloversmith (ed.), The Theory of Reading. Brighton: Harvester. ________. (1997), The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge. Bourdieu, P. (1993), The Field of Cultural Production. Cambridge: Polity. Douglas, M. (1975), Implicit Meanings. London: Routledge. ________. (1986), How Institutions Think. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press.

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Garve, H. (1978), Konfession und Nationalitt. Ein Beitrag zum Verhltnis von Kirche und Gesellschaft in Livland im 19. Jahrhundert. Marburg/Lahn: J.G. Herder-Institut. Genette, G. (1997), Narrative Discourse. An Essay in Method. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. _______. (1997), Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Hamilton, P. (1996), Historicism. London and New York: Routledge. Hanke, L. (1959), Aristotle and the American Indians: A Study in Race Prejudice in the Modern World. London: Hollis & Carter. Honour, H. (1976), The New Golden Land: European Images of America from the Discoveries to the Present Time. London: Allen Lane. Horn, W. O. (1861), Huaskar. Eine Erzhlung aus der ersten Hlfte des sechszehnten Jahrhundert, Gesammelte Erzhlungen, Neue VolksAusgabe. VII. Band. Frankfurt a. M. _______. (184667), Die Spinnstube, ein Volksbuch fr das Jahr [...]. Frankfurt a. M. Jaanus, M. (1997), Eesti aeg ja monumentaalaeg, Akadeemia, 8. English version in this collection as Estonias Time and Monumental Time. Jantz, H. (1962), Amerika im Deutschen Dichten und Denken, Deutsche Philologie im Aufriss, 7 (3). Karulis, K. (1992), Latvieu etmologijas vardnica. Riga: Avots. Kemilinen, A. (1956), Auffassungen ber die Sendung des deutschen Volkes um die Wende des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts, Annales Academiae Scientarum Fennicae, Bd. 101. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia. Kirsel, M. (1872), Orjaelu. Tartu: Laakmann. Koidula, L. (1866), Perama wiimne Inka. Tartu: Laakmann. _______. (1870), Juudit ehk Jamaika saare wiimsed Maroonlased. Tartu: Laakmann.

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Lejeune, P. (1982), The Autobiographical Contract, in: T. Todorov (ed.), French Literary Theory Today. A Reader. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Lotman, J. M. (1992), Stati po semiotike i tipologii kultury I. Tallinn: Aleksandra. Luik, V. (1991), Ajaloo ilu. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. _______. (2000), Seitsmes rahukevad. Tallinn: Tnapev. Mayer, T. H. (1980), American Paradise. German Travel Literature from Duden to Kisch. Heidelberg: Carl Winter Universittsverlag. Merkel, G. H. (1909), Liiwimaa esiaeg. Mlestusesammas papi- ja rtliwaimule. I anne. Peterburg: hiselu. Mller-Salget, K. (1984), Erzhlungen fr das Volk. Evangelische Pfarrer als Volkschriftsteller im Deutschland des 19. Jahrhunderts. Berlin: Erich Schmidt Verlag. Naipaul, V. S. (1967), The Mimic Men. London: Andre Deutsch. Niranjana, T. (1992), Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Peegel, J. (1969), Eesti varasema ajalehestiili arengujooni. J. V. Jannseni 150. snniaastapevaks, Keel ja Kirjandus, 5. Peiker, P. (1998), An Account of Ones Own: Narrating I-s in Postcolonial Literatures, in: P. Rajame (ed.), Proceedings of the Second Tartu Conference of British Studies 2426 August 1998. New Britain: The Heritage of the Past and the Challenge of the Future, Tartu: Tartu University Press. _______. (forthcoming), Legitimacy and Fluidity: Central European Narratives of Personhood, Acta Collegii Humaniorum Estoniensis III. Tallinn. Robe, S. L. (1972), Wild Men and Spains Brave New World, in: E. Dudley, M.E. Novak (eds.), The Wild Man Within: An Image in Western Thought from Renaissance to Romanticism. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press.

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Scaglione, A. (1976), A Note on Montaignes Des Cannibales and the Humanist Tradition, in: F. Chiappelli (ed.), First Images of America: The Impact of the New World on the Old. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Tode, E. (1993), Piiririik. Tallinn: Tuum. Undla-Pldme, A. (1981), Koidulauliku valgel. Uurimusi ja artikleid. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. Undusk, J. (1997), Kolm vimalust kirjutada eestlaste ajalugu. Merkel Jakobson Hurt, Keel ja Kirjandus, 11. Vinkel, A. (1960), Mats Kirsel ja rhumisevastane temaatika eesti rahvaraamatus, Keel ja Kirjandus, 10. _______. (1966), Eesti rahvaraamat. levaade XVIII ja XIX sajandi lugemisvarast. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. Wassermann, R. and R. Mautner (1994), Exotic Nations. Literature and Cultural Identity in the United States and Brazil, 18301930. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. White, H. (1985), The Noble Savage Theme as Fetish, in: Tropics of Discourse: Essays in Cultural Criticism. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press.

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Nazi and Soviet Dysphemism and Euphemism in Latvian Andrejs Veisbergs


The paper addresses the use of euphemisms and dysphemisms in Nazi and Soviet press in Latvian. The author discusses issues of power as related to language, persuasive rhetoric, describes the typology of euphemisms and dysphemisms used by each regime. A clear and messianic division of the world into good and bad, ours and theirs is characteristic of the rhetoric of totalitarian regimes. The manipulative power of language is used to the full force in contrasting ones own ideology and its representatives and that of the enemy. Nazi propaganda language seems on the whole more effective, especially as regards use of dysphemisms. Dysphemisms in soviet language underwent a certain evolution and became more muted as time went by. Both regimes developed a broad system of euphemisms to cover up their crimes. In both cases the system expanded to mask the growing problems experienced by the regimes. Power in a civilized society is realized mainly through language. It exists in the language, expressed in the form of laws and regulations, rules and orders, requests and wishes. But speech is not only an expression of thought; habits and patterns of speech have a serious effect on thought patterns. Words are not only bridges to the mind but also harpoons in the soft flesh of the subconscious. 1 One can manipulate with wordsby lying, by hiding the truth, by insinuations, by saying more than the truth, by exaggerating. 20th century language informed and misinformed, justified, extenuated and deceived. As Hitler stated in 1939, by the clever and continuous use of propaganda a people can be made to mistake heaven for hell, and vice versa, the most miserable life for Paradise. Messianic doctrines need a division between the good and the bad, friend and foe, the chosen and the damned; in fact much of their power is based on having an enemy.2 A barbarically exaggerated image of the enemy was necessary. Totalitarian regimes hid much by wrapping unpleasant truths in silence or by using euphemisms. They also had to excite aversion and social and national hatred. For the latter, dysphemisms were usedintentionally

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disparaging and hostile expressions described phenomena that the user wanted to be perceived as negative. Thus, depending on the point of view, one and the same notion or phenomenon could be described by a whole string of emotionally colored synonyms, e.g., brvbas cntjsmeabrlispartiznsteroristsbandts (freedom fighterforest brotherguerrillaterroristbandit) revolcijaatbrvoanaienkanavaras sagrbanaapvrsumsokupcija (revolutionliberationseizure of powercoupoccupation) 3 The art of persuasion or propaganda (propaganda etymologically means spreading of faith) is expressed in two waysby argumentation and without argumentation. The latter, or linguistically emotional persuasion is fully based on the manipulation of a words power, quite differently from purely emotional persuasion (raising of ones voice, screams, moans, tears). Propaganda operates with many different kinds of truththe outright lie, the half-truth, the truth out of context.4 Emotional rhetoric makes use not only of euphemisms or dysphemisms but also of other means of language manipulationcomparisons, innuendos, slants, stereotypes and so forth. Various movements, regimes, public relations specialists and advertisers make good use of such opportunities when creating their own image or the image of the opponent/enemy. Thus during the 2000 Republican party campaign in the United States the following linguistic units were used for describing the actions and ideas of the Republican party: common sense, courage, dream, duty, family, strength, truth, vision, liberty; while betray, cheat, disgrace, failure, excuses, liberal, welfare, selfservice described the Democrats. These are key or signal words used in sloganizing. The last group contains liberal and welfareobviously Republicans perceive them as negatively coded. Dysphemism One can askwhat is an offensive word? This question cannot be answered, as according to Karl Popper we will sink into an infinite reiteration of definitions. The meaning of a word is not contained within it. It is rather added or prescribed by the user or addressee and sustained by its use. Any word can become abusivesmoker, nonsmoker, white, nonwhite, fascist, communist, educated, uneducated, German, Russian, Jew, Latvian, Lithuanian. There is a more or less generally accepted category of the bad and evilwell-known, usual prototypes of evil and wrong (The Ten Commandments). There are always exceptions, but the generally agreed ideology holds that anything to do with ill and sick is bad. The universality of the human experience of pain, suffering, and harm is reflected in the language. There can be smaller groups of agreement

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nations, social groups, political parties, religions, sects, small companies, finally friends and spouseshaving their own principles and sets of dysphemisms. Some of them may desire to impose their perceptions on others. Thus we can talk of cultural conditioning, yet not determination. Propaganda usually does not invent concepts but reinforces existing trends. It converts, but it usually also confirms. Aldous Huxley has observed that The propagandist is a man who canalizes an already existing stream. In a land where there is no water, he digs in vain.5 Conditioning does not imply the lack of exceptions (heretics, political dissidents, eccentrics etc., who do not share generally accepted ideas and language). But it also means that the conditioning process can be organized effectively, for some goal, in someones interest. We can speak of language stereotyping (there are various stereotypes naturally occurring in the mentality and vocabulary of any people), language engineering and deliberate manipulation. Thus Nazi speech actually managed to change the connotations of words like blind, fanaticism, brutal, Nordic into positive ones through a conditioning process that is enhanced by means of repetition. Other changes and new coinings and meanings, e.g., Entjudung, Arisierung, blutsfremd, Volk were imposed.6 There are two types of dysphemisms: 1. Individual, emotional words, usually expressing indignation in jargon, slang or colloquial language, and 2. Literary lexiswords used regularly to discredit opponents in loaded literary language. While euphemisms use a more general word to avoid a precise, unpleasant term, dysphemisms usually employ concretization as a means of portrayal.7 The concrete term is also often used more effectively in the plural to describe a whole set of enemies (cannibals, Russians, bootlickers, bloodsuckers, dogs, Jews, fascists). There is frequent use of hyperbole bloodthirsty beast, ruthless and cowardly cutthroats, pathological liars, charlatans. To create a higher tension next to the dysphemic description of the enemy, a positive description of ones own group is usually juxtaposed. Dysphemisms come mainly from the thematic groups of illnesses, taboos, retardation, stupidity, evildoing, and the animal world. Noteworthy is the fact that not all Latvian words functioning as dysphemisms have negative connotations in the general languagee.g., suns (dog), azits (Asian), liberlis (liberal), kreisais (leftwinger), labjais (rightwinger), saimnieks (master), profesionlis (professional), specilists (specialist). Yet with regular repetition, i.e., conditioning, the negative connotation can be gradually imposed. Semantically these changes of meaning are the most interesting ones. The rapid shifts of ideology in Latvian history of the 20th century caused the official press to describe one and the same event, deed,

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phenomena or notion in ways that made use of the whole spectrum of linguistic means. Totalitarian regimes can generally be characterized as using a stable, strictly controlled and regular spectrum of language for their messianic doctrines, which, as the years go by, undergo certain transformations. The centralized fashion is normally imposed by the central press, in the case of LatviaTvija during the German occupation and Ca (the central organ of the Communist party) during Soviet times. These newspapers imposed and stabilized the current parlance and others just repeated it. All in all, the image of the created enemy is relatively simple, but contrasts sharply with the positive image of the new man/nation that the totalitarian societies want to produce. This differentiates totalitarian societies from classical forms of coercive government. They aim at the new man, at molding a new human type.8 The contrast then allows the rank and file citizen to see who is who, or in the case of freethinking, know who is supposed to be who. Klemperer has shown that it was almost impossible not to be influenced; Nazi language permeated daily life in the Third Reich and perpetrators, bystanders and victims subconsciously began to use the mandated code.9 Fest suggests that propaganda was more than an instrument of power for Nazism; it was part of its essence.10 Similarly, within the Soviet system this new language was essential to the power of the regime. It was both the means of social mobilization and the way into the consciousness of the population. The meaning of ordinary words accordingly had to be altered to conform to ideological precepts. The ideocratic partocracy, therefore, was also necessarily logocratic; and as such it was of a piece with the monopolistic structure of the now monolithic system. Without this logocratic spell, the system could not function.11 Yet there are differences in the type of totalitarianism Latvia had to live with. The blanket term totalitarianism does not reveal the type of total control. Thus Stalin extended control over even potential opponents, while National Socialist repressions covered mainly actual opposition.12 Their only categorical actual-cum-potential opponents were Jews, hence the dysphemic outbursts. These peculiarities were reflected in the language as well. Each regime had a typology of its ownan idiosyncratic mixture of refined linguistic brutality and cruelty on the one hand and hypocrisy and sentimentality on the other. What should be stressed is that it was not random use, but a planned, engineered and approved use of words.

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Both regimes often used one and the same dysphemisms for diverse, sometimes opposite, phenomena: apvrsums (coup), plutokrtija (plutocracy), aents (agent), nodevjs (traitor). For example, from Soviet times: Ir pdjais laiks aizvkt plutokrtijas rema paliekas13 (It is high time to dispose of the remains of the plutocratic regime). A year later: Boeviku un pltokratu brlbas lgums14 (A treaty of brotherhood of Bolsheviks and plutocrats). It should be pointed out that the regimes and their writers were aware that the same terms had also been used also by the opposite regime. One can discuss several levels of transferred meanings. Often, when talking about the enemy, the terms used by the opponents are repeated, put in quotation marks: atbrvoana (liberation), atbrvotji (liberators), neuzvaram armija (the invincible army), jaun krtba (the new order), jaun Eiropa (the new Europe), varoi (heroes), brv pasaule (the free world), brvprtgie (volunteers).15 Examples: Vervja t saucamos brvprtgos palg baltsomiem16 (Recruiting so called volunteers to help the white Finns.) Uzpstais sarkans armijas neuzvarambas burbulis sada pa skum. <.> neuzvaram sarkan armija, varongais karotjs, varodarbi17 (The blown up bubble of the invincibility of the Red Army was smashed in the very beginning. <> the invincible Red Army, the heroic warrior, heroic deeds) B. Kalniam ierdta vieta jauns Eiropas celtniecb18 (B. Kalnins has been shown his place in the building of the new Europe). Nazi language Much has been written about the qualities and semantic changes of Nazi German language beginning with Victor Klemperer Lingua Tertii Imperii (2000), Ehlich (1989); Brackmann (1988); Schmitz-Berning (1998). The Latvian of the German occupation is a somewhat different topic and still linguistically almost unanalyzed. The few studies that exist focus mainly on the press as such.19 A study of Nazi dysphemisms has shown that the following key terms are the most frequently used: virskundzba (domination/supremacy), lsts (curse), laupana (robbing), krs (greedy), rafints (refined), baigs (dreadful), baiss (ghastly), sadisks or zadisks (sadistic), azitisks (Asiatic),

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velnigs (devilish), rprtgs (insane), augt (strangle), ds (Jew), ekists (KGB agent), meoi (savages), kustoi (beasts), parazts (parasite), bacilis (bacillus), melis (liar), bldis (cheat/swindler), dienderis (bootlicker), augotjs (usurer), ldjs (creeper/crawler), veikalnieks (trader/shopkeeper). To sum it upmonsters and swindlers/impostors are contrasted with pure, brave and strong superhuman Aryans, shining men of steel (mirdzoiem trauda vriem).20 And in the center of evil stands the image of the Jew. Linguistically the word Jew is often used as a component of a hyphenated compound, suggestive of a semi-affix function. This is most interesting, for it seems the construction comes with the German invasion, even though the very first publications were neither German-run nor monitored: di-aziti21 du-audzju bars Lauptji-di22 du-boeviku23 Bli-di24 ekisti-di25 (Jews-Asians) (a mob of Jews-stranglers) (robber-Jews) (Jewish-Bolshevik) (swindlers-Jews) (chekists-Jews)

Rafintkie pasaules blidi26 (The most refined swindlers of the worldthe Jews) du austrumu citadele (PSRS)27 (The Jewish eastern citadel (USSR)) Visaunkais cilvces lstsdu jgs28 (The most evil curse of humanitythe Jewish yoke) du-boeviku laupanas sfra (Jewish-Bolshevik sphere of plunder) du zvrisks uzkundzans augi29 (The strangling of the bestial domination of the Jews) Visa risk grvjs, baisais du boevisms30 (The wrecker of everything Aryan, the ghastly Jewish Bolshevism). The latter sentence from the linguistic point of view is a perfect illustration of how, by using a connotationally negative word grvjs (wrecker), the agent is automatically labelled as negative while the experiencer is automatically made positive. To get a feeling for the early incantations, stimulating and heightened speech, intensified forms of language, and superlatives of the Nazi language there are some illustrative passages from the Riga liberation day Brv Zeme and Tvija:

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Maskavas zvani drz zios galu komnismam, im du-azitu rprtam, tiranijai, visnelgkam teroram31 (Moscow bells will soon herald the end of communism, this Jewish-Asian insanity, tyranny, most ruthless terror). No du vadtm boeviku lauptju un slepkavu bandm brvi <...> turja zadiska rprta diktt izncinanas, izrdanas, slepkavoanas un laupanas rem <...> stainiskie briesmoi, meli un riebgs viltus, cilvces ausmgkais posts, slepkavu lsts.32 (Free from the Bolshevik gangs of robbers and murderers, led by the Jews <> kept us in a regime of extermination, destruction, murdering and robbing, dictated by sadistic insanity <> Stalinist monsters, lies and disgusting cunning, the most dreadful misery of humanity, curse of the murderers.). I have already mentioned the use of contrasts to enhance the effect of dysphemisms: Stv vcu sargsveselgs, spcgs, atkltu, intelientu seju. Kds pretstats izmoctam, skrandainam un trulam sarkanarmietimkalmikam, kirgizam, kamadalam vai kdas ldzgas tautbas kultras spdeklim, ar kdiem ms te labi iepazstinja msu sargtji un brvbas nesji.33 (There stands a German guardhealthy, strong, with an open and intelligent face. What a contrast to the worn out, shoddy/tattered and dumb red army mana cultural luminary of Kalmik, Kirghiz, Kamchatkian or some similar nationality, to whom we were introduced by our protectors and carriers of freedom). It is interesting to note that in fact the use of dysphemisms declines as time goes by. This can be explained by the natural exhaustion of heightened speech characteristic of Nazi propaganda styles as well as by the difference between the plans and the reality of propaganda.34 Communist dysphemisms One can observe a certain evolution within the standardized and ritualized system of Soviet dysphemisms. The Stalin years are characterized by a very aggressive, hysterical terminology, often bordering on cursing and rude language. This is the language of the show trials of the 1930s, the language of Vishinskis repertoire: kroplis (cripple), nelis (villain), suns (dog), zvrs (beast), asinsscjs (bloodsucker), nestenis (miscreant), cilvkdjs (cannibal), izdzimtenis (degenerate), spaut (spit), viltus (deceit), sapuvis (rotten), satrdjis (decayed), zvrisks (bestial), spekulants (speculant), specilists (specialist), tautas/iras ienaidnieks (enemy of the people/class), rkurvjs (cutthroat), dzimtenes nodevjs (traitor of the fatherland), kaitnieks (saboteur/wrecker), trockists (Trotskyites), burujs (bourgeois),

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inde (poison), paliekas (remains), cilvces padibenes (scum of mankind), spiegs (spy), dienderis (bootlicker), mietpilsonis (philistine), klie (clique), jdass (Judas), sulainis (lackey), roklaia (toad-eater), faists (fascist). The image of the enemy is, all in all, very dangerous; moreover, the enemy is not just an external enemy, but also the enemy within. In contrast a simple, unassuming, loyal worker/fighter is portrayed. As Malia points out, all groups and individuals had their fixed labels, from greedy kulaks to traitorous petty bourgeois to imperialist sharks to valiant shock workers. The world was divided, in a Manichean manner, into friends and enemies.35 Already in the first year of occupation (1940), dysphemisms fill the press: To nesps aizkavt ar mirstos plutokrtu klies gar piestintie gvie skolotji. iru ienaidniekus, kas odien ind skolu dzvi, ar sekmm izndsim.36 (The cowardly teachers, saturated with the clique feeling of the dying plutocracy, will not be able to stop it. We will successfully exterminate the class enemies that poison school life). Tumi elementi37 (Dark elements) <> tautas ienaidnieki, reakcionri elementi, ulmaa kliei padevgo virsnieku banda... izrdtji, faisti38 (<...> peoples enemies, reactionary elements, a gang of officers loyal to the Ulmanis clique, squanderers, fascists). It is interesting that the term fascist is mostly used retrospectively when describing the Latvian government. Rarely is it used about Italy or Germany, and usually without the negative connotation (this is a result of the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact): Veda sarunas ar rzemju faismu.39 (Negotiations were conducted with foreign fascism.) There are frequent hysterical slogans and searches for an internal enemy: r spiegus un ldjus!40 (Out the spies and sneaks!) Maskas nost!41 (Off with the masks!) When the war breaks out, contrasts are used againthe Germans are portrayed as starving and poor, their attack on the big and rich Soviet country as the last attempt at survival: Trakojoais faisms <> nves agonij uzbrk42

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(Raving fascism <...> attacks in its death convulsions) Asinskrgais faistiskais plsons uzbrucis msu lielajai dzimtenei. Bada un asinskres dzti, vcu labdzimtgie sui-bruinieki lauas socilisma zem. o bandtu nolks ir izlaupt msu bagto socilisma valsti... Bads, posts un izncba seko vcu faistu naglotam zbakam...43 (The bloodthirsty fascist predator has attacked our great fatherland. Driven by famine and bloodthirst, German aristocratic/high born dogs-knights are breaking into the land of socialism. The aim of these bandits is to plunder our rich socialist country... Famine, misery and extinction follow the nailed boot of the German fascist) Izdzimtei, cilvkdji Lauptji-bandti Izdzimtenis-cilvkdjs Hitlers44 (degenerates, cannibals) (plunderers-bandits) (degenerate-cannibal Hitler)

traki sui (mad dogs) faistiskie cilvkdji (fascist cannibals) (bloodthirsty beast) asinskrgais nezvrs45 izbadui asinsui piedzersies asiu (thirsty bloodhounds will lap up blood) noziedzgais palgs-nodevjs-aizsargs46 (criminal helper-traitor-national guardsman) (German beast) vcietis zvrs47 (fascist beast) faistiskais zvrs48 (German synonym for the devil) vcietis sinonms velnam49 Vcijas varas vri ir vcu baieru des sui Galvu pazaudjuais faistiskais plsoa hitlerisms atraisjis vcu militristu viszvriskkos cilvkndju instinktus ... zooloisku antisemitismu un meongu naidu.. /tie/ kaniblismu, zvriskas varmcbas, laupanas un marodierismu prvrtui sistm.50 (German authorities are chain-dogs of the German bankers... The fascist predator, that has lost its head... hitlerism has unleashed the most bestial misanthropic instincts of German militarism... zoological anti-Semitism and savage hatred. Cannibalism, bestial violence, robbing and plundery have been turned into a system). As within German propaganda, towards the end of the war the dysphemic force actually subsides and war is portrayed in linguistically rather neutral and technical terms. After the war, propaganda goes on unabateda new enemy is soughtnow everything connected with the West is painted in black colors. But it is the internal enemy that receives the strongest language. This is conducted from the very top, e.g., Zhdanovs report on the journals Zvezda and Leningrad in 1946:

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Viengi literaturas padibenes var radt ldzgus daidarbus, un viengi akli un apolitiski cilvki var tos laist klaj. Viscaur sapuvus un satrdjus Zoenko sabiedriski politisk un literar seja neizveidojs pa pdj laik... ar cinisku atkltbu joprojm paliek bezidejiskuma un banlbas sludintjs, literrs huligns bez principiem un sirdsapzias. Achmatovas tematika visacuri individualistiska. Ldz nabadzbai ierobeots diapazons ir vias poezijaisatrakotas kundztes poezijai, kura traucas no buduara uz lganu namu un atpaka. Via vai nu mene, vai netikle, bet pareizk netikle un mene, kurai netiklba jaucas ar lganm.51 (Only literary scum can create similar fiction and only blind and apolitical people can publish them. The totally rotten and decayed sociopolitical and literary face of Zoenko was not formed of late... with a cynical openness he remains the preacher of apoliticality and banality, a literary hooligan without principle or conscience. Achmatovas topics are totally individualistic. This poetry of hers has a miserably limited scopehers is a poetry of a raving little madam, who rushes from the boudoir to the church/house of prayers and back. She is either a nun or a debauchee. Or better yet, a debauchee and a nun, who blends debauchery with prayers.). The last real outburst of this kind of language is in 195253 when the Doctors Plot and anti-Zionist cases close this chapter of Soviet evolution, where dysphemic labels are poured out without any logic, e.g., about philosophers: Pragmatii ir filozofijas melnsimtnieki, no viu idejm prtiek trockistiski faistisks, cionistisks bandas, kas neieredz visu progresvo uz zemes cilvku nanas inde.52 (Pragmatists are the blackguards of philosophy, Trotskyite fascists who live from their ideas, Zionist gangs that hate everything progressive on the earth poison of hatred for the people.) or about all and sundry political enemies: Padomju Latvij vl daviet saglabjus Padomju varas sagrauto pretpadomju elementuslepenas buruzisko nacionlistu, ebreju cionistu, imperilisma demoralizto socildemokratu un trockistu ldzskrjju drumslas.53 (There are still crumbs of the anti-Soviet elements destroyed by the Soviet power to be found in Soviet Latviaclandestine bourgeois nationalists, Jewish Zionists, imperialist demoralized social democrats and Trotsky followers.) In the 1950s, after Stalins death, when the physical terror subsides, 54 dysphemisms also become more temperate, less aggressive, more morally inclined. The enemy, especially the internal one, is not so

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diabolical. The typology is less emotional, the portrayal suggests lazy, oldfashioned, retrograde and immoral elements: kaitgs (harmful), izlepis (fastidious), laisks (indolent), bezidejisks (apolitical), vecmodgs (old-fashioned), nelabojams (incorrigible), pataloisks (pathological), nekaungs (insolent), paprliecints (opinionated), atriebgs (revengeful), izlaidgs (dissolute), banls (banal), liekulgs (hypocritical), profesionls (professional), sliis (idler), dkdienis (loafer), saimnieks (master), epigonis (epigone), atkritjs (renegade), individulistisks (individualistic), arlatns (charlatan), skribents (pen-pusher), iztapoa (toady), kangars (traitor/quisling), rvjs (grabber), reakcionrs (reactionary), kapitlists (capitalist), nelietis (scoundrel), ekstrmists (extremist), noziedzgs (criminal), huligns (hooligan), emisrs (emissary), prdoties (to sell oneself). To sum up, these are anti-progressive terms, in contrast to the diligent and optimistic builder of communism. Axiologically these terms are still negative dysphemisms but within a certain civilized tonality. Latvian migrs are described as: revanistu pakalpiiem, bijuajiem okupantu rokaspuiiem, darboiem, kas rada kadu, akcijas.55 (revenge seekers minions, former henchmen of the occupants, functionaries who create a hustle and bustle). Thus referring to Polish Solidarity one speaks of : huligniem, kam ir noziedzgi plni, ekstrmistiem, kas ielavjuies arodbiedrbs, diversantiem56 (hooligans who have criminal plans, extremists who have sneaked into the trade unions, saboteurs). With the disappearance of the strongest and rudest dysphemisms, some words are even officially rehabilitateda clear sign of language engineering that is stated openly; e.g., specilists (specialists), saimnieks (master): nievjo palama specilists [prvrts] par goda pilnu nosaukumu boevikam, kas apguvis tehniku57 (the disparaging label specialist [turned into] a name full of honor for a Bolshevik who has acquired technology). However, softening of the propaganda and attempts to rationalize it or disagree with it seriously erode the effectiveness of the propagandathe categorical militant style is generally more effective and convincing.58

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Sometimes even the whole mechanism of manipulation is laid bare; e.g., on one and the same page there is the contrast between the anti-Soviet traitor nodevjs, spiegs (traitor, spy) and the pro-Soviet foreign traitor izlks internacionlists (intelligence officer-internationalist): Viszemiskk un noziedzgk no nodevbm ir savas tautas nodoana. Ms sav zem ar esam redzjui nodevjus... prgja pie vcieiem tiei no kaujas ierindas... Tie ir izlki internacionlisti... kas darbojs gestapo okeru degungal.59 (The meanest and most criminal betrayal is the betrayal of ones people. We in our land have seen the traitors they went over to the Germans straight from the army formations. These are intelligence officersinternationalists... who acted right under the noses of the Gestapo snoopers.) It is still worse when even before the typology one can read a very frank revelation: Vstur ir zinmi gadjumi, kad visu sugu un laikmetu verdzintji, cenoties pazemot nepakvgos, apvelta tos ar dadadm nicinom palamm.60 (In history there are known cases when enslavers of all sorts and of all times, by trying to humiliate the non-compliant, describe them by all sorts of degrading names). Yet some occurrences and samples show that the aggressive style is not fully lost even in the 1980s: Bet, ja jau atkusnis, tad sault no zirneku tkliem apauguajiem kaktiem ska lst r dadi nopeljui moi, kurus jau vairs neviens neuzskatja par dzviem Un pa Maskavas ielm saka audties viltgi un nikni Ivani Deisii, indgi izliedami samazgas. <...> suu snes grib pirms izlst siltum. o suu su vid ska irbt raibi moi ar dadu krsu diplomtiskajm pasm. Pasmlies gudrbas aj smirdoaj avot, akadmiis ska runt blas un trs aplambas.. Gargais atkritjs, provokators Saharovs, veikdams graujou darbbu, jau sen sevi padarjis par savas tautas un valsts nodevju.61 (But if the thaw has come then from spider web filled corners, various rotten wretches that no one thought were still alive started creeping out into the sunlight. Cunning and angry Ivans Denisichs started scurrying about in Moscow streets venomously pouring out slop. Toadstools are the first to spring up into warmth. Among these toadstools appeared motley wretches with various colors of diplomatic passports. Having scooped pieces of wisdom in this stinking well, the Academic started speaking utter rubbish and nonsense. The spiritual renegade provocateur Sakharov, by carrying out subversive activities, has long ago made himself the traitor of his people and state.)

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In summary, whatever we feel axiologically, it should be admitted that, in comparing the Soviet and Nazi propaganda in Latvian, the latter is much more effectivean excellent and masterful sample of verbal poison. This evidence seems to be corroborated by the research of historians as well. Linguistically, in contrast to euphemisms, dysphemisms change much more slowly, as usually terms having stable negative connotation are used, even if they are applied to untraditional spheres. After the regaining of Latvian independence, dysphemisms lose their systemic character as the cultivated image of a single enemy is lost. Pluralism, various orientations, and absence of censorship mean that there is no official viewpoint, thus the keyword system is lost. Dysphemisms have returned to their proper and usual niche, where they do not have an all-pervasive but an occasional characterthey are colorful and often linguistically and expressively fine-tuned expressions. Ulbrokas betmens (Ulbroka Batman), biznesa haizivs (business sharks), utu vanags (lice hawk), zemdene (submarine), reu djs (herring eater). Looking into the future, with the further stratification of society there may arise room for stable dysphemisms for various classes, parties and nationalities. Broadly speaking, the time of dysphemisms seems to be gone; however, the time of euphemisms is just beginning. The second half of the 20th century was an information age and those who inform us cannot keep a dignified silencethey must find a language in which to inform or misinform, justify, extenuate or deceive. Totalitarian regimes had much to hide from the outside world, from their own citizens and in some cases even from themselvesthus all options were open when the term final solution was coined.62 But they controlled the media, which made their task much easier; many things could be left unsaid, so euphemization was still in its salad years. Democracy has to speak, so the lists of euphemisms are much longer today. Therefore, vagueness can help by blanketing a sensitive topic in the fog of a superordinate term. Euphemisms Euphemisms are emotionally neutral words or expressions used instead of synonymous offensive, direct or unpleasant words. Like dysphemisms, there are personal or private euphemisms and public ones. Whatever good we can say about the white lie, or the compassionate euphemism (i.e., the private one), does not apply to the public ones. Generally private euphemisms concentrate in the spheres connected with the human body, secretory functions, nakedness, genitals, disease. The private euphemism is used to escape using the bad word. Yet there is a different type of euphemismthe public one, living in the world of black lies, of the Newspeak that Orwell predicted. In the 20th century they are not limited anymore to the spheres of the seven deadly sins, but actively invade new spherescrime, military action, advertising, business, politicsanything from private pleasure to public pain.63 This second

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type of euphemism is closer to what has been termed doublespeaka euphemistic word or phrase or style of discourse used to disguise the true meaning of a text.64 They are concerned not so much with the word, as the notion behind the word. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them, as Orwell suggested. The widespread character of euphemization is confirmed by coinage of a new termeuphemantics.65 There are several well-established euphemism creation strategies: 1. A literary Latinized registera foreign language sounds finer: likvidt, neitralizt (liquidate, neutralize=kill), militrs kontingents (military contingent=army), elements (element=person); 2. Vague abstractions: notikumi (events), dau demokrtijas formu ierobeojumi (limitation of some forms of democracy=tyranny), saukt pie sabiedrisks krtbas (to call to public order=arrest, try); 3. Indirect phrasing, mainly by the use of negatives and understatement: padart nekaitgu (to turn harmless=to kill), vlks nelikumbas (later unlawfulness=terror), nekompetenta iejaukans (incompetent interference=tyranny); 4. Long periphrasesthe longer the better: tehnisko paskumu kompleksa realizanas darbi (implementation work of a complex of technical undertakings=emergency work), plnveidgas atieanas kustba (planned withdrawal movement=retreat); 5. Some other frequently used methods: passive instead of active voice; making the agent obscure; abbreviations instead of full words. 66 During different totalitarian regimes, many Latvian words acquired strange meanings that were characteristic of the regime, which tended to disappear with the next change of rulers. Some, though, were used by both regimes, e.g., atbrvoana (liberation=occupation). Rgas atbrvoana no boeviku varas22. maijs, 1919.67 (Liberation of Riga from Bolshevik power on May 22, 1919) Vcu karaspks atbrvo Rgu1. jlijs, 1941.68 (German troops liberate RigaJuly 1, 1941) ... pabeidza Padomju Latvijas galvaspilstas atbrvoanu69 (finished liberation of the capital of Soviet Latvia). Early Soviet euphemism During the first year of Soviet occupation euphemisms were still scarce, but naturally the fact of the occupation of the Baltic states is worded vaguely: ...rjs politikas jautjumi, kuru sekmga atrisinana pdj laik ievrojami paplainjusi msu teritoriju70

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(questions of foreign policy, whose successful solution has recently considerably expanded our territory). ...tagad Padomju Savienbas robeas tiks prnestas uz Baltijas jras piekrasti. Ldz ar to msu valstij rodas savas neaizsalstoas ostas Baltijas jr, kdas mums tik oti vajadzgas71 (now the borders of the Soviet Union will be transferred to the Baltic Sea coast. With this, ice-free ports that we need very much will appear for our state). Euphemisms are used also to characterize internal enemies. Tpc vajag saukt pie sabiedrisks krtbas visus dus un tamldzgus teortius.72 (These and similar theoreticians [who organized tests in the University of Latvia] should be called to public order [arrested]). When the war breaks out, there is in fact no information on the adverse developments, so a strategy of omission reigns. The Nazi period In the beginning, when the success of the German army was selfevident, there was not a great deal of euphemistic language usage. It pertains mainly to the Jewish question. A rather peculiar combination of an aggressive, yet technically euphemistic stance is applied: ...du izraidana no msu vidus.73 (...eviction of Jews from our midst) katra pienkums ir cient un ievrot valsts sous pret diem. ...vissekmgkais pretsolis ir nepieldzama, auksta stingrba pret msu tautas izncintjiem74 (Everybodys duty is to respect and observe the States steps against the Jews... the best counterstep is unyielding, cold rigorousness against the exterminators of our people). geto ir konsekventa un permanenta du izolcija75 (the ghetto is a consistent and permanent isolation of Jews) savas mjs izmzt un iztrt no cilvces atkritumiem, du izvkana76 (cleaning our own house and cleansing of humanitys waste, removal of Jews) disma izncinanas talka77 (the joint work of extinguishing Jewishness). Concentration camp (in itself a euphemism) is not mentioned. Some of the notions are euphemistically vague, stemming from semi-philosophical attitudes: ieemt bezgalgu telpu78 (to occupy a limitless area)

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relpoltiskie uzskati vcu-ehu problmas atrisinan79 (Realpolitik views in solving the German-Czech problem) pionieru darbs Austrumeirop80 (work of pioneers in Eastern Europe). When problems arise, euphemisms start abounding in texts. If the enemy gains significant successes, they are either subjected to a news blackout, made out to be insignificant, temporary gains, or made into savage atrocities, crimes against humanity or genocide.81 Euphemisms are in a constant state of flux. We can see that the number of components and complexity grows steadily and almost endlessly. A good example of the general tendency is the euphemisms for retreat: sekmgas frontes izldzinanas opercijas Austrumos82 (successful front levelling-out operations in the East) jauni principi ziemas kar83 (new principles in the winter war) plnveidga frontes iztaisnoana un sasinana84 (planned straightening and shortening of the front) meistarga elastgas atvairanas taktika85 (masterful tactics of elastic repulsion) msu spki atrodas atrauans kustb no ienaidnieka86 (our forces are in a movement of pullback from the enemy) kustg atvairana; frontes atrodas kustb87 (moving repulsion; fronts are in movement) atvairanas fronte88 (repulsion front) vcu atvairanas frontes nostabilizans attsts89 (stabilization of German repulsion front develops) Atvairanas pankumi frontes dienvidos90 (Successes of repulsion in the south of the front) Pilngs atvairanas pankums91 (A total success of repulsion) Turpins Rgas atslogoana92 (Rigas unburdening [evacuation] continues) Plnveidgas atieanas kustbas starp Daugavu un Rgas jras lci93 (Planned withdrawal movements between the Daugava and Riga Gulf). As can be seen, euphemization relies heavily on long periphrasispartly this is a result of German originals where multicomponent compounds are used. Second Soviet occupation It must be said that when dealing with the unpleasant, Soviet times are characterized not so much by the use of euphemisms as by the

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avoidance of unwelcome issues altogether. As under the First Soviet regime, progress and positive thinking were expected to reign, negative moments were simply not discussed, so one does not find numerous cases of euphemism in everyday language. Omission is the strategy most often used. For example, Latvian SSR yearly statistics books did not really touch on the unpleasant aspects of life. Apart from the general rate of mortality and child mortality (also expressed per thousand), there is little else that one might consider unpleasant. Even the national distribution of the population in Latvia (a raw and sensitive issue) is not given in the 1987 Statistics book.94 But euphemisms do appear in everyday life when characterizing what were called small negations. Pagaidu grtbas (temporary difficulties) covered practically all economic problems, deficts (deficit)all shortage of goods. Aizvien vairk tautas patria preu iekst deficto preu kategorij95 (More and more consumer goods fall into the deficit goods category). ...vi zinja, ka ts tikai pagaidu grtbas96 (He knew these were only temporary difficulties). Also the use of negative is widespread: obrd ne katru dienu lauku veikalos var nopirkt ar sviestu...97 (Not every day can one buy butter in rural shops) [it is unavailable]. Sex was another heavily euphemized sphereit officially did not exist in the Soviet Union. Accordingly some ingenious periphrasis: Socilistisk sabiedrba nav iedomjama bez imenes ar vism ts daudzveidgajm funkcijmerotisks mlestbas alku apmierinanas...98 (Socialist society cannot be imagined without the family with all its multiple functionssatisfaction of yearnings for erotic love). The main concentration of euphemisms was in politics. Here the Soviet Aesopian language was well established and was used to keep unwelcome trends and phenomena in check while retaining the veil of legality and positive thinking. Active use of euphemisms can be noted each time Soviet (foreign) policies did not succeed, when reality deviated from theory. This applied to the worst pages of Soviet history, the socalled baltie plankumi (white spots) (itself a euphemism in use in the perestroika epoch)the killings, deportations, and chistkas of the Stalinist period. The method mostly applied is the dehumanization of humans (class, elements, ballast):

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T bija kulaku k iras likvidcijas politika uz vienlaidu kolektivizcijas pamatiem. T prgja uz kulaku k iras izncinanas politiku. Kulakus eksproprija. ... noslaucja no cea, ...atbrvodamies no kulaku verdzbas.99 (It was the policy of liquidation of kulaks as a class on the basis of total collectivization. It passed over to extermination of kulaks as a class. Kulaks were expropriated, swept away from the road ... liberation from the slavery of kulaks). esot vajadzga partijas trana, lai atbrvotos no balasta100 (a party purge is needed to get rid of the ballast). The general term applied to undesirable people is elements (element)a dysphemic euphemism. It is a euphemism because it is devoid of human characteristics; dysphemic because it turns humans into negatively connoted atomic material: Dau no budiem un citiem pretpadomju elementiem uz laiku prvietoja rpus republikas teritorijas.101 (Part of the kulaks and other anti-Soviet elements for a time were resettled outside the territory of the Republic). Antisocilistiskie elementi aktvi izmanto socils iedzimtbas mehnismu un saglabjuos nostaiju pc laimgajiem brvs Latvijas laikiem.102 (Antisocialist elements actively use the mechanism of social heredity and the remaining nostalgia for the happy times of free Latvia). After 1956, Stalins repressions were a topic that underwent extensive euphemization. The main term employed, Staina personbas kults (Stalins personality cult), is a thorough euphemism. So are the secondary descriptions: Tau via darbb izpauds vairkas teortiskas un praktiskas kdas103 (Yet there were several theoretical and practical errors in his activities) atkpans no einiskajiem vadbas principiem partijas un valsts dzv104 (stepping back from Leninist leadership principles in party and state life) iru ca prasja dau demokrtijas formu ierobeoanu, veicinja administranu. (class struggle demanded limitation of some forms of democracy using enhanced administration). The traditional phrase for the victims of the regime is repressed without a reason: Personbas kulta apstkos 1937. Laicens nepamatoti represts, reabilitts pc nves.105 (Laicens was repressed without reason in 1937 under the conditions of the personality cult, and rehabilitated posthumously).

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Similar treatment in identical wording can be found for all Latvian writers, politicians and other public figures killed during the period. Problems in other East European satellite states, members of the Warsaw pact, and Afghanistan demanded new euphemisms: ...PSRS, izpildot savu internacionlo pienkumu, 1968. gada 21. august brlgajai ehoslovakijas tautai sniedza paldzbu socilisma iekarojumu aizstvanai. ... internacionlais akts izglba tkstoiem cilvku dzvbas.106 (The USSR, carrying out its international duty on August 21, 1969, rendered assistance to fraternal Czechoslovakia in defending socialist gains. ...this international act saved thousands of human lives) Padomju militr kontingenta kltbtne izjauca imperilisma un reakcijas plnus.107 (The presence of a Soviet military contingent [occupation by the army] destroyed the plans of imperialism and reaction.) ms tuvojamies brdim, kad tiks izolti msu iekjie un rjie ienaidnieki.108 (we are approach hing the moment when the internal and external enemies will be isolated [=arrested/exterminated]). Events in Poland created serious problem for linguistic expression. The spreading influence of Solidarnosc is generally described in most terminology as notikumi Polij (events in Poland). There are promises and disguised threats: socilistisko Poliju, brlgo Poliju ms neatstsim nelaim un neausim tai dart pri109 (Socialist Poland, brotherly Poland we will not leave in the ditch and not allow it to be maltreated). When martial law is introduced, euphemisms concerning the activities of the Polish militaries are used. Izolja ar grupu personu...110 (Isolate [=to arrest] a group of persons) Karastvoka laik tika aizliegtas sapulces un manifestcijas, k ar izdevumu, publikciju un informciju izplatana bez attiecgu orgnu iepriekjas ataujas.111 (During martial law meetings and rallies were forbidden as well as dissemination of publications and information without previous permission of the respective organizations [=censorship]). The final stage of the USSRperestroikayielded numerous euphemisms, as in the beginning of glasnost many things still could not be called by their proper names. Democratic forces in the media started a

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discussion of the many sore points of the Soviet state using euphemisms. It started with the discussion of the white spots and a look back at Latvian history, revising some of the standard ideas. T dvtie baltie plankumi112 (So-called white spots) ... vlans likvidt baltos plankumusvstur113 (a wish to do away with the white spots in history) Latvijas kompartijas 1959 gada jlija plnum ma virsroku ne einiskie tikumi114 (In the 1959 July plenum of the Latvian Communist Party it was not the Leninist ethical norms [=a purge] that took the upper hand) Es saprotu strdu par rjo faktoru ietekmi uz revolucionro notikumu attstbu Latvij 1940 gad.115 (I understand the dispute about the influence of external factors [=occupation] on the development of revolutionary events in Latvia in 1940). The first announcement of the Chernobyl disaster (April 26, 1986): ...k jau ziots pres avrija izraisjusi zinmu radioaktvo vielu nopldi116 (As already mentioned in the press, the accident has created a certain leak of radioactive substances). Here it should be pointed out that up to that point nothing had been reported in the press. ernobias atomelektrostacij turpinjs tehnisko paskumu kompleksa realizanas darbs117 (An implementation of work of a complex technical nature continued in the Chernobyl atomic power station). Very quickly, the media passed over to the well known and moot but foreboding term notikumi (events): Sakar ar notikumiem ernobias atomelektrostacij.118 (Concerning events at Chernobyl atomic power station). The first somewhat serious information appeared only on May 9 and in Gorbachevs televized speech on May 15. At the same time there was a softening on former dysphemic antiSoviet elements. For example, a different term for dissidents was invented (actually it is a loan translation) without the traditional disparaging and dysphemic attitude: citdi domjoie119

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plakti ar visdadko saturugan konstruktvu un lietiu, gan ar prsteidzgu, neprdomtu, laika garam neatbilstou...120 (posters with various contentsboth constructive and practical, but also inconsiderate, ill-thought-out, not corresponding to the Zeitgeist) T nav neapstrdama atzia121 (It is not an irrefutable idea) Lai novrstu tautas masu neapmierintbu, lai nepretstattu simbolus un lai nekaittu padomju varas prestiam republikas galvaspilst... pacelt karogu.122 (In order to avert mass dissatisfaction, not to contrast symbols and not harm the prestige of the Soviet power in the Republics capital ... raise the flag). Conclusion Euphemisms and dysphemisms, two polar linguistic phenomena, were actively used by political regimes in Latvia for propaganda purposes. Together their use forms a sophisticated and powerful weapon. This is especially true under totalitarian regimes that can impose a unified monolithic system of language usage. What calls for further research is the extent to which the Latvian language was engineered by the occupying powers (based on German and Russian patterns) and to what extent original, native resources were employed. While Nazi rhetoric in general can be viewed as more effective (a fact recognized by Soviet propagandists who complained of the Nazi poison that it was hard to eradicate even 40 years after the war), Soviet language underwent an evolution, from hard-line to temperate. While large scale and systematic use of dysphemisms has practically ended with the breakdown of totalitarian systems, in the age of liberal democracy we see a victory march of euphemisms. Modern liberalism tends to avoid even tinges of what might be seen as dysphemisms.

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Notes
1. Grunberger, 1991, 410. 2. Price-Jones, 1995. 3. All translations are mine. 4. Welch, 1995, 5. 5. Huxley, 1936, 39. 6. Wires, 1985. 7. Veisbergs, 2001a. 8. Fest, 1999, 292. 9. Klemperer, 2000. 10. Fest, 1999, 83. 11. Malia, 1994, 172173. 12. Lukacs, 1997, 114. 13. Jaunks Zias, July 6, 1940. 14. Tvija, July 15, 1941. 15. A totally corrupt word. 16. Ca, June 17, 1941. 17. Tvija, July 1, 1941. 18. Dzilna. Bankrots. R. Avots, 1986. 19. Dribins, 2000; vinklis, 2000. 20. Z. Mauria. 21. Brv Zeme, July 1, 1941. 22. Tvija, July 2, 1941. 23. Ibid, July 16, 1941. 24. Ibid, August, 19, 1941. 25. Ibid, September 24, 1942. 26. Ibid, August, 19, 1941. 27. Ibid. 28. Ibid. 29. Ibid. 30. Lauksaimnieka kalendrs, 1942. 31. Brv Zeme, July 1, 1941. 32. Tvija, July 1, 1941. 33. Ibid. 34. vinklis, 2000; Dribins, 2000. 35. Malia, 1994, 172. 36. Jaunais Komunrs, October 18, 1940. 37. Jaunks Zias, June 18, 1940. 38. Ca, June 25, 1940. 39. Ibid, 39, 1940. 40. Ibid, July 8, 1940. 41. Ibid, July 10, 1940. 42. Ibid, June 22, 1941. 43. Ibid, July 2, 1941.

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44. Ibid, July 4, 1941. 45. Latvijas Strlnieks, September 19, 1941. 46. Ca, Dcember 30, 1941. 47. Ibid, October 24, 1944. 48. Ibid, November 21, 1944. 49. Ibid, December 24, 1944. 50. Markss un Engelss par reakcionro prsismu. Rga: Grmatu apgds, 1945. 51. Karogs 9, 1946. 52. Ca, December 26, 1952. 53. Ca, March 16, 1953. 54. Strods, 2001. 55. Baltijas reakcionr emigrcija odien. Rga Zintne, 1982. 56. Rgas Balss, December 18, 1981. 57. VKbP vsture. sais kurss. Rga, PRA, 1945. 58. Craig, 1980. 59. V.Kasis. No slepeno dienestu seifiem. Rga: Avots, 1985. 60. Ibid. 61. N. Jakovevs. CIP pret PSRS. Rga: Avots, 1983. 62. Gross, 1985, 218. 63. Rawson, 1981, 7. 64. Hartmann, 1998, 4546. 65. Dodd, 1962. 66. Veisbergs, 1997; 2001b. 67. Rakstniecbas un mkslas gadagrmata. Rga: Latvju grmata, 1942. 68. Ibid. 69. Latvijas PSR vsture. Rga: Zintne, 1986, 203. 70. Ca, August 2, 1940. 71. Ibid. 72. Ibid, June 7, 1941. 73. Tvija, January 25, 1941. 74. Ibid, November 29, 1941. 75. Ibid, October 28, 1941. 76. Daugavpils Latvieu Avze 26, July 30, 1941. 77. Nacionl Zemgale, July 12, 1941. 78. Tvija, October 10, 1941. 79. Ibid, October 14, 1941. 80. Ibid, October 13, 1941. 81. Hughes, 1988, 212. 82. Tvija, December 15, 1941. 83. Ibid, December 18, 1941. 84. Ibid. 85. Ibid, January 6, 1943. 86. Ibid, January 27, 1943. 87. Ibid.

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88. Ibid, January 28, 1943. 89. Ibid, February 6, 1943. 90. Ibid, September 11, 1944. 91. Ibid, September 16, 1944. 92. Ibid, September 22, 1944. 93. Ibid, September 27, 1944. 94. Latvijas, 1987. 95. Ca, January 8, 1989. 96. Literatra un Mksla, January 1, 1987. 97. Ca, January 8, 1989. 98. V. Zelmenis. Jaunba, mlestba imene. Rga. Zvaigzne, 1983. 99. VKBP vsture. sais kurss. Rga, 1945, 316, 318, 320. 100. Ca, June 19, 1988. 101. LPSR vsture. Rga: Zintne, 1986, 241. 102. Ca, January 8, 1989. 103. LME, 466. 104. Ibid, 766. 105. Latvieu literatras darbinieki. Rga: Zintne, 1965, 176. 106. Jaunko laiku vsture. Rga: Zvaigzne, 1974, 60. 107. Plantas pulss, 1981, 99. 108. Ibid, 105. 109. PSKP XXVI kongresa materili. Rga: Avots, 1981. 110. Ibid, 60. 111. Plantas pulss, 60. 112. Padomju Jaunatne, January 8, 1989. 113. Ibid. 114. Ibid, November 3, 1988. 115. Rgas Balss, August 9, 1988. 116. Ca, May 1, 1986. 117. Ibid, May 2, 1986. 118. Ibid, May 8, 1986. 119. Ibid, January 8, 1988. 120. Ibid, June 15, 1988. 121. Ibid, December 6, 1988. 122. Ibid, June 29, 1988.

Bibliography
Brackmann, K.H., R. Birkenauer (1988), NS-Deutsch: Selbstverstaendliche Begriffe und Schlagworter aus der Zeit des Nationalsocialismus. Stralen/Niedrerhein: Stralener Manuskripte Verlag. Craig, G.A. (1980), Germany 18661945. New York: Oxford University Press.

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Dodd A.R. (1969), Euphemantics. The new language of Science, ETC, A Review of General Semantics. San Francisco, vol. 26, 2: 236240. Dribins, L. (2000), Antisemtisms nacistisks okupcijas laik izdotaj pres Latvij 19411945, in: Latvia in World War II. Rga: Latvijas vstures institta apgds, 361371. Ehlich, K. (1989), Sprache im Faschismus. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Fest, J. (1999), The Face of the Third Reich. New York: De Capo Press. Gross J. (1985), Intimations of Mortality, in: D. J. Enright (ed.), Fair of Speech. The Uses of Euphemisms. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Grunberger, R. (1991), A Social History of the Third Reich. Harmondsworth: Penguin. Hartmann R.R.K., J. Gregory (1998), Dictionary of Lexicography. London, New York: Routledge. Hitler, A. (1939), Mein Kampf. London: Hurst and Blackett. Hughes, G. (1988), Words in Time. Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Huxley, A. (1936), Notes on Propaganda, Harpers Magazine, 174. Klemperer, V. (2000), The Language of the Third Reich: LTI Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Phililogists Notebook. New Brunswick: Athlone Press. Latvijas PSR tautas saimniecba (1987), Rga: Avots. Lukacs, J. (1997), The Hitler of History. New York:Vintage Books. Malia, M. (1994), The Soviet Tragedy. NewYork: The Free Press. Price-Jones, D. (1995), The War That Never Was. The Fall of the Soviet Empire. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Rawson H. (1981), A Dictionary of Euphemisms and Other Doubletalk. New York: Crown Publishers Inc. Schmitz-Berning, C. (1998), Vokabular des Nationalsozialismus. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

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Strods, H. (2001), Kopjais Latvijas totalitraj genocd (19401956), Latvijas vsture, 4 (44): 6878. Veisbergs, A. (1997), Euphemisms in Latvian and English, Contrastive and Applied Linguistics, 6: 3646. Veisbergs, A. (2001a), Disfmismi pagtn un odien, Leksika: Vsturiskais un aktulais. Rga: LVI: 4143. Veisbergs, A. (2001b), Euphemisms in Bilingual Dictionaries, in: Translation and Meaning. Maastricht: 187194. Welch, D. (1995), The Third Reich. Politics and Propaganda. London: Routledge. Wires, R. (1985), Terminology of the Third Reich. Muncie: Ball State University. vinklis, A. (2000), Latvieu prese nacistisks Vcijas okupcijas laik, in: Latvia in World War II. Rga: Latvijas vstures institta apgds: 353359.

Toward a Postcolonial Perspective on the Baltic States Krlis Raevskis


My purpose is to examine the paradoxical nature of the postcolonial designation when it is applied to the Baltic States. While the occupation by the Soviet Union can be seen as a colonial enterprise according to the most basic definitions of colonialism, the case of the Baltic countries is yet to be considered as relevant in the context of an ever-expanding field of postcolonial studies. In this sense, I argue, the Baltics have been doubly victimized: first, by the outcome of World War Two and second, by the ideological effects of the Cold War. It is the testimony of literature, I suggest, that makes a convincing case for applying a colonial perspective to the experience of the Baltic peoples. The novels of the Latvian author Alberts Bels, for example, evoke most tellingly what it felt like to live inside the cage of Russian colonialism, and chronicle present-day attempts to cope with its aftermath. The idea that the Baltic States might be considered former colonies of the Soviet Union is clearly a vexing oneuntenable in some quarters, irrecusable in others, but mostly ignored or deemed irrelevant. The theme certainly appears incongruous in the context of the everexpanding field of postcolonial studies. Any casual perusal of the literature falling under this rubric will fail to uncover any mention of the Baltics or, for that matter, of the Soviet Union. As Violeta Kelertas has noted, although much has been written about various locations and forms of postcolonialism, the empire that constituted the Soviet Union has been little discussed in these terms.1 One notable exception to this neglect is the ground-breaking article by David Chioni Moore in which he observes first, how extraordinarily postcolonial the societies of the former Soviet regions are, and, second, how extraordinarily little attention is paid to this fact, at least in these terms.2 He argues further that it should be clear that the term postcolonial, and everything that goes with itlanguage, economy, politics, resistance, liberation and its hangovermight reasonably be applied to the formerly Russo- and Soviet-controlled regions post-1989 and -1991, just as it has been applied to South Asia post1947 or Africa post-1958.3 As a result, Moore is struck by two kinds of

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silences: that of postcolonial studies on the subject of the former USSR and that of scholars who specialize in this area who fail to think of their regions in the useful if by no means perfect postcolonial terms developed by scholars of, say, Indonesia and Gabon.4 To many members of the Baltic community it is quite obvious that a discussion of the recent history of the Baltics in these terms has much to recommend it, and, indeed, as Kelertas sees it, that it is actually crucial to redefine ourselves according to postcolonial concepts and insights. One compelling reason for such a redefinition is the new perspective and understanding to be gained when dealing with works of literature. Approaches to Baltic cultures conceptualized in terms of postcolonial theory would certainly help account for the particular content and form that their literatures took and are now still taking.5 This argument could be extended to other areas as well. Postcolonial theoretical approaches help appreciate the high stakes of literary expression by highlighting the political, ethnic, and nationalistic dimension of literary works. In this sense, literature is seen not simply as a cultural ornament or a refined pastime but as a form of expression that speaks for a peoples identity, preserves and revives its collective memory, and dramatizes its struggles for political legitimacy and cultural survival. As Moore points out, since the colonial relation can be considered just as fundamental to world identities as other universal categories, such as race, and class, and caste, and age, and gender,6 approaching a culture in terms of an experience of colonization can bring a new depth and richness to its study. Consequently, the elaboration of a postcolonial perspective can indeed be termed crucial in terms of the Baltic peoples attempts at understanding themselves as well as gaining a sympathetic hearing from others at this stage of their post-Soviet era of rebirth and recovery. But it is also highly problematic, as I have suggested, and raises a number of critical issues that need to be sorted out if such an elaboration is to bear fruit. The Case for Colonialism First, to be sure, there are very good reasons why the Baltic States are generally absent from discussions of colonialism and its aftermaththe most obvious being the history of their identification with a European rather than a Third-World sphere of interest.7 With respect to the Soviet Union, the relationship between colonizers and colonized is therefore marked by an ironic reversal. Kelertas makes the point that the relation between the Soviet empire and the Baltic countries simply does not fit the customary opposition of civilized metropolis and barbaric or primitive periphery typical of the traditional view of colonial relationships. As she explains it, usually it is the center which is accused of being Eurocentric, while in the post-Soviet context the Baltic 1.

Toward a Postcolonial Perspective States perceive themselves as European and the Soviet metropolis as uncivilized, barbarian and Oriental (because of its allegedly Mongolian rootsGenghis Khan and the invasions of the Golden Horde are always mentioned as determinants of Soviet mentality). 8

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On the other hand, from the perspective of many East Europeans, the postcolonial qualification should be rejected precisely because of the negative associations the term elicits. Thus Roumiana Deltcheva points out that the term is largely rejected within the East European community. She further argues against such a designation by submitting that This analogy [] is not applicable to East Central Europe. First, until the end of World War II the East Central European countries were developing within the socio-economic framework of capitalism. The sociopolitical changes after the war were at least on the surface instigated by popular movements from within and only aided by the Soviet regime. Secondly, all East Central European states had existed for a long time, albeit with interruptions and limitations of their independence, and have their autonomous political, social, economic, and cultural history. From this perspective, the Soviet colonizer did not introduce a radically different model that entirely obliterated their national and cultural identity. Thirdly, not all countries of the Eastern bloc were externally colonized to the same degree.9 The colonization of the Baltic States, in light of these considerations, appears to have been carried out to a degree that would amply justify the removal of the quotation marks from the term. Their situationas the historian Robert Conquest pointed out forty years ago in a small book significantly entitled The Last Empirewas fairly clear-cut: The three newest colonies in the world to-day, he wrote, are the Baltic States of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. For over 20 yearsfrom 1918 to 1940 they were free, independent nations; to-day, they are ruled from Moscow.10 There are indeed excellent reasons why the Baltic countries should be and always should have been seen as the victims of colonization. It is a conclusion made inescapable in terms of some basic definitions. Colonialism involves, after all, a condition of domination, of territorial occupation and control. As Stephen Slemon puts it, colonialism oppresses through direct political and economic control. This control

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materializes in the form of an ideological regulation of colonial subjects, of subordination through the manufacture of consent.11 The manufacture, in turn, can take many forms. It can be more or less subtle and its strategies can be carried out on various levels of coercion. Generally speaking, however, the fabrication of consent involves such areas of contention as language, history, and education. In this regard, if the Soviet form of colonialism differed from other kinds it was perhaps in the brutality and thoroughness of its oppression. Nothing illustrates this thoroughness better than the uses and abuses of language in the Soviet system. The control of language, as postcolonial theory makes clear, is fundamental to strategies of domination: Language is a fundamental site of struggle for postcolonial discourse because the colonial process itself begins in language. The control over language by the imperial centrewhether achieved by displacing native languages, by installing itself as a standard [...] or by planting the language of empire in a new place remains the most potent instrument of cultural control.12 What the Soviet system endeavored to control above all was the whole semantic dimension of linguistic expression. It is a procedure we associate most readily today with the fictional creations of George Orwell. It is a fiction, of course, that had its source in the reality of everyday experience in Eastern Europe. Vaclav Havel provides a most compelling description of the method that was perfected during the years of Soviet occupation in Eastern Europe. In order to suggest the insidious subtlety of a system that remained totalitarian while pretending to be something else entirely, Havel terms it post-totalitarian: The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of the individual is pretended as his ultimate liberation; depriving people of information is called making it available; the use of power to manipulate is called the public control of power, and the arbitrary abuse of power is called observing the legal code; the repression of culture is called its development; the expansion of imperial influence is presented as support for the oppressed; the lack of free expression becomes the

Toward a Postcolonial Perspective highest form of freedom; farcical elections become the highest form of democracy; banning independent thought becomes the most scientific of world views; military occupation becomes fraternal assistance. Because the regime is captive to its own lies, it must falsify everything. It falsifies its past. It falsifies the present, and it falsifies the future. It falsifies statistics. It pretends not to possess an omnipotent and unprincipled police apparatus. It pretends to respect human rights. It pretends to persecute no one. It pretends to fear nothing. It pretends to pretend nothing.13

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To be sure, the Soviet system could also forego all subtlety and work in ways that corresponded to perfectly traditional modes of colonial oppression. In regard to language, this sort of approach was most evident in the campaign to impose Russian as the lingua franca of the empire. The pressure to conform was particularly intense in Latvia, where the failure to use Russian was likely to bring various forms of rebuke or punishmentat school, at ones workplace, or even on the street. Even after independence had been achieved, the attempt to establish Latvian as the official language of the realm was openly opposed by Russia. Under the guise of protecting the rights of the sizeable Russian minority in Latvia, the Russian government used various forms of economic and political blackmail to impede the democratic process of the newly formed republic. Clearly, even after the collapse of the Soviet regime, Russia has not given up an ambition traceable back to Peter the Great, which was to displace the populations along the shores of the Baltic Sea in order to open up a new and wider window to the West. It is an ambition that is obviously colonial in its designs. As the editors of The Post-Colonial Studies Reader point out, place and displacement are crucial features of post-colonial discourse, and are notions that constitute a central theme in the field of postcolonial studies.14 In the case of Latvia, again, the displacement of its inhabitants was part of a purposeful plan to gradually disperse and eliminate an identifiable ethnic group. The first phase was rather brutal and swift. Thus, in the 1940s, Latvia lost approximately one fourth of its population: about a quarter of a million to the war, executions, and deportations, and another quarter of a million to voluntary exile. The second phase consisted of opening factories and establishing military bases in Latvia and flooding the country with Russian troops and a Russian work force. While the troops are gone today, the presence of Russian nationals is not only evident but could even be considered oppressive today. This is especially so in Riga, a city whose population now represents half of the countrys total. The former colonizers are everywhere in evidence, in terms of their numbers, their economic power, and their ownership of Rigas best real estate.

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The Soviet Myth The history of Soviet colonialism and the continuing threat of Russian colonial designs is an undeniable reality for those who experienced the Soviet occupation and who continue to bear the effects of its aftermath. Since the experience of the Baltic peoples would seem to fulfill the conditions overseen by standard definitions of colonialism, we are brought to ask ourselves why this reality has remained imperceptible why others have not been able to see what is so obvious to us. The issue becomes a question of perceptionand of overcoming the obstacles impeding perception. Or, to put it in other terms, it becomes a matter of understanding the causes of a peculiar form of blindness that has victimized the Baltic peoples as well as other nationalities in Eastern and Central Europe. As Vaclav Havel has suggested, the former colonies of the Soviet empire can be seen as the victims of a system of impersonal power that had its roots in the West: It was precisely Europe, and the European West, that provided and frequently forced on the world all that today has become the basis of such power: natural science, rationalism, scientism, the industrial revolution, and also revolution as such, as a fanatical abstraction, through the displacement of the natural world to the bathroom down to the cult of consumption, the atomic bomb, and Marxism.15 Vaclavs enumeration also has the merit of pointing out one of the main obstacles that has stood in the way of seeing the Soviet satellites as victims of colonialism: while science, rationalism, and the industrial revolution have all been readily implicated in colonialist schemes of domination, Marxism has traditionally been identified with the opposing camp of the critics of colonialism. Moreover, a number of the earliest and some of the most eminent critics and theorizers of colonialism have been explicit Marxists or have been clearly influenced by Marxism/Leninism. Indeed, one of the earliest definitions and analysis of colonialism can be found in Lenins brief treatise on imperialism, which he defines as the monopoly stage of capitalism: Imperialism is capitalism in that stage of development in which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital has established itself; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun; in which the division of all territories of the globe among the great capitalist powers has been completed.16

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Consequently, and by definition, according to the Western critical canon, it is not possible to be both a victim of Marxism and colonialism, since Marxism has always belonged to the tradition of anti-colonial discourse. David Chioni Moore makes the point that many postcolonialist scholars, in the United States and elsewhere, have been Marxist or strongly leftist and therefore have been reluctant to make the Soviet Union a French- or British-style villain.17 What complicates matters even further in the case of the Baltic States is that leftist critical theory in general is implicated in a long history of misperception or miscomprehension of the Soviet system. In this sense, it could indeed be said that the Baltic countries have been doubly disadvantaged: victims of World War II, they were further victimized by the Cold War that followed, since the latter prevented them from being seen as the victims of the former. In terms of the Cold War, East Europeans belonged to the political right by definition and could therefore count on little sympathy from the left. Thus, for a long time, the Soviet Union benefited from a curious sort of blindness afflicting a good many Western intellectuals. So much hope and ideological capital had been invested in the idea of a bright future for humankind, for which the USSR seemed to stand, that many thinkers simply ignored or refused to accept the evidence of such well-documented facts as the Soviet slave labor system. The example of French writers and thinkers is particularly revealing. Thus, in 1950, at the height of the Stalinist repression, Les Temps modernesa journal associated, most notably, with the name of Sartrepublished the following account: There is no country in the world where the dignity of work is more respected than in the Soviet Union. Forced labor does not exist there, because the exploitation of man by man has long since been abolished. Workers enjoy the fruits of their own labor and are no longer forced to depend on a few capitalist exploiters. Forced labor is characteristic of the capitalist system because, in capitalist countries, workers are treated like slaves by their capitalist masters. [] The various inhuman measures applied in the prisons of the United States to the negro population of that country offer a singular contrast with the equitable and reasonable disposition of the Soviet Unions Code of collective labor; this code has been drawn up in a spirit that is more humanitarian than repressive and its goal is to transform criminals into law-abiding citizens.18 While the contributors to Les Temps modernes were eager to deny or downplay the existence of the Gulag, they were alsoas we might

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expectamong the most outspoken critics of colonialism. The two stances went naturally hand-in-hand: The intellectual left of the fifties needed to believe in the possibility of a just and durable global empire. MarxismLeninism and the Soviet Union offered them this alternative.19 Thus Sartre, who had become a champion of anti-colonial liberation movements, denounced sincerely Frances colonial ambitions, believing that only Soviet communism could offer the final solution to the misfortunes of the modern world.20 The irony of such a deluded promotion of the Soviet hegemony is obvious today. As Pavel notes, Sartre had become, in effect, an ardent advocate of colonialism because he represented, in spite of himself, the persistence of an imperial mentality, i.e., that of the Soviet Union. With its armies, its claim of carrying out a civilizing mission, and its territorial conquests, the Soviet Union was simply the last of the great, old-fashioned global empires. The ideology of the Soviet Union, summed up in the utopian concept of homo sovieticus, played a role identical to the one Christianity, rationality, and Eurocentrism had played in serving to promote the imperial interests of Spain, France, and England.21 Eventually, the reality of the Soviet system imposed itself as the deluded experiment in human engineering it had been from the start and, perhaps not coincidentally, the illusions fostered by Marxism-Leninism dissipated about the same time that France was giving up its colonial ambitions. Pavel, for one, sees a connection between these two events and a more general disillusionment that marked the evolution of a certain Zeitgeist in France and other Western countries. It was a time, he suggests, when the great doctrines and global projects, whether from the East or the West, appeared equally detestable. We threw out the Enlightenment together with Dialectics.22 The rejection of the Empire mentality had led to the rejection of systematic thought in general and to a suspicion of such fundamental supports of rational thought as the subject and reason. At the same time, Pavel expresses the hope that a new generation of French intellectuals has brought to an end what he calls l're du soupon dans les sciences humaines and he heralds the return of a redeemed consciousness and a renewed belief in human agency.23 3. The Postcolonial Suspicion East Europeans will be forgiven for viewing such an optimistic prognosis with suspicion and for resisting a project that seems likely to prepare the ground once more for the validation of Eurocentric universals. Their experience as colonized subjects is still too recent not to dwell on it a little longer. While for Pavel the end of colonialism meant the discrediting of principles that were central to European and Western thought, for East Europeans, the end of the Soviet Empire has only reinforced, as we have seen, a suspicion of all forms of systematic thought that had originated in Europe and had served to legitimate the totalitarian

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system of which they were the victims. Perhaps the most significant distinction to be made between European colonial powers and the Soviet Union is that the latter was, after all, a totalitarian power. Its satellites were therefore not only the subjects of colonialism but of a totalitarian colonialism that was all the more reprehensible because it rested on principles and themes that originated in the most glorified ideals of European political thought. There is still much to be understood and much to be revealed in this regard, and before we jump on the bandwagon of those who would trumpet the triumph of enlightened Western values, it is important to see how and why these values are apt to be so easily co-opted and subverted. Thus Havel warns us of the consequences deriving from a failure to understand the totalitarian systems for what they ultimately area convex mirror of all modern civilization and a harsh, perhaps final call for a global recasting of how that civilization understands itself.24 We must realize, continues Havel, that Totalitarian systems warn of something far more serious than Western rationalism is willing to admit. They are, most of all, a convex mirror of the inevitable consequences of rationalism, a grotesquely magnified image of its own deep tendencies, an extreme offshoot of its own development and an ominous product of its own expansion. They are a deeply informative reflection of its own crisis. Totalitarian regimes are not merely dangerous neighbors and even less some kind of avantgarde of world progress. Alas, just the opposite: they are the avant-garde of a global crisis of this civilization.25 It is a crisis, explains Havel, that stems from an ever-expanding, irrepressible advance of what has been termed an eschatology of the impersonal, an expression used to designate the total rule of a bloated, anonymously bureaucratic power, not yet irresponsible but already operating outside all conscience, a power grounded in an omnipresent ideological fiction which can rationalize anything without ever having to come into contact with the truth.26 The deployment of this impersonal power is entirely irrational and operates outside the realm of reason and consciousness because it is, by definition, unaffected by rationally conceived human standards. It is at this juncture, we might note, that postcolonialism intersects with postmodernism, in the sense that both approaches can be seen as attempts at resisting and questioning some fundamental principles of Western Wisdom.27 As others have already argued, the conjunction can be viewed as a welcome and promising one, because it offers an opportunity to re-evaluate certain received political notions and to innovate by going against the grain of established truths. It is also at this

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juncture that the experience of the Baltic peoples could be deemed relevant to such postcolonial issues as the necessity to develop strategies of resistance to persisting forms of domination as well as the desirability of renewing pre-colonial forms of thought. For any renewal to be effective, a few established ways of thinking need to be discredited. This can be done most effectively by showing that such ways have become irrelevant. Thus the distinctions between socialism and capitalism, left and right, that sustained the rhetoric of the Cold War have become largely meaningless. Havel considers such distinctions to be a throwback to the nineteenth century and finds that these thoroughly ideological and often semantically confused categories have long since been beside the point. For Havel, the future prospects of humanity will be determined to a large extent by the degree to which we can escape such ingrained habits of thought and, in the process, succeed in reconstituting the natural world as the terrain of politics. For him, such a reconstitution would consist, first and foremost, of rehabilitating the personal experience of human beings as the initial measure of things. This would mean placing morality above politics and responsibility above our desires, in making human community meaningful, in returning content to human speech, in reconstituting, as the focus of all social action, the autonomous, integral, and dignified human I.28 The Power of Narrative To some, such an agenda may sound overly vague and ambitious; to others it may appear much too sentimental and nave. From the perspective of those who have experienced the totalitarian colonialism of the Soviet empire, the defense of the right of individuals to human dignity expresses a most obvious and most deeply-felt need. It is a need, moreover, that finds itself expressed in the simplest, most basic form of human communication: the story. That is why narrativein oral or written formhas been of utmost importance for those deprived of their dignity, those who were denied their very humanity because they had become subhumans by definition. It is a realization that often came in prison or in the camps. This, indeed, was Havels own experience. While I was in prison, he recalls, I realized again and again how much more present, compared with life outside, the story was. Almost every prisoner had a life story that was unique and shocking, or moving. As I listened to those different stories, I suddenly found myself in something like a pretotalitarian world, or in the world of literature.29 The crucial importance of narrating ones experience of confinement and persecution is indeed a commonplace in accounts of this nature. Eugenia Semyonovna Ginzburg, a Russian woman who survived eighteen years of internment in the gulag, is the author of one of the more remarkable memoirs documenting the slave labor camp experience. She remembers that the need to recount her experience became an obsession from the beginning: 4.

Toward a Postcolonial Perspective Readers often ask me: How could you keep such a mass of names, facts, place names and poems in your memory? Very simply: because just remembering it all to record it later had been the main object of my life throughout those eighteen years. The collection of material for this book began from the moment when I first crossed the threshold of the NKVDs Inner Prison in Kazan.30

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In Latvia, the gathering of such narratives has become a national project and has produced a remarkable amount of documentary evidence that testifies to what has been endured. The importance of this literature of deportation, as it has become known, can be appreciated on several levels. 31 It stands, first of all, as an indictment of crimes which, as the editor of The Black Book of Communism reminds us, have so far escaped any legitimate and normal evaluation, as much from an historical as from a moral point of view.32 This relative silence over the horrors perpetrated in the name of Communismespecially when one considers the abundance of literature documenting Nazi atrocitieshas recently been explained as the silence of people who are simply baffled by the spectacle of so much absolutely futile, pointless, and inexplicable suffering.33 To be sure, the suffering was equally pointless and inexplicable to those who endured it. For them, however, it was this very futility and absurdity that made it imperative that it not be passed over in silence. In this sense, the literature of deportation partakes of an impulse that marks an entire stage in the history of our civilization. As Carolyn Forch reminds us, the 20th century may well go down in history as the age of atrocity. Since the record of inhumanity and barbarism to which it would owe this deplorable distinction is beyond human comprehension or rational explanation, the only recourse, especially for the victims, has been literary expression. It has produced a genre Forch calls Poetry of Witness, a kind of literature whose principal function is to simply serve as poetic witness to the dark times in which they lived.34 Similarly, the narratives that make up the literature of deportation do not seek to explain or rationalize, do not seek justification or redemption in a meaning to be found somewhere outside the boundaries of narrative. These narratives thus partake of a general awareness marking an age that has witnessed the collapse of grand narratives and of transcendental signifieds. The latter part of the 20th century has been marked by the disintegration of all the great historical referentscapitalism, the bourgeoisie, imperialism, socialism, the proletariat. Any attempt at maintaining a heroic political identity in terms of any one of these concepts has consequently become suspect in this postmodern age of disillusionment. What stands out in the light of this disintegration is the metaphysics of signification, according to the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy. For Nancy, the reality of these times is

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to be found in the void opened up by the failure of meaning, by the failure of civilization to make sense. Our ability to comprehend has thus been reduced to a simple enumeration of the calamities that have marked this age: It is an endless listand in fact, everything is happening as if our only option were but to draw up this list, in an accounting that allows for no bottom line. It is a litany that is, a prayer, but of pure suffering, of pure loss and bewilderment, a wailing that is heard daily from the mouths of the millions of refugees, of the deported, the besieged, the mutilated, the starved, the raped, the cut off, the excluded, the exiled, and the expulsed.35 As the metaphysics of meaning stands revealed, Nancy argues, individuals are increasingly exposed to the risk of no longer being able to interpret the world or themselves and meaning has been brought down to the level of singular, individual, immediate experience. At the same time, individuals also become exposed to themselves, to each other, to their own language and end up having no other recourse but to exist in the sense that they themselves are. It is futile to go looking for meaning somewhere else, explains Nancy, because we are ourselves this meaning: Being does not have meaning, but being itself, the phenomenon of being, is meaning, which is, in turn, its own circulationand we are this circulation.36 The world, we realize, has lost its sense, since it no longer can claim to have a referent; it can no longer depend on a sense it would derive from an exteriority, from another world. Thus, the world no longer has any meaning, but it is meaning.

The Literary Experience of Colonization Thinking this meaning thus involves the experience of being, of being immersed in the experience of living as a body that has the capacity for living, thinking, and feeling. To get at the sense of this existence then, it is not a question of signification but a question of an exertion of thought [un travail de la pense]of discourse and of writing, an exertion whereby thought strives to get in touch (be touched by) that which is not its contents but its body.37 Thinking becomes a praxis of writing, a literary assertion of ones very being. In Latvian literature, it is a mode of thought that is particularly characteristic of the writing of Alberts Bels, the most important novelist of the Soviet period of occupation.38 Belss first novel, Izmekltjs (The investigator), was published in 1967. The work has generally been valued for its innovative treatment of form and character and for the influence it had on Latvian literature. Bels was the first Latvian writer to effectively bring out the importance of

5.

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the world of material things and of its power over human thoughts and emotions, of its capacity for creating desire as well as for suppressing individuality. The novel is centered on a consciousness that thinks, feels, and experiences the materiality of its body as an integral part of its being. The narrative consists of the interior monologue of the main character who attempts to give meaning to his dual role as a sculptor and as an investigator of a crime. At the end, we realize that the crime is imaginary and that the books central character has been engaged in the intellectual and analytical task of investigating his own personality. Belss narrative procedure was clearly at odds with the official literary and aesthetic precepts of the day. It had also managed to strike a most responsive chord in the readers whose existential dilemmas it had so effectively portrayed. In the novel Bezmiegs (Insomnia) (written in 1969, published in 1987), the narrative once again is made up of the thoughts and emotions of the main character. The latter is portrayed as an outwardly apathetic man, as are many of Belss characters in the novels he wrote in the 1960s and 1970s, a period marked by a general atmosphere of paralysis and stagnation in Soviet society. The hero subscribes to a principle of noninvolvement and is content with the small material advantages of a mediocre existencean old car, a small room in a communal apartment, a television set. The paralysis of spirit is most apparent in the depiction of the everyday minutiae as well as in the nighttime monologues of the buildings other inhabitants. The novels hero feels free only at night, in his room, when his work no longer dominates his thinking, when the surrounding sounds of the apartment house have died down, and when he is able to escape the oppressive presences of things and of people that hang over him during the day. The feeling of entrapment is the explicit theme of Bris (The Cage). Its central character is a personable and talented young architect whose thinking and values are alsoand inevitablyinfluenced by the mentality of the rising class of professionals to which he belongs. He is depicted thus as a member of an increasingly influential group of faceless, mechanical humans who lead monotonous lives without real social commitment, repeat stereotyped thoughts and acts, [and] are primarily concerned with achieving a comfortable neo-bourgeois standard of living based on their skills to use influence and connections.39 After he becomes the victim of a kidnapping and is locked up in a steel cage in the middle of a vast forest, he is faced with the most basic issue of existence that of survival. The cage, at this point in the novel, acquires an obvious symbolic dimension and the heros struggle to escape it is to be taken both literally and figuratively. The cage stands for all the dehumanizing, stifling, and repressive elements of social existence that have been internalized by the individual; it represents the cumulative effect of the norms, habits, standards, and platitudes that limit thought and prevent the development of meaningful human relations. There is, therefore, no

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escaping the cage, and when the architect finds himself finally freed, it is only to return to the cage of his life in Soviet society. To be sure, the literary contributions of Bels are not limited to depicting the anguish of individual existences in a world bereft of any redeeming value or significance. As the colonial grip of the occupier loosened and as the hope of an eventual liberation grew stronger, the scope of his novels expanded to include considerations that went beyond strictly individual concerns. The novel Cilvki laivs (People in Boats) is generally considered to be one of his best. Its central theme is the destiny of the Latvian people as it has unfolded over the centuries. A secondary motif evokes the ties that bind an individual to his or her ethnic and/or national community. The story takes place in the 19th century, in a small fishing village in Courland whose existence is threatened by the inexorable advance of a vast sand dune. As the narrative unfolds, the dune becomes a multi-layered symbol for the novels principal themes: it represents, by turns, the flow of time, the march of history, the force of nature, the oppression of state despotism, the discord that tears communities apart, as well as the self-destructive urges individuals harbor within themselves. Above all else, it stands for the force of destiny: just as the dune finally engulfs the hamlet, history eventually swallowed up the once prosperous nation of Courland. What gives the narrative its tragic resonance is the evocation of the inexorable force of geo-political circumstances to which small nations are subject. In a world in which small countries have naturally fallen prey to the predatory designs of the larger ones, the fate of the colonized is made all the more bitter by the lack of concern the more powerful nations have often manifested for the lot of the small ones. The lesson Bels wishes to impart is an understanding of the inherent importance of each peopleno matter how smallin the global community of nations. At the same time, each people must also accept the responsibility for preserving the language, history, art, and traditions that are unique to each individual community. In this sense, a nations survival is constantly threatened by the narrow-mindedness and apathy of its own people and by the neglect into which its particular cultural and linguistic identity is always in danger of falling. The vitality of a community, proposes Bels, can only be ensured by the diligence and dedication with which its members are willing to rise above selfish motives in order to work toward sustaining the values and ideals that have been key to preserving their identity through the ages. It is a principle that remains valid in a post-colonial, post-Soviet Latvia. The creative work of Bels thus not only has the merit of providing a telling account of the Soviet colonial cage but also of putting his readers on guard against new cages implicit in changing circumstances of economic dependency. The newly-found independence becomes possible in the context of a new kind of world order that can appear both alienating and incomprehensible. Freedom brings also with it its share of

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disappointments and, while totalitarianism uses the cage model to imprison people for life, as Bels explains in Latvieu labirints (The Latvian labyrinth), democracy is like a labyrinth in which one is condemned to wander endlessly.40 Or, as he points out in his latest work, Uguns atspdumi uz olu aumalm (Reflections of fire on eggshells), today it is money that makes you free. And it is the former colonizers who seem to have it. The Latvian postcolonial hangover therefore appears to be rather unique by virtue of the ironic situation Bels outlines in the novel. Watching the fancy foreign cars in the streets of Riga, Jnis Klegermanisone of the novels charactersponders the fact that sitting behind the wheel, in many cases, are probably men who, ten years earlier, were important cogs in the Soviet apparatus. Today, they live quite comfortably, thinks Jnis, and he is struck by the thought that they now had what they had promised Jnis communism would bring him. A spacious, nice apartment, good food, efficient medical care, travel, happiness, peace, and prosperity. They now had all that.41 Having failed in their first attempt at colonizing the country, the Soviet invaders and their descendantswhether by hook or by crookhave been able to take advantage of the new scheme of things. Only this time their position turns out to be incomparably more profitable. 6. Theorizing the Aftermath Examining the Latvian literary scene as it has evolved since independence, literary historian Karl Jirgens is particularly interested in narratives of resistance and struggle against an oppression that amounted to what he terms a colonization of the mind. He therefore finds useful an insight offered by Ngu~gi wa Thiongo in his essay Decolonizing the Mind. Writing some twenty-five years ago, Ngu~gi wa Thiongo warned of a most forbidding obstacle challenging the defiance and resistance of those who have been colonized: But the biggest weapon wielded and actually daily unleashed by imperialism against the collective defiance is the cultural bomb. The effect of the cultural bomb is to annihilate peoples belief in their names, in their languages, in their environment, in their heritage of struggle, in their unity, in their capacities and ultimately in themselves. It makes them see their past as one wasteland of non-achievement and it makes them want to distance themselves from the wasteland. It makes them want to identify with that which is further removed from themselves; for instance, with other peoples languages rather than their own. It makes them identify with that which is decadent and reactionary, all those forces which would stop their own springs of life. It

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Krlis Raevskis even plants serious doubts about the moral rightness of struggle.42

Jirgens finds the metaphor of the bomb to be a particularly apt way of characterizing the Latvian experience: For over sixty years, natives of Latvia have endured the effects of this cultural bomb as an attack against the Latvian worldview calculated to shock the mind into submission. The ground on which this war was waged was in the arena of language. In the broadest and narrowest terms, language serves as a key to both imprisonment and liberty. Consequently, literature plays a fundamental role in resisting psychic colonization and in reasserting the Latvian identity and worldview.43 At the same time, Jirgens finds that the designation postcolonial implies a definition of the occupied nation in terms of the imperial Other. Because the term constitutes a form of arrogance that insists on viewing the occupied territory from the point of view of the aggressor or colonist, not from the point of view of the indigene, it should be deemed objectionable. Jirgens recommends that we avoid using it and that the conditions of colonization be addressed in terms such as occupation or liberation.44 It could also be argued, however, that what helps to define a former colony is not so much the former colonizers perspective as the fact of colonization itself. As a result, such an avoidance may not be to our advantage: today, in light of the universal condemnation to which colonization is subject, the former colonizer may have more to gain than the victim through an avoidance of the stigma implicit in the designation. The opprobrium that is attached to the history of colonization is something the Soviet Union has managed to evade for far too long, as I have argued above. It also points to a legacy that present-day Russia still has to acknowledge. Simply writing off this episode as a Stalinist aberration, as a series of events and circumstances from which the present regime can claim utter detachment, is getting off the hook much too easily. At a time when the acknowledgment of collective guilt and even the assumption of monetary reparations are becoming increasingly acceptable as ways for nations to make up for past misdeeds, the clear identification of colonial perpetrator and colonized victim might prove useful in gaining a sympathetic hearing on the stage of international public opinion. Lastly, the term can also serve as a reminder that the threat of colonial designs on the part of the former colonizer has by no means been eliminated. The theorization of colonialism might even offer a useful perspective on the current economic and cultural situation of small nations

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struggling to establish themselves in the global arena. The struggle for recognition, for validating a national culture or an ethnic identity, has perhaps become even more daunting at a time when such issues no longer seem to be of great concern for the newly emerging forms of imperialism. Is globalization a friend or a threat? asks Ilga vecha in a recent essay raising a question that has become highly relevant in these times. Different times call for different values: as a commercial reminds us, there are no frontiers on the planet Reebok. Indeed, the values of diversity and democracy that have been central to strategies of postcolonial selfassertion may well become increasingly irrelevant in a global context dominated by what has been called a Culture McWorld: The globalization of American cultureMcWorld cultureis a movement that is not so much hostile as indifferent toward democracy: its objective is a universal consumer society that would no longer be made up of tribes or citizensall bad potential customersbut only of this new race of men and women that consumers represent. This new globalizing culture makes irrelevant not only those who critique it from a reactionary standpoint, but also their democratic competitors, who dream of an international civil society made up of free citizens originating in the greatest variety of cultures.45 It is perhaps in this sense that the postcolonial concerns of the Baltic peoples correspond most closely to those of other former victims of colonialism. The Balts can also identify with a collective defiance aimed at the forces of economic and technological globalization working to devalue the distinctiveness of languages and cultures. Having survived the nightmare of the Soviet utopia, they may well have certain qualms about entering a brave new Disney World of consumer satellites. As Bels sees it, the economic and political realities of the new system have not always been favorable to Latvians, who seem to be caught in a vicious circle of impoverishment: A poor language produces poor thoughts. Poor thoughts produce poor deeds. Poor deeds produce poor people. Poor people produce a poor language.46 For the people of Latvia, as the philosopher Jnis Vj reminds us, it is crucial to find the Ariadnes thread that promises to lead them out of the abyss threatening their very existence.47 These are times calling for new forms of resistance and, to repeat the point made by Havel, we may well have reached a juncture at which it becomes clearer than ever that what matters most is placing morality above politics and responsibility above our desires, making human community meaningful, returning content to human speech.48

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Notes
1. Kelertas, 1998, 253; also reprinted in this volume. 2. Moore, 2001, 114; also reprinted in this volume. 3. Ibid, 115. 4. Ibid. 5. Kelertas, 1998, 253. 6. Moore, 2001, 124. 7. Latvia was even a colonial power at one time. In the seventeenth century, the Duchy of Courland had evolved as a maritime power of international standing and was able, for a time, to claim Gambia in Africa and, later, the Caribbean island of Tobago as its colonial possessions. There is also the issue of the geo-political situation of the Baltic countries and the various positive or negative associations it brings, depending on the outcome of the latest war. Obviously, being in the camp of the Germans at the end of World War II has not helped. 8. Kelertas, 1998, 253. 9. Deltcheva, 1995, 855. 10. Conquest, 1962, 80. 11. Slemon, 1995, 46. 12. Ashcroft, 1995, 283. 13. Havel, 1991, 136. 14. Aschroft, 1995, 391. 15. Havel, 1991, 258. 16. Lenin, 1939, 89. 17. Moore, 2001, 117. 18. Quoted in Aron, 1983, 307. 19. Pavel, 1990, 173. 20. Ibid, 172. 21. There is, by now, a rich literature documenting the history of this peculiar blindness. See, for example, Caute, 1973. On the subject of the French, see also Judt, 1992; Furet, 1999. One of the more vocal and prolific critics of the fellow-traveller phenomenon has been Jean-Franois Revel. In his latest book (Revel, 2000), he proposes that the French left has been using the theme of Nazi atrocities as a diversionary stratagem for avoiding the discussion of Soviet barbarism. 22. Pavel, 1990, 173. 23. Lre du soupon, the title of a book by Nathalie Sarraute published in 1956, was one of the key texts of the period and expressed an attitude of a new generation of authors and thinkers (the New Novelists, Structuralists and Post-Structuralists) intent on questioning the fundamental assumptions and premises of their forebears. 24. Havel, 1991, 259. 25. Ibid, 260.

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26. Ibid. 27. See, for example, Raevskis review of the Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 43, in: Research in African Literatures 29.2 (1998): 1418. 28. Havel, 1991, 263. 29. Ibid, 338. 30. Ginzburg, 1981, ii, 418. 31. I discuss this literature at length in my book, Modernitys Pretenses: Making Reality Fit Reason from Candide to the Gulag (1998). See Chapter 7 in particular. 32. Courtois, 1999, 13. 33. Ryan, 2000, 12. 34. Forch, 1993, 29. 35. Nancy, 1996, 12. 36. Ibid, 20. 37. Ibid, 23. 38. For a general account of Belss literary career, see the entry I coauthored with Prof. Ieva Kalnia of the University of Latvia for the Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 232, Twentieth-Century Eastern European Writers, 2001, 1520. 39. Ekmanis, 1978, 323. 40. Bels, 1998, 43. 41. Bels, 2000, 107. 42. Quoted in Jirgens, 1998, 27172. 43. Ibid. 44. Ibid. 45. Barber, 1998, 16. 46. Bels, 1998, 145. 47. Vj, 1994, 154. 48. Havel, 1991, 263.

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_______. (1987), Bezmiegs. Riga: Liesma. _______. (1987), Cilvki laivs. Riga: Liesma. _______. (1998), Latvieu labirints. Riga: Daugava. _______. (2000), Uguns atspdumi uz olu aumalm. Riga: Daugava. Caute, D. (1973), The Fellow-Travellers: A Postscript to the Enlightenment. New York: Macmillan. Conquest, R. (1962), The Last Empire. London: Ampersand Books. Courtois, S., N. Werth, J. L. Pann, A. Paczkowski, K. Bartosek, J. L. Margolin. (1997), Le livre noir du communisme: Crimes, terreur, rpression. Paris: Robert Laffont. Translated as The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999. Deltcheva, R. (1995), Post-Totalitarian Tendencies in Bulgarian Literature, Canadian Review of Comparative Literature/Revue Canadienne de Littrature Compare CRCL/RCLC, 22.34: 85365. Ekmanis, R. (1978), Latvian Literature under the Soviets, 19401975. Belmont: Nordland. Forch, C. (ed.) (1993), Against Forgetting: Twentieth-Century Poetry of Witness. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Furet, F. (1999), The Passing of an Illusion: The Idea of Communism in the Twentieth Century, trans. by Deborah Furet. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Ginzburg, E. S. (1967), Into the Whirlwind, Vol. 1, trans. by Paul Stevenson and Max Hayward. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World. _______. (1981), Within the Whirlwind, Vol. 2, trans. by Ian Boland. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Jovanovich. Havel, V. (1991), Open Letters: Selected Writings, 19651990. P. Wilson (ed.). New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Jirgens, K. E. (1998), Carnival of Death: Writing in Latvia Since Independence, World Literature Today, 72.2: 269281.

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Judt, T. (1992), Past Imperfect: French Intellectuals, 19441956. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. Kalnia, I. (2001), Twentieth-Century Eastern European Writers, in: Dictionary of Literary Biography, vol. 232. Detroit, San Francisco, London, Boston, Woodridge: The Gale Group. Kelertas, V. (1998), Perceptions of the Self and the Other in Lithuanian Postcolonial Fiction, World Literature Today, 72.2: 25361. Lenin, V. I. (1939), The Highest Stage of Capitalism. New York: International Publishers. Moore, D. C. (2001), Is the Post- in Postcolonial the Post- in Post-Soviet? Toward a Global Postcolonial Critique, Publications of the Modern Language Association, 116.1: 11128. Nancy, J. L. (1996), tre singulier pluriel. Paris: Galile. Ngu~gi wa T. (1986), Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature. London: James Currey. Pavel, T. (1990), Empire et paradigmes, Le Dbat, 58: 17080. Raevskis, K. (1998), Modernitys Pretenses: Making Reality Fit Reason from Candide to the Gulag, Albany: SUNY Press. _______. (1998), Review of the Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature 43, Research in African Literatures, 29.2: 1418. Revel, J. F. (2000), La Grande parade: Essai sur la survie de lutopie socialiste. Paris: Plon. Ryan, A. (2000), The Evil Empire, The New York Times Book Review. January 2. Review of The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. Sarraute, N. (1956), Lre du soupon. Paris: Gallimard. Slemon, S. (1995), The Scramble for Post-colonialism, in: B. Ashcroft et al. (eds.), The Post-colonial Studies Reader. London and New York: Routledge, 4552. vecha, I. B. (2000), Globalizcija: draugs vai drauds Latvijai, Universitas, 80: 4043.

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Vj, J. (1994), Transition of Society, Transformation of Philosophy, Metaphilosophy, 25.2&3: 14355.

Learning to Curse in Russian: Mimicry in Siberian Exile Jra Aviienis


This essay examines narrative mechanisms of adaptation and survival in Dalia Grinkeviits memoirs about the labor camps of Trofimovsk, Siberia. By positing the contesting trajectories of the socialist realist plot against the true-life experiences of Dalia Grinkeviit as documented in her memoirs Atsiminimai (Reminiscences) (written 194950, first published in 1995) and Lietuviai prie Laptev jros (Lithuanians by the Laptev sea) (written 1950, first published in 1988), it argues that the memoirs mimic the socialist realist plot and the official Soviet discourse of propaganda for which it stands, creating a new discourse which enacts a kind of defiance. You taught me language; and my profit ont Is, I know how to curse. The red plague rid you For learning me your language! William Shakespeare, The Tempest Calibans famous statement, while self-deprecating along the lines of sows ears and silk purses, can also be read as an affronthe is throwing Mirandas gift back in her face by using language, that perfect instrument of empire,1 to demonstrate the instrumentsand the empirestrue nature. Several centuries later, an entire colony of Baltic Calibans, isolated from the rest of the world not by sea, but by barbed wire, makes a similar gesture. This paper will argue that the Gulag elicited a peculiar form of mimicry, in Homi Bhabhas sense. By forcing middle-class, in large part urban, educated Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, and Finns to learn to survive and adapt to inhumane conditions in the camps, a new subject was created: homo sovieticus, a Soviet man/womannot as s/he was defined by Communist Party propaganda2 but as the product of a flawed colonial mimesis, in which to be Sovietized is emphatically not to be Soviet.3 As Dalia Grinkeviit, the author of the most widely recognized Lithuanian memoirs about Siberian deportation, Lietuviai prie Laptev jros (Lithuanians by the Laptev sea),

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says of the few who survive: But they will be an altogether different type of people.4 I refer to language metonymically, standing for a system of thought, an organizing structure, the grammar a subject must internalize in order to function and fit in a society. Bill Ashcroft states that to possess a language is to possess a technique [] for putting certain rules into practice.5 Hence, I will be looking at Grinkeviits depictions of the rules governing the behaviors, values, and work ethic of the prisoners in the Gulag and special camps of deportation as elements of cultural capital to be acquired and reproduced in the structuring of the Soviet subject.6 The acquisition of this form of capital involves imitation/mimicry, which, as Homi K. Bhabha has suggested, unexpectedly provides an opportunity for resistance, for in producing imperfect copies ever striving to achieve the original, the colonial system attempts to assure the colonial subjects sense of low self-esteem. Yet this very imperfection, in a perpetual repetition of resemblance, allows colonial subjects to disrupt the authority of colonial discourse by rearticulating notions of identity and essence as simulacral identity effects that hide no essence. 7 I argue that the prisoners, by enacting the rhetoric of Soviet discourse to the letter in their actions and writings, manage to locate just this space for resistance, which ultimately enables their survival. Considering the unimaginable conditions to which Grinkeviit and her coprisoners were subjected, survival is ironically the ultimate act of defiance and the best means of throwing such a gift back in the face of the giver. The present study is limited to the Lithuanian experience of the Gulag and the special camps of deportation as documented in Dalia Grinkeviits two memoirs from the period, Atsiminimai (Reminiscences), written in 194950 and first published in 1995, and Lietuviai prie Laptev jros (Lithuanians by the Laptev sea), written in 1950 and first published in 1988. This situation can be read as a microcosm of life in the Soviet Union, i.e., life in a prison camp is a metaphor for life under Soviet rule. Nonetheless, for the seven million prisoners of the Gulag from 193441 alone,8 the Gulag was no metaphor: life under Soviet rule literally meant life in the Gulag. As Anne Applebaum writes in her history of the Gulag, in Stalins Soviet Union, the difference between life inside and life outside the barbed wire was not fundamental, but rather a question of degree.9 Where European imperialism justified domination of its colonies culturally and morally as a mission to bring civilization and Christianity to the barbarians and heathens (or more recently, as the U.S. professed to liberate Iraq and to bring it out of the Dark Ages into modernity10), the Soviet occupation of the Baltics, a consequence of Hitler and Stalins secret division of Europe into spheres of influence, never troubled itself with justifications. And although it can be argued that one of the functions of the Gulag and the special deportations was, with the intention of

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better[ing] [] the state,11 to indoctrinate or rehabilitate the Balts to the new Soviet system and values, allowing them to make themselves useful to the new society, 12 the Gulag functioned primarily as a means of silencing the voices of possible opponents to the new system. 1. The Memoirs During the five days between June 14 and 18 in 1941, the KGB predecessor Cheka arrested 34,260 Lithuanian citizens,13 among them Dalia Grinkeviit, age 14, her brother, age 17, and her parents. Her father was sent to a labor camp in the Northern Urals, where two years later he perished from overwork and starvation. The rest of the family was deported first to the Altai republic, and a year later to the island of Trofimovsk in the Arctic circle, where Dalia and her brother were put to work in the lumber and fishing sectors (their mother was bedridden by then). Conditions were extremely harsh. As Dalia surveyed the island upon her arrival, her eyes were immediately drawn to a graveyard: I look around me and I shudder. All around me is tundra, tundra, naked tundra. Not a single plant, just mosscovered tundra, as far as the eye can see. In the distance I see something like a hill and crosses. As it turns out, its the graves of Finns. Brought here two weeks ago, weakened by the Leningrad blockade, infected with typhus, starving, they die.14 There they, along with 450 other exile-prisoners, lived in unheated, uninsulated barracks built with their own hands. Stolen lumber provided the only heat and cooking fuel. Food rations were inadequate: prisoners barely survived on a fixed amount of bread; most were suffering from scurvy due to a complete lack of vitamins. On top of it all, they were expected to fulfill unrealistic work quotas, for which they were paid slave wages. Half of the prisoners died during the first year.15 In response to the harshness of her sentence, Grinkeviit writes. She writes to carry on the names and memories of the dead,16 to indict those who have illegally imposed this sentence, and to recompose her damaged sense of self. Although her purposes are in opposition to the Soviet system which has imprisoned her, the rhetoric of Grinkeviits discourse is decidedly Soviet. Grinkeviit ingeniously deploys the socialist realist plot to critique and undermine the Soviet trajectory it was designed to trace and celebrate. The features most characteristic of this plot (e.g. a positive hero, the passage to selflessness, the always deferred realization of socialist goals) are twisted into an imperfect copy, rehearsing the failures, not the glories, of Soviet reality. As a kind of autobiographical writing, memoir is characterized by the autobiographical pact, according to which the authors name on the

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book jacket certifies that the events being narrated are true, and that the narrator, protagonist and author are one and the same.17 It is thus important to note not only the conditions which produced these texts, but also the traditions which formed the memoirist/author/protagonist Dalia Grinkeviit. Although born in Lithuania, Grinkeviit received a good part of her education under the Soviet system. According to her memoirs, she began the seventh class (the equivalent of junior year in high school in the United States) in Trofimovsk on December 1, 1942 and entered medical school in Omsk in the fall of 1954. If not in literature classes in school, then certainly in her own readings (she was an avid reader18), Grinkeviit unavoidably came into contact with socialist realism, the official style of Soviet literature during these years. Socialist realist novels, as Katerina Clark and Thomas Lahusen argue, are not highly regarded because, for one thing, they are predictable and formulaic: an idealized hero is called upon to complete a task, in the process undergoing a transformation in which s/he ultimately transcends bourgeois conceptions of selfhood, achieves communistic consciousness, and is thus symbolically incorporated into the Greater Soviet Family. The present is significant only in reference to or comparison with the promises of the utopian future or the Great Past in which the revolution occurred. Various metaphors obtain, such as the electrification of the countryside to represent the education of the masses,19 and nature as a force to be overcome through industrialization and collective action. Clark argues that the formulas employed by the style are hardly less stringent nor its didacticism more severe than those of other forms of popular literature (detective novels, romances, etc.). Indeed, socialist realism was always a popular venue, never intended to be high art; thus comparisons with the quintessential novels, e.g. the nineteenth-century English novel, are inappropriate. In new historicist fashion, Clark proposes that socialist realism be read as the official repository of state myths.20 It is precisely these state myths that are revealed as farce by Dalia Grinkeviits memoirs, exemplified in her depiction of positive hero and her trajectory towards the utopian socialist future. The Positive Hero The hero of the socialist realist novel is healthy, attractive, serious, proud, brave, full of human warmth, intelligence and goodness, and becomes even more so as the narrative progresses and s/he overcomes obstacles and achieves ever stronger mastery of self.21 According to various versions of the Communist Party Program,22 the ideal Soviet woman/man must aspire to honesty, truthfulness, moral purity, modesty, and evince an uncompromising contempt for injustice, parasitism, and careerism. These ideal qualities typify Grinkeviits narrator. Her strength of character comes across clearly through the voice of the 2.

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writing I23 as she declares her values and beliefs in the figure of her father: I admire my Father. With loyalty and determination he protected the interests of independent Lithuania, determined to make sure that funds needed by the new state wouldnt flow out beyond its borders unnecessarily, but that they would be used to build hospitals, schools, roads. I admire His principles and His honesty [].24 But this I is an older Grinkeviit; her sentence has been served, and she is no longer living, but rather remembering the events she narrates. The two Is differ not only in tone, but also in tense: her admiration of her father is expressed in the presentthe only present tense in the passage. In contrast, her protagonist, the written I, is brutally cynical, spiteful, and incapable of thinking of anything beyond satisfying her immediate physical needs, as in the following example: In Kaunas I would often watch the old horses, unable to pull their carts, and I would try to guess what they were thinking. Now Im practically convinced that they think absolutely nothing. There isnt a thought in your head as you walk mechanically forward, because if you stop, youll fall, and you might not be able to get up again.25 The narrators seeming laxness with pronounsshe switches from observing the horses from a distance to addressing the reader in the second personis telling. Not only does this enable her to identify with or even impersonate the horses, thus demonstrating her brutish treatment and condition, but it also invites the reader to enter into this state. The state of the narrator, or the writing I, can once again be contrasted to that of the protagonist, the written I: whereas the narrator is able to reflect on her past situation and to compare herself to a workhorse, the I being compared is incapable of reflection (there isnt a thought in your head); indeed the change to the second person from the first can be understood as the narrators recognition of her protagonists lack of agency, her inability to say I. Maud Ellman, in The Hunger Artists: Starving, Writing and Imprisonment, argues that hunger releases the body from all contexts, even from embodiment itself.26 Indeed, for Grinkeviits protagonist (and for her entire barrack) all physical and even social markers of identity and differencegender, sexuality, ethnicity, age, class, education, and professionare leveled as the body becomes fixated on one goal: obtaining food.

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Jra Aviienis They built us a sauna. [] Men are supposed to bathe separately, but here everything is all mixed up: women bathe along with the men. Why be embarrassed when we see one another in the barracks in every kind of pose, responding to a variety of calls of nature. Whether clothed or unclothed, you still feel like a louse. What can be interesting about looking at a sickly, yellow bag of bones with protruding ribs? Kriktanien, while bathing her husband, who barely stands up now, says to Grockis: If you had some potatoes or bread to lend me, then youd interest me, but now...27

Hunger has made everyone indifferent, equal in their common misery, and numb, unconcerned for one another. The protagonist/narrator betrays little compassion as she observes Tamuleviius retrieving a piece of bread from a dead womans breast pocket (87), or as she describes ukiens hysterics when she discovers that the flour she had bartered for her gold watch has been stolen (95). At times Grinkeviits tone verges on scorn as she describes how conditions of utter deprivation have divested these people of their dignity and humanity: for example, in watching Grockis running to the chamberpot every ten minutes because he has eaten ukiens flour, Grinkeviit uses the crude phrase he climbs onto the pot with the shits.28 Dalias loving depiction of her mother, on the other hand, never wavers. Every act of self-sacrifice in the memoir is on the part of either Dalia for her mother, or her mother for her children, Dalia and Juozas. And the sacrifices are indeed greattheir mother shares her already insufficient bread ration with her children; Dalia faces charges for stealing firewood because her mother asked for some hot water; and later, once they are no longer living in the camp but still officially not allowed to leave Siberia, she manages to sneak her dying mother into Lithuania so that she can spend her last days in her own land. These acts of sacrifice are grounded in what Avishai Margalit calls thick relations, that is, interested relations, such as those between family members or friends, as opposed to thin relations with those whom we only know in the abstract, for example, the Other, a stranger, or humankind.29 Whereas ethics are grounded in care for those whose wellbeing concerns us (thick relations), morals are needed precisely because it is hard to care about those whom one does not know (thin relations). The relationship between Dalia and her mother exemplifies what conditions in the campbut also everyday life in the Soviet Unionintensified: an intense strengthening of ethical behavior towards family, neighbors, and a small circle of friends, in contrast to a disavowal of moral responsibility towards abstract entities such as community, society, nation, and

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environment. So, for example, when Lidija Vasiljevna Vorobjova, a coprisoner Dalia describes towards the end of her memoir, needs stockings, she helps herself to fabric from a state-owned tent: Everyone is stealing, robbing, and carrying away whatever they can get their hands on. I grabbed some lard and was getting ready to make my get-away, when the grandiosity of the scene stunned me. Lida had taken out a fish filleting knifeit too was filchedand with proud gestures, she sliced out an entire section of the tent.30 Rampant corruption resulting in constant material deprivation ensured that prisoners would have no means of helping one another, and an environment of mistrust enacted by the ever-present possibility of surveillance taught Gulag prisoners and Soviet subjects at large to reveal their true face only with their thick relations, demonstrating another, public, face for dealings with strangers. Indeed the legacy of the colonial education31 enacted by fifty years of Soviet-style communism includes, on the one hand, the well-known apathetic stance toward ones society and environment, and the strong bond between family members, neighbors, and friends on the other. Dalia Grinkeviits description of days spent canning putrid fish exemplifies this situation: her overseers had appropriated the choicest fish for their own consumption and earmarked the rotten fish for national distribution. The title for the memoirs, Lithuanians by the Laptev Sea (my underlining), was chosen not by Grinkeviit, but by Kazys Saja, the editor of the first published edition of the memoirs in 1988, and by Grinkeviits friend and literary benefactor, Aldona ulskyt, after the authors death in 1987 and, significantly, during the rise of Sjdis, the Lithuanian independence movement. The title nationalized the experiences detailed in the memoirs, and indeed elicited a particular kind of reading during the years leading to and immediately following Lithuanian independence from the Soviet Union: it demanded that the memoirs be read as a statement about how Lithuanians as a national group were treated and impacted by Soviet occupation, and it denounced Soviet incorporation by Lithuanians as a national entity.32 Yet from the perspective of the written I this concern for a people at large, such as a nation, is precisely the problem the memoirs document: the degradations in the camp resulted in an almost utter inability to think beyond the material needs of oneself and ones immediate family. It is in this condition that Grinkeviit, the positive hero, pursues her mission, which is not to right wrongs, but to survive and to write. Like the socialist realist hero, Grinkeviits protagonist must overcome obstacles, and with each obstacle overcome, she adapts ever

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more to the system. But whereas the skills required to overcome obstacles in state-controlled texts are related to the heros having mastered his inner self and his dedication to the revolution,33 the skills required for survival in the campscunning, dishonesty, the ability to steal what one needs without worrying about it, and blinding oneself to anything but ones own physical and material needsare radically different. Indeed, Grinkeviits friend in the camp, Julija Ivanovna Judina, describes Gulag morality precisely in terms normally associated with the positive hero: Stealing here is a matter of honor, glory, and heroism, [] Its a must if you dont want to cash in. (my emphasis).34 In this context, it is easy to see why writing becomes a criminal act. As Mark Sanders puts it, writing in (or about) the confined space of prison contests the monopolization of the space of public discourse by the state.35 By documenting the conditions to which she as a prisoner of the totalitarian state was subjected, Dalia Grinkeviit enters the public space to perform her own version of history. Her version not only appropriates a tiny space of the public discourse, but reveals the lies that the official story about the Gulags and deportations36and indeed about Soviet society and its valuesconceals. Grinkeviits heroism lies not in her unfailing devotion to the revolution, but in her ability to evade security guards as she appropriates state property; once she is caught, it is demonstrated in her dignity and reserve as she faces her prosecutor in court and answers his questions truthfully: Why did you steal (the boards)? So that I could burn them. Are you aware that this is state property? Yes. [. . .] Arent you, as a student, ashamed to be accused of this crime? [. . .] No, not in the least.37 Dalias terse answers, while concealing all feelings and motives from the prosecutor, speak tomes to the reader about the mistreatment, injustice, and hypocrisy of the Soviet system. The prosecutors demand for honest answers and respect for state property, as well as his appeal to Dalias sense of pride, border on the absurd in a courtroom in which the cold and undernourished accused prisoners face death sentences for stealing badlyneeded bread or boards, whereas the accusers sit comfortably in their warm clothes and overfed stomachs, benefiting from the same prisoners slave labor. The hero of this story is the memoirist herself, not only for

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retaining her composure in the courtroom, but for documenting it so effectively. Negative Trajectory The socialist realist present is significant only in relation to the ultimate goals and ideals of communism in the future. The future is thus always represented as its yet-to-be-achieved realization. The past, on the other hand, is important as both a positive examplethe moment of revolution and the memory of the martyrs who died in its defenseand as a negative onethe bourgeois values and mindset to be fought against. In Grinkeviits texts the future plays no role; instead, hunger ensures a fixedness on the body in the present that precludes all plans or fantasies not related to satisfying its immediate needs. If the present is to be measured against anything at all, it is against the idealized bourgeois past in Lithuania, which, in contrast to life in the camps, is remembered as the positive pole of all binary oppositions: normality/the absurd; springtime/endless winter; culture and civilization/barbarity; childhood/untimely senescence; home/exile; and freedom/imprisonment. Grinkeviits invoking of the past in the form of flashback38 heightens the sense of the absurdity, the injustice, and utter depravation in the present while at the same time furnishing her with a sense of stability and hope that something besides the barbarity and absurdity of the present did, once, exist. There is, for example, the childhood vision of her mothers gentle face flashing before her as she awaits cross-examination in court (7677), or the truly magnificent springtime on her fourteenth birthday that she hallucinates while being asked if she isnt ashamed for stealing wood (78). The trajectory taken by Grinkeviits anti-socialist realist texts is a negative one. As time progresses, the prisoners get weaker, sicker, more wretched. While the ideal of socialism, with its respect for the labor of all workers, is said to strengthen the mind, body and spirit of the Soviet citizen, Grinkeviit demonstrates instead how the back-breaking labor forced on them depletes the prisoners of all physical, mental and spiritual resources. At the peak of the prisoners suffering, the narrative is sluggish, progressing at a snails pace as the narrator describes daily life in almost tedious detail: A damn blizzard rages. There, up ahead, ought to be a hole. I crawl through the hole into the barrack; I get down on my stomach and crawl down below. I hit my head on the door. Thats it. Im home already.39 Because polar night is indifferentiable from day, and because of the unchanging routine of work followed by sleep, the narrative at times does seem to stand still, driven forward only by the growing numbers of the 3.

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sick and dead. And yet, with each passing day, Grinkeviit and her cohorts become wiser; they learn bit by bit to manipulate the system, to work less and steal more (116). The memoirs can be thought of as Grinkeviits own hymn to the labor of the workers and their state (83). As the work depletes Dalia and the other prisoners, references to the fattening of their supervisors and the state increase: Salesperson Zagurskien, while weighing something, complains to the wife of Mavrinas that shes lost her appetite. Everything has lost its flavor for her. [] We, with our frozen faces, stand like sheep staring at them. Imagine thatshes lost her appetite. I cant for the life of me imagine that each of the Trofimovsk supervisors has a warm, two-room apartment in a log house built with our hands; that they have candles, that their apartments are bright, that they eat whatever they want. [...].40 Seated in the office behind his desk with his double chin, his dog-hair shirt, and boots to above his knees, he asks in surprise: Famine? Where? Theres no famine. You get plenty, and its nutritious food. [...].41 As resentment over inequalities grows, Dalia and her coprisoners become ever wiser about how to manipulate the system. The cynical writing Dalia and the nave, hard-working written Dalia eventually merge as she imparts her painfully acquired knowledge to her younger friend Maryt: that work in the workers state offers no rewards, it only destroys your health; and that they both have already sacrificed enoughtheir homeland, family, and youth. The two friends figure out how to meet work quotas by claiming yesterdays logs in todays work results (157159), along with other ingenious ways of pulling the wool over their supervisor Grunias eyes. But as they make clear, its not Grunia, but the state they are fooling: Reallyits not her, its the state.42 Conditions in the camps created new systems of relations, morals and ethics among prisoners, between prisoners and their overseers, and between citizens and the state. Accustomed to Judeo-Christian codes of ethics demanding honesty, a strong work ethic, and respect for the property of others, the new Soviet subjects, the citizens and prisoners of the Soviet state, learned to redefine what constitutes right and wrong depending on who was being wronged and whose rights were at issue. The state and its representatives, to whom the prisoners felt no allegiance, only spite, came to represent an endless well of resourcesindeed in true communistic fashion, a source for taking all that one needed. Yet, as

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Grinkeviit reveals, this source is carefully guarded, and taking according to ones needs in fact means stealing. The writing, naming, and publication of Lithuanians by the Laptev Sea enact the ultimate act of postcolonial defiance, not only by revealing Gulag realities that were to a large extent unknown to the general population,43 but also by creating and naming a bondthat of genuine concern for the Other, who suffered and died in the campsa concern that was to have been abolished by the conditions in the camps, a human element that was meant to be lost by Soviet society at large. The memoirs thus forged a different type of thick relation, one that offered an alternative to the dog-eat-dog relation that resulted from scarcity, mistrust, fear, and silence. It is for this reason that writing the memoirs, and especially using the very tropes of socialist realism, becomes such a powerful gesture of throwing the gift of empire back in the face of the giver.

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Notes
1. Greenblatt, 1990, 17. When asked by the Queen of Aragn what Nebrijas Gramtica was for, the Bishop of Avila replied that language is the perfect instrument of empire. 2. For example, see Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1961. 3. Bhabha, 1994, 87. I have taken the liberty of replacing Bhabhas Anglicized and English with Sovieticized and Soviet, respectively. 4. Bet tai jau bus kito tipo mons (Grinkeviit, 1997, 107). Further references to this text appear in parentheses. 5. Ashcroft, 2001, 69. 6. This re-situating of John Guillorys term in postcolonial context is Bill Ashcrofts. 7. Bhabha, 1994, 88, 90. 8. Courtois et al, 1997, 287. By some estimates, one fifth of the entire Soviet population experienced either the camps or deportation. See Sylvie Kauffmann, 2003. 9. Applebaum, 2003, xxviiixxvix. 10. Dagenais, 2003. 11. Jirgens, 1998, 269. 12. Applebaum, 2003, xxix. 13. Misinas and Taagepera, 1993. 14. Dairausi ir man darosi iurpu. Aplink tundra, tundra, nuoga tundra, jokio augallio, samanomis apklota tundrakiek akis nea. Tolumoj matau lyg kalniuk ir kryius. Pasirodo, tai suomi kapai. Juos atve prie dvi savaites, o jie nusilp nuo Leningrado blokados, apsikrt iltine, ibadjmirta (Grinkeviit, 1997, 53). 15. Daujotyt, 1997, 13. 16. On naming and memory, see Margalit, 2002, 2021. Margalit discusses names as vehicles for carrying on the memory of the dead; as traces of someone having lived. 17. See Lejeune, 1975 in which the term autographical pact was coined. Also for Lejeunes comments on the writing of the famous essay on its 25th anniversary, see: http://worldserver.oleane.com/autopact/Pacte_25_ans_apr%C3%A8s.html, March, 2002. 18. Daujotyt, 1997, 15. 19. When Grinkeviits barrack is finally wired towards the end of the narrative, light makes visible just how miserable conditions really are. 20. Clark, 2000, xii. 21. Ibid, 60, 168. 22. Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1961.

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23. Most theories of life writing distinguish between the narrator at the moment of writing and reflecting upon his or her life (the writing I) and the protagonist, the narrator in his or her younger days (the written I). 24. A didiuojuosi savo Tvu. Jis itikimai ir nepaperkamai stovjo nepriklausomos Lietuvos interes sargyboj, stengdamasis, kad tokios reikalingos jaunai valstybei los neiplaukt be reikalo usien, o u jas bt statomos ligonins, mokyklos, tiesiami keliai. A didiuojuosi Jo principingumu ir siningumu [] (Grinkeviit, 1997, 163). 25. A danai Kaune irdavau kuinus, nepavelkanius savo veimo, ir mgindavau spti, k jie galvoja. Dabar a praktikai sitikinau, kad negalvoja nieko. Galvoj nra jokios minties, eini mainaliai, nes jei sustosi, krisi ir daugiau gali nebepaeiti (Ibid, 83). 26. Ellman, 1993, 14. 27. Pastat pirt. [] Vyrai turi praustis atskirai, bet ia viskas susimai: moterys prausiasi su vyrais. Kokia gali bti gda, jei vieni kitus matom barake visokiomis pozomis, atliekanius vairius gamtos reikalus. Ar su drabuiais, ar be j vis tiek utl jauties. Koks gali bti domumas irti paliegusia geltona oda aptrauktus kaulus, atsikiusius onkaulius. Kriktanien prausia vyr, sunkiai bepastovint, ir sako Grockiui: Jei tu turtum paskolinti bulvi, duonos, tai mane domintum, o dabar [] (Grinkeviit, 1997, 95). 28. [jis] lipa triesti ant puodo (Ibid, 9596). One reason for despising the Other (i.e. a non-thick relation) in this state is that the Others condition forces one to recognize ones own degree of degradation. Mark Sanders, discussing prison writing in his recent book (2003, 133), refers to the Other as brother-I, a miserable humanconditioned pile of flesh and faeces, not in the sense of a shared and poignant humanity, but as what, presenting oneself with, what one does not wish to be (133). 29. Margalit, 2002, 738. 30. Visi nea, vagia, plia, kas k gali. A sugriebiau tauk ir rengiuosi smukti namo. Bet reginio grandiozikumas mane pritrenk. Lida isitrauk peil uvims darintijis irgi buvo nudiautasir didingais judesiais ipjov kone vis palapins on (Grinkeviit, 1997, 152153). 31. The term was brought to my attention in Sanderss book (2003, 148 49). 32. See Aviienis, forthcoming. 33. Clark, 2000, 60. 34. Vogimas pas mus yra garbs, lovs ir herojikumo reikalas, [] Btinyb, jeigu nenori dvsti (Grinkeviit, 1997, 153). 35. Sanders, 2003, 149. 36. The silence about the Gulags was not only enacted by Soviet propaganda. According to Aldona ulskyt, Dalia would recite Trofimovsk, Trofimovsk, Trofimovsk; when will they ever remember Trofimovsk? as a kind of mantra whenever the Pope would pray for

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victims of genocide, famine, and war on the radio. (Private interview with Aldona ulskyt, November 27, 2000, Laukuva, Lithuania). For more on the silence, see Courtois, 1997, and Amis, 2002. Anne Applebaum in the appendix How Many? to her history of the Gulags, explores one consequence of the official silence on the Gulag systembecause no records were kept, only educated guesses can document the number of prisoners and survivors. 37. Kodl js vogt? Tam, kad jas sudeginiau. Ar inojot, kas tai valstybs turtas? inojau. [. . .] Ar jums, kaip mokinei, ne gda sdti itam suole? [. . .] Ne, man visikai ne gda (Grinkeviit, 1997, 7779). 38. In addition to flashback, the texts can be seen as employing several cinematographic techniques; including a kind of voice-over for the opening deportation scene, and a keen sense of visuality throughout. 39. Pga, rup, siunta. Toliau, toliau, tai skyl turbt. Rausiu skyl barak, atsigulu ant pilvo ir liauiu emyn. Galva stukteliu duris. tai ir viskas. A jau ,,namuose (Grinkeviit, 1997, 65). 40. Pardavja Zagurskien sverdama skundiasi Mavrino monai, kad ji neturinti apetito, viskas jai nusibod. [] Mes stovim ledais apalusiais snukiais ir it avinai spoksom jas. Neturi, matai, apetito. Niekaip negaliu sivaizduoti, kad Trofimovsko valdovai kiekvienas turi ilt dviej kambari but rstiniuose namuose, ms rankomis pastatytuose, kad jie turi vaki, kad pas juos butuose viesu, kad jie turi valgyti, ko tik nori. []. (Ibid, 102). 41. Sddamas u stalo kontoroj su dvigubu pagurkliu, su un kaili markiniais ir kenais aukiau keli, jis klausia nustebs: ,,Badas? Kur badas? Jokio bado nra. Js gaunat utektinai ir maisting maist. [] (Ibid, 94). 42. Tikriaune j, o valstyb (Ibid, 159). 43. See Kelertas, 1992, Introduction.

Bibliography
Amis, M. (2002), Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million. New York: Hyperion. Applebaum, A. (2003), Gulag: A History. New York: Doubleday. Ashcroft, B. (2001), Postcolonial Transformation. New York: Routledge.

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Aviienis, J. (forthcoming), Performing Identity: Lithuanian Memoirs of Siberian Deportation and Exile, in: M. Cornis-Pope and J. Neubauer (eds.), A Comparative History of the Literary Cultures of East Central Europe: Junctures and Disjunctures in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Philadelphia and Amsterdam: Benjamins Press. Bhabha, H. K. (1994), The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge. Clark, K. (2000), The Soviet Novel: History as Ritual, Third Edition. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Courtois, S. et al. (1997), Juodoji komunizmo knyga: nusikaltimai, teroras, represijos, trans. of S. Courtois et al, Le livre noir du communisme:crimes, terreur, repression. Paris: Editions Robert Laffont. Dagenais, J. (2003), The Postcolonial Petrarch, paper presented at Modern Language Quarterly conference, Postcolonialism+the Past, May 23, 2003, Seattle: University of Washington. Daujotyt, V. (1997), Ugnis maie, Introduction to Lietuviai prie Laptev jros, in: D. Grinkeviit, Lietuviai prie prie Laptev jros: Atsiminimai, miniatros, laikai. Vilnius: Lietuvos raytoj sjunga. Ellman, M. (1993), The Hunger Artists: Starving, Writing and Imprisonment. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Greenblatt, S. J. (1990), Learning to Curse: Essays in Early Modern Culture. New York: Routledge. Grinkeviit, D. (1997), Lietuviai prie Laptev jros: Atsiminimai, miniatros, laikai (Lithuanians by the Laptev sea: reminiscences, miniatures, and letters), Vilnius: Lietuvos raytoj sjunga. Jirgens, K. E. (1998), Carnival of Death: Writing in Latvia Since Independence, World Literature Today, 72.2: 26981. Kauffmann, S. Limpossible naissance de lhomo sovieticus, Le monde, 25.02.03, 18h 41, http: //www.lemonde.fr/ imprimer_article _ref/0,5987,3390-310684,00.html (accessed 6/11/03). Kelertas, V. (ed.) (1992), Come Into my Time: Lithuania in Prose Fiction, 19701990. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

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Lahusen, T. (1997), How Life Writes the Book: Real Socialism and Socialist Realism in Stalins Russia. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. Lejeune, P. (1975), Le pacte autobiographique. Paris: Seuil. _______. (2002) http://worldserver.oleane.com/ autopact/ Pacte_25_ans_ apr%C3%A8s.html (accessed 05/02). Margalit, A. (2002), The Ethics of Memory. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Misinas, R. and R. Taagepera (1993), The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 19401990. London: Hurst and Co. Programme of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, adopted by the 22nd Congress of the C.P.S.U. (1961), http://www.homo_ sovieticus. de/frame2.html (accessed 6/11/03). Sanders, M. (2003), Complicities: The Intellectual and Apartheid. Durham: Duke University Press.

Estonias Time and Monumental Time Maire Jaanus


In Emil Todes (pseudonym for Tnu nnepalu) novel Piiririik, a postcolonial, newly liberated Nordic, BalticEstonian subject reenters a radically altered, postnational, and globally repositioned European community, invaded by consumer capitalism, to discover its identity, values, and expectations in crisis. The shock of the encounter makes evident the fault lines and shifting boundaries between nations, languages, temporalities, the libidinal economies of lovers, and the narrators own warring passions and drives. Boundaries generate desires and transgressions, fault lines demand bridging and leaping. The experience requires a new reconciliation of historical and monumental time as defined by Kristeva and a new ethics of the Real. Where in the midst of such personal and collective upheaval does one find an anchor or truth? With what does one remake a fractured and nearly dissolved civil and personal identity? How can a subject so split and traumatized craft anything but a postmodern work ironic, discontinuous, unfinisheda form of NordicBaltic magical realism? And long ere this I should have slain myself, Had not sweet pleasure conquered deep despair. Marlowe, Doctor Faustus 1. Upheaval and Identity A great many processes are taking place simultaneously in Estonia: decolonization, de-sovietization, re-nationalization, re-Europeanization, globalization, postmodernization, increasingly also the commodification and homogenization that are characteristic of the world of late multinational capitalism, and finally, as everywhere, the displacement of reality by a simulated hyper-reality, or, more precisely, the demotion of print culture, the culture of the book, to secondary status, given the rapid advancement of instant, telematized communication and the culture of the Internet.

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All of this calls upon the individual to unmake and to remake his identity. It means to undo or at least to rethink the complex of symbolic nominationsstarting with ones name, age, gender, nationality, profession, religion, and other such marksthat are a standard part of ones identification papers and of ones conscious civilized identity.1 It means also to handle the pressure of unconscious identifications, those sharp, instantaneous, and uncontrollable plus and minus flashes of love and hate, want and disgust, acceptance and rejection that register themselves in ones body, moods, and emotions, and that are the real constituents and determinants of ones qualitative experience of life, the very measure of the degree of pleasure or pain one is able to harvest each day of living. Identity derives from the Latin word idem, meaning the same. In the 17th century John Locke defined personal identity as the same thinking thing in different times and places.2 Lockes unchanging thing was in essence like the cogito, a thinking and knowing substance, albeit dependent (in contrast to the Descartian cogito) on input from the empirical world. Romanticism, and subsequently Freudianism, redefined this substance as fundamentally libidinal. Desidero ergo sum says the desiring/libidinal subject; credo ergo sum says the believing Kierkegaardian subject; but each does so because it speaks. It is foremost the speaking subject. For Lacan, identity is the relation between the speaking subject and the libidinal body. To Lockes subject, then, we have added the motility of speech and desire. We are subjects that, lacking access to full and complete pleasure, desire to acquire it from someone else or from some otherness. Moments of felt libidinal intensification and intensity punctuate our speaking. The flow of the drives enlivens and brightens our incessant linguistic mapping. The drives give testimony to a living substance haunting language and to our belief in some kind of an ultimate substantial satisfaction. We know something of the drives because of the laws that govern the unconscious, foremost the law of repetition. What returns, what recurs, what is reaffirmed, what happens repeatedly against ones will, that is ones idem, the irreducible sameness from which one cannot escape. This unconscious idem, governed by the time of the drives, is what one may say one does not desire, but which is the unknown desire that guides ones choices and activity. Postmodern forms and the techniques of magical realism are (as I will show below) perfectly fitted for the subject in a state of crisis and upheaval, as the post-independent Baltic-Estonian subject is. In Emil Todes Piiririik,3 a bold dismantling of any kind of fixed or certain identity is accomplished together with (it seems to me) the distillation of a set of distinct and specific idems. What kinds of identifications are

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involved in these recurring, singular idems? On what does this subject rely to retain its sense of identity? 2. Borders, Boundaries, Barriers, Edges, Windows Estonia is a border nation as all nations are. Borders form an inside and outside. They can be crossed. All borders are fragile, shiftable, permeable, transgressable, and invadable. Estonians know this; they have been invaded so many times: by the Russians, the Germans, the Swedes, the Poles, by a variety of languages and religions, and now by commercialization, pollution, and the electronic highway. Borders are no guarantee of safety. A small nation is no safer than a body. Piiririik is a narration about borders. It recounts the narrators relation to the existence of those that are visible and concrete and those that are merely felt and experienced, psychically and internally. The birth of boundary lines, their creation and destruction, fascinates him. The genesis of a silhouette, the appearance of an outline on a photographic negative in a development tray, in the darkroom, operates on him like a seduction.4 Merely the suggestion of an image, rather than the whole image or word, is what is most alluring and entrancing. Repeatedly, the narrator fantasizes inhabiting a Matisse painting where everything is faded, bleached out, erased, except for a few blue and pink lines (23, 80). An ideal novel, then, might be something sketchy, minimalist, impressionistic, composed only of bits and parts of images, of mere lines of color or fragments of sound (as in Debussy) that the reader might either play with or constitute into wholes. Such a novel would correspond to his life, which he sees as equivalent to an empty room where nothing happens. No, of course, occasionally, something happens to me.... But what happens expires, like a dream that one forgets and that fades away before it begins (23). Life is merely different emergences that dissolve before being fully realized or understood. The outlines abate before becoming filled in or acquiring substance, and with substanceduration. The happenings do not develop into a canonical narration. A line is a cut that divides and differentiates. It maps, carves out, and makes possible the segregate space of nations and narrations as well as human sexual, social, and political relations. Lines allow for the creation of the otherness of subjects and objects. They are the incipience of a form or of an object, the necessary severance or division without which there is nothing, or mere indistinct nondifferentiation. Separations and breaks, however, also permit encounters and recognitions. The line separates me and you, but also incites identification, and stirs erotic desire. Neither culture nor its destruction, as Barthes said, is erotic: it is the seam between them, the fault, the flaw which becomes so.5 Sex and eroticism are precisely on the border between you and me, as Jeffersons bed was, according to the narrator, between two rooms (110), whereas we know that that of Louis XIV, in a different, neoclassical age, was at the

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exact center of the palace of Versailles.6 An earlier historical focus on centers shifts in this text to borders and boundaries. The boundary itself, the between, is the exciting cause of seeing and desiring. It is intermittence... which is erotic: the intermittence of skin flashing between two articles of clothing... between two edges.... it is this flash itself which seduces, or rather: the staging of an appearance-asdisappearance.7 As a work of art, Piiririik is preeminently such a stagingwe glimpse everything and are sure of nothing, not even of the murder, the central action. We are as readerly voyeurs of what might become an orthodox novel, but does not, continually diverted and perverted by textual fragments that make us take our pleasure where we can, everywhere, along the constantly shifting sets of two edges. As Barthes says: The subversive edge may seem privileged because it is the edge of violence; but it is not violence, which affects pleasure, nor its destruction which interests it; what pleasure wants is the site of a loss, the seam, the cut, the deflation, the dissolve which seizes the subject in the midst of bliss. Culture thus recurs as an edge: in no matter what form.8 One of the protagonists favorite settings is the staircase, located between two levels, where one can stand dramatically, leaving others guessing whether one will descend or ascend (113). The most significant period of his emotional life is similarly set on a seam, a between, that of pain and pleasure. A blissful and oxymoronic sweet unhappiness dominated his lifes most beautiful years (75). Happiness, then, is not fulfillment, but a state of desire and longing that border, the pain of not having and the pleasurable fantasy of having. Fulfillment, in fact, brings disgust. Why, the narrator asks, given that his lovemaking with Franz was wild and astonishingly satisfying, did he despise him so much, remaining aware only of his pathetic eyes and his hairy hands (79)? Is it because he retains a more precious memory of other hands, priestly and pure, that he never possessed, but merely desired? Unfulfilled desire is more powerful than possession. Once a border has been mapped of a nation or a body, it can seem to offer protection. As an enclosure, it can be reinforced by a defensive wall, or be marked by an edge or a gate. Boundaries try to forbid or limit access, as with the ropes in museums that cut visitors off from certain areas (110). But every rope, law, or closed window (such as the permanently shut one in his grandmothers house, which he was never allowed to open), also invites transgression (8). Every enclosure can come to seem like a confinement which one wants to escape from or to smash through. Boundaries may be the limit of a taboo, inviting obedience or

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disobedience, operating to create morality. There are no ethics without boundaries. Bodies in space are more separate than nations are, and yet they are porous, and permeable by the gaze and voice of an other. Literatures are separated into distinct languages, and yet they are to a degree translatable, and therefore, transmittable, and betrayable. The narrator is himself a translator, working in the interstices of two languages, French and another unnamed one.9 Languages are wall-less, but unlike dreams, where anyone, dead or alive, from any time can enter (88), languages are open only up to a point. Finally, each language is something absolutely unique and untranslatable. Because the identification with a language is an unconscious identification with meaningless sounds, the narrator can momentarily feel that there is no language he understands, and yet that there is only one language and that he comprehends none other (901). Native languages are like love; finally, there is, inexplicably, only one real love, the unique and special one, the only one whom one ever really wants (always the singular mother and mother tongue). Stubborn singularity is a characteristic of an unconscious idem. In chemistry, the space between the atoms is where the energy resides. The space between human beings is libidinally charged. Space, like silence, tends to be filled. It is the place where all action commences. Thus, the space between is the site of bridging, birthing, binding, and translation, or of conflict and murder. It is also the space where intermixing, adultery, contamination, impurity, and hybridization occur. The narrator himself is a hybrid, the mixed offspring of an unnamed, never mentioned, and seemingly dead father and a possibly Polish or half-Polish, mostly absent mother, who rarely remembers him (102) and who was brought out of Siberia by a grandmother, who is in fact not related to him or his mother at all. There is a tenuous connection of love: the stepgrandmother seems to have loved the man whose daughter his mother is, but his mother was begotten by another, a Polish woman, who died in Siberia (90). His origins reach into the unknowable human relationships, the sorrows, loves, and deaths of Eastern Europeans in the Communist death camps. The author, aware of the fragility and provisional nature of most borders, of their constructed and fictional nature, and of the perilous consequences of crossings, looks for narrative beginnings and endings, the borders of writing, to find that these also are no longer given. Beginnings are random and endings may have to be made by force (78, 163). The outline of an I, a narrator, the minimum that is necessary to begin a narration, depends on the coming into being of a you, of another towards whom this I can direct its fundamental fantasies and words of desire. Speaking always entails a listener even if no one is there. The I is a border that knows itself as an entity through the words of a you who says: You have strange eyes, you would as if seem to watch the world,

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you are not French (5). In the beginning are the words of the other that define the self, define it as a look and as not-French. It is a negative definition, like Freuds of the woman as not-male. Thus, the narrator appears in outline through the words of the other just as the photograph is born in outline out of nothingness. Angelo, his you, is his fantasy, the nothing that makes him want something, that maintains his eroticism, his drive for an object, and his drive to write. His drive to write covers over what is a ceaseless, mute bawling at his core, a bawling at his own emptiness and nothingness (his misery over his grandmothers death and his bad grade in writing, his need to grow up, betray, kill, and forget as all grownups do), and his inability to escape from anything he ever was, from himself as the child crying mutely for its mother, in the place that he will forever be in, a stinking toilet, this, his place at the end of the world (65). Writing and love give him a new desire and dream and, therefore, a temporary distance from his painful emptiness. The never fully satisfied drives (not needs that can be satisfied) keep living alive just as the unsayable keeps saying alive. A first line an artist draws, as the initial word a writer writes, create, (as does Heidegggers vase) a void and with it the possibility of filling it. Emptiness and fullness are introduced into a world that by itself knows nothing of them. It is on the basis of this fabricated signifier, this vase, as Lacan says, that emptiness and fullness as such enter the world.10 Language itself, in that it introduces presence and absence and therefore desire, may be the cause of our perception of being and nothingness. It is the mere abstract sound that is the absence of the substantial thing. The vase (or language), is the object made to represent the existence of the emptiness at the center of the real that is called the Thing, this emptiness as represented in the representation presents itself as nihil, as nothing.11 The narrator knows himself as the empty Thing (or vase) that desires fullness from another. His sin or evil deed in the world may in fact be nothing more than continuing to write and to speak, although he knows himself as a nothing with nothing to say, except that writing and speaking help him to maintain his sense of his own being while they may, at the same time, be the cause of his sense of nonbeing. When one has crossed all the boundaries that can be crossed, of which the heterosexual boundary is but one, one longs for further boundaries, new frontiers or, perhaps, for boundaries that cannot be crossed, for the uncrossable, the absolutely lawful, for punishment, even for death, or for immortality. Perhaps the narrator fantasizes the murder just to evoke the law, to bring it back, or at the least to reveal that he remembers Camuss work. Perhaps he is trying to force the law to make itself manifest as it did in The Stranger after the act of murder, or perhaps he is trying only to make himself visible by an extreme act, but here the law does not manifest itself: the newspaper cites and reports a suicide instead. And he himself, a stranger in Europe, remains invisible.12 He

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escapes; he is not punished. There is no sentence. There are no boundaries and no law. Murder and suicide are the two ways to evoke that law. But no one is watching and nothing one doesnot even murdercan bring back the dead law. On one side, Estonia is bounded by a shallow, stony, and treacherous sea. The sea exerts a magical and deadly attraction on the narrator, pulling him involuntarily to its edges and into itself. The border between land and sea is a place to which he repeatedly returns, in Paris, in Estonia, and, at the end of his story, somewhere in Europe. It is an encounter with a liquid, saline otherness that tempts, challenges, and lures him. He fantasizes breaking into this watery domain and being immersed in this different element, or being shipwrecked there, where lighthouse beacons shine to no avail. At the edge between land and sea, then, one confronts death. The awareness of the boundary of ones own mortality and the temptation to cross it inhabit the narrator and the people of the North in general, for as he says, the temptation of death is great in that land (11). Yet when this becomes the greatest desire, there is the desire for immortality to oppose it. At this edge of land and sea, one may find a ship (the upside down one in the form of the roof of a church), which might serve to rescue the dead from their mortal place of burial beneath the floors of this same church (95). Heaven is, at these moments in the text, indicated as a place reached with the aid of ships and beacons through the element of water. On the other two sides, farms abut on dark and cold forests that are for the narrator signs of the end of human life and civilization, and a lake blocks any kind of escape. The forest, a domain of nonhuman nature and animals, is a different kind of boundary. It is the place where Estonians went to die, knowingly yielding their bodies to forest animals as food, while the soul escaped in the form of a bird to heaven. The forest, though a forbidding graveyard, is also a natural and pagan site from which heaven and immortality can be reached. Moreover, the forest also yields green sorrel for sucking by vitamin-deprived children with glowing, animal-like eyes (10). In the nineteenth century, Northern Europe was still often subject to famines, although Central Europe was already enjoying bourgeois well-being, having restructured itself according to the principles of Adam Smiths The Wealth of Nations. We, however, depended on the forest. The forest fed us. The forest is our mother. The final border leads towards sunlight and the other Eastern European countries, the row of dark and poverty-stricken nations that powerlessly lament their stillborn histories (12). Almost without exception nation-making and religion reached the Baltics belatedly and always in either authoritarian or totalitarian forms, as colonization and enslavement. Every boundary is a fault line, a break in continuity, a fracture of and shift in reality, a dislodging of reality so that adjacent surfaces are

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differentially displaced parallel to the plane of fracture. A small nation, whose edges are almost visible, with boundaries close to its center, may be most representative of a century close to its millennial end as well as of a civilization at its limits, such as that of the West. Piiririik gives an account of the fault lines or the displaced and fractured state of Estonias history (and by extension that of all of Eastern Europe). It also sets forth the psychic boundary conditions of its subjects. 3. The Edges of Time The edges upon which the narrator most often stands are edges of time. Which time, then, does he feel is most his own? What time is he speaking from? What is his time? Which time does he value? Which does he wish to escape from? Psychically, the narrator often finds himself positioned in various times simultaneously. Fragments of disparate times, both actual and imaginary, appear together, pulling him in different directions with great force and insistence. These different moments of time become condensed and overlap metaphorically. For example, he catches himself eating not only one apple (as Eve and Adam did) but four: there are the tasteless apples he buys from an Arab on the streets of Paris, which have nothing in common with the apple he imagined eating, but are like the half-apple he used to share with his grandmother in his childhood. This was while trying not to listen to her all too often retold, bitter stories about the horrors of Siberia (she has at least five particularly traumatic memories and therefore five stories that she obsessive-compulsively repeats), an act of inattentiveness for which he was beaten with the strap of the Singer sewing machine that had accompanied her to Siberia (84, 1023). And there are the apples he stole and ate during his poor student days at the university while reading Dostoevsky. This made him cry in the middle of a lecture because he remembered Myshkin, the Christ figure, in The Idiot (100105). Historically, the narrator identifies himself as a child of the 19th century, of which fragments of his life in Paris remind him, such as the furniture in his hotel room (53), but he is uncertain that such a century exists or that the country where he remembers it as existing has any reality still except in his imagination and memory. Yet it is to this place-time that he is drawn and to its people; it is what haunts him, begets his attention, and returns to him in dreams: Today I again saw grandmother in my dreams (88). Thus, when certain flowers in the Tuileries garden remind him of the natural ones of his childhood, he thinks that he should make sure that the chickens have not gotten into the yard, and when a dark cloud appears over the Place de la Concorde, he thinks that the hay ought to be covered over before it rains. The flowers are like a remnant of another, naive and older world, the 19th century, my world (81).

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This century is past, dead, perished (17), lost, distant (27), backward (73), improbable, even unthinkable (21). It is as uneventful as waiting in interminable store lines was for inedible, moldy sausages that his grandmother nonetheless claimed were fit enough for them to eat (164). He wants to escape the technological backwardness, the primitive deprivations, and the general poverty of that time and place, the absence of metros and of modern bathrooms and kitchens. And, at the same time, he wants this place and its 19th century atmosphere to continue to exist. He wants to think that there still are people there worrying about hay for their cows and the state of their fishing boat, with a seemingly casual attitude towards money, which says to those one is accepting it from that one is doing them a favor (43). Emotionally, he identifies with these people as he does readily with everyone working on the fields or close to the land (180, 184). He wants above all to be infinitely distant from the hordes of shoppers of the postmodern multinational capitalist world, from the window-shopping fixated and possession-obsessed mall people, roaming like nomads from one shopping center to the next across the globe (55, 82). He does not want to accept his inherited, nineteenth century time, which he knows to be obsolete, poor, cruel, and authoritarian. He wants to escape the strictures, boundaries, beliefs, and slogans of that century (165), with its excessive belief in the power of language, literature, history, education, and especially, poetry writing (almost a national mania) as something signifying much more than it does (156). And yet, he also does not want to deny his past, the bedbugs or the Singer sewing machine (166). He wants a ship to take him away from the edge of the potato field of his grandmothers half-brother where he is standing even today, without knowing what to do, or at least to take him more swiftly through life so that he would no longer be frightened of time in which nothing seems to be happening for him (1689). He really feels that only a stronger outside force could rescue him from his outmodedness, belatedness, invisibility, and marginality, but he has no faith in a higher power or in the very rescue that he wants. His history with its complex different time-scales is frightening and uncomfortable, but so are the alternatives: the commodified time of the shoppers; Franzs ahistorical and sterile comforts; the hyper-reality of Jean-Pierre, who listens to simulated nature sounds on CDs and photographs scenes constructed for the imaginary life of his Barbie doll (her birthday, funeral, etc.) (1456). Compared to such artificial and commercialized hypertime, his 19th century was innocent, substantial, and sacred, a time and place where tombstones carried scriptural messages, such as: I am not dead but risen (43), and where graveyards, directly adjoined to churches, attested to a belief in the instant cancellation of mortality by immortality.

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In that century, he heard a hollow voice say, seemingly only to a few dead or dying parishioners: Hear now the word of God (73). A pair of priestly hands seemed as if trying to show him an opening beyond the borders of the earth (77). Unconsummated love taught him that true belief does not give way to earthly fulfillment and that the condition of absolute love is the acceptance of impossibility and of a border that can never be crossed in life. From his relationship with a young pastor, who seemed to be unaware of the fact that his century and teachings had ended, that they had been thrown into the garbage together with everything else (13940), he acquired a sense for the ritualistic order and motion of the liturgical calendar that subtly infects his awareness and text. From him, he received the gift of a special time within time. Thus, the narrator knows (however seemingly tangentially, indifferently, ironically, sarcastically, or negatively) that time can also be marked as the moments of the passage of the Christ figure through life. Liturgical time is a cyclical and nonhistorical reiteration of the stages in the life and death of Christ. Thus, Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion and death, when His flesh was nailed to the wood, is the day of the narrators departure from Estonia (21). Pentecost, the seventh Sunday after Easter, commemorating the descent of the Spirit upon the disciples, is the day of the murder (172). Corpus Christi Day, celebrating the body of Christ and its eternal presentness as flesh and blood in the Eucharist, finds him in a park, refreshed by the coolness that is coming after the summer heat and fever and blessing it, and with it, the climate of the North as the necessary balance to the sun and light that he has been in such desperate pursuit of (1612). Somehow, always, what he is brought back to is the fact that embedded in the 19th century, which he rejects, is the time that he feels to be his true time-space, his innermost psychic time, his actual home (priskodu) (73). The end of the novel finds him on his way to celebrate mass in a village church (1812). There he encounters the same priest he had in the church in Amsterdam (and in his dreams as a beggar), who had asked him: But do you know where you are from?the fundamental question of identity (978, 182). His answer, Eastern Europe, is only a conscious national identification, which reveals nothing, as he is aware, about his fundamental, unconscious relation to life and death. In his deepest origins, what does he believe in, life or death? Which does he truly desire? Philosophy is about death (it teaches us how to die, as we learned from Socrates) and religion is about life. Whose side is he on, that of Franz, the bankrupt European metaphysician, who teaches his students about the meaninglessness of life (67)13 or that of the priest? He must choose: death or the ship.14 Thus, dislocated both in space and time, the narrator does not ever seem to know whether he is standing on the right line, and he always worries whether he is in the wrong place (31). His relationship to time is

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as indefinable as his genealogical origins and his relationship to speech and writing. He is not sure that he wants to speak at all, or to write, or for that matter, to live. When he approaches the ultimate boundary, however, he does not let the hand, arising out of the water, pull him in. He remains with his letterstestaments of his uncertainties, perversities, and violencein his hands, on the shore. He is no more certain of time than of his faith, or his human rights. Having human rights is something that he is not used to, and he doubts that his right to demand rights could last long or that even that of others is eternal (31). Time is as inexplicable as his bouts of happiness are. Suddenly, he is causelessly happy. Then, he wants to live a thousand years before he dies (8081). Then, he feels that the world and he himself are borderless. Then, time has no boundaries. To suffer is to experience borders; to be happy is to feel unbounded, expansive, and voluminous. Psychic time with its dislocated chronology is itself an ultimate figure for a boundless transgression of borders, for the polyphonic, interflowing musicality of memories in the body and language. The contingency and relativity of temporal experiences make Aristotles notions of narrative linearity and his order of beginnings, middles, and ends inept for the task of representing the postmodern subject. Struggling in a polyphony of temporalities, not knowing which time to give way to or what kind of psychic time he might suddenly be plunged into, he becomes familiar with the qualitative differences within time. Different temporalities make him feel differently, differently about himself, about others, about space, and about Estonia. Time can feel male or female, maternal or paternal, mortal or immortal. Time is ruptured, dissociative, and uncontrollable. It can acquire volume and build itself up into a space or it can be a strictly linear path or way.

4. Historical Time and Monumental Time In her essay entitled Womens Time, Julia Kristeva defines two different notions of time: historical time and monumental time.15 Historical time is linear, productive, masculine, civilizational, and obsessional.16 Historical time (mostly in its Hegelian and various post-Hegelian modes) is time as becoming, as a prospective unfolding and development, governed by the imperatives of the project, of work, and of growth, and guided by a telos, a purposefulness oriented to a goal. This time means individual endeavor, aspiration, and action, as well as responsibility and, therefore, guilt. The linearity of historical time operates like sentences in language do. Sentences have beginnings and endings. They end as time does. Thus, linguistic and linear temporalities make explicit death and rupture, an anguish which other temporalities work to conceal.17 And death, allied to the above imperatives of work and achievement, tends to make historical time obsessive. Time itself becomes the absolute and ever-

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present master for whom the slave indefatigably works. There are always deadlines to meet; there is always another project or more work waiting; there is never enough time. The concern with the proper use of time and the mastery of time brings on the terror of the end of time, as our death or as an apocalypse. Time for the narrator is, at moments, extreme fear of its end; it is himself as the child crying under his blanket because he dreams of war18 and waking up with the fear that his grandmother may have died, or that the apocalypse has indeed come and left him all alone, without a world (116117). He suffers intensely from what Marguerite Duras (for different reasons) called the malady of death. At other moments, since endings have to come, he finds himself consenting to them, even hastening them along with his desire for destruction and murder. The anxiety of waiting for various endings, such as that of love, narratives, language, and history becomes intolerable. He fantasizes that humans themselves may become superfluous, part of the general trash to be carted away, in a thoroughly mechanized and denaturalized world that is no longer a habitat for anything livingplant, animal or human (150). Trash is what is not remembered. With the aid of language, humans invented memory and history in order to be remembered, but trash is non-memory. The disposability of everything, the turning of everything into garbage (the manifest symbol of the death drive and the narrators depressive state), seems to be infecting history and memory itself, enfeebling the memory of human deeds and words. The written word itself, our margin of life beyond death, seems to have reached its limit and ultimate boundary. Still, beyond his skepticism and depressive-nihilistic moments, the narrator counts on his letters becoming part of the memory chain that verifies that he has lived and spoken (34).19 Words mean nothing (92). Yet, he cannot do without them. To get love, he depends on their power of seduction (93), and against all odds, he hopes that his written text will survive an oncoming general forgetting. Piiririik is a text punctuated by drives of destruction, the will to criminality and to evil, and moments of intense depression, as frequently as it is by the positive life drives.20 Audaciously and recklessly, the narrator admits to his lust to undo or, at the least, to match every affirmatively charged impulse with a negatively charged one. He wants, voluntarily, what Camus Meursault got involuntarily, his orgy in the sun and death (20). He admits that violence and violation give him a sharp, powerful incursion of pleasure and a sense of victory (19).21 He wants to push Franz into the canal, or under the tram (38, 48); to destroy property, especially Franzs kitchen (19); to leave a small bomb at the opera that would cause a maximum of destruction (68).22 Whatever he adores, he wants also to destroy and to hurt, and he wants himself to be hurt, manhandled, molested, and violated (26). His destructive impulses come upon him with irresistible force. Their intensity derives from their support

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by the absolute and sadistic power of death.23 He is on trial in the text to give testimony, not to his civilizational self, which exists, but to the deeper sado-masochistic impulses, which he fantasizes and feels. There is sweetness (37) in the expression of all drives regardless of whether they are positive or negative, and there is enjoyment in the sense of absolute power over another that the sadistic drives yield. The dominated and helpless other assures the self that it exists, and that it exists, moreover, as a force and power. The narrator knows that he would enjoy seeing Franzs hands waving helplessly in the air were he to push him into the canal (38). Franzs helpless hands would also be his reversal and compensatory revenge on another pair of hands that once made him feel helpless. The narrator wants to crush Franz for his abject love, for his sexual neediness, his martyr-like and masochistic trust, his passion for moral themes and ethics, but he knows that his sadistic antipathy (489) arises from his recognition that Franzs neediness is his own. This identificatory sameness with the other, the unowned negative idem, fills him with disgust. And disgust is a sign of entry into the domain of the real and of mastery by unconscious impulses.24 He wants to murder in the other what he cannot annihilate in himself. What he can neither eradicate nor fulfill in himself is his desire for sensations, emotions, passions, and fantasies that induce pleasure and pain. What historical-political time cannot supply or satisfy is his fundamental unconscious want of being. Historical time, the time of language, is concerned with meaning, coherency, logic, order, unity (and therefore, with nonmeaning, incoherency, illogic, disorder, and disunity). But the living being wants to step outside of this conscious, binary struggle into a more substantial condition of living and experiencing. The asubstantial subject of speech seeks jouissance.25 It seeks being in the others love. Only love gives being. And love can give a sense of being even in non-being. With Angelo, the narrator can be in nothingness, at the nullpoint, where there is silence and not even the sound of breathing. He loves Angelo because Angelo admits to his nullity. The narrator wants the experience of nothing because he is sick to death of people who want something (58). What the lover and beloved want is what each lacks and, therefore, desires. This want shows up in speech only as its undercurrent. Desire, ever empty and searching at its core, haunts speech in the dimension of the unsaid as well as in its sounds and rhythms. The obsessive is scared off by the demand for love and by the exposure of his own need. The narrator gets one lover a dog just to stop him from repeatedly saying: I love you; I need you. He does not want to be needed and to supply the others need (141). The hysteric, who feels most intensely his own need, tries to make the other feel incomplete so that he will be needed, so that there will be a place for him in the other. The

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hysteric is ever afraid of not being wanted. The hysteric-obsessive core in us does not want to recognize that the other whom we pursue is as lacking in being as the one we spurn and hopes as much to attain love from us as we hope to attain it from them. We all desire to have more being. The satisfaction of the drive, as Soler says, is not in linear time. The time of the drive is a time of encounter, structured like an instant, which operates as a cut in the continuity of signifying time.26 The structure of the drives satisfaction is like the sudden awakening of a perceptual sensea glimpse, a sound, a touch, a tastein which we sense an answer to the question of whether there is a place for us in the other. The drive, as Soler says, is silent, but it answers the question. Thus, it is not the time of the signifier that gives an answer to our inexorable desire for being (or a nonbeing different from destruction), but the time of the drive. The time of the signifier fulfills our desire for meaning, but not for being. The time of the signifier could, in fact, run on without humans just as Franzs telephone answering machine continues to play his message and to accept messages after he is dead (34, 1523). Historical, linear time wants, at all times, SOMETHING, not only some fuller meaning or consciousness, but a historical realization of this consciousness (as in Hegel). This tends to make for an obessional culture, preoccupied with the polarities of achievement and failure, with scientific knowledge and ignorance, and with theories required to have productive, practical, and material effects and results. Yet historical actualization and movement are also not sufficiently satisfying. Intense drives, whether within the boundaries of the normal, such as love, or in the abnormal states of neurosis, perversion, and psychosis, displace us from historical time. Further, because historical-linear culture supports the awareness of limits, it opens us up (especially since the Renaissance and the demise of religion) to obessional suffering from time anxiety and death anxiety, and to the temptation of death or its derivatives, such as the drive for destruction. By destruction and aggression, we can become identified with (and thus attempt to escape) the most absolute aggressor of all: death. By contrast, monumental time is a sense of unbroken, unruptured, super-historical or mythical time. It is either a form or type of eternity or it is a cyclical and recurring time of repetition or resurrection. For Kristeva, monumental time is also more female, maternal, mystical, ecological, spatial, and hysterical. Above all, monumental time is always present. Presentness is one of its absolute characteristics. It is a now, not past, or the future. It is not outdated or outmoded, it does not become yesterday or lost time. The massive presence of monumental time gives it the quality of space or of a place. It is a kind of spatial time because it returns to the same place. As a time indissociable from space, a space-time, allencompassing and infinite like imaginary space,27 it is also a semiotic, erotic, emotion-filled space that defies language.

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History, an artifice produced by language and narcissism, creates memories of battles, of heroes and victims, of revenge (in the slaves) or remorse (in the masters). It is not concerned with the otherness of god, ghosts, or nature, but with the mere otherness of humans, in different times and places, speaking different languages. Monumental time, however, does concern itself with the gods and the cosmos. It pays attention to the divine and immortal, to unending time, infinite and eternal. The time of the drives that it evokes is not that of destruction and death but of preservation and life. Monumental time also cares for the forms of natural or elemental life in their cyclical and recurring time, and for metamorphosis, the free interflow of all the forms of the universe. In monumental time, boundaries in general between all things are looser or cease to exist. The narrator readily imagines sliding into other elemental forms or displacing his body into another domain, the water, earth, or sky. The death in the forest that he recounts is a type of metamorphosis, a transgressive experience in the natural world, pagan and sublime. There is no fear of death. Animals will carry off ones bones, and ones soul will become a bird. The body is natural and belongs to cyclical time. The soul belongs to eternal time. Both are a part of monumental time. Bodies are older than language. Their material connects us to the ecology and to the elements. Perhaps it is some ancient affinity that is responsible for our fantasies of metamorphoses, of our return to matter, and our drive to objecthood? The narrator wants the unhuman, riddance of his merely anthropomorphic form. The human itself is a limit, a boundary, an untruth, our dividedness from what is more ancient and enduring than we are. He wants to be dehumanized and assume the neutrality of an object in nature, become the sea grass that grows only for itself (25, 147). The kingdom (riik) of seeds is victorious over men and he would wish to share it, to be with the victors, and renounce and betray his unhappy race (25). Yet, he wants also his rapturous, human sense experiences, his Proustian memories of odors, tastes, and touch that allow him to imagine comparing the taste of Angelos semen to the juice of the sea grass growing on the shore. The presence of monumental time and its signs punctuate the text more surely and with more joy than the presence of historical time does. His most rapturous moments all connect to his origins, his there, the cold Nordic geography with its absence of sun and technology, but with its distinct cultural-religious memory and its unique linguistic sedimentation, where the natural odors are strong and the air invigorating, and where life, perhaps because it resists one, because it has to be wrested from nothingness and poor soil, is real and not virtual, hyper-real, or artificial as it appears more often now to be in the West. There is where he has had his most positive drive experiences, his instants of being and love. There is his irreducible difference, his unconscious idem, a specificity that he knows is his because the brutal

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depreciation of it by the discourse of power, or the idea of his complete renunciation of it, induce uncontrollable rage. Thus, the narrator experiences it as violence to and violation of his core when the European Franz disparagingly says: of course, you do not want to return there, (no normal person would renounce the Paris I offer you to return there instead), repeating there four times (1723) without ever even deigning to name this seemingly unmentionable placein essence, then, a nonplace. The depth of the narcissistic injury can be measured by the narrators counter-action, his imagined or actual murder of Franz in a sudden emergence from passivity. He counter-invests in the violence he has endured, making himself in turn an agent of this violence, in order to combat what he experiences as an annihilatory attack on his affective life as an Estonian. He is an Eastern European, but also a European: he has read Derrida and Foucault; he does not keep his money in his socks; hes not a slave (412). Europe has always been the larger human ensemble, superior to the nation, within which the Estonian re-experienced his major national traits in accentuated form, and yet Europe seems now unwilling to reabsorb him, to recognize him, and to honor him for his suffering and loyalty, simply because, due to a predacious colonial occupation and historical circumstances beyond his control, he is poorer and less powerfully positioned.28 Terrorism, Kristeva argues, tends to justify its acts on the unconscious level by reference to the archaic good mother. The act of terror is committed in her behalf so that her reign of purity and plenty can be reinstated in lieu of what has become an evil world.29 If this is so, perhaps Estonian non-violence has not only to do with a sobriety derived from a rational awareness of smallness, fragility, and limits, or a passivity induced by colonial oppression, but also with the fact that in Estonian culture the image of the archaic good mother tends often to be displaced by a grandmother, or as here, a step-grandmother, archaic, somewhat grim, but strong and stoical, able to survive Siberia together with her sewing machine (symbol of work and self-sufficiency), and ever sparing in what she gives, especially as regards love and words. She is like the geographic place itself, so harsh and peculiar, that it cannot be forgottento survive within it one has to know it; one has to be as intimate with it as with ones own flesh. She is the earth mother, who long ago taught the Estonians to expect nothing, and in particular, so little pleasure that their incapacity to demand their rights, especially a right to the pursuit of happiness, keeps them from the delusion of thinking that their happiness could ever come from the killing of the other.30 The boon of their dark souls is that they leave the other alone. No guns, no Palestine, their leaders said during the Independence Movement,31 and their ability to adhere to that, while living beside the descendants of those who commandeered their genocide, allows them to leave to the world a rare and extraordinary example of nonviolence. They have had little opportunity to demand much of reality or of

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historical-linear time because these could not yield much and, therefore, they have always remained acquainted with monumental time.

5. A New Ethics of Time Different civilizations have linked themselves differently to time, and perhaps one of the profound differences between Western European civilization and other major civilizations, such as the Indian, for example, is in the relationship to time. We are, as Kristeva says, the first civilization, the first epoch in human history in which human beings attempt to live without religion.32 The strength of the Western tradition of atheism is unique. It is almost impossible to avoid encountering it if one is educated in the West, given the predominance of non-religious or even defiantly anti-religious thinkers among the greatest modern humanists and scientists of its tradition. The narrator is keenly aware of the spiritual emptiness of his life and of the fact that in his civilization, monumental time has been relegated to a secondary and inferior position. His allusions to the emptiness of churches, the barely audible sound of church bells (117), random biblical fragments, and piece meal bits of the Christian calendar of time run like an elegiac refrain through his work because he had once an adventure in faith. His writing and his need for an Angelo are a rememoration of that time and serve as substitutes for something missing in his life. Angelo is the desired Beatrice, who, however, is more like a Dulcinea or a Helena from whom Faust asks (as all lovers do of the beloved) what she cannot give: Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.33 In our materialized societies, the bodily and amorous life substitute for the spiritual life. The flesh is altogether ready, my Angelo, but the spirit is nowhere (178). There is some kind of interconnectedness between religion and his love for Angelo, between religion and sexuality, but he doesnt know what it is. The division of the sexes maintains the fantasy of fusion with someone. But according to Lacan, a deeper core fantasy beneath the sexual fantasy is that of a fusion with something. Before birth, before being split from the real, we were unified with something or the immortal Thing. Individuation and birth, therefore, are bought at the price of immortality. Instead of immortality, we have sex and death. We have the sexual divide into gender, and with that the pleasures of sex, but we must procreate and die. Freud posited religious need in the domain of reality (the order of the imaginary and the symbolic), where he also placed love. For Freud, religion is an extension of the need for the father or the mother, and for other humans. But Lacan places need in the order of the Real. Birth, as a splitting from the Thing, opens up a lack of something more fundamental than the lack of another human being. It is the sense of the profound insufficiency of our own being separated from the Thing that is both

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infinite life and death. And no earthly love can supply our want for the Thingthe want that accompanies each of us through life.34 God, as Lacan said, is perhaps the most profound symptom of this deeper lack of being. God is present, therefore, in the order of the Real. God is the Real, not reality. The repression of monumental time and of the religious dimension in our civilization is also, therefore, a repression of a part of the domain of the real. This causes an imbalancing of the imaginary and the symbolic orders. It is an imbalance that leads to the production of violence and psychosis as well as the production of an excess of commodified objects or things (in the plural) that try to substitute for the Thing. The want for the more primordial being, for the Thing, registers itself not only in the relationship to religion, and in various ways in the love relationship (such as the spiritual demands placed upon the lover for immortality, the sexual demands placed upon the body, or the disgust at the limits of the body), but also in the relationship to silence [the narrators constant reference to Jane Campions film, The Piano, particularly to the scene of the heroine and the piano in silence under the water, as he imagines himself to be (545, 164, 50)]. Perhaps it registers above all in the relationship to the ecology, to nature, to landscape, and soil, a relationship that has been constant and profound in Estonian literature. It is in nature, as our nature poetry and literature attests that sweet pleasure has conquered deep despair.35 It is most often in the isolation and silence of nature where the inconsolable go to be consoled, and where the unfree have had glimpses of freedom, beauty, and peace (as in Kitzbergs Werewolf), however brief. Silence gives the narrator distance from words and gives him back his closeness to natural things. The moments of a feeling of completion in this text are also the moments when the narrators body and senses interface with the life of nature. They are moments of the now in monumental time. Historical time was the characteristic and dominant time of the age of traditional nationalism. This nationalism had desires, inherited from the enlightenment and romanticism, for all types of equality, for equal rights, status, power, and recognition. Nations sought both an individual place within linear history and an identification with its logic and values. The Estonian Independence Movement at its opening drew on the experiences, symbols, and memories of this earlier nationalism, only to learn that this form of nationalism was now to some extent obsolete. It encountered a new Europe, within which the primacy of nations was being challenged by the European Union, and which was under attack by its former colonies and being called to account for its imperialist past. The empire writes back and Europe has to answer was the new order of the day. 36 The history of nations was becoming the history of civilizations. Nations within civilizations such as the Western needed to acquire the skills to interrelate with other larger civilizational and cultural entities,

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often very distant from the European. Emerging suddenly, raped and violated, from its claustrophobic isolation within Communist totalitarianism, Eastern Europe found that it had to adjust itself with great rapidity to shifts that had occurred gradually in the rest of Europe over a fifty-year period. This raises new questions for Eastern Europeans. How can the geography, language, and historical memory that we call the Estonian nation be modified and yet preserved? How much of the otherness of others can Estonia absorb before its own national-cultural difference is blown to smithereens? How other can it be without ceasing to be?37 The narrator is no longer sure about the existence of nations since, as he says, nations still exist on maps, but their populations are overflowing and jumping national borders like fleas (13). He also lacks enthusiasm for history. Historical time has been the imperialists time, the conquerors time, and it is therefore not his time (12). History is always a negative experience for the colonized, for those subjugated and mastered by the imperial other. The exhilaration of history is mainly for the masters, for those who control and dominate. History, in fact, has the face of a Medusa, bringing on chills by how it reveals the tolerance of humans for killing and their ready ability to shift indifferently from slaughter to pleasure (1089). Franz envies the narrator the excitement of the recent historical upheavals in Eastern Europe, but the protagonist is skeptical and tells him in his world-weary way that one can get along perfectly well without history and more comfortably so (140). If Piiririik is the representative text of a new generation that no longer finds its inspiration primarily in historical or national time, what, then, does inspire this new generation? What the new Nordic, Baltic-Estonian subject seemingly wants, first of all, is time to listen to its own desire. And what this desire in turn seems to imply is a want of a new ethics of time, a time that is less triumphant, less certain of the value and efficacy of power and more aware of the contingencies of libidinal-corporeal existence. Everyone wants power, but few wish to devote all their energies to it (or hope to derive from it all their satisfactions) as nation-states in the past, however, have had to do. Young Estonians seem to want something less single-minded, and more plural, uncertain, and unpredictable. A new, more inclusive ethics of time would, alongside national and historical time, accept the need for monumental temporalities. These nonhistorical, nonproductive, and immaterial temporalities may tell us far more about how people live and die within a given culture than the time of measurable production does. This new, enlarged ethics of time allows breaks within itself, for the appearance of ghosts, hallucinations, and distorted sensations of inexplicable strangeness. It sees us as always standing on the border between mortality and immortality and protects the want for spaces of timelessness and immortality, the want for other space-times of

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metamorphosis, faith, and adoration. It admits the need to escape from historical time, even though this wanting may be rooted in nothing more exalted than our ultimate, primary narcissism, our desire to perpetuate ourselves, our own being (not only that of our children or the human race as we proclaim, wishing to appear altruistic). The need for immortality is a need for being. Only love from a radical otherness can supply it, an otherness or a fantasy (of god, nature, or the cosmos) free of all that enchains us, free of narcissism, and able, hence, to love us, this mere fragment of being, this broken-off piece of the real. The new generation lives on the edge between two attitudesan impetus toward renewed participation and insertion into European and global history and ambivalence toward, even radical refusal of the subjective limitations imposed by this history. Its interest in Western values, arrangements, and the role definitions of men and women is tempered by discontentment with and criticism of these arrangements. This generation is more interested in the psychic than the historical. It wants to link the Estonian to his or her intrasubjective and corporeal experiences, to those irreducible interests and lived experiences of the body, sex, and death that make up ones core identity. In a sense, this new generation is producing a phenomenology of those lived experiences pleasures, perversities, fearsthat were only indirectly and partially recorded or had to be left unrecorded in the colonized past. It is interested in the phenomenological, not in the logical. This new generation is, on the one hand, more transnational, more global, more post-anthropomorphic, and, on the other hand, more interested in its own irreducible difference than the last. It wants recognition of its specific identity, although it knows this identity to be unstable, transgressive, plural, and fluid. It seeks to comprehend its own specific trauma, which includes the more general trauma of being Nordic, i.e., the trauma of being cut off from the sun, of having to labor so hard, and endure so many colonizers. What the new Estonian subject wants, besides a more altered, less segregated, and honest account of sexuality, is the recognition of its eroticism as diffuse, subtle and rarefied, but inalienable and able to encompass love for the atom, the worm, and the stars. The initiation of a new subjectivity can only be founded upon the interiorization of the older subjectivity, not its destruction. Interiorization means detachment from the warring antitheses and polarities that were important to the older generation. It means, as Kristeva writes, a dedramatization, a playing down, and disintegration of the polarities of master/slave, executioner/victim, sadist/masochist, abuser/abused to the point where they need no longer be acted out or projected onto others.38 Interiorization obviates the destruction of the older subjectivity by inner preservation. Internalized, these dramas and polarizations that we once lived are not lost. They are accepted as true for each of us but they cease to

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be partitioned between the other and ourselves; each of us contains both the executioner and the victim. Piiririik is a testimony to this de-dramatization. It is the want for a different kind of subjectivity in which a new relationship to time boundaries, and by extension, to all other psychic boundaries, is of crucial importance. Piiririik calls for the re-evaluation of all boundary lines. It seeks a new and enlarged desiring space, both corporeal and psychic, which includes monumental time and a spirituality based on the Real. 6. Postmodern Magical Realism: Nordic-Baltic-Estonian Style Postmodern art and magical realism foreground the structures, properties, and laws of the unconscious. This is evident in the radical shifting of the planes of time, space, and identity in these works and in the fact that these shifts produce the same sense of the drastic instability of representation that we experience in the dream. Also, as in oneiric reality, we have unexpected metamorphoses and transformations; sudden, unexplained erasures or breaks in the representation; arbitrary juxtapositions; a lack of causal explanation for actions or events; an absence of logical laws and chains: distinctions and categories that are irreconcilable opposites according to the rules of logic are fused and intermingled. In postmodern works, the effort to make meanings and the excess of signification that marked modernism, as if in defense of the fear of the failure of signification, is abdicated. The seriousness of modernism that was concomitant with its desire for meaning is deserted for play, trivialization, oblique references, sexual innuendoes, parody, and other such techniques that characterize the structure of the dream and the erotic strategies of the flesh far more than those of the mind. There is at best only an ambivalent semi-seriousness that continually refreshes itself by dissolving everything into the dubious, the questionable, or the absurdly uncertain. In postmodern works, one frequently encounters a resistance to language as such, which exhibits itself in a new minimalism or miniaturization as well as a new mastery of condensation. The resistance is especially present in the seductions operative in these texts of silence, music, gesture, muteness, and death. The great realist and modernist faith in language, which led to such linguistic luxuriance and excess in Proust and Joyce, is replaced in postmodernism by languagelessness or a stance that is anti-language. Language is merely the best tool for self-deception, lying, playing, or fiction. It can no longer take itself so seriously. Because they are aware of language acquisition as a fundamental mortification and castration, as a power bought with a sacrificethe loss of the pleasure of our direct contact with being, with each otherpostmodernists are no longer invested in language in the absolute way that the 19th century and modernism were. Language is more a testimony to the absence of things

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than to their presence. Though a great pleasure and power, it is also a diminution of our corporeal life and jouissance. Instead of the recognizable personal style prized by modernism, postmodernism offers stylistic hybridity and heterogeneity and pastiche. Instead of modernist irony, we tend to have parody. Along with the diminution and questionability of language comes that of the significance and certainty of the speaking subject. It emerges as radically split and ever on the lookout for new means of self-fracture, self-dislocation, and selfdisruption. Postmodernism construes identity as a play of projections, doublings, idealizations, and rejections. It sees identity as a makeshift, unstable construction put together from what is appropriated from others. The postmodern subjects tendency to paranoia connects to its fundamental emptiness and otherness, and hence, to its plagiaries and thefts from the other, to which it resorts in order to constitute itself. De-narrativization, the neutralization of the narrative structures of modernism, and the enfeeblement of larger historical perspectives release within postmodernism a present charged with libidinal intensities. Fredric Jameson speaks of the reduction to the body, to uncodified intensities of sensations and images. Minute bodily events, curt sexual or sensual contacts and glimpses, and the brief, inconsequential minutiae of daily life are examined to answer the question of what living really is, what reality is in the first and last place.39 Postmodernism often privileges what Soler called the time of the drive over the time of the signifier. The time of the drive is the instant, the present, the now. It is the carnal moment of the senses and the pulsation of breath and blood, the genotextual moment, full of libidinal fire. In Piiririik, an avoidance and shifting of time and space planes begins on the first page with an omission (a resort to ellipses), a writing lapse that the nameless narrator immediately has when he should define the time and place of the event that he is describing: That was, by the way, so long ago, in the past century, in a land that is lost (5). The essential reference and orientation points of classic 19th century realism are either unavailable or not especially relevant. His writing, the narrator tells us, is a type of raving as if in a dream, which has somehow come true later, or which he has somehow made true, or which has been made true. Because of the seemingly oneiric origins of his text, he does not remember whether the time is yesterday or just now or five years ago (33). There are various possibilities, but it is not determinable which one is central. Thus, he does not know whether his encounter with Angelo was a random event or whether Angelo selected him, or whether Angelo was sent to sound him out (6). The letters he writes are not the originals but mere summaries and translations of letters he never sends. And even the ones that he does send could be erased and disappear, just as happened with Franz. The act of writing and what is written are surrounded with uncertainty, hesitation, and the imminence of dissolution. It could all not

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be or it could be different. Everything he writes is suspect, equivocal, and merely an essay, provisional. Words are more like water than like building blocks. They are unreliable and inexact representations of that which occurred because the fact of the occurrence, the pregiven event itself, which is to be represented, cannot be ascertained.40 Did the event happen? I am suddenly sure of nothing: is all of this true (44)? And if something happened (or not), whose words represent the action more truthfully: the words printed in the newspaper (regarding Franzs suicide) or his own words in this text? The validity of what he writes cannot be guaranteed. Perhaps the entire geography he has just laid out textually is but an apparition, but maybe it is not. Everything I tell you is the truth or at least as true as bank accounts and maps are (134). Everything is a sketch, an outline, a representation, and not the thing itself. Is he on a sightseeing pleasure tour or in the underwater domain pushed there by a wave? (13) Was he really on the train to Amsterdam? (44) Has he ever been there? (35) If something is past and there are no records, was it ever present? If he cannot determine where he is located now, how can he know where he was in the past? The reality his writing creates is undefined and uncertain. It is not definable because it cannot be clearly dissociated from his writing or separated from language. He is not even sure that he wants to write. There is a resistance to narration. Everyone wants to narrate their life, their I, but he might prefer to listen, to get a rest from himself (22). He speaks only to fill up the silence, which terrifies him. He feels he has little to say and he almost does not want to speak. From his effort, his voice grows weak towards the end, so that at the bakery, he has to point and gesture to what he wants. At one point he will disappear and become invisible, like the grass, which does not grow in a bakery, but elsewhere quietly by itself (147). As in a dream, the narrator feels split into a perceiver and the perceived. He is simultaneously actor and audience (18). Did he see those people out on the field from the train window, or was he himself there on the field on his knees, scraping the dusty earth with his fingernails and getting a sunstroke (44)? Is he the seer or the seen? Is he the subject or the object? To what extent are Angelo and he, or Franz and he, separate subjects (50)? He is disoriented because the subject-object divide is no longer fixed. The boundaries have loosened up and subjects and objects are interchangeable. The erasure of fundamental opposites, such as near and far, and other such founding polarities of realism produces strange dislocations, sensations, and hallucinations. Is Franz with him in the church in Amsterdam or is he, far away and very small, approaching him from a great distance over the gravestones, coming and coming for months and years (98)? As in oneiric reality, the narrator can come upon unexpected metamorphoses, transformations, and desires: blood-red roses that might be bought from an old woman may turn into a handful of frozen dirt

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(15).41 Lying under a linden tree and listening to rose petals fall could be happening to him in heaven (146). The smell of a decapitated human head in a refrigerator is an odor he may suddenly crave. The parodic setting of the crime is a clinically clean, impeccably functional kitchen, a holy place (where the refrigerator becomes the altar with its offering of delicious food), which inspires the narrator with fear, dread, and horror and a violent desire to destroy everything. Murder emerges in some indistinct but primordial relationship to food, cannibalism, and survival, at once true and satiric. Breaks in reality and in the psyche might occur at any time and anywhere. The narrator cannot account for these any more than he can give reasons for why he is doing what he is doing. He has one (his earliest) certain memory of a piece of sky and pine tree tips beyond a shut window that he can call upon to prove that he existed (45). Besides that he is sure only of his inherence in his own sensationthe smell of the winter potatoes or the intense, sweet odor of black currant bushes up there in the North (156). He is also sure, although he does not know where he is just now, that he is not there, because there is where it is too light in June to see the stars (180). In Piiririik, we see the emergence or outline of a postmodern magical realism, Nordic-Baltic-Estonian style.

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Notes
1. For ones identification, some things are given to one: a name, which is a mark within a language designating a specific genealogical chain or descent; a nationality, which one shares in common with everyone in a particular geographic and/or linguistic area; an age and gender, which gives one an anthropological affinity with all others of this age and gender in the world. The anthropological categories reach out beyond national boundaries, as do often the religious, linguistic, and professional designations, i.e., I have a commonness with all the lawyers of the world. None of this really addresses ones radical singularity, which is really finally given to one by the unconscious. Yet there is a tremendous support in these symbolic marks and in being able to say: I am Estonian or French, a student or a lawyer, a mother or a descendent of someone. I am this and not that. These symbolic denominations, although general, are a support against dissolution, and therefore worth fighting for. They are, as it were, the container, the vase, that can be filled differently, but that continues to exist. The libido reaches out and snatches at this and that, enjoying itself with fragments from our multi-cultural, multi-racial, and multinational world, but then there is always also the container, the idem to return to. Notably, the author of Piiririik plays with identity, or has, as a translator (traitor, transmitter), already translated his own name into a pseudonym, i.e., transferred it across a linguistic border from Estonia (Tnu nnepalu) to France (Rousseaus mile) and to Germany (Tod means death, but in Estonian tde means truth or verity.). He has left his nation for Paris and never directly names his place of origin, thereby creating uncertainty about the legacies that give him his legal, national, and linguistic identity. The words Estonia or Estonian never occur. It is always Eastern Europe or the land from which I come, or from the North up there (6, 10, 181). Thus, the place is generalized and broadened to be more inclusive of a larger part of Europe. Of course, anyone reading the original Estonian text would read it as a reference foremost to Estonia. 2. Locke, 1969, 192. 3. Piir means border, boundary, frontier, threshold, limit, end, terminus, line, borderline. Riik is a state, body politic, nation, country, community, kingdom, domain, realm, empire, government. Thus, Piiririik could be translated in so many ways (as Boundary Nation, Border State, Limit Realm, etc.) that I feel forced to leave it untranslated. My references are to the Estonian edition and the translations are mine. Piiririik has been translated into English by Madli Puhvel, Border State: Writings from an Unbound Europe (Northwestern University Press, 2000), French (Gallimard), German (Carl Hausser), Spanish (Tusquets), Italian (Iperborea), Dutch (Meulenhoff), Danish (Munksgaard-Rosinante), Swedish (Waldstrm & Widstrand), Norwegian (Cappelen Englefr),

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Finnish (Otava Enbelden Siemen), Latvian (Robezvalsts), and into Lithuanian and Russian. 4. Tode, 1993, 5. Further references to this text appear in parentheses. 5. Barthes, 1975, 7. 6. Bloomer and Moore, 1977, 1213. 7. Barthes, 1975, 10. 8. Ibid, 7. 9. See footnote 1 above. 10. Lacan, 1992, 120. 11. Ibid, 121. 12. The Eastern European simply does not exist in the consciousness of Europe in any form, legal or other. And if you happen to be standing on the border, then you are not visible, not from either side (181). And no one in Franzs apartment house ever saw the narrator and he never saw anyone either. See Vclav Havel in The Hope for Europe calling on Europe to live up to its vision and commitment to a united European Union by including everyone (3841). 13. Franz selected him because he could find no other victim to impress with his obsolete subjectivity. Only an Eastern European, oriented in the 19th century, is still interested in philosophy as such and able to listen to his moralizing and his outmoded ideas about insurgence and the dismantling of society (4041). Franz, the European master, is, in fact, intellectually, emotionally, and sexually bankrupt. He lacks erotic force and drive. Mainly, he would like to have his penis held while eating spaghetti, but he is afraid to ask (99). 14. In the church in Amsterdam, he is as if poised between deaththe floor of the church is all gravestonesand eternal life (the roof is similar to an upside down ship bottom) (978). 15. Kristeva, 1986, 189. This section of the paper draws on Kristevas ideas and adapts them to the situation in Estonia. 16. Ibid, 1923. 17. Ibid, 192. 18. Above all what his grandmother fears is war (92) and being sent to Siberia (91). More than anything, the narrator fears being stuck somewhere from which there is no escape (112). The fears are obviously interrelated. Whenever the narrator encounters a space that feels confining (such as the fish tank-mausoleum in which the seminar of Eastern European translators is being conducted), or a glass that reminds him of his grandmothers shut and taboo window, he wants to smash and shatter it (51). 19. It is because we are becoming less and less capable of remembering that deception becomes more and more necessary every day. Dissimulation has to take on bolder and more radical forms to compel people to believe that they exist, that they have and will exist, and that their existence is important or necessary. The narrator loves those who

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deceive, cheat, and trickimpostors like Angelo, who is a coffee expert, although he knows nothing about coffee, but whose declarations determine which village in Latin America will bloom and which will be struck by starvation (1578). Similarly, a writer cannot know the good or evil consequences of his work. 20. Modifying a Nietzschean thesis from On the Genealogy of Morals, the narrator declares that all those who cannot act or be part of the historical mainstream, who are not the masters, as the Eastern Europeans are not, can assert themselves only by acts of criminality. Crime is rampant because the destructive drives of the slaves no longer have other outlets: there are no elephants or natives to shoot or hunt down, no foreign temples or villages to rob and burn (37). The end of the age of imperialism forces all (excepting those few who dominate the rest) to destroy themselves or each other. 21. By contrast, Franz cannot and will not talk about the death drive; that is his boundary. The narrator crosses it by suggesting that Franz must enjoy the idea that one day the planes built by the company in which he owns shares will bomb everything to mush. Given Franzs denial of the sadistic-aggressive drive, it is ironically appropriate that the paper reports his murder as a self-murder. Among journalists, killing oneself happened, in any case, to be the preferred and more interesting form of self-destruction that week because a highly placed politician had just done it (159). 22. Bombs are in any case part of his inheritance. His grandmothers farm was bombed during World War II and all her relatives died; she went insane, the cure for which, a doctor told her, is to walk against a cool breeze. That helps, as the narrator knows, because he does it too (92). The remedy is homeopathic: as a Nordic he needs more coolness. 23. In a dream he sees himself as a boy grinning in his coffin, with no respect for anything, not even mortality, a boy for whom nothing is serious and whose perverse nonseriousness and scoffing at death can no longer be covered up, or mastered or controlled, and who, finally, escapes his coffin (32). 24. For an elaboration of the relationship between disgust and the order of the real see Jaanus, 1995, 1214 et passim. 25. Soler, 1995, 44. 26. Ibid, 52. For the argument in this paragraph, I draw on Colette Solers full discussion of the distinction between alienation and separation (45 53). 27. Kristeva, 1986, 191. 28. He avoids encounters with other poor and pathetic Eastern Europeans (423). No matter what they wear, their clothes always betray them, as his betray him (55). To avoid being pitied, in the way Eastern Europeans are, and addressed in the way one addresses the relative of a dead person, he claims to be Swedish (85).

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29. Kristeva, 1986, 205. 30. For a further discussion of the hatred of the other see Jaanus, 1996, 323355. 31. Words spoken by Marju Lauristin on a 60 Minutes television program on Estonia. 32. Kristeva, 1986, 208. 33. Marlowe, 1950, Act V, Scene 1. 34. For Lacans myth of the lamella or of immortal life, see also Jaanus, 1995, 1304. 35. Marlowe, 1950, Act 2, Scene 2. 36. My reference is to the Ashcroft, Griffiths and Tiffin book The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures (1989). 37. In Literature in a Global Society Betty Jean Craige argues that if global culture is anything like a healthy ecosystem, its well-being depends on diversity and the healthy interaction of its constituents. Cultural diversity is as natural as biodiversity and must similarly be recognized as valuable to the functioning of the whole. Further, since the parts of the whole interact, its health requires the well-being of all its components. Intermingling, her argument goes, will not lead to global sameness. It should lead, as an ecosystem does, to new varieties. To fear worldwide cultural homogeneity is, therefore, dangerous, just as hoping to regain an imagined, lost cultural purity is, because the attempt to preserve a particular cultural or genetic order in a world of continuous change leads inevitably to conflict. The goal is mainly to intermingle peacefully. What this argument overlooks is the differences between natural and cultural systems, the existence, for one, of language and symbols by means of which a cultural system is able to control and manipulate the speed and degree of its changes, if it wishes to. Secondly, this argument evades the issue of the amount and degree of intermingling and interaction. How much otherness is tolerable before what was before disappears completely? Do the new varieties come into existence at the expense and loss of the old? Finally, the argument also ignores the psychic structure of humans. If humans tend to fear change so much, if it has so traumatic an effect, even when desired, this means something. Have we not as a species always been invested at least as much in unchanging as in change? 38. Kristeva, 1986, 20911. 39. Jameson, 1990, 148152 et passim. 40. Jameson speaks of the present as a moment in the evolution of the philosophical vocation of narrative... which can be described as the foregrounding, exploration, subversion, or modification of the category of the Event in general. Ibid, 148. 41. In Gabriel Garca Mrques or Salman Rushdie, such moments of color proliferate rather than disappear into showers of color and uncountable numbers of flowers. Scarcity and economy in libidinal intensity rather than

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excess is one of the differences between Nordic and other styles of magical realism.

Bibliography
Ashcroft, B., G. Griffiths and H. Tiffin, (1989), The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures. London: Routledge. Barthes, R. (1975), The Pleasure of the Text, trans. By R. Miller. New York: Hill and Wang. Bloomer, K. C. and C. W. Moore, (1977), Body, Memory, and Architecture. New Haven: Yale University Press. Craige, B. J. (1990), Literature in a Global Society, PMLA, 395401. Havel, V. (1996), The Hope for Europe, The New York Review of Books, June 20: 3841. Jaanus, M. (1995), The Dmontage of the Drive, in: Feldstein, R., B. Fink and M. Jaanus (eds.), Reading Seminar XI: Lacans Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. New York: SUNY Press. ________. (1996), A Civilization of Hatred: The Other in the Imaginary, in: Feldstein, R., B. Fink and M. Jaanus (eds.), Reading Seminars I and II: Lacans Return to Freud. New York: SUNY Press. Jameson, F. (1990), Signatures of the Visible. New York: Routledge. Kristeva, J. (1986), Womens Time, in: T. Moi (ed.), The Kristeva Reader. New York: Columbia University Press. Lacan, J. (1992), The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 19591960, J. A. Miller (ed.), trans. by D. Porter. New York: W.W. Norton & Co. Inc. Locke, L. (1969), An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Cranston, M. (ed.). New York: Collier-Macmillan Ltd. Marlowe, C. (1950), The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus. New York: Appleton-Century. Nietzsche, F. (1967), On The Genealogy of Morals. New York: Vintage Books.

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Soler, C. (1995), The Subject and the Other (I), in: Fink, B. and M. Jaanus (eds.), Reading Seminar XI: Lacans Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. New York: SUNY Press. Smith, A. (1964), The Wealth of Nations. New York: Dutton. Tode, E. (1993), Piiririik. Kirjastus: Tuum.

The Sieve and the Honeycomb: Features of Contemporary Lithuanian Cultural Time and Space Arnas Sverdiolas
An attempt is made to discuss the structure of postSoviet Lithuanian cultural space and time, which determines the social functioning of general cultural artifacts. A methodological alternative to the arrangement of topographical and chronological cultural phenomena is proposed: a concept based on a polycentric field for the dispersal of power and play. The essential post-Soviet/postcolonial transformation is constituted by the closed cultural space that has partially opened. The walls of the retort guaranteeing total isolation are being exchanged for the perforated membrane of the sieve. However, separation from Western discourse and the increased language barrier (Russian no longer serves, while English is not internalized yet) are still a hindrance. It is argued here that ones unique time was constituted by traditional culture, was made up of layers of meaning laid one on top of the other, while characteristic of modernity is the archaelogy of present meaning, a search for competing alternatives. In the meantime, a multitude of different phenomena of world culture have opened up for contemporary Lithuanian culture; many opposing flourishings and rebirths are occurring at the same time. Under such conditions, meanings appear dispersive, atopical and achronological, having no context or assumptions of their own. The present structure of public space is perceived to be honeycomb-like; thus the exchange of ideas occurs only in privacy, inside the cells, and fails to form a basis for the commonality of individuals. 1. What Time and What Space? Methodological Remarks In analyzing cultural phenomena, it is always worthwhile to pay attention to their temporal and spatial dimensions. The cultural connections with space and time form a very broad, diverse and deep problematics. Space and time can be variously understood; these concepts can be applied and jumbled in all kinds of ways. To avoid at least some

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possible misunderstandings it is important first of all to discuss how we understand the time and space of a culture. Space and time can be considered to be empty unique properties (Selbsteigend as Heidegger called them) in which cultural phenomena fit. In other words, the localization of cultural phenomena can be analyzed in physical time and space by establishing their dates and locations. The flatness of physical space and the axis of physical time are both absolute, thus any cultural phenomena can be accommodated inside them and their relationships can be demonstrated, measured, counted and compared. Lithuanian culture can be localized on a map or globe. Mainly it extends over a rather small area (about 65,000 square kilometers) by the Baltic Sea, while even smaller areas and points are scattered in the United States and elsewhere, wherever there are persons, associations or institutions that are culturally active, or at least receptive to it. The existence of Lithuania in Eastern Europe, moreover in a particular place in Eastern Europe, is a significant circumstance that has important, even fateful consequences for its culture. It is possible to establish the chronological boundaries of Lithuanian culture, their markings on the scale of absolute time, from the very first human footprints, found archaeologically or in some other fashion, to the accurately dated events of the recent present or past. Not so long ago some eight Lithuanian historical events were inserted into a reference book of world history. The publishers determined them to be worthy of inclusion among thousands of other events from other parts of the globe. The topographical and chronological localization of the most important historical events essentially characterizes culture. Even a person who knows absolutely nothing about Lithuania on first arrival in Vilnius immediately comprehends, Oh, they have Baroque and Gothic architecture! He will recognize and identify the newly experienced cultural phenomena by referring to similarities and differences from features characteristic of other cultures of Western civilization: Lithuania is a country that belongs to the regions of the Baroque and the Gothic. In this fashion, a preconceived cultural map is rendered more precise. Physical time and space allow for even more detailed comparisons. Thus the Gothic buildings of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania mark the easternmost boundary of the spread of universal Eastern Gothic, but not of Baroque, which is to be found in Moscow as well as Siberia. After all, there are countries that possess neither the Gothic, nor the Baroque. All of this is significant because it allows one to recognize and compare when and where certain cultural phenomena arrived and determine what complex they belong to. Topographical and chronological descriptions can be multiplied. For instance, Lithuania at the present time is a country at the very eastern edge of the region with a Latin alphabet, but at one time it was beyond even this boundary, in the region of the

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Cyrillic one. In detailing cultural descriptions, these kinds of characteristics overlap each other. Comparisons on the chronological scale allow us to describe an especially important field of Lithuanian cultural phenomena, namely that of reception. In speaking of reception it seems that we are condemned over and over again to discover and measure our delaythe amount of time that was needed for some phenomenon or other to reach Lithuania. For example, there was an attempt to establish how much time had to pass before the cosmology of Galileo was taught at Vilnius University. This kind of retardation from the center is more or less characteristic of various countries and allows them to be compared to each other. The more significant the cultural phenomena, the more convincing are the comparisons. The date of the first appearance of a translation of the Bible is an almost universal temporal indicator in a huge cultural domain covering very different phenomena. Further details and intricacies are possible on this level. Cultural phenomena do not spread like concentric circles in water and they do not travel randomly, but spread from certain centers along certain channels and media. They can all be analyzed. Spanish Baroque mysticism, so important for Lithuania, reached it through Italy, and then only by way of Poland. The books owned by Vilnius monastery libraries indicate this. Polish translations of the works by Saint John of the Holy Cross and Theresa of Avila were in turn made from Italian translations. Incidentally, there were no Lithuanian translations and, significantly, up until the present day there are none. Similar trajectories are found in analyzing the spread of philosophy and the plastic arts of a contemporaneous period. When researching these phenomena, their topographical and chronological characteristics need to be taken into account. Concepts of physical space and time, however, are inadequate to describe a culture. In analyzing the given example of architecture, it is convenient to turn to other concepts, namely substantive ones, or the cultures own concepts of time and space. Substantive time and space articulate the real organization of the cultures own derivatives. A building by its stable and monumental being not only marks the physical features of a cultures space and time but also embodies and testifies to a certain effectiveness and creativity, Wille zur Macht. The objective facts of the building of Lithuanian churches in the United States, the establishment of parishes, their maintenance and decline, record the powers of individuals and of the society, their efforts and their ability to act as well as the character and limitations of all these impulses: where, when, what was built and how long it endured. From the point of view of Lithuanian culture the map and the calendar reveal the pathetic picture of these efforts and the losses involved.

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However, when we delve more deeply into the architecture of Vilnius and recognize the phases of its early and late Baroque style, the stylistic characteristics of these phases no longer mean that they manifest the same phases of universal Baroque but contain their own internal coherence immanent in a certain creative wholenamely that of Vilnius Baroque, its development and self-development. This means that Vilnius Baroque has its own time, a time substantive not by the mere continuity of physical time, but by the sequence of architectural creativity itself. This time does not have to be measured purely by quantitave features (such as when), but can be measured by qualitative ones (early, mature, late), which presume the distinctive identity of the cultural body both in reflection and as perceived from outside. In other words, together with substantive time we encounter something that belongs to it uniquelyno longer an absolute and empty, purely quantitative time, but a time articulated by the works themselves, internally connected to creativity. If there is no sequence of works bound by interdependence (which conceals possibilities for repetition but also for change and even for rejection), then this time does not exist either. In this sense one could speak of Vincas Svirskis wood sculpture as a very late, simply scandalously late (19th century) Baroque, which would perhaps be inconceivable anywhere else. Thanks to the unique artistry of this master, the Baroque era in Lithuanian culture continued for a remarkably long time. Elsewhere, and in Lithuania as well, the Neobaroque had come into being. Usually it is thought that unique cultural properties are something that already exist, that they are concealed in the past, especially in the deep and the very deepest past. In reality, however, they appear, change and spread, getting ever more complex. A cultural project aimed only at preserving, maintaining or recreating a specific uniqueness is limited, totally inadequate and sometimes even harmful. Uniqueness is to be found not only in the past, but in the future as well. It is by no means merely maintained, refreshed and recreated; it is created and spread, questioned and criticized. All this occurs in accepting the ever-new challenges of an ever-new present. The interpretation of the present, supported by the concept of substantive time, becomes the constitutive moment concerning cultural products. The uniqueness of the present as a moment of substantive time is dependent on the fact that here everything is again in question and the questions are answered in one way or another; i.e., the past is actively being interpreted. In the case of physical time and space this does not happen. From a substantive point of view, it is possible to speak about separate cultural products as well as about culture as a spatial whole. When it comes to Vilnius Baroque, one could speak of its extent, understood not as a certain configuration on the map, but again as unique creative action, the expression of radiating and affective power. The

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essential articulation of interior cultural space would be center versus periphery, understood not as distance in empty physical space, but as the dispersion of creative intensity: When considering Vilnius Baroque some buildings in Western Byelorussia and southern Poland would have to be analyzed as well. In this case, one can again speak of the dissimilarity of cultural uniquenessits dispersal and decay. The peripheries and borderlands of a certain cultural phenomenas extent are defined by an inability to create according to the paradigm radiated by the center or even to adopt that which has been created according to it. These are two qualitatively different levels of cultural intensity. Archaeologists can usually easily distinguish local workmanship from that which has been imported by analyzing its quality. This does not by any means signify that the local artists were less clever; rather that they were not immersed in the tradition, that they learned their trade from masters who were not especially skilled, or that they simply followed examples of works which came their way. By the way, this is what Svirskis did. He learned from the Baroque stucco moldings created at the Paaislis monastery two centuries before and he did not feel himself distanced from them, nor did he see any need to transform their style. The marginal nature of a paradigms radiation would be attested to by the architectural order, realized not tectonically but purely decoratively, by the exposition of theoretical and methodological disciplines, when the teacher himself is unable to apply the theories and methodologies, and by many other examples of provincial cultural bricolage. The substantive features of space and time define the uniqueness of cultural workmanship. In substantive time one can no longer speak of a delay or retardationeverything always occurs at just the right time because this time cannot be disconnected or abstracted from the phenomenon itself. This is a feature of cultural uniqueness. Every point of this kind of substantive time is also its center. This can easily be seen in analyzing artistic works. In reality, all of them can be inserted into a history of styles, located after something or before something; in extreme cases, they can even mark a turning point, a rupture, the end of one style and the beginning of another. Every work bases itself on earlier ones and opens the way for later ones. Nevertheless, one can give special attention to a workevaluate it immanently, independently of its place in a historical sequence. Then this work finds itself in the center, while all others situate themselves in a particular temporal peripherybefore it or after it. This centering perspective of substantive time, however, fits only the one work. One can just as well focus ones attention on other cultural productions and then the picture will rearrange itself totally. In speaking of substantive time, a cultures own time, we are confronted each time with the absoluteness of an outlook and with its relativity. Each time that we

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turn our gaze on the work itself, we can analyze and evaluate it immanently, independently from its place in the scale of time. Our perspective is absolute and relative. The same thing occurs when applying the concept of interior or substantive spaceits center, its here rests at a certain cultural phenomenon or its ensemble, while all others end up either closer or further away, but in any case around it, at scrutinys edge. This again is the space of the cultural phenomenons uniqueness. One can, for instance, analyze what significance the example of the Santa Maria Maggiore basilica in Rome had for the architect Laurynas Stuoka-Guceviius while he was incorporating the Kings Chapel into the Cathedral of Vilnius and attaching the adjoining symmetrical sacristy, but this analytical perspective centers on just this chapel and this church and situates everything else on the periphery (even if it is Rome) as a source of inspiration, an object of influence or something else. One must keep in mind that in applying concepts of substantive space and time, quantitative comparisons, measures of distance, etc., can no longer be applied. The calendar and the map, axial or planar diagrams reveal very little and are possibly misleading. On the level of uniqueness, everything is purely qualitative, while the features of time and space are immanent to cultural phenomena and define those same phenomena. This, incidentally, means that a culture cannot claim that it lacks this or that. There can be no evaluating comparisons made with something else. In the perspective of uniquenessof ones own time and spaceeverything is as it should be. One can only raise the question of what in reality it is that belongs to us and what is foreign to us. What is it that we are really like? The alternative to the topographical placement of culture is a polycentric cultural field in which we can imagine the play of cultural powers or of center versus periphery. There are no external limitations on their interpenetration and expansion. Even the rather proximate concept of the Nietzschean play of power and battle is somewhat misleading here because the internalization of something alien makes it ones own; it expands ones uniqueness at no one elses expense. The economy of uniqueness is unusual in the respect that to internalize, to adopt for oneself here does not imply taking from the other. Everything remains for the other. Therefore, it is ridiculous to debate whether one poet or another belongs to the Lithuanians or to the Poles, whether a certain magnate is Lithuanian or Byelorussian: they belong to those who are able to place them in their own historical perspective. Belonging in this sense does not separate; it does not dispossess or deplete the object. The difficulty lies elsewhere and again is purely immanent: It is not necessary to proclaim something ones own, but to make something ones own, it must not be reserved, but rather internalized. It is true that in speaking of the past and its interpretation such an inscription has its limits, because one cannot make something that was into something that was not. However, in

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speaking of the present and the future, internalizing has no limits, here nonexistent things can appear and do so constantly. This expansion of cultural uniqueness is limited only by its internal powers. Only the creative intensity of cultural products, their weight and value, guarantee and support the importance of this attitude. In principle or for personal reasons we can choose to focus our special attention on any cultural product; nevertheless, haphazard focus can become grotesque or at the very least comical, if the interpreter issues banknotes unsupported by the gold of the work itself. But even this does not exhaust the question. One can say that every culturally polycentric field is characterized by the alternative of chronological time already discussed, a substantive time, a time that is its own. With the aid of the concepts of substantive time and space, one can meaningfully describe every cultural epoch and its entire sequence. In this case, one will have to make use of concepts like break, turning point, limit, rebirth as well as movement and inertia, return, and others. 2. The Framework: From the Retort to the Sieve With the help of the schemas of space and time discussed above, I will try to examine some of the present features of Lithuanian culture. I have in mind a very particular physical period of time and a concrete physical spacethe period right after the restoration of Lithuanian independence in 1990. The question I raise has to do with the substantive features of this periods cultural time and space. A trivial condition, but an essential one nevertheless, and for this reason one that cannot be ignored, is the fact that this period is a postSoviet one. After the Second Lithuanian Republic was formed, the conditions of cultural life and its nature were Soviet; then things began to change and they continue to change up to the present time. This is what I will try to discuss. In the winter of 1989, on the eve of the Velvet Revolution, Tomas Sodeika and I wrote an article that attempted to analyze the basic characteristics of Soviet cultural spaceisolation and its effects on life and thought.1 The retort determines the extent of isolation from the surroundings and the social life that, in the limited space available, is artificially formed and maintained. Artificial conditions penetrate and determine everything; they generate even the individual affects of people and communities. Many years ago, I asked Professor Violeta Kelertas whether she thought that we in the Soviet Union were real people or puppets. Whenever she visited thereafter, she would always ask how we were doing as unreal people. Perhaps it would have been more precise to speak of bacterial culture in the retort rather than about puppets: the social experimenter made up a certain medium according to a chosen recipe and watched to see how the biological matter behaved in it. This metaphor would be more to the point, as the feeling of artificiality surrounded not so

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much oneself (it wasnt quite the totally manipulated consciousness described by George Orwell) as the surrounding environment, its spiritual problematic. Falsity and misrepresentation penetrated public life. In school, when the Lithuanian literature teacher read Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas famous poem containing the lines sleepwalker sleepwalker, we decided that the poet was pretending to be a lunatic who could not perceive what was really happening and in this fashion was collaborating with the totality of reality, with the medium of our existence. Public statements received no respect; they came across like a humiliating comedy. The formerly distinguished chemistry professor Kazys Daukas journalistic articles were directed against mushroom-hunting, gardening and the likethese were all supposedly bourgeois activities. It seemed absurd; so, what were we supposed to engage in, perhaps in building communism? It was obvious to everyone that the answer was no. But there was a dead silence and meaningful mumbling, such as well, you know..., well, you understand when it came to defining those heights in the name of which we were to give up our cozy ordinary grubbing around in the woods. Yes, we knew and we understoodthe language of hints was very suggestive. At present, though, translated so-called Aesopean language has lost all its suggestiveness, while on the level of texts it has left nothing of interest; on the contrary, it leaves one feeling humiliated and depressed. But even back then it seemed as if no one was talking about the things that needed to be talked about, but spoke only for the reason that they could then be silent about something else. Almost everything that appeared in the public space was stuffing for that space. It seemed as if everyone who made public statements about purportedly important social questions was at the same time collaborating with reality by not speaking of the things that were really important and so indirectly legitimizing that reality. Since it was possible to think that way about everyone who spoke in public, a huge potential for nihilism and cynicism was created, which had and still has effects on the thought processes. Today the unreal feeling about public life without question has decreased; however, it is not so easy to say what changed itcertainly not a feeling of reality and meaningfulness. When today it is argued that Nazi collaborators should be tried to improve the image of Lithuania in the world, one realizes that the language of hinting and communication by winking for public deception has survived. The main effect of the retortthe isolation of cultural space was guaranteed primarily by means of quasi-political power. How did this effect of the retort express itself on the level of the thematics being analyzed? One can speak of the special space and time of the retort. Soviet cultural space and time were constructed consciously and manipulatively: it created its own historical periodization and the disposition and designation of geopolitical force, and on this were based all other

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articulations of cultural constructs. For example, philosophical thought as well as all ideology, understood in its widest sense, were divided into Marxist, pre-Marxist and anti-Marxist. Pre-Marxist thought, in its turn, was either progressive or reactionary. Of course, periodization and the articulation of space are never spontaneous or natural but cultural, so in a certain sense they are always artificial. However, in the case of the retort, artificiality has a particular meaningit is a cynical ideological manipulation and the requirements that are set out in instructional documents are all grounded on power. Not a single Lithuanian historian ever discussed in public the significance of the October revolution as an essential landmark in writing Lithuanian history: although not a single one believed in it, not a single one was able to avoid it in his works. Isolation from world culture and the construction of Soviet space and time were especially intensive when they touched on the 20th century on, anything that appeared in the culture after Marx and especially after Lenin, because this was inherently an oppositionary area. In the period we are analyzing the primarily decisive fact is that the walls of this retort are disappearing, or to be more precise, they are decomposing and turning into a perforated membrane or, our metaphor here, a sieve. Instead of a blank wall, we now have a wall with sufficiently narrow fissures. The sieve serves as a certain type of filter that allows some things through and suppresses others. On the political level the retort was simply broken, but it was exactly at that point that it became clear that post-Soviet cultural space was determined not just by the former quasipolitical isolation, not just by history and not just by externally enforced boundaries. The first phenomenon of the sieve that attracts notice is the language barrier. More people than ever before in Lithuania know English, but they know it insufficiently, especially when it comes to written English. When choosing foreign language texts for any seminar at the university level, it must be taken into account that some of the potential participants will drop out because of inadequate language skills. In the meantime, the knowledge of Russian, although it is still more broadly known than English, is noticeably diminishing, especially written Russian as opposed to street slang. Currently there are students to whom one cannot recommend Russian-language textsthey have not studied Russian in school and cannot read it. They can no longer read Russian and they read English only poorly. So we are subject to a strange situation, when an entire layer or generation of so-called cultured people can write only in Lithuanian. What, however, does it mean to be articulate in Lithuanian only? It is not acceptable to mention this in public; apparently it is considered shameful, but writings in Lithuanian are very narrow and fragmented, especially theoretical ones. In many areas of the humanities and social studies as well as in art, there are no texts, no books; neither classics nor

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textbooks, no introductions, no reference books, no monographs, or, where they do exist, it is only in a small number. The recently translated Dictionary of Antiquity has an attached list of Lithuanian translations of classical texts from antiquity and articles about them. It makes up barely a page and a half. It mentions scarcely any of the most important texts in philosophy, historiography or literary studies. There is no translation of Aristotles Metaphysics into Lithuanian. Moreover, the same situation applies to texts other than those from antiquity. Therefore, we are still living in a post-literation era. And this is not merely a legacy from Soviet times. During the period of Lithuanias first independence (19181940), very few books of high culture were published. This is even more true of earlier times, when Lithuania was under the Tsars thumb. Lithuanian written literature unfortunately is very young; texts cover only a part of human knowledge and only a thin layer at that. When it comes to the characteristic features of substantive space, this means that the extent of Lithuanian culture is very limited and fragmentary. One of my recent seminars was devoted to the study of religious experience in Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinass Altori ely, a Lithuanian classical novel from the 1930s. The analysis eventually revealed that this text demonstrates the lack of a tradition in both mysticism and scholasticism. The situation is further complicated by the fact that there is not much available to read in English or other foreign languages. Looking at Lithuanian library catalogues leads one to the observation that they are a very porous sieve indeed (understanding sieve in this case as an instrument which helps one to catch things). During the decades of Soviet rule, books were collected according to the historiosophic and geopolitical schema already discussed. In addition, access to the books that nevertheless were in the library was severely restricted. Now books are collected haphazardly and without any system. The libraries of newly founded universities are poor; they are more an accidental set of books. Even the collections of the largest libraries are in some respects grotesque and contain huge gaps. Books in the Russian language, including their translations from many other languages, make the sieve considerably less porous. Right now there is a huge boom of translations in Russia and the Russian language could be an important mediator to international culture. However, as has been mentioned, the Russian language, especially the written one, is rather quickly retreating. These library collections will soon become useless: they have no future in Lithuania. I will mention only briefly the financial barrier that restricts the expansion of trade in books in foreign languages, allowing only minimal operation of the system of supply and demand. Even in Vilnius, the capital, there is not a single substantial foreign language bookstore.

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These are elementary facts well known in the country; however, after Michel Foucault and other modern philosophers, we understand how they influence the spread of knowledge and the nature of public discourse. All the above becomes the basis for the continuing partial isolation and the deep provincialismno longer under conditions of the retort but of the sieve. The quintessence of Lithuanian culture, its content and spiritual dimensions, cannot increase, and under conditions of modernism and postmodernism this means stagnation. Pedagogical theory, for instance, flourishes based only on the ideas of Antanas Maceina and Stasys alkauskis, Catholic philosophers from the period of the first Lithuanian Republic. In formulating their theories, these authors used the newest ideas from Western literature of the time, but now, 70 years later, for some teachers, these works remain practically the only source of inspiration and theoretical knowledge. For those who read only in Lithuanian there is a constant shortage of sources and unfortunately, there almost certainly will continue to be one. Lithuanian literature is simply too small and apparently will remain so. Multilingualism or at least bilingualism is and will remain a necessity. The Sieve and the Fog What I have been discussing up until now are lasting and unusually important features of Lithuanian culturethe consequences of a short and restricted history of writing in the language as well as five decades of living in the retort of the USSR and the continuation of its aftermathan aftermath which is still lingering for over a decade. After all, a sieve in some sense is reminiscent of a retort. Let us turn now to what new things have appeared during this decade, to those features of Lithuanian space and time that depend on conditions which have formed recently. Here we can see the second aspect of the sieve: this filter not only prevents certain phenomena from passing through, but allows others to go through unimpeded: a stream of novelties seeps through the holes, causing unique aftereffects. It can be argued that when the sequence of a culture is more or less calm and smooth, its temporal movement crystallizes and settles in layers one after the other. This textual layering of one on top of the other is precisely what makes up the most fundamental structure of temporal culture itself. In primordial culture, where everything is constantly repeated and change does not occur, one could say that in general there is no time of ones own. Of course, this initial state of culture is merely an analytical abstraction. Nevertheless, this abstraction helps us to note that as soon as some novelty appears it renders the previous article or object old and relegates it to the past. A person born and maturing under such circumstances discovers himself in certain surroundings, finds a certain field of meanings in which he can more or less naturally flourish, borrowing his assumptions for thinking from the environment and 3.

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supporting his thinking by them. At times his own time and space become the only comprehensible context and therefore become a context of meaning assumed without question, and everything else appears strange or foreign. This structure, the overlapping of certain layers, is what is called tradition, on which the complicated identity of culture rests. In modern culture, for analytic reasons, shafts are dug into past layers; retrospection is applied; the history, archaeology, and genealogy of tradition in ones own field is exposed to the light of day, questioned and criticized. On the spatial plane analytical activity also goes on, the comparative analysis of cultural or civilizational artifacts. Submitting ones own context of meaning to challenge and critique leads to its rejection, as its gaps, boundaries and imperfections, and finally its complete inappropriateness, are discovered; during this battle the old context is totally rejected and a new one is created. Not just anything is taken from the mass of the past; a process of choosing must occur. This is action that constitutes the present, parallel to the above-mentioned spread of influences along certain channels and media. The active cultural element determines the incoherencies and breaks in the structure of cultural history. Particularly since the Age of Enlightenment Western cultural structure is repeatedly examined, criticized from all angles, argued, analyzed, deconstructed. In modernity active procedures of clarification and re-clarification, it can be said, are becoming the essential way to maintain the life of cultural structure; sometimes it is impossible to have any other relationship with some of its layers except one of reflection and analysis. The present cultural situation in Lithuania is substantially determined by the fact that after a long period of artificial isolation and development in a special medium, not one, but many earlier inaccessible layers of world culture are suddenly flung wide open. Normally, temporal cultural layers settle as texts in the broadest sense of the word, settle as texts more or less available to retrospective or comparativist scrutiny. By being interpreted they can be transferred to the present and influence it: distant phenomena can be internalized, foreign elements can become part of ones own conceptual system. In an instant, many different things are actualized. Therefore, at the same time many flourishings and rebirths, sometimes negating each other, enter the culture: Gregorian chants, homosexuality, convents, classical music, pornography, avant-garde theater as well as art, spiritism, cynicism, fundamentalism, anarchism, Satanism, multiculturalism, xenophobia and many others. What is special for Lithuanians is that these earlier unapproachable layers do not reach the consciousness from the usual partly unconscious, perfectly clear inherited structure. Without the many conscious and unconscious assumptions on which they normally rest, they appear pure and dispersed like crumbs or dust. Therefore, these new (to us) things constitute a weightless mediuma shapeless fog does not allow

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us to orient ourselves according to named landmarks that are at least relatively stable, does not allow us to establish identities and differences. There can be no consideration of archaeology or genealogy in a fog, as here there are no layers, no relation to a legacy or an inheritance. Approximately defined directions of thought, or at least intellectual or artistic fashion, cannot form. There are no spiritual trajectories or transformations moving from one recognized place to another, there is no habitual world, no familiar topography of ones own. There is no time of ones own either, or to put it more precisely, everything becomes indeterminately contemporaneous. In a country that in general is considered and called Catholic, books by the Marquis de Sade and Georges Bataille are published one after the other, but publicly no one reacts to them in any way; they are not even mentioned, although they are all purchased. It seems as if there is nothing to be said about them: they are there simply to be stared at. Who reads these books and what kind of conclusions they draw is a complete mystery. In general, it is difficult to notice the reading and influence of texts with the naked eye. Experts in this field say that Peter Sloterdijks Critique of Cynical Reason is a popular conversation theme in cafes. However, it seems that the explosion of translations, on a scale never before seen, has had no marked influence on either scholarly literature or fiction. They are reflected mostly on the level of decoration, where they embellish someones text with graceful citations. In the end, it becomes difficult to say in what reality we are really living, what is the present of our culture and whether there is a present at all. Of course, in this case I am speaking of ones own time and ones own present, because the present of the calendar and the clock is always guaranteed us without any effort. A while ago, the Italian semiotician Paolo Fabbri was at Vilnius University and asked me what I was doing with my students. I told him that I was teaching a seminar on Jean Paul Sartre in which we were analyzing the theme of intersubjectivity. Fabbri looked at me intently and said, Oh yes, lately Sartre is becoming fashionable again. Fashionable! Lately! Again! I had absolutely no idea about any of this; I had simply decided that graduate students of philology needed some acquaintance with Sartres ideas so that they would understand the problematics of humanities studies. It is in this kind of present that we speak to others and imagine that we make ourselves understood. The world speaks out in a multitude of various, different and contradictory voices, while the confused Lithuanian falls silent even when he accidentally hits the right tone. The current cultural situations indeterminacy and independence from any present can be called an anachronism. Clearly, this situation is convenient for anachronisms, in the usual sense of the word, or for whatever is not of the current time. For instance, the Western cultural time that has passed since Albert Camus spoke directly to his contemporaries has been one of explanation and re-

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examination, a time of involvement in intertextuality. It is precisely this involvement that constitutes and supports the possibility of archaeology. If this intertextuality and substantive time itself are lacking, Camus remains the way he was. Currently in their papers our students are writing approximately the same things that I myself thought around 1970. This means that here time has not passed and the students have remained Camus contemporaries. Dispersive content matches the same structure of dispersive monadic space. Polychronicity and polycentrism diminish and in diminishing go to extremesthe level of anachrony and atopy. However, at this point one must pose a critical question to oneself: Perhaps this is the state of a pluralistic, multicultural and postmodern present in general, perhaps the above-mentioned settled layers do not exist anywhere or almost nowhere? I would agree with that and further maintain that in postcommunist countries, postmodernism reaches far deeper than in the West. After removing the artificial articulation of cultural time and space that is characteristic for the retort, all the historical and geopolitical schemas in their various orientations appear in many cases without any of their characteristic assumptions. They are supported not by the appropriate traditional structure which, as I noted, is only reinforced by archaeology, comparative study and criticism, nor just by deconstruction, but also reconstruction and imitation of that which has no consequence. Here there can be no digging toward a foundation, no active analytic efforts, as everything floats without support. In a fog it is impossible to apply destructive techniques, warfare or dialectics. It appears that archaeology in Foucaults sensethe concept of the origin of a certain discourse in poweris normative. But in a fog there is no opportunity to excavate. In other countries discourses have an origin, thus also an explanation of their origingenealogy. But with us they lose their origin and end up in a game of a different kindthe game of imitation or mimicry and hence parody. Novelties are taken over according to the logic of imitation, which in its own time was internalized remarkably well. In Lithuania there is a lack of irony, especially of high quality irony, but in its place there is a surplus of cynicism. Relativism also acquires a more radical meaning than elsewhere. Usually it limits itself to the theoretical plane, but here it is of the utmost practicality: Ones own situation, attitude, sense of self, which normally set limits on relativism, appears to have neither depth, foundation, nor weight. Perhaps this is why Richard Rorty seems so nave: one cannot deny legitimation or question it in a space where no legitimation is acknowledged, where all is doubted. Moreover, looking purely from a sociological viewpoint, cynicism, relativism and nihilism are more widespread here than in Western societies. At the peerlessly postmodern inauguration ceremonies of Algirdas Brazauskas, the first President of our Republic, the supposedly

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pagan rituals being held at the top of the Hill of Gediminas took place simultaneously with the Catholic ones at the basilica at the foot of the hill, in which the highest Church hierarchy actively participated, in this fashion joining in the same game, placing themselves on the same level as representatives of the ancient beliefs of the Balts, which to this day has not been put on the registry of state religions. Later, the future President meditated at the kings graves in the subterranean vaults. Brazauskasthe last First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party! From this single example it should be clear that the atemporal and aspatial nature of thought in Lithuania is so far gone that anything like this would be completely impossible in any country which had a greater sense of hierarchy and tradition. It is true, however, that the Catholics reproach the adepts of the old Baltic religion, saying that the latter is not a traditional movement but a New Age one, and thus they refuse to apply the normal meaning of the word religion to pagan practices. 4. The Inner Structure: The Honeycomb in the Sieve During his visits to Vilnius, Vytautas Kavolis, the AmericanLithuanian sociologist and analyzer of comparative civilizations, thought that the pluralistic fog of everything could promise much, that something quite new and unique could appear from this primeval mud. And in reality, a situation in which there are very few things that can be taken for granted, and few interconnections among them that can be assumed, is perhaps favorable to creativity or, to phrase it more carefully, it is in need of creation: The free elements need to be rethought and connected into unaccustomed and never before seen meaningful wholes. A serious hindrance to this creativity, however, is the fact that here we encounter another spatial feature of current Lithuanian culture for which I have chosen the metaphor of the honeycomb. Present-day cultural space appears to be made up of cellstiny closed spaces separated from each other by walls. These walls are thin and fragile, they are not supported by the exterior but by individual uniquenessthe peculiarities of thought itself. In this sense, the metaphor of the honeycomb is somewhat inexact, because there are no external boundaries here but only the boundaries of inner powers. The space of the honeycomb determines even the real structure of cultural institutions; the smallest and newest of our universities are more similar to spontaneously growing coral reefs than to organisms having a precise structure. The exchange of ideas and even of simple information that belongs to the essence of culture mostly goes on within the honeycomb cells. In the different sections of Vilnius University at least three kinds of semiotics flourish, each one of them basing itself on different assumptions which have never been discussed together. Each university tries to establish its own academic journal with universal themes, and for this reason the journals are of entirely no interest to anyone. There is no capability to unite the forces of several institutions of

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higher learning and publish a quality journal in some one discipline. At least a half a dozen academic journals publish philosophical articles, but there is no single philosophy publication. Three cultural weeklies, more dead than alive, do not differ in their orientation or their stance, but merely by the fact of their existence Why should some esthete or enthusiast of avant-garde art to whom nothing, as they say, is sacred, write for a weekly in which commentaries on the Gospels are published, rather than in some other? I suppose for the sole reason that he has always published there or because his friends work there. And he probably does not pay the least attention to the commentaries on Holy Writ; it does not seem important to him. The cellular structure of cultural space creates an absence of public space for open discussion where differing perspectives would confront each other, where contrary arguments would be heard and answers would be hammered out for others and for oneself, thus pushing things forward. Usually there is no communication and no cooperation, not because attitudes cannot be reconciled or hostility clearly expressed, but because of passivity or a lack of knowledge about the existence of the other. Cellular space has poor acoustics, there is no resonance; therefore, no voice receives responses. The very possibility of public discourse presents problems. There is no medium for theoretical discussion, questions remain unasked, unformulated, undiscussed. Even texts that are like those elsewhere disseminate on quite another level. They are not brought up by the discursive context and do not appeal to this kind of context. There is no intertextuality, no interaction of texts that would create a context of polylogues, and no appropriate imagined community. A theoretical vocabulary is lacking; also idioms, lieux communs, and common assumptions; each person has his own separate, or almost separate, solipsistic and idiosyncratic places. When there is no network of texts encompassing an area in at the very least a cursory manner, each text that appears strikes one as semimeaningless: sometimes it seems to be a misunderstanding. Each time the insistent question arises: is the book just published the one most needed? Shouldnt one for starters have published a different book? When intertextuality exists, texts make up a dense network able to withstand the weight of a certain indeterminacy. Where there is no text-supported thematic topos, yawning gaps appear, while references remain enigmatic and hollow. All that is left is oral discourse in small circles. Characteristic of this discourse is a totally different method to support as well as to disperse problematics and idiomatics. Oral discourse is essentially local in space and time; therefore, it matches the features of our cultural time and space and gives appropriate resultsit is a purely local, even a spotty kind of

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knowledge. Plato would be happy with uswe write only in each others living souls. We refuse to recognize any other kind of written material. Within the honeycomb cells attention and comprehension of one another is relatively greater, and discussions of ideas, if they go on, are more subtly detailed and nuanced. The problem is, however, that their reach is very narrow and if these ideas were to appear in public they would be quite lifeless. Relationships in the interior of the cell are too personal, they have no abstract or common foundation and cannot be expanded to include others. This does not mean that the cellular structure of cultural space depends on psychological causes. Quite the contrary, psychological collisions depend on the features of the space in which they flourish. Some of the honeycomb cells set up relations with distant centers of which they feel themselves the periphery. In this fashion Vilnius Universitys A.J. Greimas Center of Semiotic Studies associates with Greimas scholars in France while the Religious Studies Center, also of Vilnius University, cooperates with Western theology professors. At the University these two study centers are separated by a wall (in the direct sense of the wordtheir offices are next to each other) and even though they share a telephone number, during the entire time of their existence they have never gotten together for a discussion. And the Womens Studies Center has established itself even further away, beyond yet another wall. The honeycomb cells of cultural space are too small for multiplying processes to go on in them, for scholarly, artistic or philosophical schools to form. Most importantly, they are too small for reproductive potential, for something that perhaps will seem too early and immature, but that will mature and find its own time and space, old and new, being, present and future. Now, however, Lithuanian culture is like half of a Noahs ark in which only one of every creature exists and therefore, in spite of the evidently increasing variety, no fruitfulness is possible. A single eccentric in his cramped cell collects his solipsistic honey, having somehow learned how to give birth to himself, gazing into the distance where, in the fertile fields across the sea, intersubjectively, intertextually, interdisciplinarily and multiculturally humming, swarm hermeneutes, deconstructionists, poststructuralists and postmodern feminists. Translated by Violeta Kelertas

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Notes
1. Sodeika and Sverdiolas, 1991.

Bibliography
Sodeika, T., A. Sverdiolas (1991), Life in the Retort and Soon Thereafter, Lituanus, 37/2: 2337.

Perceptions of the Self and the Other in Lithuanian Postcolonial Fiction Violeta Kelertas
Defining the Baltic States according to postcolonial concepts, an initiative which began in the West, provides many useful insights into recent literature, which has sometimes proved to be too drastic for native readers. The Baltic experience differs from other colonial experiences, particularly in regard to their attitude toward the Soviet metropolis, which is seen as less civilized than the European culture that the Balts embrace. The particularities of the Baltic colonial and postcolonial experience are evidenced in the novels of Riardas Gavelis. The first novel in his trilogy about Vilnius, Vilniaus pokeris (Vilnius poker, 1989), reveals a fluctuating and unstable sense of identity, given to swinging wildly between the poles of self-loathing and rampant egotism. The novel also drastically exposes the dangers of assimilation and explores the complex power relationships within the colonist mentality. The third novel of the trilogy, Paskutinioji ems moni karta (The last generation of people on earth, 1995) raises new issues and possibilities that confront the postcolonial, including alienation and anomic and immature narcissism given to aggression and violence. Gavelis vision of a cyberpunks impulsive annihilation of the world at the end of the novel reveals the dangers inherent in the postcolonials disillusioned, neglected and immature state. Although much has been written about various locations and forms of postcolonialism, the empire that constituted the Soviet Union has been little discussed in these terms and Baltic scholars, both in and outside the countries themselves, are only now beginning to realize the utility of this approach.1 For the Baltic States it is crucial to redefine themselves according to postcolonial concepts and insights in order to account for the particular content and form that their literatures took and are now still taking.2 At least for the moment it is probably easier for Western scholars, cognizant of theoretical issues surrounding the topic, yet retaining a greater emotional distance from aspects of that particular empire, to see

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the relevance of a postcolonial stance toward the material.3 There is a definite need to examine in what respects the experience of Balts as Europeans colonized for 50 years differs from the sensibilities already described in existing scholarship on India, Africa, South America, even Canada (I refer here to the work of Bhabha, Spivak, Sommer, and the authors associated with the influential early collection The Empire Writes Back: Theory and Practice in Post-colonial Literatures). The initiative may originate in the West, but perhaps eventually the torch can be passed to native scholars for whom the experience of being colonized may still be too recent and painful to face squarely. In my estimation, which of course is open to correction or amplification, this is why prose writers in the homeland, at least in Lithuania, who dare to address the issues involved are criticized and often rejected as too drastic by native readers. So far the literature has not been able to explain itself to itself. That is, the reading audience, while avidly reading the new writing, partly because they misinterpret it as being pornographic, still rejects its insights as too vivid and carrying too many painful memories. Can it be that postcolonial writers are really writing for the next generation? One of the main tenets of postcolonialism, the opposition between the metropolis and the periphery, needs special clarification in the Baltic context. After all, usually it is the center which is accused of being Eurocentric, while in the post-Soviet context the Baltic States perceive themselves as European and the Soviet metropolis as uncivilized, barbarian and Oriental (because of its allegedly Mongolian roots Ghenghis Khan and the invasions of the Golden Horde are always mentioned as determinants of Soviet mentality). Instead of turning away from Europe, the Balts generally turn toward it. Anti-European and especially anti-Western and anti-American feelings surface only later, to be expressed in a return to indigenous, mainly pagan, roots, as tenuous and irrelevant to modern city life as these may be. So already an opposition is set up that does not match the usual what I would here call old empires of EuropeEnglish, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese and such, which perceived themselves as civilizing forces upon some barbaric peoples. The Soviets could only claim that they were bringing Marxist-Leninist culture to their peripheries, but was this really culture? The natives rejected this culture and this civilization, retaining a respect for tsarist arts and letters or Petersburg-Leningrad culture at best, but these were decimated during the Stalinist purges and only echoes of the Acmeists or prose writers such as, Bjely, Chekhov and the like were recognized as culture. Everything after 1917 was rejected, if we disregard dissident or quasi-dissident writing like that of Mandelstam, Akhmatova, Pasternak, Bulgakov and others of their persuasion. Though the specific circumstances may differ or perhaps even be unique in modern times (the barbarian, because totalitarian, overcomes the civilized); as Edward Said says,

Perceptions of the Self and the Other All post-colonial societies realize their identity in difference rather than in essence. They are constituted by their difference from the metropolitan and it is in this relationship that identity both as distancing from the center and as a means of self-assertion comes into being.4

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Distancing, self-assertion, difference all lead to an emphasis on identity which can perhaps best be defined as fluctuating and unstable feelings of superiority vs. inferiority in the individual, and the presence of social pathologies in the general population. And in the case of the novel, Vilniaus pokeris (Vilnius poker, written between 1979 and 1987 but published only in 1989, still before Lithuanian independence) the first of what I consider a trilogy about Vilnius by Riardas Gavelis that I wish to discuss here, evident expression of the master-slave dichotomy, selfdefense vs. victimization, falsity vs. a search for the truth of the natives condition all exist. Although the novel is composed during the colonial period and thus analyzes the condition of the colonial, eventually in volume three, Paskutinioji ems moni karta (The last generation of people on earth, 1995), which will also be discussed in this article, Gavelis breaks through into a fully postcolonial perspective. But even volume one of this massive work outlines the basic contours of the colonials position in what is ostensibly the Soviet Empire. At the same time it tries (as camouflage or as attempt at universalization) to prove that this is the common condition of any human being destined to live in the world. The novel is essentially a quest novel with a hero or antihero who is trying to slay the dragon, or in this case the basilisk5 of Vilnius, which is keeping the city in thrall. Divided into four first-person narratives of unequal proportions, the novel plays with various versions of the same events from different perspectives that usually negate the first and longest narrative by Vytautas Vargalys (Vytautas the Copper-Ended, referring to a male family trait of the Vargalys clan. In one sense, the name can mean that his sexual organ is copper-shafted; stressing other associations, if the spelling were altered by one letter, it could mean something like Vytautas le misrablecertainly also true of colonized man.) It is Vytautas, of Lithuanian heroic fame as Vytautas the Great, the leader of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania who finds himself degraded in Soviet-occupied Vilnius but still comes up fighting. He presents the typical psychological profile of the colonial who, in the version of another character, about whom more later, makes up homo lithuanicus. Some of Vytautas Vargalys characteristics are: an overwhelming narcissism (just a brief example, Lyja man, he saysit is raining for me);6 great selfaggrandizement and arrogance in that he has no problem placing himself in a long line of famous historical seekers after the truth who, like himself, recognized the problem of good and evil, thinkers like St. Paul,

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Hieronymus Bosch, William Blake, the Marquis de Sade, Nietzsche, Socrates, etc. Vytautas feels superior to most other human beings, recognizing as his master only the dead Gediminas Riauba, who, he feels, had discovered more about Them (always capitalized, never identified) the enemythan he himself, and who probably was killed by Them for this very knowledge. This superiority is not only intellectual; it is also physical. While being tortured in Siberia, Vytautas holds up longer than humanly possiblenaturally this is a source of pride. And his sexual prowess, according to his I narrative version (version one in the novel) is not only phenomenal, his masculine glory crowned with copper as it allegedly is (we have the grandfathers testimony that this is so, after all), but his great love Lolita and others testify to the enormous size of his sexual organ and the satisfactions it brings (until this self-created myth of Vargalys is destroyed in version three by one of his many lovers, Stefa, who also quotes the by then dead Lolita to the same effect, that if anything VV was less well-endowed than normal). The colonial needs to feel superior even against all evidence to the contrary and it is especially significant, of course, that the area chosen for so-called achievement should be sexual, since colonized man is in many senses castrated, emasculated man. As has been noted by other scholars of postcolonialism, the postcolonial hero is often marked by a wound suggesting the tenuousness of his condition, the affliction brought on by colonialism, or as in Vytautas case, the sadism of his torturers, as they brand two scars on his penis and according to some other versions in the novel leave him unable to reproduce his own kind. These are signs of colonial suffering, disfigurement, loss, infertility, and impotence.7 Vytautas, however, tries to deny his injury, physical and psychological, by compensating for his helplessness, degradation, and lack of power by pretending to a superiority in the intellectual sphere. His identity is composed of perceived sexual prowess, his love for many women but above all for Lolita, and his search for the truth behind the metaphors for Vilnius and the affliction that Vilnius has suffered by being occupied. The symbol for this essential powerlessness is the tower of Gediminas Castle, of which (unlike Tallinns fifty some towers, for instance) only one tower remains. Vytautas calls this the phallus of Vilniusshort, dull and powerless.8 In a later version of events, which belongs to Stefas I narrative, she describes Vytautas vaunted organ in similar terms, thus bringing the two, Vytautas and Vilnius, together as victims of the evil forces, possessed by the same symptoms. Hence in reality, expressed and stressed superiority masks inferiority. What is left for the colonial but to deny his condition and take pride in something? Anything? Though Vytautas acknowledges his position as slave in the system, he still fights it, not just by denial, but by recognizing that in this world it is easiest to lose oneself;9 i.e., lose ones identity and be

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assimilated, something that he thinks he sees happening all around him. He classifies three kinds of responses among the colonized. Some Lithuanians conform and become the executioners (his childhood friend Giedraitis); some are kanuoti, a word that Gavelis creates, reminiscent perhaps of kastruoti, to be castrated, emasculated), only here his focus is on the eyeshe knows when this brainwashing has occurred in his countrymen by the blank stares and empty eyes of the still living and moving inhabitants of Vilnius; some 7090 percent by his estimation are so afflicted.10 This is the Vilnius syndrome, as he calls it, and Vilnius is in some respects the world that the unnamed They have chosen as Their capital. Then there are the fewlike himself, like his late friend Gediminas Riauba, and a few othersthat he suspects but cannot trust enough to discuss his observations with, or to check his observations against any knowledge that they may have independently gathered. They are also collecting facts about Them, the evil power that possesses the world in general and Vilnius in particular. The only way to fight Them is to hold out as long as possible, to study Them in secret because, as Foucault has demonstrated only too well, truth and knowledge mean power. Stay rational, use cool reason, always be on your guard, trust no one.11 Vytautas project is to understand Them or at least to collect as much information as possible about Them. This leads to what seems to be paranoiaThey are watching him, he imagines (imagines?!), They are everywhere, he can entrust his knowledge only to the River Neris which will carry it and preserve it for eternity. 12 This paranoia also leads to what rationally would be called belief in all kinds of conspiracy theories that date back to Plato, to the Spanish Inquisition, to the mysteriously destructive fires in libraries like that in Alexandria that destroyed accumulated knowledge and sources (Vytautas himself works in a library and studies Their ways through extant texts, many of which under the Soviets are in the special collections, of course). He firmly believes that They control knowledge and go so far as to destroy it when someone like himself comes too close to the truth. Version two, in which Vytatutas is referred to as VV, belongs to a coworker, Martynas, who is naive enough to entrust his studies of Them to a computerized chronicle, something that Vytautas would never do because he knows that any computer code can be broken. Martynas acknowledges this paranoia as something inevitably linked to a totalitarian regime by jotting down the following passage (note that he invents his own language and terminology to refer to Them, a language and terminology that differs from version one, whose narrator was VV): In the Asshole of the Universe everyone who has at least the slightest reasonable little idea suffers from paranoia. It enters our blood. Suddenly you begin to think that someone is trying to steal that idea from you and wants

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Violeta Kelertas to get rid of you for it. You imagine someone is following you all the time. When youre talking on the phone, there isnt a second that you doubt that your conversation is being listened to. If your mood is even a little worse, you imagine that your thoughts are secretly being recorded. This kind of paranoia is a fundamental characteristic of the Asshole of the Universe.13

At first reading, Vilnius Pokers four versions (version one takes up 244 pages of this 400-page book) appear disproportionate; however, on further thought it seems that Vytautas systematization is the most important and portrays the colonial mind and body at work the best. The second version belongs to Martynas, who also refines insights into the system in an intelligent way; the third to Stefa, a marginalized inhabitant of Vilnius because she is a tuteiaa woman without a nationality to whom the environs of Vilnius are home because she has lived there forever but has no real identity14; and the fourth and final version belongs to a dog and thus cannot be very long because, no matter how brilliantly the author works his way into the skin of a dog, there is only so much one can do from such a limited perspective, even if that dog, as it happens, is the reincarnation of the much praised Gediminas Riauba. Then one comes to see that if we were left with only the I-narrative version of VV, even being sophisticated critics and knowing that all I narrators are liars, we would still never comprehend all the myths and falsifications, all the selfdelusions that constitute VVs colonial, ergo slave, mentality. Each of the other three narratives provides correctives and in a sense destroys the image of VV that he himself has created for us in version one. In the other three versions he is stripped of all his conceptions of superiority. Just for startershe is not the sexual giant he wants us to think he is; Gediminas Riauba was not the genius that VV thought him to be; Lolita is as much one of the castrated as all his other women (being the daughter of a KGB officer, she may even have killed Riauba); VV is a kept man in the sense that he is a colonial slave but he also owns a slave in the person of Stefa who feeds him, cleans for him and takes care of all his bodily needs, and so on and so on. The novel is not the heroic quest for the Holy Grail that we thought it was; it is a postmodernist mlange of genres, being a mystery novel in one sense (who killed Lolita? we will never know), a Bildungsroman (of which Gavelis is fond, as his Memoirs of a Young Man, 1991, proved), and a philosophical treatise because it contains much discourse that is not exactly fictional or plot-oriented as such. Other labels might just as easily be applied to the novel. The total of four versions serve to completely mystify the reader, as nothing adds up to a coherent narrative, just as life under the Soviets or life in general has no meaning and can have no meaning. We can never know anything for certain in this

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absurd universe. Everything is relative to the speaker and his current point of view, which keeps changing, as it does in real life. Gavelis is right some nebulous They control us, but what Their purpose is and what They want besides secrecy remains unclear. The second category of humans, however, the ones who go blank, the castrated, sightless ones who are a source of reproduction for Them,15 are a constant. They suffer from the Vilnius syndrome identified by Kovarskis, a medical researcher who studies the brains of those castrated by Them and has this to say: The most important is the eclipse of the brain [...]. Constant, ever increasing, almost a blessing... As if the thoughts were softening, becoming smooth and rounded... One of my patients even explained it to me this way: my thoughts became soft and warm, I began to comprehend ever more clearly that its fine the way it is and I dont need anything better. My incapacity no longer irritates me, you dont get the least bit upset if you cant think of something or if theres something you dont understand. [...] Feelings of love disappear... Self-respect... Pride... [...] Your language changes. Only an infinite number of frozen syntactic constructions remain, all equally meaningless and faceless... Finally deformations of the body begin. The joints get loose, strange bumps start growing in unexpected places, the eyes become vacant.16 If everything regarding plot and character in the novel is relative, the one constant that all perspectives agree on is the danger that assimilation to the breed of the masters brings and its symptoms and methods. Just as in Soviet double and/or newspeak, words like humanism, brotherhood of nations, bandit, kulak and many others lost their real meanings, so in the novel the colonial is deprived of true language, of real concepts with accepted meanings, even though he is still allowed to speak his so-called native tongue. One of the main points that VVs version demonstrates is that the colonial needs to hang on to his dignity by lying to himself about his superiority vis--vis the enemy. He needs to have a project to occupy himself and delude himself into thinking that he is accomplishing something by observing and classifying the enemy. He thinks this gives him power over the enemy, but in reality he has absolutely no power because the weak at least survive, while the strong, like the three thinking types that we are given access to, are all destroyed. VV is framed into killing Lolita, the thing he loved, or at least is accused of it,

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dies and is turned into a pigeon, leaving the KGB headquarters in this form (he always hated pigeons with their blank stare); Riauba either dies in a car crash or is drowned by Lolita whom he also loved and made love to and is turned into a dog until the next accident will end his current afterlife; Martynas is run over by a truck and no doubt is also one of the ubiquitous Vilnius pigeons or crows or sparrows. So died Camus and many others, asserts Gavelis, because they knew too much. Evil is an ongoing thing. To speak of a post-colonialist discourse in Foucaults or Saids sense then, is to invoke certain ways of thinking about language, about truth, about power, about the interrelationships between [sic] all three.17 The colonial can assert his difference from the center, he can construct himself an identity, as the strong, intellectual male characters in this novel do, but the fact is that until the wheel of history turns, nothing much will change. Gavelis work is different from the traditional Lithuanian viewpoint in several ways. He refuses to yield to the typical myths of nationalism by being strongly critical of homo lithuanicus and by daring to attack the sanctity of Vilnius and its icons, such as the Gediminas Castle tower. He shows a broken nation and questions the myth of survival because in his created universe it is the weak who survive only to be assimilated and exploited by the invader. In most previous prose fiction (approximately 19531985), endurance and survival were suggested as the Lithuanian answer18 because no empire is forever. As we now see in retrospect, perhaps Gavelis was right. One needs only to walk the streets of Vilnius and read the papers full of accounts of corruption and senseless crime to see that in many cases it is the ones with blank gazes, no sense of conscience, and a questionable identity who are left after the attack of the basilisk of Vilnius. The dragon has been slain but there are no heroes left. End of myth. Another postcolonial aspect that Gavelis raises is the cosmopolitan character of the inhabitants of Vilnius. To my knowledge no tuteia of Stefas calibre has ever been given so much literary space in any Lithuanian work of fiction. Gavelis at least acknowledges that Poles, Russians, indeterminate marginals and even a wandering Jew happen to live there. But Stefa is doubly marginalized, first by being non-Lithuanian, second by being a woman. By being VVs virtual slave and receiving almost no mention in his narrative, she disappears almost to the point that when Martynas exposes their intimate financial and other relations we hesitate for a minute before believing him, though on closer examination of VVs version, the clues are all there. Stefas insignificance in VVs consciousness illustrates how his thinking is hierarchicalLithuanians

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come first, even though he never says so. It is Stefa who has to give way to the Lithuanian Lolita, regretting that she is only a tuteia and cannot compete for Vytautas affections on equal terms. But being of an inferior background, she escapes the attentions of the basilisk as well, and can return to her native village after all those she serviced in every wayVV, Riauba and Martynasare dead. What prompts her to go is her treatment at the hands of Martynas son and his thug friends, who rape and sully her in an especially lewd fashion. That which she freely gave to the fathers as a kind of earth mother, taken in by their intelligence, with feelings ranging from maternal affection to generous love perhaps, she will not willingly give to the sons. So even though she has no elaborate system to explain the enemy Them as the men do, she too has her priorities and her privacy to defend and can feel with that supposed womens intuition, only too present in mens writing, that the sons are not worthy descendants of their fathers. Superiority vs. inferiority, constructing and retaining an identity vs. conformism and assimilation, helplessness vs. powerthese are the oppositions that are operative or subverted in Gavelis Vilnius Poker. They describe the colonials condition, though postcolonial criticism as practised in the West admits this angle of vision, too. I wish to turn to the last volume of this set of Gavelis thought provoking trilogy and approach it from a different angle. In my analysis of Vilnius Poker I concentrated on the binary oppositions operative in colonial man as perceived by Gavelis. These revealed that feelings of superiority vis--vis the colonizer often masked an inferiority complex. Subconsciously the colonials obsessions revolved around constructing and retaining an identity in the face of conformism and assimilation. The colonial hero deluded himself by thinking that knowledge about the enemy would prevent feelings of powerlessness and emasculation, but this proved to be just one more illusion in the face of Their evident power. Some of these same themes recur in the last novel, Paskutinioji ems moni karta (The last generation of people on earth 1995), just as some of the same characters travel from novel to novel in Gavelis oeuvre. However, whereas volume one described the colonial situation, volume three focuses on the contemporary truly postcolonial period and even contains many references to political events at the time of writing (January 1993April 1994). Never losing sight of the conscious and subconscious insights gained in the other volumes, Gavelis raises new issues and possibilities that confront the postcolonial in the situation that he now finds himself in, thereby creating an ironic portrait of the New Lithuanian (cf. Hedrick Smiths term the New Russians) who is let loose to live in freedom and roam the world. The picture is not a pretty one. Setting aside for the moment the fact that the novels vision is an apocalyptic one with total destruction and annihilation of the world at the end, the New Lithuanian, now no longer

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the despicable homo lithuanicus of volume one, is best described by an anecdote that I had always naively assumed was Lithuanian but which turns out to be a panBaltic (perhaps even an East European?) joke. I can tell it only from the Lithuanian point of view. The location is hell. All of humanity is boiling away in cauldrons and those who try to escape are pushed back in by overseers. Only in the Lithuanian cauldron are things relatively quiet; no overseer devils are needed here because the Lithuanians themselves make sure to pull any would-be escapees back into the boiling tar. Innocuous on the surface perhaps, the anecdote to me is emblematic and has a postcolonial meaning because like the conspiracy theories (Zionist and other) that shielded the colonizing Russians from true blame for the colonial situation, this joke also pathetically blames the colonial himself for his predicament. The real devil goes scot-free one more time.19 Nevertheless, the broad acceptance of the anecdote by the populace points not only to a realistic appraisal of the Lithuanian character as jealous, competitive, sadistic, masochistic or whatever the teller and the addressee might pick out as the point of the joke, but it has an even more serious subtext to it that demonstrates the self-denigration the colonial and/or postcolonial applies to himself. This is all we deserve because this is the way we are. Self-denigration is only one aspect of the colonials and/or postcolonials common condition illustrated by the anecdote and by Gavelis text. In the final volume, the deep structure of the colonials character acquires more contradictory oppositions, many of which are voiced by Homi Bhabha in in the latters pithy phrase, not self and Other but the otherness of the Self.20 Self-love and self-hate, rationality and madness, self-pity (something neither Bhabha nor Gavelis mention directly but which I observe in the society) and violence, a sense of belonging to a community yet an easy betrayal of its goals, indicate alienation and anomie. This is the psychological mix cluttering the present postcolonial mind. Gavelis, who also used to write an insightful but critical weekly column for the Lithuanian daily Respublika about politics and society, was unusually attuned to and cognizant of the mentality of his people at this point in time. But in this novel his approach is closer to that of Stephen King and the science fictionists than to that of, say, Solzhenitsyn. The trilogy about Vilnius careens ever more madly, almost out of control, and the final volume is definitely the most grotesque, lurid and ironic of the three. Yet behind the bravura, exhibitionism and revolting sexual and scatological detail lies not only an author who is out to shock his readers but one who wants to shake them out of their complacency, describing much of their daily reality in allegorical mock-satirical style which works as a distancing device or, in Shklovskys term, as defamiliarization, making the stone seem stony again. It is meant to lead to a shock of recognition.

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The vehicle Gavelis chooses in this novel is a departure from his other prose fiction. Although he retains the same third-person narrative technique throughout the work, he uses a different focus character per chapter, seven in all, and these interweave and interrelate only occasionally. Intertexts from other chapters are quoted in italics and serve in some sense to make the characters seem as one. He calls them avatars, meaning that they are interchangeable in some vague way, all being parts of one another or parts of one main supercharacter (which would not be beyond Gavelis ambitionsin Vilnius he was known for his arrogance, his high opinion of himself, his apparent cynicism, though certainly in person he was a rather likeable chap, intelligent, at times even charming). According to the dictionary definition avatar means incarnation of a god (or a principle or idea), thus my spontaneous ascribing of supercharacter fits here, if only ironically, mainly because all the avatars have features in common which just happen to be postcolonial ones and related to our topic. During the process of getting into the heads of his avatars, Gavelis spells out the features of the postcolonial identity, which according to Bhabha consist of narcissism and aggressivity, part of the Lacanian mirror stage of development.21 This is the repertoire of conflictual positions [that] constitutes the colonial subject.22 The beauty, if one may call it so, of Gavelis text is that after so many years of repression, all the characters, as different as they are, exhibit these selfsame features while adding their own twist because now they are part of the West, even though they sometimes still doubt that they have made it into Europe. They share the same problems and issues that confront us Westerners. For example, Gavelis writes of AIDS and SIDA, of sex change operations, computer capabilities and virtual reality, sexual mockups (one of the characters chooses to make love to a tree), pop psychology and culture, rock and roll music, kitsch, information derived from sensationalist journalism (which by the way has reached Lithuania via translations from all kinds of press, Der Spiegel being one of the higher quality ones). That is, the author and his characters are now citizens of the world and victims of whatever goods and goodies the world has to offer. Sometimes the author can be accused of trying to show off his knowledge of Western customs and news details purely for the sake of proving how much he and they belong to the global community. There is an element of revelry and delight in this belonging at the same time as it is criticized and treated ironically, but without the bitterness and self-pity one might expect. Each avatar, however, is a unique manifestation of the mythical Hindu god and has something new to say about the postcolonial condition. The plot in The Last Generation is not that important, although it moves toward the same apocalyptic goal of destruction or exit into virtual reality,

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wherein the penultimate hero goes to live in the computer itself or disappears into a computer-generated game. The first avatar, Saulius Kepenis, is an AIDS-infected painter, temporarily living in Paris. Unable to stand the real world, he lives in a world of his own creation where Paris and Vilnius blend. Totally fixated on himself (Bhabhas narcissism), he turns to aggression when he decides to take Vilnius down with him (to him Vilnius is the world and follows him everywhere). He calculates the exact number, 246, of the most prominent and intelligent people that he has to infect with his disease to destroy everyone. Some victims he chooses to infect by transmitting his disease sexually; others he jabs unbeknownst to them with a tainted needle that he carries for this purpose. The narcissism eventually takes a turn for the worse in that it leads to megalomania reminiscent of infantile feelings of omnipotencein the final stages he thinks he can infect people with just the rays radiating from his eyes. Because Paris wont pay attention to him, he plans to destroy it by turning it into the Vilnius that he is already well on his way to annihilating. His AIDS is an attention getting device on the international level, or so the painter Kepenis hopes. Obviously this is his way of getting even for the years of neglect in the past and in the foreseeable future and thus is evidence of disillusionment with the West. The West simultaneously attracts and repels. It thus betrays all the illusions and dreams that the colonial, in effect jailed behind the Iron Curtain, had lavished on it, and now he lashes back at this faithless vision that has failed him. The second avatar Lovely Rita (borrowed from the Beatles) hails from Chicago and gives Gavelis a forum to exhibit his knowledge of Chicago topography, Chicago life and the habits of its young people (as he imagines them) and, not for the first time, to vent some of his ambivalent feelings regarding the Lithuanian migrs. Rita Valkus, loosely adapted and transformed from a well-known person from Chicago now living in Vilnius (of the seven avatars I can identify the prototypes for at least four), is a plutonium runner and shares the superior image of the other avatars in that she is beautiful, self-confident, strong and powerful, able to knock any man who comes after her unconscious with her martial arts. Even if she decides to sleep with a man, she takes him and not the other way around. She reaches Vilnius safely from Georgia with her cache of nuclear material but is blown to bits by a grenade, most likely a victim of either the local mafia or remnants of the KGB. Her game is confidence only in herself and her ability to protect herself, hence she can be seen as an example of Western individualism taken to an extreme, especially in contrast to the Mexicans she is exposed to in America and the so-called Asians in Georgia whom she despises and finds disgusting. Gavelis seems to approve of her, yet in the long run, although he appears enchanted with her power and the freedom it provides, the thing that he likes best about her is that she is involved in a global battle. Mere nationalism is beneath her, as it is beneath him, a fact that he has demonstrated in almost every

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one of his works. At this point he manages to get in a few rather mild digs against Vytautas Landsbergis, who is far from popular in his homeland (he received only 16 percent of the vote when he ran for President), calling him the Little Conceited One who plays the piano. Lovely Rita (the real and the fictional one) actually worked for Landsbergis at one time and, as the narrator says, she remembers him fondly even when Vilnius itself has ceased to interest her. Gavelis saves his heavy fire not for the state and its politicians but for the church and its clergy. The third avatar is a composite priest (also identifiable) whose hypocrisy, hubris, deception of the believers, and general demagoguery are emphasized, not to mention his problems with erections under his cassock, public and private masturbation, and affairs with at least one woman. Father Stanislovas Garmus is intent on himself and wordly pleasures, on guarding his reputation and the respect of the public whom he loathes and mocks in private. His infantile obsession is that through masturbating he releases the angels, namely his seed and so will control the world.23 Control and mastery are his faith and he has the same feelings of omnipotence as the painter in chapter one. Gavelis goes so far as to say that the priest wants to return the people to the jail they were all in under the Sovietsthey are best off in the concentration camp where they are not exposed to outside influences.24 He even prays for the communists; it is the capitalists he fears the most because they will release the peoplewho, in his opinion, are stupidinto total freedom. The world according to Gavelis, after he had a chance to travel and observe it up close, is about control and power. Limiting the knowledge of people puts them in someones power. Father Stanislovas also comes to a bad end, as his superior catches him masturbating on the oldest and holiest of texts. After that there is no way out for him but to hang himself which he does with good-natured grace, but the event is planned out for maximum effect, as are all of the reverend Fathers actions. Gavelis doesnt completely ignore the politicians who are held in such high regard in Lithuania today, as one of his avatars is a Member of Parliament, the red-headed Graka (a play on the name Graina made famous by Adam Mickiewicz but with quite different connotations). Graka has great plans for Lithuania, which she wants to organize and control. Her plans for a computer (as opposed to a military) coup are in place; she only has to put in a few diskettes and the country will fall into her lap. She has realized the value of technology and information in this age and has secured as much as is needed to implement her goals. Graka, however, is a woman, and has not kept all of her intentions secret, which she realizes too late is a prerequisite for success. When she finally decides to take over the government, she is beaten to the punch by a man, a recurrent figure in Gavelis novels (not just in the trilogy), who is the sixth avatar and will be discussed later. Suffice it to say that he beats her computer to computer and when she expects to see him, Tomas Kelertas,

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annihilated, the screen reproduces her own image in innumerable versions, shapes and forms. In street parlance Graka is a good lay and all the male avatars have slept with her and found her magnificent. She is unique in other respects, too. Carlos Fuentes in his The Death of Artemio Cruz made the distinction that in this world there are only those who fuck and those who are fucked (the Spanish verb chingar was used). Graka has greater ambitions, ones that Gavelis seems to want to imbue many of his femmes fatales with, namely, she not only wants to screw the whole world but she wants to be screwed herselfscrewed in a cosmic orgasm no less, although she realizes that this is masochistic and dangerous, to say the least.25 Yet she cant give up this desire; it is part and parcel of the Information Empire that she has envisioned. Being the nourishing mother archetype, she cant resist giving the men what they want without slighting herself, but for her the neat organization of the world is based on her only value, Love (which probably has its own avatars), and she is not interested in power or glory as much as in bringing this state of affairs into being with the most modern technology available. Therefore, although she has the same dreams of omnipotence as the men, her goals are less self-serving and she is less self-absorbed than they are. Her methods, however, are similar. She manipulates the crowds who hang on her every word as much as Father Stanislovas did and both use the same phraseology and clichs to mesmerize their followers. Gavelis appears to be equating the demagoguery and methods of state and church as equally malicious and equally intent on exploiting the people for their own purposes. Like the other avatars, Graka is fated to come to a violent end with an unexpected and shocking turn of events; she is castrated by her own mother who, disapproving of her free and easy lifestyle, attacks her in public after one of her mendacious political speeches and cuts her private parts out with a knife. Various avatars of violence end the hopes and lives of the characters. Perhaps they deserve their fates? Perhaps their actions bring on their particular bizzare endings? They are free in their own country or footloose in the West, but they dont yet know how to operate in this brave new world with impunity or how to achieve their goals without running into trouble. As Tomas Kelertas, one of the last avatars and the one who foiled Grakas plan of world domination, says, Vilnius [under the Soviets] used to be fun and interesting, now its simply an African city in the geographical center of Europe.26 It is left to Tomas Kelertas to articulate the main findings of the postcolonials travels in Europe. From the perspective of Stockholm, which could as well be Vilnius, he acknowledges that he previously thought he could escape from Them (the real but unnamed rulers of the world who are the evil power and were much discussed in Vilnius Poker), but now he realizes that everything is Them and that there is no escape anywhere. He wants to debate with the

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recently deceased Isaiah Berlin and correct the latters thinkingman can only be negatively free.27 It takes all our lives to free ourselves of Their influence, if at all, and then we need stimulants just to keep going. Countries and ethnoses can never be free, they have only the illusion of freedom, like Lithuania today. Sooner or later some neighboring state will again decide, like Catherine the Great, to make an outhouse of Lithuania. It is only a matter of time. All is illusion and so Tomas Kelertas, after releasing all his computer viruses, enters something that looks like a computer game and continues to play the megalomania game as well, saying today I am a little god, to whom all is permitted, who can do anything.28 The only problem is that he will be lonely living in the computer, but as he says, geniuses are always destined to be alone.29 He disappears, but not before much philosophizing; e.g., his opinion on Europeans and their Union: Europe pretends to itself that it is living in a world of freedom and of free markets. But examining them more closely, it suddenly becomes evident that the Europeans havent the least idea of what a society of free people is. They havent the slightest notion! Europeans talk conceitedly and wildly, but in reality they are slowly merging into an enormous collective farm operating according to Their order.30 And so Gavelis returns to the idea of Them and Their insurmountable and total power which, though it has connotations of the Soviets or Russians, is something far greater and more pervasivethe presence of evil in the world and the fact that it is not the good who dominate. Exposure to the world has made the postcolonial aware that he is not unique or alone everyone is a postcolonial. As an aside, this appears to match the ideas of postcolonialism in the West today; if the Canadians are postcolonials, the Americans are postcolonials and definitely the Russians and Chinese are postcolonials as well, then who is left? Certainly the British, for example, are still a colonial power with Scotland, Ireland, Wales etc., within Great Britain. It must be they who are the Them... Seriously, they should be excluded, but not in Gavelis universe, because his They are everywhere. What conclusions can be drawn from Gavelis analytic and philosophizing discourse in his prose fiction? I would like to return to the psychological profile of the postcolonial that he draws, as this is the most coherent aspect of his work, if one excludes the counterpoint portrait of the enemy or the Them, the system that is really in control of his universe. The postcolonial is a narcissist given to aggression and violence. Perhaps he can be compared to a toddler who as yet has little understanding of where his boundaries are and easily yields to feelings of omnipotence leading to megalomania. He not only thinks that he controls

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the world (his or her surroundings) but has an irrepressible desire to do so. He thinks that the world has ignored him for so long and now, by golly! he is going to get the attention he feels he deserves. But like the toddler or young child, he cannot free himself from love for the mother (in Gavelis novels, I feel, the mother is represented by the city of Vilnius)31 and when he ventures out into the world, he gets into trouble because he hasnt completely internalized the rules of getting around. Denial of reality is also present; therefore, there is escapism into virtual reality by the neargenius Tomas Kelertas who, disappearing entirely into the game, is caught in a trap of his own making or choosing. Partly he escapes from his pursuers by transforming himself into various of the other avatars as they have no fixed identity. He becomes the angel of indifference, as a reminder that in this world nothing helps, that no one loves anyone, that no one comes to anyones aid.32 And as the final avatar, called Cyberpunk (probably Tomas Kelertas in his pure postcolonial, postmodernist form), he destroys people and cities like in some Hollywood movie set. The toddler postcolonial believes he can accomplish this and thus leads me to the following conclusion. The toys and accoutrements are totally Western but since postcolonial man is disillusioned, neglected, rejected, and unprepared for the West being little different from the East, he has to grow up starting from infanthood and go through all the stages to reach our cynical, materialist maturity, but in the process he just may annihilate the world as we know it. If were lucky, hell withdraw from reality before he does us all damage, but it seems to me that Gavelis is saying that he will wreck everything in his path indiscriminately on impulse and take us down with him. That is where the danger lies. In the meantime in his trilogy, of which I have dealt only with the first and last parts, Gavelis has gone a long way in penetrating for us Westerners the inscrutable postcolonial, post-Soviet mind.

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Notes
1. See iuolaikin proza: centrai ir periferijos, by Almantas Samalaviius, where, though he speaks in terms of centers and peripheries, the discussion is confined to the rural/urban opposition in recent and not so recent Lithuanian prose fiction. Lithuanian Shift. Essays on Culture, Politics and Society, (1994), Almantas Samalaviius (ed.), shows an attempt to come to terms with identity in the post-Soviet years. Although it does include some insights, it strikes me as being journalistic and leaves a lot to be desired as an analysis and as a text in English. 2. In this paper I will be following general practice in which texts on postcolonialism include colonial texts that then blend into the postcolonial experience. This is especially appropriate for the Baltic States, because their period of independence (since 1990) is rather short. 3. Although some scholars have remarked that most of what passes for postcolonial criticism originates in the West and is carried out either by foreign scholars or by migrs from the colonies. 4. Ashcroft, Griffiths, Tiffin (eds.), 1989, 167. 5. The Basilisk is an imaginary creature from Classical mythology with the head of a rooster, the trunk of a toad, a snakes tail and a crown on its head. It could kill with its gaze alone. (Tarptautini odi odynas Dictionary of International Terms). 6. All references in the text of this paper are to the first edition of Vilniaus pokeris, 1989, 6. 7. Ramazani, 1997, 405417. 8. Gavelis, 1989, 58. 9. Ibid, 21. 10. Ibid, 222. 11. Ibid, 21. 12. Gavelis is a physicist and perhaps is not so wide of the mark. Recently the liquid remains, consisting of water from New York harbor where Jurgis Mainas, of Fluxus movement fame, remains were originally scattered, were brought to Vilnius by Tomas Venclova and poured into the Neris or Vilnel rivers. Before undertaking this strange maneuver, physicists were consulted as to the likelihood that any of Mainas atoms were still present in this vial of water and they replied in the affirmative. 13. Gavelis, 1989, 296. 14. Tuteiiai are long-time inhabitants of Vilnius and its environs, literally meaning here-dwellers from the Polish word tut or here. They have no real national identity and call themselves by this name without any pejorative meaning attached, though others may call them this pejoratively. Gavelis does not do so. They even figure in the national census by this name. 15. Gavelis, 1989, 225.

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16. Ibid, 223224. 17. Ashcroft, Griffiths, Tiffin (eds.), 1989, 167. 18. This had to do with the bloodshed caused by the guerrilla war. I choose 1953 because that is the year when this war ended for many reasons, not least among them the fact that the nation came to the conclusion that fighting led nowhere. Any resistance left went underground. 19. Since this joke is a holdover from Soviet times, and given its prevalence, it is not beyond belief that its source is the same as the conspiracy theory source, namely the KGB. 20. Bhabha, 1994, 44. 21. Ibid, 77. 22. Ibid. 23. Gavelis, 1995, 1245. 24. Ibid, 121. 25. Ibid, 165. 26. Ibid, 172. 27. Ibid, 175. 28. Ibid, 198. 29. Ibid, 213. 30. Ibid, 183. 31. In an article on Vilnius in the literary imagination I examine, among other topics, the narrators contradictory feelings toward Vilnius in Vilnius Poker, feelings of love and hate, identification and rejection at the same time. See, Kelertas, 1995, 8896. 32. Ibid, 209.

Bibliography
Ashcroft, B., G. Griffiths, H. Tiffin, (1989), The Empire Writes Back. Theory and Practice in Post-Colonial Literatures. London: Routledge. Bhabha, H. (1994), The Location of Culture. London: Routledge. Gavelis, R. (1989), Vilniaus pokeris. Vilnius: Vaga. _______. (1995), Paskutinioji ems moni karta, Vilnius: Vaga. Kelertas, V. (1995), Vilnius literatrinje vaizduotje, in: Metai, March 1995: 8896. Ramazani, J. (1997), The Wound of History: Walcotts Omeros and Postcolonial Poetics of Affliction, in: Publications of the Modern Language Association, May 1997: 405417.

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Samalaviius, A. (1996), iuolaikin proza: centrai ir periferijos, in: Literatra ir menas, No. 30, July 27, 1996: 89. _______. (ed.) (1994), Lithuanian Shift. Essays on Culture, Politics and Society. Vilnius: Vaidoto Okinio leidykla. Tarptautini odi odynas (Dictionary of International Terms) (1969). Vilnius: Mintis.

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Viivi Luiks The Beauty of History: Aestheticized Violence and the Postcolonial in the Contemporary Estonian Novel Tiina Kirss
Viivi Luiks novel Ajaloo ilu (The beauty of history, 1991) was slow to find acceptance among Estonian critics, reflecting boundary anxieties in an era of cultural transition. Although the story is set in 1968 during the Prague Spring, critics now recognize it as a new species of novel, the euronovel, whose tonalities and thematics reflect the language of the new republic. The novel utilizes the consciousness of Tema, whose name is an impersonal pronoun, to explore relations between national and European histories and the problem of aesthetic representation of violent and traumatic historic events. Plot and metanarrative devices contribute to a chaotic, disruptive temporality, the au-del of postcolonial theory. Luiks novel defined the parameters of postcolonial consciousness in Estonian letters. The Finnish translation of Viivi Luiks second novel Ajaloo ilu (The beauty of history) predated its Estonian-language first edition by two months in 1991, a delay that furnishes a telling commentary on the material conditions of book publishing in the Gorbachev-era Baltics and burgeoning marketing impulses: a parabolic vignette of Estonias postcolonial condition. Be it accident or synchronicity, the resultant confusion about the primacy of the original over the translation contributed fittingly to the destablilization of sacralities around national literatures and authorship at a time when such sacralities seemed especially useful to a rebellious republic breaking free of the Soviet empire. The authors 1985 novel Seitsmes rahukevad (Seventh springtime of peace), about a child of the Stalin era, has been praised for daring to break thematic ground, particularly by the explicit inclusion of taboo subjects such as the Forest Brethren, partisans who waged guerrilla warfare in the forests of Estonia from the close of World War II until their virtual extermination by KGB forces in the early 1950s, and the evocative descriptions of a rural landscape scarred by the violent process of collectivization of agriculture in the late 1940s. Seventh Springtime of Peace became an iconic novel of the glasnost era, and broadened Luiks already considerable reputation as a lyric poet, the most prestigious

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vocation in the national literary canon. Luiks prose debut in 1985 was not regarded as a descent from Parnassus to the more mundane realm of the prosaic, but as a fully realized acrobatic trick on the censors tightrope, an innovative and successful experiment in maximally freighted and masterfully deployed Aesopian prose. In September 1991, when Luiks slim second volume of prose became a bestseller in Finland, it resonated uncannily with the events of the August coup and its aftermath, the declaration of Estonian independence. Among Finnish literary critics, the author was acclaimed as a historical prophet or medium. Estonian critics were far more hesitant in their acceptance of The Beauty of History, calling into question its generational signature, its seemingly cavalier treatment of traumatic historical events and national suffering, and its putative address to a European audience rather than primarily to an ethno-linguistically defined Estonian readership. This discomfort among the critics reflected boundary anxieties of various kinds among intellectuals in what was clearly perceived as an era of cultural transition accompanying the Estonian struggle for autonomy from the crumbling Soviet Union.1 These anxieties were side effects and logical radicalizations of the de-repressive sociopolitical processes of glasnost. Among the questions raised were the degree of public self-disclosure permissible and desirable for those generations that grew up in the Soviet era, the need or demand for confessions or lustrations as new political structures were set up, the relationship of national image to inside and outside audiences, the longing to belong to Europe, the fetishization of certain periods of national history, and the silencing of other, potentially more embarrassing strata of collective memory. How much of the returning repressed was to be made welcome in the public and private discourses of a new era, a new republic, a new regime? Whether regarded from a Finnish or Estonian vantage point, the events of Luiks novel seemed tailor-made for the historical stage of the moment: the action transpires in August 1968 at the time of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, a worst-case scenario not far from the imaginations of the Estonian leaders barricaded in the parliament buildings on Toompea in mid-August 1991. If 1968 is a symbolic banner displayed across the novels stage, it is romantic in more than one way: the sujet of The Beauty of History is a love story set in the Riga apartment of a young Russian-speaking Jewish sculptor, who is crafting the clay bust of an twenty-something Estonian woman whom he casually met at an art exhibition in Tallinn and formally invited to Riga to sit for him. While the sculptor has a double name in the novelhe is Lion to his family and Lev on his official passportthe Estonian woman remains nameless, identified only by the ungendered third person singular pronoun particular to FinnoUgric languages, Tema, which is capitalized and thus elevated to a pseudo-proper name. The narration is marked throughout by an acute

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alertness to border crossings, both at the literal, geographic level, across language barriers, and in the awareness and consciousness of national identities and images of otherness. Both Tema and Lev/Lion are insiders and outsiders, continually oscillating between these subject positions as they make their respective border crossings. It thus might seem odd that while Levs plural Russian-Jewish identity carries with it a double name, Tema has no proper name at all, and according to the law of grammar, her pronominal naming also retracts, if not erases gender. Why such asymmetry? At the end of the inquiry we are about to undertake, we will be in a position tentatively to answer this question. I would propose that a clue is provided here by Homi K. Bhabhas notion of in-between spaces that accommodate the need to think beyond narratives of originary and initial subjectivities and to focus on those moments or processes that are produced in the articulation of cultural differences.2 The intercultural space is thrown open quite widely in The Beauty of History, as much if not more so than by Maimu Bergs 1994 novel Ma armastasin venelast (I loved a Russian) and Emil Tode/Tnu nnepalus Piiririik (Border state, 1993) and Hind (Price, 1995), marking postcolonial terrain in Estonian fiction. The Beauty of History stages multicultural difference by its location in Riga and by its inclusion of the Russian Jew as a main character. As such the novel speaks with a forked tongue, into and out of Estonian culture. By locating its narrative hub in a love story between a provincial Estonian ingenue and an urbane Russian-Jewish artist, the novel explores complex problematics of double otherness, including the shadow of the Jewish question in Estonian historical memory. The young couples brief romance, not without its lyricism, is multiplicatively overdetermined due to its historical frame and its ironic intertextualities with Soviet bureaucratese, the clichs of Western advertising, and the catchwords of the generation that came of age in the 1960s. Attention is called to the permeation of personal relationships by official and Aesopian codes through the boldface highlighting of quotations from the social text, which underscores their absurdist sententiousness and undercuts the lyricism of landscape descriptions. However, with regard to the novels discourse, the Aesopian is no longer put to work, but laid bare, ironized, and parodied, an effect that operates at key junctures of the novel like pasted-on bubbles bearing the speech of cartoon characters or badly synchronized subtitles for a silent film. In this shifting relationship to the Aesopian one can see the ongoing slippage between the signifiers 1968 and 1991. At the level of plot, the novel plays continually with paradigmatic narratives for human fates in the Soviet Union from both ends of the spectrum: on the one hand miraculous escape through emigration from the empire, on the other tragic deportation and death as a dissidentmartyr. By the 1960s, in the wake of the Khrushchev thawwhich had an especially invigorating effect on the cultural life in the margins of the

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empire, including the Baltic states, both of these fates were more exceptions than rules. A quarter of a century earlier in Estonia they were the destinies of far more people, even masses, a fact the novel scarcely leaves unnoticed, since this awareness is embedded in the landscape and everyday folklore of the collective memory. The Prague events of August 1968 remind the reader, if not always the characters, that these latent archetypal fates could have their mass reincarnations at any time, but the novels performances are almost-but-not-quite re-enactments and gloomy possibilities are infused with a comic spirit. The quest plot which develops in counterpoint to the novels romance plot also has its echoes in glasnost-era Estonia. On the surface, this is a secularized refusenik plot. Lion/Lev is using family connections to find a loophole to avoid Soviet military service; he travels to Moscow to seek the intervention of a highly placed officer-relative, anticipating the realization of his life-long dream to emigrate, a dream already realized by his father, who is living in Switzerland. The high drama of these possible outcomes is banalized through the character of Tema, who is regarded by Lions family as the exotic foreigner from the northern provinces and conveniently conscripted as the leading lady in their projections of their sons future. Tema half-performs, half-undercuts the roles that are scripted for her: cherished and pampered future daughter-in-law, seductively docile muse and model, waiting bride. She responds by turns with adolescent naivete, apathy, and a trespassers boorishness during her weeklong visit in Lions Riga apartment. In addition, she regales herself with the theatricality with which Lions family is working the system on his behalf, relishing her first encounters with secretive phone calls in previously agreed-upon code, mysterious knocks at the door and the prospect of searches and interrogations, while remaining completely deaf to the significance of the Prague events, which reach her through ragged, heavily propaganda-laden news bulletins. For her this is titillatingly exciting, an aesthetic experience, to be consumed like the roses she likes to eat. At the same time, the novel suggestively foregrounds another dimension of colonial occupation with sinister overtones for ethnic minorities in the Soviet Union: mandatory conscription into the Soviet Army, a three-year obligation during which young men from the Baltics were often brutalized as targets, increasingly so in the late 1980s during the Baltic states active push for independence. In 1991, the memory of Estonian conscriptsdeliberately isolated from their countrymen, maimed and sometimes beaten to death by the dedushkas responsible for the initiation of greenhorn draftees, scapegoated, or sent to Afghanistanwas very much alive and had received the attention of investigative journalists. Temas gleefully puerile attitude toward art and creative endeavour stands in banal contrast to Lions seriousness about his artistic work, which includes a bust of Lenin (the existence of which he reluctantly admits to Tema) that has already received some official

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recognition. The young woman, the narrator tells us, has spent her whole life playing carelessly against the backdrop of the history of the Baltic States with words and pictures3 and has already written two books.4 Unfortunately, they are as yet unpublished. While sitting for the sculpture in Lions apartment, Tema distrusts his ability to fashion a clay likeness of her face in such a way that a soul might breathe from it, delicately mocking the sententious literariness and pathos of the phrase, just as she observes that effective words must appear immersed in blood. The awareness that art is dangerous, that it entails a secret and eroticized violence, is titillating to the young female writer, locked in temporary silence behind a language barrier she finds fascinating. It is understood that this is the Russian she has willed not to learn, not out of serious nationalist defiance, but because it violated her age-mates notions of coolness. The two plot lines and a preliminary thematic inventory of Luiks novel are sufficient reasons to locate The Beauty of History among harbingers of the postcolonial in Estonian literature, with the postcolonial here construed in relation to the Soviet empire.5 Tema and her mentality stand for an interstitial consciousness, a sense of au-del to the Soviet era: while she avidly consumes the paraphernalia of Soviet officialdom and evidence of 20th century atrocities as if they were candy, she does not get the appropriate punishment, a stomach-ache. Even the Angels of History poised to punish her are armed only with birch switches dipped in salt water, as would be appropriate for a disobedient child, and they never descend from their pasteboard clouds in a cardboard sky. Somewhat wickedly, this device of the avenging angel displaces historical pathos, cuts history itself down to size. The sting of history is neutralized, and the novel engages at many levels playfully with (too) many serious things. The reader may or may not find herself caught out in aesthetic enjoyment or in being outright entertained, with a mildly sinful aftertaste. The historical resonances between Prague in 1968 and the events in the Baltic republics in 1991 are highly charged and provocative; one can hardly think of a better way to sell a novel about Estonia, particularly to a Finnish readership sitting in the stands as it were, looking across the Gulf of Finland eager to see what would happen next. Would there be a restaging of Prague in August 1968? In that case, if it all came true, the novel would shift rapidly from parody to prophecy. But in the novel it simultaneously is and is not 1968. I propose to move in two directions in an analytic exploration of The Beauty of History as symptomatic postcolonial novel. First, I will characterize Temas consciousness as an instrument by which the novel explores relations to and between national and European histories, and probes the problem of aesthetic representation of violent and traumatic historical events. Second, the use of plot and metanarrative devices will illuminate other levels at which the novel inoculates its protagonist with

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a dose of history while replacing a temporality of repetition with a more radical notion of simultaneity, slippage, and multiplicity of times, including what Julia Kristeva, following Nietzsche, has designated the monumental. In this new, chaotic, disruptive temporality, events come loose from their moorings in historical myth and establish labile trajectories. This is the au-del that postcolonial theorists such as Homi K. Bhabha signal and, perhaps prematurely, celebrate. I will conclude by revisiting the reception of The Beauty of History in this new beyond time, particularly in post-Soviet Estonia. I In The Beauty of History, the key to interstitiality and a postcolonial angle on history is Temas consciousness. Her transgressive attitude toward the past is impudent, even insensitive, rather than reverential: Tema is no patriotic proper young lady, but rather what has become of the defiant, sometimes hysterical (also nameless) protagonist of Seventh Springtime of Peace when she has reached late adolescence. However, she seems all too familiar with playing aesthetic games with signifiers of violence; her feelings and her ethical sensibility are out of alignment. Arguably, to evoke the beauty of history is to conjure the problematic of the aesthetics of evil made particularly painful in the aftermath of World War II. In addition to Theodor Adornos famous dictum that after Auschwitz no poetry can be written, a chorus of distinguished voices has explored the ambivalent edge where the beautiful and the violent meet. This is Temas playing field, which will form the first analytical focus of our inquiry. If she begins the sitting with the attitude of a child staring rudely and unabashedly at one of her parents guests, Tema is surprised to see the reflection of her fleshly self in Lions eyes. The brutal child coexists with the adult, erotically susceptible woman; their double projection is subtly wielded in the course of a single sentence; Tema, momentarily caught off guard, wields her defenses with uncanny accuracy. She is described as being equally fascinated by pentagonal stars and swastikasthe regalia of official poweras by peoples eyes; her first instinct upon seeing a rose is to eat it. The shifts of narrative registerfrom the passionate lovers gaze to political insignia and the eating of the rosenot only short-circuit eroticism and reinscribe innocent young love in the social text, but uncover Temas latent sadism. To the reader of Viivi Luiks first novel, there are vivid reminders in this passage of the bald curiosity and sudden, violent whims of the child in Seventh Springtime of Peace. On the most benign level, Tema sees through collective mythology, the spooky romanticism of a landscape of ruins, and the smoothness of historical narratives, whatever their ideological stripe. The narrative consciousness refracted through Tema is the consciousness of an outsider, one who has stepped out of the frame of national or regional

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history, just as Tema has crossed, unnoticed, the border from one Soviet republic into another. Matter-of-factly, the narrator lists other flowers Tema has tasteddandelions, apple blossoms and lilacs: That lilacs have a bitter tastebesides her, the whole Estonian people knows this. Every year when the lilacs bloom, standing beside storage sheds and potato fields like foreign ambassadors, it seems that the same deathly quiet falls upon Tallinn and Tartu as is described by survivors in their memoirs. The sweeter the smell of the lilacs, the deeper the blue of the sky, the more dangerous it seems to live in the Baltic states. Nobody knows about them, whether they even exist. Life there is incomprehensible and mysterious. Fifty years are as the blinking of an eye, a dream, a mist covering the ruins and empty foundations of houses. Here the radiant spring wind could even blow the breath of life into dead bones and exhume them from the depths of graves. In broad daylight the devil himself has been heard giving a speech on the radio. Seeing the lilacs here, one can never tell whether they are only a longed-for image, discernible even on the other side of the border.6 Temas relationship to this collective memory is formed not through identification as a member of her people, but through disconnection and ironic distantiation. She reiterates clichs, grand phrases clipped and collated from the social text, browses through them with a mild curiosity, a maliciously gleeful sense of trespass, and a frisson of anticipated reprisal. It is specifically a national (and nationalist) text that is ironized here, a text written and maintained in hushed remembrance by the survivors of war, the Siberian deportations of the 1940s, and forced collectivization, sustaining the aura of the danger of living in the Baltic states, as well as the myth of the golden age of Estonian independence in the 1920s and 1930s, evoked here by the quaint analogy between lilac trees and foreign ambassadors. Seemingly without compunction Tema commits sacrilege against historical memory: by eating lilacs she violates a lyrical attitude to her homelands flora and fauna, (specifically the custom of looking for fiveleaved lilac blossoms and eating them as signs of good luck) and narratives of the collective Estonian past. This casual cruelty extends to her attitude toward Lions family relics. In the third chapter the young couple returns to Lions apartment after a walk on the beach; while undressing for a shower, Tema snoops thoroughly and with systematic leisure through the bathroom cabinet, where she finds a small red flannel bag containing a braid of dark-brown hair. The narrators voice-over

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interjects that this is Lions mothers hair, cut off in Warsaw in 1932, and meant to be placed in her grandfathers casket. In 1952, however, no one dared ask for an exit visa from Riga to attend a funeral. This memento is sacred; it is taboo to play with it. But the power to tamper is Temas power over memorythe individual and the collective memory of others, concretized in mementoes and scrapbooks, whether these have been carefully preserved as talismans or mixed up carelessly in a pile. Later, while waiting for Lions return from his trip to Moscow, she further despoils the plait of hair, unbraiding it and letting it cascade down her own back, trying it on for size. When the strangers hair flowed in waves down her back, there was a repulsive twinge of the sweetness of fear in it. Looking at her now, one could almost believe those who are in the know, as if the beauty of weapons and the directives from manhunts came from someplace other than the human heart. She enjoys it secretively, like a thief, enjoys this sweet fear, but even that is not enough; she wants to repeat it at the first available opportunity. And she shall have her chance, the chance to see all future events and places through the sweet fear of 1968.7 Incapable of reverence or old-fashioned fetishism, Temas voyeuristic behaviour is partly the result of an overload of pathos about her parents generations historical experience. The resultant boredom and surface neutrality conceal a deeper, more vicious iconoclastic impulse, which cannot distinguish between the destruction of icons and the violation of human beings, a kind of historical tone-deafness. The failure to see a wider circle of meanings in her gesture of tampering with the brown braid in the red flannel bag is most immediately a function of Temas unawareness of the specific information the narrator supplies to the reader, as she isto her mind and to some extent the readers engaging in ordinary adolescent rudeness. Further, the ethical numbness evoked by the text in phrases such as the beauty of weapons locates Tema as an European child of her genocidal century in which overtones of torture and dismemberment are liable to resonate like nuclear aftershocks from the most mundane action, a century epitomized by Hannah Arendts phrase, the banality of evil. For Temas generaton, evil is always already banalized, while narratives about the past are charged with a gloomy grandeur. Caught in this paradox of historical experience and representation, she puts her foot in it, continuing to participate in the enunciatory and significatory processes of violence, at times unconsciously, at times with a deliberate, sadistic insistence, marking her

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own, her generations, her compatriots and her centurys inability to work through and transcend. In the immediate context of the passage we have been examining, the chain of associations and the historical regress unleashed by the hair is completed by a flashforward to an Estonian tourist group, including a slightly older Tema, visiting a Nazi extermination camp in Poland in 1972, at which the crowning attraction is a gruesome pile of the victims hair. In the voyeuristic indulgence of the spectators, among whom stands a slightly older Tema, who are matter-of-factly comparing Stalins twenty million to Hitlers six million, the young womans untying of Lions mothers braid is magnified to signal a deeper, more encompassing level of complicity with acts of trespass, violation, and mass murder. The younger Tema in Lions apartment was largely unconscious of the accents in which her Estonian compatriots interpret Jewish narratives of national identity, signaled by the clichd comparison of Stalins and Hitlers genocides; the reader is left wondering to what extent the older Tema shares her compatriots anticlimactic sense that Auschwitz is not only no surprise, but not as big a deal when compared to Stalins bloodbaths and the cattlecars to Siberia. Chains of historical association extending from common objects, gestures, or events occur throughout the novel as symptoms of latent narratives of violence: the flashback to the little Russian boy whom fouryear-old Tema lured into a clearing in the forest and then abandoned, who in 1956 brutally razed that copse with his bulldozer; or the pale apple that the adult Tema takes from a bowl in the 1980s, evoking the apple tree under which a Swedish-Estonian migr woman writers father was executed in 1944. The narrators omniscient second sight opens the door on this secret violence, exposes it in all of its complicity, while keeping it largely sequestered from the consciousness of Tema as a character. Bodily accidents that happen to Tema in the time and space of the main narration, Riga in August 1968, are also laden with implication, constellating past, present, and future: cutting her foot on the beach with a broken bottle, inadvertently gashing the back of her neck with scissors while taking a bored swipe at a lock of her own hair. Not insignificantly, Lions fathers gift to her at the end of the novel is a Swiss Army pocket knife. In the final analysis, while the text projects landscapes written over with the marks of empire that function as palimpsests of violent colonization, Temas irreverent attitude short-circuits and neutralizes the serious impulses to testimony or cathartic mourning that would serve national pieties. Her behaviour is iconoclastic to the point of sacrilege, and the resultant relation to the past is non-nostalgic, non-heroic, and out of touch with tragedy. The parodic ending of the novel problematizes myths of Estonian history, upon which a new script for national identity was being constructed in the era of the second republic. In an impulsive picaresque journey from Riga to Tartu and back again, which includes a

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mock arrest on false charges and a symbolic wounding, Tema falls through the cracks of both the dystopian plot of Siberian deportation and the utopian plot of emigration from the evil empire. Rendered incapable of going home again, her rehabilitation and temporary exile is framed by the death of the old order in the person of Lions hospitable and grandmotherly Aunt Olga on the threshold of her Riga kitchen. While this journey is not parodic per se, it banalizes the tragic sacrality of the deportations to Siberia. In the course of this journey, Tema is arrested in the Tartu train station on the false accusation of having assisted in a scuffle in her railroad car. Instead of the feared interrogation, she receives a modest inoculation in the beauty of history by hearing the news of the death of an Estonian conscript in the Prague crackdown, underscoring the proliferation in the novel of doubled fates and alternative outcomes. Here the novel temporarily touches down on the dark soil of historical actualities, and for a moment the current of irony is interrupted for the proverbial news broadcast. The death of the innocent young conscript doubles Lions artful evasion of the Soviet draft; the altercation in the railroad car takes the form of two self-righteous citizens cutting the long hair of three hippie passengers, a displacement of the usual ritual of military initiation. In this sequence of events Temas wounding and arrest are symbolic, situating her in the middle of a field charged with ambivalence among the positions of witness, accomplice, and victim. The novel ends with Temas return to Riga to meet Lion, newly returned from Moscow with his mission successfully completed, to announce her refusal to emigrate with him and to end the affair. II Having charted Temas consciousness and her play with the aesthetic effects of history, we must nevertheless return to the subject of her comeuppance, and to the suggestion that the reality of history, far from beautiful, can return from the depths of repression through a serious jolt, such as the report of the Estonian conscripts death in Prague. How does Tema receive her inoculation in the beauty of history, since, for all the buildup of vicarious excitement around Lions expedition to Moscow, and the studied evasion of all the traditional female roles required of the leading lady in the love story, Lions story ends rather banally, with no need for heroics? By showing a youthful picture of his aunt to the highly placed military official who is her cousin, the nostalgia evoked by a family picture results in a terse note to the Riga regions military doctor declaring Lion medically unfit for military service. It is understood that family networking will capably do the rest to extricate Lion from Riga and send him on his way to America. Temas refusal of her part in this narrative does little if anything to disturb its course. Even their romance has left no dents in either lover and even their memories appear to emerge unscathed.

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What remains of Tema is her artistic embodiment, Lions sculpture of her head, with last minute alterations. However, Temas crime of tampering with the brown braid in the red flannel bag and the pleasure of repetition entails its ritual comeuppance, embodied in the novel by the pasteboard Angels of the Lord that are watching in the wings as the action unfolds with their birch switches dipped in salt water, poised to strike. The parodic Angels of Death, last judgment, and apocalypse frequently deployed in the novel as a metanarrative device represent a curious trope of what Julia Kristeva names monumental time; as multivalent visual emblems, they appear with remarkable frequency in the text, as in the margins of an illuminated manuscript, poised at the edge of a tableau or a panoramic landscape, waiting, gazing, or writing in a notebook. As part of a sustained Biblical pastiche, quoting from the Judaeo/Christian literary tradition, the angels call attention to the need for an apocalyptic narrative to finally resolve the mass horrors and injustices of the 20th century. This is no longer an Estonian national narrative, though it may still be an European one. The novel, however, does not fully hatch a metanarrative from the topos. The angels are agents of the fantasized poetic justice of a child or an oppressed minority, which remains latent and unleashed. On a deeper level, they signal different meanings of the Angel of History to Estonian and Jewish readers. If for Estonians, the bringing of the Biblical gospel in the early medieval era was a colonization by blood and fire, the Biblical text was also the bearer of written language, percolating through the process by which a written Estonian language came into existence in the early 19th century.8 For the secularized Jews of Lions family, the scriptures nevertheless evoke a narrative of promised liberation. As an imaginary presence, then, the Angels of the Lord stand on a level with other fantasies of the text, generating their own embedded narratives, as does the legendary white monkey of Lions fathers parable, or the stray wood-dove on the last page of the novel who quotes from the Song of Songs. One such narrative, by way of alluding to the subtext of the bloody night of Exodus, reintroduces the sinister aura of Prague into the August night in Riga: Anyone who leans his head out of the window will pull it quickly back in again, for the night is wide and dark as the realm of death. On the other side of the window, the Angel of God is standing, writing in her notebook in the air. What she notes under todays date she will keep to herself, as with everything she sees through the walls of buildings and the human ribcage. There are two words smoke and salt, that she will without fail transcribe as a memento of this day, for to her a state is nothing but blue smoke that was, and is no more, and the days and

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Tiina Kirss flesh of human beings are nothing to him but salt that melts. One could attempt to argue with hermany have; one could try to explain to her by means of books that a human being is an animal, but she will not even raise an eyebrow. To argue with her is as good as trying to carry water in a sieve. 9

The discourse associated with the Angels is hieratic, the discourse of grand pronouncements, summations, and verdicts based on an Olympian perspective on global events and their synecdochic localizations. While the narrator often ironizes and undercuts this tic of juxtaposition, she does not entirely succeed in distantiating herself from it. The result is an invasion of the novel by a pathos wielded in too nuanced a manner, too gracefully, too beautifully, as it were, for the parody to function consistently, just as a residual lyricism insinuates itself into landscape descriptions and becomes a seductive trap for nostalgia. The Angel of the Lord in the above-cited passage is a character engaged in enunciating, focused on the signifiers smoke and salt, dispassionate, detached, even oblivious to their signifieds. She is strangely reminiscent of Walter Benjamins angel of history, borrowed in turn from a Paul Klee painting, stepping backwards into the future with its eyes fixed on smoking ruins. She does not cease her brooding over the novels landscapes, though her cryptic messages do not constitute a story to tell.10 Temas story is thus both more abstract and proleptic than LevLions story, which culminates in a concrete decision and a historical destiny. By contrast, Tema is a cipher, an allegorical figure, a wanderer without a name, even her psychological identity remaining fluid and somewhat undefined. Her journey from Tartu to Riga and back is an allegorical journey that takes place simultaneously with Levs journey to Moscow to seek his military discharge and is in some way its double and shadow. Anonymous, Tema seems almost too immune from any real consequences of taking her journey, which is parenthetical and might have been entirely a secret between the narrator and reader had she not casually mentioned it to Lev upon her return to Riga. To redeploy a metaphor used earlier, Tema experiences a kind of inoculation in history as she escapes from Riga and travels to Tartu, where she is arrested on trivial pretences, or as a security measure, and later released. Restraining various impulses to protest against and resist the militia who arrest her, she is set free with a shrug, untouchable in her innocuousness. Meanwhile, during the young lovers peregrinations, the drums beat loudly in Prague. Real history is happening with a vengeance somewhere else. And Tema is not willing to go there, not willing to emigrate with Lev to an European future. However, the close symbolic connection between history and corporeality leaves a host of ambiguities at the novels end. Temas inoculation, perhaps also a homeopathic cure, has enough of an impact that when she

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and Lev are reunited in Riga, he sees the need to make an adjustment in the clay bust he has sculpted of her, that, in his absence, his aunt Olga has had to water every day to keep the clay from hardening. From the scissors that accidentally slipped in her hand as she tried to cut her hair, Tema has an angry cut on her neck. The reader is not told whether Levs final version of the sculpture of Temas head bears this scar. Of course, for the attentive reader, the nick on Temas neck resonates with the cut-off braid of dark hair in the bathroom cabinet. The end of the romance plot of the novel is marked by a benign exchange of weapons: Tema returns Levs notebook and pocket knife, and receives in exchange a Swiss Army knife from Levs father, who is living in exile in Switzerland. The laughter unleashed from this encounter reconnects on a magical level with the story of the unplaited dark hair: All that is exists only that they might laugh. They burst out laughing together, as if of one breath. This laughter forces the brown plait of hair in the bathroom cabinet to release itself and straighten, just as if it had suddenly gotten the impulse to crawl into the room where the laughter was. The fate of that braid has already been decided, and it cannot escape. By that spring it would reach its long-awaited destination, the soil around grandfathers grave.11 In the passage that follows, the narrator goes even further in embedding the lovers, soon to be permanently parted, in multiple temporalities. And, what a wonder: with the aid of this same carefree laughter they are able to unite, as if in passing, their life and their fate. When twenty-three years later a January evening will come when the sky jumps, when, like magic, the picture of a dark planet will appear on television screens all over the world, like a clear but distant apparition, and all the radios mumble as if in delirium about the Holy War, the Mother of All Wars, and the beauty of weapons, then with todays laughter they are bone of one bone, flesh of one flesh with that mornings bone and flesh. On that morning what is distant is near, all the layers of time have become scrambled, and it does not matter who is waking up in Jerusalem, New York, or Tallinn. The power and importance of distances has already been laughed out of court by them today. 12

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What is evoked here is clearly the beginning of the Gulf War, and the rhetoric of apocalypse that surrounded it. Laughter is no nave force of reconciliation at the end of the novel: not only does it not make things right, but it sets the stage for Aunt Olgas sudden death on the threshold of cooking a celebratory meal. Indeed, laughter intensifies the play of historical signifiers and projected future events, dissolving barriers between the local and the global; it is the gateway to an experience of monumental time that not all can survive. III To conclude, the importance of Luiks novel in defining the parameters of a postcolonial consciousness in Estonian letters is further emphasized by its immediate reception and later resonances in the cultural atmosphere. For readers such as Hannes Varblane, still enchanted by the poetic prose and ideological risks of the much lengthier 1985 novel The Seventh Springtime of Peace, Luiks second novel seemed cramped and overwrought, too well written. To Varblane, the novels stylistic virtuosity pointed to a narrator too self-assured about the events of 1968 and an author too quick in her retrospective historical judgments. Andres Langemets, a contemporary of Luik and editor of the literary magazine Looming, more precisely located the consciousness of the protagonist of The Beauty of History as belonging to the first and only Soviet generation in Estonia, who came of age during the so-called Golden Sixties. For both Langemets and Sirje Kiin, whose review in Sirp was the harshest to appear in Estonian, the novel was disturbing for its aestheticization of violence, the cruelly neutral tone that undermined a familiar and valued lyricism. According to Langemets, the explanation for this aestheticized neutrality lay in the fact that the youth of the Golden Sixties was situated at a safe distance from the brutal events of past decades still haunting the Estonian landscape: the novel realistically represented a generationspecific consciousness: What has been typical for us is precisely this beauty of history, the freshly legendary quality of terrible, dark, frightening events, danger at a safe remove. Weapons and the empty forest hiding places of the partisans, the farms of the deported alongside country roads, these were familiar signs of the threatening realities of the past. Dissidents, the happenings in Hungary, Germany, and Czechoslovakia also existed, as did Jews and the Chinese border, but always at a lovely distance. Of course, a few did take part in the tank maneuvers to Prague, but even for them the experience was quite a different matter than Afghanistan was for a much greater number of young soldiers.13

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While Langemets stresses the typicality among his own cohort of such an aesthetically framed historical perspective, a cameo of which was a popular locution of the time, the oxymoron udselt kihvt (terribly cool), Kiin goes farther in her direct personal indictment of Luiks authorial position, stating her preference for the homespun memoirs of the Siberian deportation, published in greater and greater numbers in the late 1980s and early 1990s, over Luiks highly tooled prose. Despite their individual tastes and the pointedness of their criticism, neither Kiin nor Langemets directly attributed to Luik the deliberate pursuit of Western literary markets, nor was it until some years later that The Beauty of History was categorized alongside Todennepalus Piiririik (Border state, 1993) as a new subspecies of Estonian letters, the euronovel. In a 1997 article on the occasion of Viivi Luiks 50th birthday, Kalev Keskla reframes The Beauty of History from a text bearing the signature of an interstitial generation to a postcolonial text in a much broader sense in its relations to public discourse in post-Soviet Estonia.14 Not only does Kesklas criticism refreshingly shift attention away from the biographical, in which The Beauty of History becomes (reductively) a document of the generation of 1968, but it shows how much the horizon of interpretation for such a novel had shifted in five eventful, structurally and rhetorically transformative years. Most notably for Keskla, The Beauty of History is an instance of anticipatory discourse, for both the tonalities and the thematics of the novels prose have a great deal in common with the state language of the new Estonian republic. In the way the speeches of then-President Lennart Meri pose the problems of history, he argues, one can sense the same pathosladen, mythologizing style as is used by Luiks narrator, a style cultivated for its self-advertising potential in the new Europe and chosen as the manner in which the Estonian Republic will begin its conversation with the world. The borrowing of the novels title to designate the historical page of the cultural supplement of the weekly newspaper Eesti Ekspress seems to confirm Kesklas hypothesis. In his analysis of The Beauty of History, not only does Keskla highlight the novels parodies of empire, its collages of quotations from Luiks own poetry of the 1960s, Soviet bureaucratic cliches, and German fashion magazines through which the desired European Other was constructed, but he names the novels effect as making Estonian literature conscious of Evil. The horror effect of The Beauty of History operates for Keskla on at least three levelsthe contemporary, the cosmic, and the historical: Viivi Luik not only brought us angels, but imbued us with a deep fear of Dracula, grafted this onto Estonias self-image, and disseminated it abroad (such an antiSoviet gesture!) And the world understood this kind of

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Tiina Kirss message, because the PR for Dracula was better there by far (thanks to Bram Stoker and Nicolae Ceausescu) than the popularity of a Kalevipoeg and a Tuuslar put together.15 So she was rather a medium for Dracula, an exporter of Evil.16

If the representation of terror and violence appears banalized and deflated to the Estonian reader, for the European reader, as safely removed from those horrors as Tema was by temporal distance from the horrors of her century, a novel such as The Beauty of History feeds and vicariously fulfills a desire to witness and experience such violence. In an earlier context I designated as post-totalitarian desire the taste on the part of the non-participating reader for the romantic intensities of Prague 1968, February 1991 in Vilnius or Riga, and, of course, on a larger scale, August 1991 in the collapsing Soviet empire. Dracula, as Tomas Longinovic perceptively shows, is an emblem and a locus for a bloody fantasy of Eastern Europe in the (western) Europeans cultural imagination: Both Eastern and Western parts of Europe share this fascination with the old, with ancient time that continues to haunt literary imagination like a vampire who refuses to die a natural human death. Like the hegemonic powers, which so generously provide the shameful material for the writing of history, the eternity of the vampire signals the perpetual return of horror that claims the blood of those naive enough to entrust mere modernity with the task of killing the past which refuses to die. Instead, the past comes back and demands more blood. The West beamed the spectacle of South Slavic bloodshed, searching for features of vampiric imagination among those distant populations, divided by the sudden implementation of unbridgeable civilizational cracks opening among Bosniaks, Croats and Serbs.17 If one shifts the signifier to the Baltics, perhaps it is in their geographical theater that the first Finnish readership of The Beauty of History vicariously sought the traces of the vampiric imagination of Soviet terror. The figure of Dracula also serves as an adequate indicator of the multiple temporalities operating simultaneously throughout the novel, shuttling through and across the narrators point of view. Monumental time is clearly one of these temporalities, and its relation to contemporary Estonian literature has received at least one provocative scholarly analysis. As Kesklas suggestive inquiry shows, the destiny of The Beauty of

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History as an Estonian postcolonial fiction will surely continue to generate its own interpretive au-del.

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Notes
1. It was only some years later, with the appearance of Kalev Kesklas article in Vikerkaar in 1997, that critical perspectives on The Beauty of History became more nuanced. See below for further discussion of Kesklas article. 2. Bhabha, 1994, 1. 3. Luik, 1991, 6. 4. All English translations of passages from Ajaloo ilu are mine. 5. Tiit Hennoste and others have given substantial thought to the problematic terms of engagement of postcolonial theory and Soviet-era literary culture. The legacyboth shadows and enablementsof Baltic German colonization of Estonia is more readily, perhaps even more richly accessible to inquiry through the lenses of postcolonial theory than is the Soviet era. One might ask, without obsessing about definitions, where the differences run between the designations occupation and colonization. However, the sedimentation of layers of colonization and the intersection or synergy of successive or simultaneous colonial dynamics poses a range of compelling questions when studying the Baltic region: how self and other, ours and theirs have changed, and how political and cultural strategies have connected and disconnected during struggles for liberation and self-determination in the late 19th and late 20th centuries, and how, in Homi K. Bhabhas sense, the circulation of contradictory patterns of psychic affect in colonial relations replicates itself under different colonial regimes (Moore-Gilbert, 1997, 116). 6. Luik, 1991, 5. 7. Ibid, 78. 8. Some scholars are beginning to direct their attention to the history of the Estonian-language Bible as a hybrid text. 9. Luik, 1991, 34. 10. The gender ambiguity or androgyny of the Angel is intensified by the same grammatical problem as attended Temas name; noted Estonian artist Epp-Maria Kokamgis cover illustration for the Beauty of History nevertheless resolves this ambiguity visually in the female direction, adding other potential nuances for Temas anticipated judgment or punishment. 11. Luik, 1991, 118. 12. Ibid. 13. Langemets, 15691570. 14. Keskla, 1996. 15. Kalevipoeg is the hero of the Estonian national epic by the same name, compiled by F.R. Faehlmann and F.R. Kreutzwald, and published in installments in the Proceedings of the Learned Estonian Society [Gelehrte Estnische Gesellschaft] 18571862, and in its first popular edition in

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Kuopio in 1862. In the epic Tuuslar is the Finnish smith who fashions Kalevipoegs sword, which fatally wounds him at the end of the epic. 16. Keskla, 1996, 82. 17. Longinovic, 1997, 1.

Bibliography
Berg, M. (1994), Ma armastasin venelast. Tallinn: Tumm. Bhabha, H. K. (1994), The Location of Culture. New York: Routledge. Keskla, K. (1996), Tema juhatas inglid sisse, Vikerkaar, 10: 7986. Kiin, S. (1991), Veelkord Ajaloo Hirmutavast Ilust, Sirp, 13: 7. Luik, V. (1985), Seitsmes rahukevad. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. _______. (1991), Ajaloo ilu. Tallinn: Eesti Raamat. Langemets, A. (1991), Kirjanduslik ilu, ilus ajalugu, Looming, 11: 15691571. Longinovic, T. Mirroring the West: Time and Memory of Other Europe (manuscript copy, Literary History of Central and Eastern Europe planning conference, April 1998). Moore-Gilbert, B. (1997), Postcolonial Theory: Contexts, Practices, Politics. New York: Verso. Tode, E./ Tnu nnepalu. (1993), Piiririik. Tallinn: Tuum. _______. (1995), Hind. Tallinn: Tuum.

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Searching for National Allegories in Lithuanian Prose: Saulius Tomas Kondrotass The Slow Birth of Nation Dalia Cidzikait
Saulius Tomas Kondrotass short story The Slow Birth of Nation, on one level a national allegory, cannot be reduced to a mere satire of typical Lithuanian attitudes toward the Other. The author examines the prevailing trends in nationalistic thought and examines Kondrotass story for elements of the specifically Lithuanian. The generality of the text suits any nation, and could more readily be read as a reflection of the postcolonial condition as much as an attempt to decolonize the colonized society in Lithuanian literature. When did we become a people? When did we stop being one? Or are we in the process of becoming one? Edward W. Said, After the Last Sky, 1986

Theoretical Background Narration, according to Fredric Jameson, is not one of the most important expressions of political unconscious, but a channel through which we are able to live our history and through which history manifests itself. Moreover, he argues, all Third World texts are necessarily allegorical and in a very specific way: they are to be read as what Jameson calls national allegories.1 Benita Parry also discusses narration, but in contrast to Jamesons emphasis on Third World literatures, she draws attention to colonial/postcolonial literature and one of its dominant discoursesdecolonial discourse. According to her, one of the common features of colonial/postcolonial discourse is nativismwhen native people are granted superior rights. Elleke Boehmer also observes that such discourses have considerable investment in nationalist concepts of selving and of retrieving history.2 Although Lithuania, together with the rest of the Soviet republics, was for a long time traditionally referred to as a Second World country, in this paper I argue that Jamesons insight on national allegories is helpful and beneficial in analyzing some of the Lithuanian texts that in one or another way deal with the ethnic Other in Lithuanian culture. Specifically, I will examine the national allegory as it is untraditionally expressed in Saulius Tomas Kondrotass The Slow

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Birth of Nation. In one of his essays, Notes on Nationalism George Orwell defines the term nationalism within a very broad framework. According to him, nationalism is when people passionately identify themselves with a group (and it is always their own group) which they try to grant as much power and prestige as they can. Nationalism, Orwell argues, is an unusual ability to connect closely with language, ideological rhetorics, and distant political visions. It is always aggressive and loaded with the desire to compensate for real and presumed humiliations of its own group that took place throughout history. In his book Identity and Freedom (2002) Leonidas Donskis observes that in inter-war Lithuania, the one nation, one language, one culture, one state principle had already become predominant. According to him, Lithuanians inherited these cultural, political and social models from a German predecessor that treated national culture as a collective individual. This type of individualism leads a culture to orient itself and refer to identity, rather than to multidimensional human reality.3 Furthermore, Orwell notes that such a culture is always directed toward the ideological, political, or racial group that appears to be closest and which instantly falls beyond any criticism. In his article The Phantom of Nationalism in the Global Village? Vygandas iurkus uses the works of two Lithuanian scholars to illustrate two differing nationalist discourses: Two discursive directions are present in constructing the identity of the national state in Lithuania: sovereignty, which represents nation and state as the opposition between us (interior) and the other (exterior), and integration, which does not consider nation and the national state to be preconceived, prediscursive, and already given, and does not focus on efforts of purification and defense.4 The two Lithuanian thinkersAntanas Maceina and Juozas Girniuscan be regarded as the apologists of the first discursive direction in the inter-war and the after-war period in Lithuania. Although they wrote at different times (Maceina before World War II, Girnius after), the historical context and political situation in Lithuania of that time was very similar. Jameson describes this kind of atmosphere as an obsessive return to the national situation itself, where the name of the country returns again and again like a gong and where the collective attention to us and what we have to do and how we do it, to what we cant do and what we do better than this or that nationality, our unique characteristics5 prevails. In his article Nation and State, published in 1939, Maceina, among other things, talks about the coexistence of countrymen and

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foreigners in the state, and their role in Lithuanias cultural, political, and social life. He draws a fine line between two groups: countrymen, who are the real members of a new state, and foreigners or ethnic minorities, which are merely state residents, or, to be more precisethey. The foreigners are subjected to a number of restraints: they cannot have the same privileges as their fellow-countrymen, they are not allowed to participate in the countrys cultural life, to be a part of any public or economic organization, for, according to Maceina, [e]thnical minorities in the state are always alien, they will never coincide with the states body and will never become its entity.6 Maceinas constructed state and national model is too narrow and anti-modern; here the foreigner is perceived not only as undesirable, but even harmful, and therefore he must be eliminated from all public spheres. As iurkus observes, in his article Maceina also warns about interracial marriage, the danger of mixing with the foreigners. In other words, the model of Lithuanian nationalism introduced by Maceina is ethnocentric, conservative, and homogeneous. There is no place for the Other in it. That such an ideology prevailed not only in the literary texts of those times, but also in reality, is pinpointed by Donskis comment on how Lithuanians alienated the Russian and Yiddish-speaking Jewish communities. As he observes: [] none of these individuals (philosophers Emmanuel Lvinas, Aron Gurwitsch, painters Chaim Soutine, Neemija Arbitblatas, sculptor Jacques Lipschitz, violinist Jascha Heifetz, art critic Bernard Berenson) was ever considered a significant actor in Lithuanian culturedespite the fact that it was they who inscribed Lithuanias name on the intellectual and cultural map of the twentieth-century world. Why? The answer is very simple: the Russian-speaking and Yiddish-speaking Jewish community in Lithuania was always alienated from the Lithuanian inter-war intelligentsia, which, for its part, cultivated linguistic and cultural nationalism both as a means of self-definition, and as a way of distinguishing rurally oriented Lithuanian compatriots from rootless, cosmopolitan, urban professionals (the mechanized, fragmented, diversified society). Despite the fact that many Lithuanian intellectualsamong whom, Jonas Basanaviius, Vincas Krv-Mickeviius and Juozas Tumas-Vaigantas should be mentioned firstand common people were sympathetic to them, Jews and other aliens were excluded from the Lithuanian cultural/intellectual mainstream. The specifically Lithuanian intelligentsia decided who

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Dalia Cidzikait belonged to the nation, which they perceived as the embodiment of a historical-cultural project, rather than as empirically identifiable social reality.7

Moreover, Donskis continues, Maceinas ideological idioms are alive and well in present-day Lithuania. For the vast majority of Lithuanian intellectuals, nationality is merely another term for ethnicity. The confusion of political and cultural terms reaches its climax in the inabilityor conscious refusalto equate Lithuanian-ness with Lithuanian citizenship. By implication, if someone is an ethnic Pole or Russian or is Jewish, then he/she cannot be a true Lithuanian. The tendency to conceive of Lithuanian-ness in strictly ethno-cultural, rather than political terms, betrays the very narrow, rigid, and exclusionary concepts of loyalty and identity that determine Lithuanian consciousness.8 Juozas Girnius postwar study (1947), which depicts the problem of the Lithuanian national character, is less radical. Instead of employing direct and repressive ideology, as we saw in Maceinas case, he constructs the Lithuanian national character and discusses its images, comparing it with the characteristics of other ethnic groups: Prussians, Russians, and others. The historical time of the study (it was written in a Displaced Persons camp in Nortingen, Germany) validates the topicality of the subject. Girnius makes the point that being surrounded by ones own environment while living at home there was no real need to discuss ones national character, because it was not threatened; the story is different when one finds oneself in unfamiliar and foreign surroundings. In his attempts to compare the Lithuanian national character with the Russian national character, described by Girnius as a character full of abstract love and hate of mankind, Girnius notes that the Lithuanian national character is inclined toward open interaction with a person as a distinct individual. In contrast to the German/Prussian national character, oriented toward strict and strong orderliness, the Lithuanian character is warmer, more compassionate, in other wordsmore human, or, as Adomas Bremenietis in 12th century observed, hominess humanissimi. Discussing further the differences of the Lithuanian national character vs. the Prussian or Russian character, Girnius limits the warmth of the Lithuanian character to two aspects: being close to the other person and being open to fellow-countrymen as well as to strangers.9 It is not difficult to notice that Girnius constructed idealized myth of the Lithuanian national character is in favor to Lithuanians; it is limited to only one featureit is humanand loses any connection with reality. Hence, in a paradoxical way, and by implication, the Lithuanian character loses its human face. In the article on Lithuanian collaboration during the Nazi and Soviet periods Egidijus Aleksandraviius quotes another Lithuanian

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activist showing his unshaken opinion on the differences between Lithuanians and Latvians. In 1948 Juozas Ambrazeviius-Brazaitis wrote: The Lithuanian has a stronger inner culture, deeper traditions; for example, the Latvian has a stronger technical culture and stronger sense of opportunism (conformity). That is why in emigration the Lithuanian will remain himself/herself longer, while the Latvian will conform more quickly. A Lithuanian will feel foreign to his/her new environment longer; a Latvian will become a part of it more easily and will feel content sooner.10 In Aleksandraviius discussion of equally conformist morals in Lithuanians it is impossible not to notice a romantically heroic type of Lithuanian that prevails in the Lithuanian cultural memory and a constant harm and injustice that come from strangers. The self-image as stated in written Lithuanian stories is over-generalized and idealized; opportunism signifies an alien element attributed to the minorities of Lithuania, for example, Jews, or to its other peripheries. To the question: isnt it the same root that nourishes the typical and tenacious stereotype reflecting the relationship between Lithuanians and ydaudiai (a pejorative word to name those who shoot the Jews), later Aleksandraviius answers by drawing the parallel in the attitude: [] theyLithuanian ydaudiai are Nazis collaborators, criminals, and all sorts of fiends. You can find them everywhere. They dont have a nationality. They do not belong to the nation. They are not us.11 Summing up, the author of the article observes that Lithuanian behavior during the hardships of the 20th century was characterized by attempting to avoid mentioning any opportunist features, features that were easily spotted in the other nations. Therefore, it should not surprise us to discover an oversimplified model of a Lithuanian collective mentality, where natives are regarded as heroes and strangers as opportunists and collaborators, where the opportunist in the Lithuanian character is pushed away to the dark corners of the subconsciousness. The Lithuanian cultural attitude toward the Other, traced in Maceinas and Girnius thinking, are formed by a constant and persistent struggle of Lithuanians to survive and retain their own identity. As Donskis points out, this struggle marked not only the past but the present of Lithuanian culture as well, which until now was concerned with its survival, choosing to stand on the defensive rather than to open up to other cultural opportunities and perspectives.12 Although Maceina understands the necessity of constructing identity, a constantly shifting phenomenon, his and Girnius texts belong to monologic discourses that lead to stereotypes, prejudice, fear, hatred, and the demonizing of the Other.

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According to Arvydas liogeris, we [Lithuanians] are monologists, solipsists. We release, but do not receive; we do not find the other.13 On the contrary, the dialogue with the otherother ethnic groups, other nations, other cultures, and other discourseswill allow a sense of responsibility to emerge, and tolerance will bring opportunities to find the other, which will necessarily bring self-discovery and self-knowledge. Becoming a Nation in S.T. Kondrotass Short Story A recent work by Lithuanian prose writer Saulius Tomas Kondrotas The Slow Birth of Nation (2004) is a good example of the representations of the Other in Lithuanian culture. The very title of the short story The Slow Birth of Nation already outlines the main theme of the workit is a story about the formation of nation. Like the title itself, Kondrotass short story is an abstract narration about the community of people that in the text is referred to as we. The use of the plural pronoun clearly responds to the comments of colonial and postcolonial theorists, according to whom one of the specific features of colonial/postcolonial discourse is the so-called mark of the plural (Albert Memmi), otherwise calleddepersonalization, or anonymous collectivity. In the case of Kondrotas, the depersonalized plural form is used to name not just strangers (Jews, Gypsies, handsome clean-shaven men and lovely women, dirty farmers), but the members of the we community as well. There are no names or individual characters in the text, only us, them, Jews, Gypsies, people, men, women, etc. Since there are no named references to any particular nation (except in the last sentence of the text, where the we community is unexpectedly given a name) that would allow the we community to relate to a specific nation or ethnic group (until the very last sentence all we know is that the we community lives in the mountains, about one hundred [at least that is what Jews and Gypsies say] kilometers away from the sea), such a general character, despite the last sentence of the short story, allows us to view it as an allegory of the birth of any nation in the world. The We Community We (the future nation) in Kondrotass short story is a secluded community that lives surrounded by mountains where the mountains are a pleasant, but very stereotypical and therefore recognizable metaphor for the inhabitants withdrawal and isolation from the rest of the world. The first sentence of the short story We were innocent like birds and our virgin life was insipid and uniform, short of two seasons heavy with a prospect of change14 introduces the we community as a group of people that leads uninteresting, boring lives, with no chance for change. Two imagesinnocent like birds and virgin livesemployed by the author in this sentence can be analyzed more deeply. The comparison of the we community to innocent birds draws us back to Lithuanian romantic 1.

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literature and Romantic literature in general; for example, Vincas Mykolaitis-Putinas or Vincas Krv-Mickeviius works, where birds (usually eagles and falcons) are symbols of courage, pride, disobedience, and longing for freedom. This allows the we community to appear not only as a group of innocent people, but also as people who are brave, independent, courageous, and proud. Saying that the we community is leading virgin lives makes another associationthis time with the symbol of innocence in Lithuanian folklore, specifically Lithuanian folk songs, where one of the central charactersa maidenis innocent and pure. Thus Kondrotass we community is perceived as having some feminine features (innocence and purity) that will be lost when they encounter the Otherthe superior group of people who are more civilized and educated. After their first encounter with the sea, they feel that [o]ur pride suffered, too. Not used to such far off skylines, we saw the world was huge, way larger than we had thought. In the face of this vast apathy, we felt minute and insignificant. We could be here or there all the same, we could rot in our villages in the mountains and nobody in this world would mind. Our mountains were alive with direct response to our presence there. We would say something loud and the words come back as an echo or even cause an avalanche. There was no echo here. As if we were suddenly mute. It did hurt.15 Here the authors position is clear: this is the price for becoming a nation. At the beginning of the story, the innocent, chaste, and solid we community, when confronted with superior and more civilized, the Other, is forced to shy off from its femininity and to discover and demonstrate its masculine side. Although the price is high, it seems there is no other choice than to follow the logical flow of history. Some references in Kondrotass text show that the we community shares quite a few stereotypical features typical of the Orient, the Other. Jews that visit them every fall, around September, accuse the we community of being too backwoods,16 both physically and mentally. To the Jews, the we community is strange and peculiar. They are different and not just different, but oddly differentunusual, fantastic, bizarre. The picture of the we community becomes more complete and complex: beneath the innocence (Ania Loomba argues that innocence is one of the most common popular stereotypical features that is attributed to the Other) lies not only pride and courage, but such characteristics as naivet, lack of intelligence, primitivism, an economical, cultural, and social lag, and being an inferior group or race in regard to others. The members of the we community do not speak much. If they have an

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argument with the strangers (very likely with each other as well), they solve it by fighting. The narrator clearly recalls the night when the Jews and the Gypsies told the men of the we community about the sea: [] for it turned into a bone-crushing brawl. Gypsies said it was one hundred kilometers, Jews insisted its less, about eighty or something, and ourselves we were lost completely, because whats a kilometer? Jews accused us of being too backwoods, we didnt like that. Sure thing we arent too worldly, but we arent complete bumpkins either. The way you measure your distance doesnt necessarily make you a total rube. Or does it? So we had an argument about it and the strangers lost.17 It is easy to notice that Kondrotass we community corresponds more to a crowd that to a nation. There is no place for an individual in such community, as Gustave Le Bon states: [] in a crowd, he [an individual] is a barbarianthat is, a creature acting by instinct. He possesses the spontaneity, the violence, the ferocity, and also the enthusiasm and heroism of primitive beings, whom he further tends to resemble by the facility with which he allows himself to be impressed by words and images which would be entirely without action on each of the isolated individuals composing the crowdand to be induced to commit acts contrary to his most obvious interests and his best-known habits.18 Contrary to the traditional postcolonial view that claims that the Orient is feminine or feminized, the we community in Kondrotass work is masculine (except for its innocence mentioned earlier). There are no doubts throughout the story that the we community is dominated by men and that this story is about them. It seems that the author takes a very traditional stereotypical stand in saying that the birth, the formation of a nation is a matter for men, a kind of privilege given to them. They are the force and the muscles, the creative power of the nation. They are active, dominant, and heroic. When the time comes to make a trip (a feat) that will change the future of the communitys life, that will give a different shape and understanding to who they are and who they want to become, Kondrotas writes: One day, unable to stand it anymore, we assembled, about thirty of us, all men, and walked down the mountains. It took four long hours on a bus stuffed with

Searching for National Allegories dirty farmers, their unshaven faces the tint of earth that makes you envision a graveyard, smoking rank cigarettes and carrying live hens in their haversacks, good people, actually, all Christians who lose their control and go mad only when their rotten teeth start aching, they asked us all kinds of questions and shared wine from their flasks.19

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It is expected (and Kondrotas does not fail the reader) that some of the daily rituals of the community that lives in the backwoods of the world may seem a little bit strange to the outsider. The short story starts with a detailed description of an activity that the community engages in every spring. Every spring, around March, the stream of melting snow would carry away trunks and limbs of fallen trees, stumps, and shrubs. Sometimes in the cavities and hollows of the trees they would find dead animals and, once in a while, human corpses. The we community follows its own rules in dealing with the dead human body. First, they would be thoroughly inspected, their pockets searched for money and other treasures. Mens corpses were quickly buried before they started spreading disease, but womens bodies, especially if a woman drowned not too long ago and was young and pretty, would stay unburied for some time. This episode makes one more assumption about the we community. It is not only primitive, and promiscuous, but barbaric, engaged in necrophilia. The author also makes assumptions about the sexuality of the we community. For example, it is considered completely natural for the male adolescent of the community to screw sheep. The we community is portrayed as being extremely exotic. A description may suggest various interpretations, such as that the we community is abnormal, fascinating, decadent, and even shocking. The beginning of the short story is important for one more thingit recalls one event that every member of the we community remembers, the event that shows the attitude of the community toward the Other. The woman whom they dragged out of the river and later buried in a shallow grave came back to life, somehow managed to break out of her coffin and dig her way to the surface. Naked and pale, she wandered from one house to another begging for help. Nobody answered her calls, nobody opened the door. The only man that sheltered the woman and soon married her was the one who dragged her out of water. She gave him five children, they built a big house and never knew hunger, but, as the story relates, [] in the eyes of the community neither the woman nor her children have ever been totally free of some stigma: first, shes never learned to speak our language fluently and, second, shes always been considered to be a walking dead, if only a bit of it.20

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The word stigma in this context is very importantit may be interpreted in several ways: as a mark (herea negative mark), a scar whose presence you do not see, but always feel, even an odor. But the main message is that she is different, she is a stranger in the community, and in additioneven her children and very likely her husband have to share her fate, i.e., to be strangers. The decision to welcome her and to see her (and her children) as one of them is determined by how well she speaks their language. The ability to speak someones language is crucial for both the outsiders who want to cross that line and to become a part of the dominant, established group and for insiders who, depending on how well the outsider speaks their language, will make that decision. Contrary to the appearance of an individual (although, as we see from the story, the womans resemblance to the dead plays a very important role, too), language is a more complexinternal and externalfactor in the relation among individuals, groups, and nations. You can change your appearance, but your ability to speak a language sooner or later will betray youit will show either that you belong to the community whose language you speak, or not. All that and the fact that the outsider is a woman allows us to make one more conclusionexclusion and stigmatization of outsiders by the established group (the we community) are thus powerful weapons used by the latter to maintain their identity, to assert their superiority, to keep the other firmly in his/her place. And finally, the last sentence of the paragraph leaves no doubt about the repressive nature of the we community toward the inner Other. It says: To make sure it never happens again, now coffins are made strong and grave pits dug deep.21 It is important to notice that the binary opposition employed by Kondrotas in his short story The Slow Birth of Nation is a reverse version of Saids opposition Orient vs. Occident. Although the we community in Kondrotass work in many ways resembles the Orient as to its stereotypes and images, the we community is a dominant group; therefore, it has to be viewed as the Occident as well. Besides, the gaze of the narrator and the position that he takes in the story is of the we community; he is one of those primitive, barbaric, less educated people. The whole story is told from the perspective of a community that is oriental and occidental at the same time. 2. Strangers There are several types of strangers in Kondrotass text and the attitude of the we community toward them differs: one group is regarded as an economic partner, the other is encountered only once and that is more than enough, the third is openly ignored and alienated, while another receives compassion. The first group of strangers mentioned in the text is poor folks that live high in the mountains. The relationship of the we community with them is based on the social dominance of the formerthe we community is wealthier. It is not clear from the story if contact with

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the people in the mountains is direct or whether they visit each other; the usage of the plural pronoun them and the few sentences devoted to them implies that such a relationship does not exist. The only way the we community knows about the nature and the existence of the people in the mountains is from corpses brought by fuscous and powerful spring streams, and the objects found in their pockets: Most of the time this [searching the pockets] yielded nothing, but once in a while the deceased would have a dudeen in his pocket, a clasp knife, a brass cigarette case, orbest of alla silver timepiece. Women usually brought nothing. They are poor folks up there in the mountains, and they dont waste much on their women.22 It is likely that this is not the only, but the only preferred way of the we community to communicate with the other group, by robbery. Another group of strangers are the Gypsies and Jews. Every fall, around September, they would visit the we community and sell or exchange their goods; yet the traders, according to the narrator, differed from one another. Gypsies were the ones who purchased the things that the we community produced: sheep wool, goat cheese, rawhides, and wild honey. Although they paid little, they were the only ones who filled up the pockets of the we community with money. On the other hand, the very appearance of the Gypsies showed them to be not that rich: since Gypsies looked dirtier and poorer than the we community, they were regarded as inferior. This factor enabled the we community to be not only exterior, but a real master of the status quo. Another group of traders were the Jews. They would reach the we community riding carts loaded with all kinds of goods. Unlike Gypsies they came not to buy, but to sell. They had buttons and axes, needles and knives, medicine and candies for children, things that the we community could not live without and things they could but preferred not to. The traders, both Gypsies and Jews, play an important role in the life of the we community. First of all, they are important economic partners; secondly, they brought not just merchandise but news about the world outside. Therefore, besides trading they perform a cultural function as well: Gypsies and Jews are the only link that the we community had with the rest of the world; they were the only means of knowing yet another kind of Other. The contact with Gypsies and Jews is inevitable, determined by economic needs and necessity; the nature of acquaintance with another kind of Other that lives somewhere about one hundred kilometers away is of a completely different character. The first encounter with the mysterious Other occurs through the pictures of the Other,

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photographs that the we community would purchase from the Jews. To the narrators question, why the members of the we community bought those pictures, the answer is: because the people in those pictures did not look like them, not even close: They were handsome clean-shaven men and lovely women wearing bonnets, with smiles on their faces, not a rotten tooth in their mouths, their hair cut neatly and combed, their garments so light you could never plow a field or kill an animal without messing them up at once. Their hands, grasping goblets of wine or long cigarette holders, werent made for labor. With fingers so long and delicate you could never lift a fork of manure. How did they survive? This was a mystery to us. One theory held they were so different from us they didnt eat at all and, consequently, didnt have to drudge. Although its hard to be certain, by looking at them, you wouldnt think those women even took a shit, or even had an excretory opening.23 Compared with the people who live up high in the mountains and who, because of their poverty and other reasons, did not deserve attention from the we community, the difference between the members of the we community and those good looking people is so big and shocking that they become a constant subject of the we communitys talks, dreams, and even desires. Not only their looks and appearance are discussed, but also their occupation, daily life, what they eat and drink, etc. The curiosity is so haunting that gradually the image of those people is constructed, an image that is based only on the pictures and the stories that the Gypsies and Jews tell about them. The more they think about the Other, the more mysterious and puzzling they become. More and various details spring up from the stories about the Other. That is how the stereotypes or fixed images about the Other are created; usually they have nothing to do with reality. Since the narrator is one of the we communitys members, good looking people, likely more superior to the we community and representatives of Western culture, surprisingly become Oriental in Kondrotass short story they are regarded as something very exotic, never seen before although quite well envisioned and pictured in the stories about them. When the we community finally decides to make a trip to see the Other, the reader witnesses a shift of the roles according to the typical postcolonial model Orient vs. Occidentnot the West is going to discover the Orient, but the Orient is curious about the West. This notion once again shows the importance of such terms as hybridity and ambivalence employed by Homi K. Bhabha when discussing colonial and postcolonial discourses. As Bhabha notably demonstrated in his articles and books, it is sometimes

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very difficult to make a clear distinction between us vs. them, colonizer vs. colonized, very often the colonial/postcolonial societies are not pure, but diverse and hybrid, and their behavioral models and strategies are based on mimicry. If, at first, Kondrotass we community is exclusively labeled as Orient, later it assumes the features that are typically attributed to the colonizer. One day, unable to deal with the curiosity about the Other, thirty men [sic!] gathered and walked down the mountains. Their first encounter with a new, still nameless, and melancholic world, its nature, sounds, and the sea arouses in them not only despair, but anger. Contrary to the vibrant drama of the mountains, the sea greets them numbly and impassively. Moreover, they are caught out by one more rather unpleasant experience: the new world seemed to be huge, much larger than they had imagined. But what is more important, the world was sufficient in itself, the members of the we community felt themselves to be not just small and insignificant, but unwanted: We could be here or there all the same, we could rot in our villages in the mountains and nobody in this world would mind.24 This time their belief and trust in their small, close world staggerswhen facing the new world the we community feels that they have become the Other, an undesirable alien element to those who dominate the new world. The feelings of inferiority and unwantedness rise once again when they encounter people glowing and smiling to each other and that live only a couple of hours away from them. Kondrotas grasps very clearly the first impressions of any immigrant that encounters a new country. The first acquaintance with new surroundings begins with smelling, hearing, touching, and other preverbal experiences, later it becomes an endless comparison of this new place with the one that was left behind. Almost always it is to the disadvantage of the former, because what is ones own and native is always closer and more sacred to ones heart. With this short story Kondrotas allows the reader to experience a miracleto witness a community becoming a nation. The Slow Birth of Nation is not only a national allegory, but a metamorphosis of a we community into a new qualitya nation. Thus the author, using words and his imagination, revises and repeats history; he also rewrites it, as if saying that history is mere alchemy and not something that is already given and already finished. Stating the otherness of the we community and its willingness and determination to hold on to it, the short story could be interpreted as an anticolonial text, which, according to Parry, subverts and destroys the dominant ideology, reversing the traditional hierarchy of colonizer vs. colonized, and freeing itself from colonial protection.25 Unlike other Lithuanian writers, Kondrotas takes a strong stand: instead of a culturally and nationally degraded colonized community, he chooses a strong and aggressive male barbarian. Although Kondrotass short story might appear to the Western

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reader as too simple a narration and/or one that had already been read, the untraditional perspective of the story asks for its own reader. The text, being abstract and sometimes very general, fits any nation and can be seen as a general reflection of the postcolonial condition, which, according to Pcheux, is described as a retreat, uncertainty, provocation, and revolt, or it could be seen as one more attempt to decolonize the colonized society in Lithuanian literature. This significant aspect allows us to read Kondrotass short story as a complex and atypical postcolonial text that invites readers and scholars for its own distinctive interpretation. And the nation that Kondrotas portrayed in his work are not Lithuanians or even Balts, but smiling Macedonians.

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Notes
1. Jameson, 1986, 69. 2. Quoted from Parry, 1996, 90. 3. Donskis, 2002, 15. 4. iurkus, manuscript, 31. 5. Jameson, 1986, 65. 6. Quoted from iurkus, manuscript, 14. 7. Donskis, 2002, 2324. 8. Ibid, 2829. 9. As to the opposition Lithuanian vs. Polish, A. Mickiewiczs Romantic imagination from the beginning of 19th century provides a valuable insight on Lithuanias and Polands roles in the Commonwealth. The relationship and union between these two nations was regarded as of husbands and wifestwo souls in one body. As T. Venclova puts it: Lithuania was implicitly opposed to the Crown [Poland] as the land of spiritual vision to the land of reason (Venclova, 1998, 6). 10. Aleksandraviius, 2005, 50. 11. Ibid, 48. A completely different and almost unique stand, considering the time, belongs to famous Lithuanian poet and essayist T. Venclova. In one of his essays on Lithuanians and Jews (1976), Venclova proposes another understanding about the nation: If one can consider the nation a greater selfthe direct experience says that this point of view is the valid and fair one in the moral worldthen all members of the nation, both righteous people and criminals, are included in this self. Every sin commited is a burden on the conscience of the entire nation and the conscience of each member of the nation (Venclova, 1999, 38). 12. Donskis, 1994, 198. 13. Quoted from Donskis, 1994, 237. 14. Kondrotas, 2004, 12. 15. Ibid, 18. 16. Ibid, 16. 17. Ibid, 1516. 18. Le Bon, 1952, 32. 19. Kondrotas, 2004, 17. 20. Ibid, 13. 21. Ibid. 22. Ibid, 12. 23. Ibid, 1415. 24. Ibid, 18. 25. Quoted from Gandhi, 1998, 113.

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Bibliography
Aleksandraviius, E. (2005), Lietuvi kolaboravimas: naci ir soviet laikai, Metmenys, 85: 4276. Bhabha, H.K. (ed.) (1990), Nation and Narration. London and New York: Routledge. ________. (1994), The Location of Culture. London and New York: Routledge. Cidzikait, D. (2004), Facing the Other in Lithuanian Prose: Saulius Tomas Kondrotass The Slow Birth of Nation, Lituanus, 50/3: 23 31. ________. (2005), Ph.D. Diss. University of Illinois at Chicago. Donskis, L. (1994), Moderniosios smons konfigracijos. Kultra tarp mito ir diskurso. Vilnius: Baltos lankos. _______. (2002), Identity and Freedom. Mapping Nationalism and Social Criticism in Twentieth-Century Lithuania. London and New York: Routledge. _______. (2004), Juozas Girnius: lojalumas, nesutikimas ir idavyst moderniojoje lietuvi moralinje vaizduotje (I), Akiraiai, 3(357): 810. Gandhi, L. (1998), Postcolonial Theory: A Critical Introduction. New York: Columbia University Press. Girnius, J. (1991), Lietuvikojo charakterio problema, Metai, 11:148 158. Jameson, F. (1986), Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism, Social Text, 15: 6588. Kondrotas, S.T. (2004), The Slow Birth of Nation, in: Lituanus, 50(3): 1222. Le Bon, G. (1952), The Crowd. A Study of the Popular Mind. London: Ernest Benn Limited. Loomba, A. (1998), Colonialism/Postcolonialism. London and New York:

Searching for National Allegories Routledge. Maceina, A. (1991), Ratai, vol. 1. Vilnius: Mintis.

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Orwell, G. (1984), Notes on Nationalism, in: G. Orwell, Decline of the English Murder and Other Essays. Penguin Books, 155179. Parry, B. (1996), Resistance Theory/Theorising Resistance or Two Cheers for Nativism, in: P. Mongia (ed.), Contemporary Postcolonial Theory. London, New York, et al.: Arnold, 84109. Said, E.W. (1979), Orientalism. New York: Vintage Books. ________. (1986), After the Last Sky. London: Faber. iurkus, V. (2003), Nacionalizmo mkla globaliniame kaime? 331 (manuscript). Venclova, T. (1998), Native Realm Revisited: Mickiewiczs Lithuania and Mickiewicz in Lithuania, http://www. pogranicze.sejny.pl/ archiwum/krasnogruda/pismo/8/for... (accessed 9/1/05) ________. (1999), Forms of Hope. Riverdale-on-Hudson, New York: The Sheep Meadow Press.

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Estonia and Pain: Jaan Krosss The Czars Madman Maire Jaanus
Under its most recent totalitarian colonization by Communist Russia, the blocks posed to free speech and thinking, and to living a life of sanity and love in Estonia were immenseand for the rebellious, unbearable. In The Czars Madman, Kross uses historical records from the first half of the 19th century, particularly those pertaining to Timotheus von Bock (a Baltic German nobleman with liberal, chivalricChristian and romantic ideals for legal, political, and ethical reform, who married an Estonian peasant woman and freed his own serfs in 1813), to focus on the political tensions between the Czarist colonization of the Baltic region and a political scion of its previous Germanic colonizers. With this device, Kross veils his references throughout the novel to his own encounter with Soviet colonialism and gives his own indirect testimony regarding methods of personal and collective Estonian survival under the Communist regime. The article deals in a psychoanalytic way with the issues of pain, suffering, anxiety, trauma, jouissance, and belief as well as concepts of power, evil, imaginary identification, freedom, rebellion, and the paradox of desire. It focuses on the Real of a body and mind in pain and asks: How can and why would one remain ethical in an unethical time? What enables one to make meaning in the midst of meaninglessness and mindless nonsense? What happens to the individual and an entire nation forced to live in duplicity and madness? What is the function of being, as Timo is, the symbolic and psychological nail in the cross of the empire? Given its long history of repeated colonizations, what earned truth has Estonian culture to offer to other countercultures operating under colonization or trying to recreate themselves in a postcolonial era?

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There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain. Revelation 21:4

The Body in Pain At the heart of Krosss book, as at the core of classical tragedy, is a body in pain.1 The main scene of pain is recounted in the sauna. The warm and safe enclosure of the sauna, that Northern womb, the historical site of Estonian births and deaths, helps release and ease the impact of the narrative of pain because, as we know, the relationship of pain and memory is very problematic. Most of us do not want to remember pain; we want instead the pleasure of remembering pleasure. In solitary confinement in the Schusselburg, the Tsars worst torture dungeon, Timothy von Bock is orally raped by a foot-long iron key (Schlssel), ground into his mouth because he had been shouting out loud what he thinks and believes. The oral torture leaves an open wound and causes the loss of most of his teeth. The site of torture tends to be the place on the body the torturer is angry at. Hands are chopped off for stealing. A tongue is severed for an epigram.2 In classical tragedy among the bodily sites of pain are the bleeding eyes of Oedipus, the devoured liver of Prometheus, and the festering foot of Philoctetes. To torture the mouth, an inaugural and erogenous zone, is, fundamentally, to attack the site of eating and speaking, of nourishment and words, of the double way of survival (or not) of the body and its spirit. The fundamental wound here has to do with speaking or not speaking, with silence and language, but it has also to do with the maternal, with originary love, and with sexual relationships.3 The wound is therefore intimately connected to identity as we establish it within relationships of both social communication and love.4 The key is turned in Timos mouth to lock it up, to silence his speech, his thoughts, and his emotions. As a scene of oral rape, the sadism is directed specifically at the linguistic object, as well as its bodily site, and its libidinal-emotional force, which emerges in the loudness, persistence, and unarrestability of his screams. The torture leaves Timo biteless, unable to bite back in the way he always had, with his passionate utterances, his critical idealism, his mix of judgments and accusations, his mental and emotional excitement, which were from youth on his main characteristics, reinforced by an education based in enlightenment-romantic aspirations.5 The symbol of the key turned in his mouth signifies his double imprisonment, physical and verbal. He is both a body and a mind in pain. When the physical torture is past, the remaining physical wound, his broken teeth, are, as Timo tells the narrator, the least of his problems it is the continuing pain in his mind that is fearful. He is still mad with

1.

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thoughts. In prison he tried to think in other languages to avoid exposing his mind. But his efforts toward self-surveillance and self-censure didnt succeed. Against his will, he was mastered by deluges of thoughts and by images and concepts in such an insane abundance that he felt like a drowning man in a raging torrent (1789). He spoke torrents of arguments and counter-arguments mostly to the absent emperor himself. The key that so horrendously wounded his body did not lock up or destroy his mind, though it modified, altered, and excessively heightened its workings. What he is afraid to tell Eeva is that its an effort for him to be normal (182), that his compulsive assertion of his mental and spiritual ideas has not ceased. His painful inner reiteration of the dialogue that the emperor refused continues. The unrequited communication that did not take place returns to be validated, but it never can be. Moreover, Emperor Alexander is dead. 2. Four Desires: Silence and Speech; Truth and Lies Later we learn that Timos new device for escaping the censors is to hide his sanity in insanity. The post-prison manuscripts that are briefly in the narrators possession (and that ultimately disappear, either because they are stolen or destroyed) are written in a double language of reason and madness. On every page in a fixed place, the narrator notes, one sentence makes sense, but it is embedded in a field of nonsense (2713). The very nonsense, however, is intelligent and purposive since it is a methodical subterfuge that an irrational and unenlightened regime and its paranoid surveillance of his writing forces him to adopt. His adjusted and moderate rather than compromising position is to appear to be mad in order to be able to continue writing about what he believes is sane. The larger question is: what happens to an individual or an entire nation that is forced to live in such duplicityas Estonia was during its fifty years of Communist colonizationand how does one live through it? Timos first library request when he gets out of prison is for Thomas Mores Utopia (26). With this key reference, Kross creates a parallel between the great crisis of Englands religious revolution and Estonias crises under the dictatorship of the Tsars, and by extension, of communism. With this reference Kross also indicates a shift in Timos position. His earlier uncompromising stance, which is, like that of Mores Raphael, philosophically puritanical and idealistica vision of the truth stripped bare (100) that insists on telling nothing but the philosophic truth even to kingsshifts to the more realistic and pragmatic position of More himself, which More calls a more civilized form of philosophy: More: Frankly, I dont see the point of saying things like that, or of giving advice that you know theyll never accept. What possible good could it do? How can they be expected to take in a totally unfamiliar line of

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Maire Jaanus thought, which goes against all their deepest prejudices? That sort of thing is quite fun in a friendly conversation, but at a Cabinet meeting, where major decisions of policy have to be made, such philosophizing would be completely out of place. Raphael: Thats exactly what I was sayingtheres no room at Court for philosophy. More: Theres certainly no room for the academic variety, which says what it thinks irrespective of circumstances. But there is a more civilized form of philosophy which knows the dramatic context, so to speak, tries to fit in with it, and plays an appropriate part in the current performance. Thats the sort you should go in for You must go to work indirectly. You must handle everything as tactfully as you can, and what you cant put right you must try to make as little wrong as possible. For things will never be perfect, until human beings are perfectwhich I dont expect them to be for quite a number of years!6

More himself did not finally put into practice the moderation that he recommended in Utopia. He died for what he refused to say, not for what he said. He stood silent and his silence passed for treason. In the kings service, he lost all his rights, even the right to silence. In Timos method of self-censure, the rational sentences hidden in the madness are the assertion of his right to speak, and the field of irrationality that hides these sentences is the assertion of his right to be silent. He has learned what More ironically called a more civilized form of philosophy, which in Timos case has to be called a mad philosophy or the paradox of mad thinking. This mad thinking does not insist in a utopian, Raphaelesque way on the truth but rather performs its part in the given historical play so as to permit some of the truth to survive. In madness he can tell the whole truth rather than merely the half-truth of a civilized philosophizing that a totalitarian Tsar allows. The young Timo believed that he could lay bare the unalloyed truth. What is romantic and naive about him is his conviction that he is the autonomous Enlightenment-Romantic individual who can trust in his selfsufficiency and the righteousness of his conscience and reason. His condemnations and judgments come from categorical imperatives and abstract principles and ideas. Like Raphael, he has none of the diplomatic sense of More, who urges Raphael to try to work with things and people as they are. He is not entirely oblivious to the weight of the social-political and legal reality around him, but rather than entertain a more practical, compromising, and more patient way of achieving his goals, he is ready for dissidence, heroic sacrifice, and martyrdom (523). Timo learns to see

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that there is some sense in the seemingly innate, Estonian peasant stance of silence, but he transforms this stubborn, resistant silence into the silence of seemingly mad writing, which escapes punishment in a way that Mores silence, which in a sense spoke reason, did not. Timos achievement is the creation of a new and original method of ethics that incorporates reason and madness, speech and silence, the opposing but necessary two rights of humankind: the right to the freedom of speech and the right to the freedom of silence. He also learns that these two essential human freedoms are tied to two other human rights: the right to tell the truth and the right to lie. His final manuscripts prove he has learned that the truth can only be told within the cover of lies and of madness. He discovers that lying is also a right, a necessity, and even a truth. Lacan points out that there would not be a commandment forbidding us to lie if the impulse to lie were not deeply in us. (There is no need for a taboo or law that no one would break.) Lacan also points out that the human defense against being hurt psychically is a kind of unconscious, defensive lying, which in fact is a symptomatic way of telling the truth. The most basic, unconscious lie is about death. It is the essential unconscious act on which symbolization is founded. And death is an intolerable truth. Thou shalt not lie, says the law, but poetic writing, all writing, all language in fact lies, simply because it cannot tell the entire truth about the Real. It is fictive and abstract in comparison to the unsayable Real. However, if as Lacan says, In Thou shalt not lie as the law is included the possibility of the lie as the most fundamental desire, then art, by the very fact that it is a fiction, both breaks the law (that forbids us to lie) and fulfills a fundamental desire, rooted in a symbolic need to lie for the sake of life in opposition to the truth of death: The point is that speech doesnt itself know what it is saying when it lies, and that, on the other hand, in lying it also speaks some truth. Moreover, it is in this antinomic function between law and desire, as conditioned by speech, that resides the primordial authority which makes this commandment among all ten one of the cornerstones of that which we call the human condition, to the extent that that condition merits our respect.7 The Czars Madman was published in 1978, in a dire time of colonization and terror, which meant that Kross had to reveal his ethics of survival in a way that protected everyone: himself as the author and as the narrator, his readers, and his critics. And Kross did that. He created the covering possibility that everything here was finally ironic, ambiguous,

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merely an open series of questions about the old problem of truth, such as: (1) can the truth be told; (2) in what form can it be told; and (3) in what form can it be received and heard. Thus he lets his narrator ask: Could a madman have written these things? Can a normal person throw such things in his emperors face? But what if the emperor has made that normal person swear an oath to tell him the truth, always? If the emperor has deprived the normal person of his normal freedom to tell lies? Would only a madman let such things fall into his emperors hands? (292) What is, of course, the ultimate irony is not merely that the artist is precisely such a madman, whose mission is to tell the truth, and whose published truth necessarily falls into the hands of the regime, but that Kross is an artist who has attained such control of his strangely free and fictional medium as to make it tell truths and lies as he pleases. And thus Kross managed to construct a miracle of rare device (to borrow a phrase from Coleridges Kubla Khan) that is a paradoxical pleasure dome of pain and of truth and lies. 3. Power and Trauma; Anxiety and Suffering Power and trauma have always been allied. Trauma is the destruction of the fragile layers of civilization covering a human being or a nation. Power can raze to the ground the symbolic status and powers of a subject as quickly as bombs can a city. Stripped of the symbolic and imaginary identifications that are our support against dissolutionsuch as our name, nation, citizenship, language, gender, profession, our constitutional and legal rights, our beliefs and familieswe encounter the voided self, or the nothingness that we are. In this text the void is no longer indicated, as it was before the modern era, as something outside of us, or as it was in Greek culture by the oracle, but as there where it is, in us, in ourselves and our bodies. The avowal of the void is the avowal of what we are not and the realization of need, want, desire, is the temporary becoming of a nothingness, rather than fulfillment or completion. What is wanted from the mouth, as what was wanted from the oracle, is a message. Timos messages are his sixty-page memorandum to the emperor (91 102), his fifty-four point preliminary outline of a constitution for Russia (122), and his post-imprisonment manuscripts. If these writings can be saved, something of his symbolic identity and his human desire will have been rescued. The torturers or sadists frustration with the object of torture often brings on its death, but mainly the torturers and sadists aim is the

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evocation of trauma in his victim. The critical question for psychoanalytically oriented trauma theory, which has finally become a major postmodern concern, is how the human being deals with a voided, de-symbolized, and de-imaginarized self and with the stark, unrelieved anxiety that this voidedness opens up. For Lacan, anxiety is the undisputable sign of an encounter with the register that he calls the Real. Yet, even anxiety is already a move away from the total helplessness and absolute disarray of being in the void.8 Timos repeated torrents of language are his response to trauma; they are his way of remaining active, of not passively succumbing. Timo speaks of the argument upon argument, growing more dense, assuming a shape as in geometry... Syllogisms become stairs... Theses rise like polished stone pillars... The horrendous hardening and petrification of his thoughts into stone is symptomatic of his extreme mental trauma. In Timos case, it is not, as in the case of Niobe, his body that turns to stone, but his minds articulations. His thinking processes become a labor of architecture and stone. This is a frightening vision of the process of thinking as a desperate travail and tribulation. It is mental labor at the limit, intellection under threat of imminent cessation, where the threat is only counteracted by an insane amount of more thinking. As with a body forced into excess labor, the threat of death is only kept at bay by everrenewed activity which alone assures the mind of its continued existence. The unconscious motivation of these stone theses and this nearly immobile architecture of concepts, as well as of Timos obsessivecompulsive shouting (which evades his conscious control and so, as he knows, brings on his own destruction), is a need to establish control and gain surety, to halt his panic, to think himself and his identity by sheer Descartian mental exertion and repetitionby a vast excess that in a sense is madness, if our definition of madness is the classical Aristotelian one of departure from the mean, from moderation, but which is within the context of a dire need for survival; an immoderate, brilliant tactic, born of a phenomenal and amazing self-intuition and self-knowledge about what subjectivity is and what subjective survival entails. As long as I think, ergo use language, I am a subject, a speaking being. Most important of all, however, is the fact that the active mental suffering is already an emergence from the pure helplessness that is the condition of the void, as well as from the pure anxiety that arises from the perception of absolute danger. Suffering is a stasis, says Lacan, which affirms that that which is cannot return to the void from which it emerged.9 In other words, suffering is already a tragic tolerance of anxiety. It is beyond the void and beyond pure anxiety because suffering is active. Suffering is a drive, and in Lacans schema, drives are active, circular, and self-reflexive. Although painful and seemingly static because repetitive, and hooked to the potential void or gravity of death, suffering is

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nonetheless an active striving against death and thus a very rudimentary form of sublimation in opposition to pure anxiety. Timo does not go entirely under (though after two years his deterioration has accelerated greatly) and he is not petrified because he keeps moving repetitiously in a circle around himself or what is left of himself, which would be, in Lacans terms, Timo himself as the waste object or as object a. The object a always falls, is falling, or threatens to fall, but the circular drive holds it in place in a way that is similar to the way the laws of gravity hold the planets in place. Another way to put it is that anxiety is focused on the falling object, but suffering is the repetitive, circular activity of the drivea desire to maintain the object and to prevent it from falling.10 (To exercise, Timo literally runs around in circles in his prison cell, at one point, significantly, around a grand piano or an imagined grand piano.) Thus drive, as an elementary, physical-emotional signifier of activity or energy, encompasses at once a movement and a halt, a circulation of energy and a static object. It is a double beat and can be repeated, unlike infinite anxiety which has no beat or any polar opposite. Because suffering is mobility, it is on the way toward freedom. I called my paper Estonia and Pain (Valu) rather than Estonia and Piin, another word for pain, which has the connotation of torture, because I believe that Estonian culture, even its as yet unwritten philosophy, is in large part knowledge about the transmutation of piin, acute pain and anxiety to the point of torture, into suffering. We have survived because we have known how to turn pain into suffering. Our unwritten philosophy would, it seems to me, encompass a belief in pain as a radical truth equivalent to the truth of pleasure. In a radical conception, pain is not something that merely comes from the outside, from nature, from our bodies, and from other people and society, the accepted fundamental causes Freud lists in Civilization and its Discontents,11 but something ineradicable in us to which we are subjected. It is a natural, unavoidable encounter with evil, which we must learn to transmute and sublimate, but which we cannot eliminate. In his essay Estonian Decolonization Jaan Kaplinski speaks about the colonization of the Estonian language and the lack of courage that may make an original Estonian philosophic thinking impossible, but if there is an Estonian thinking that might one day be written, I imagine that it will be grounded in the Lacanian Real or based on its incorporation. Perhaps our distinct experience could not even be systematized or theorized until the advent of the Lacanian Real, given that Estonian culture itself is in many ways the fruit of the working-through of the Real. It is certainly true in the case of the texts of Kross, which make evident that the subject, besides the contract it has with society for the protection of its needs and legal rights, has a contract with the Real, with itself as the mere object a, the object of waste, and with death and its own libidinal economy.

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Evil and Metaphors of Pain Evil is a false belief, said Mary Baker Eddy. Classical tragedy and Freudian-Lacanian psychoanalysis contradict this. In The Odyssey, when Odysseus asks Circe how to deal with the evil of Charybdis and Scylla, she chides him for wanting to combat immortal evil. Circe says it cannot be fought, it can only be avoided: You rash man, do the works of war concern you again And toil? Will you not yield to the immortal gods? She is not mortal for you, but an immortal evil, Dreadful, oppressive, wild, and not to be fought. There is no defense. It is best to flee from her.12 The evil is immortal, it cannot be fought and ended by mortals. The difference between us and Homer is our general tendency to see radical evil as anthropological, social, historical, or as a set of subjective paradoxes (which is the view of psychoanalysis) rather than as ontological or theological. The death camps of Stalin and Hitler are very much mortal, human evil. The question then is how to counter the radicality of unending mortal rather than immortal evil. In an interesting meditation on evil, A Commencement Address, Joseph Brodsky reflects on the potentially disturbing effects of an excessive compliance with evil. He tells the story of a prisoner in a Russian concentration camp who was commanded to chop wood from seven a.m. to four p.m., and who did so instead, nonstop, for twelve hours, forgoing even his lunch break, until he dropped at seven p.m. His activity, comments Brodsky, made evil absurd through excess: it suggests rendering evil absurd through dwarfing its demands with the volume of your compliance, which devalues the harm. This sort of thing puts a victim into a very active position, into the position of a mental aggressor. The victory that is possible here is not a moral but an existential one.13 Absurd compliance has the effect of exposing the meaninglessness and senselessness of the whole enterprise. In the instance of this novel, it also exposes the meaninglessness of the continued surveillance of Timo, especially once he stays in Estonia voluntarily, and the absurdity of the intense concern of tyrannical and deadly power with what is merely the verbal and the written. But, of course, the paranoid surveillance also forces the protagonists to do, or to appear to do, senseless, meaningless, and seemingly mad things in order to avoid the espionage and observation and, above all, in order to actively assert themselves. The Freudian position, like ancient tragedy, by introducing the death drive as an unconscious will in us which is capable of enormous, creative, and monstrous exterior development, complicated all previous monothematic positions on evil that denied its reality altogether, or denied its primacy by giving priority to the good and regarding evil as the absence of good or as the perversion, corruption, or privation of the good (as did

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St. Augustine). With his suggestion that life itself might prefer death, and his realization that the field of the pleasure principle is not primary but gravitates around destruction, Freud grasped not only the fact that evil is entirely subjective, but also the profundity of the problem of evil, its ineradicability and, therefore, the true problem of ethics.14 Pleasure and the organizing, unifying erotic drives, with their desire for love and creative symbolization, are at the center of our development, but they are very precarious and can also readily turn into a desire to harm and to destroy. Why this unconscious turning to destruction and evil occurs is still an inexplicable mystery, the mystery of our freedom even to ourselves, but the answer to the turning must ever be resistance and images of resistance, along with an excessive desire for the positive turning, a positive tropes of pleasure, reconciliation, and love. The good as well as the beautiful are tied to this affirmative will for life, as is truth. If you kill pleasure you kill at once beauty, goodness, and the will for truth. Brodsky does not explicitly speak of the unconscious, but when he says that the surest defense against Evil is extreme individualism, originality of thinking, whimsicality, evenif you willeccentricity15 (and I would add comedy, folly, madness, and all excess), then the unconscious does come into play, or does if we believe that what gives us our originality is our unconscious and not our conscious desires. Further, the example that Brodsky gives of the prisoners act shows that he understands that the logic of the drive is a logic of excess. This is very obvious in the case of pleasure, which is a logic of more, of encore, an additive logic. Pleasure very obviously wants repetition, continuance, extension, and prolongation. Such excess disturbs and disrupts consciousness, and, because it can do so, it makes an impact. But accepting a logic of more pain or even metaphors of pain, or inventing new signifiers and images of pain, although we need them as much as metaphors of pleasure, is far more difficult and we ourselves resist making them. The resistance comes from the opposition of the erotic drives to the pulsion of the death drive and its immobilizing force. Classical tragedy and the Passion of Christ, focused on the crucifixion, give eminent examples of the immobilization by excesses of pain and death, and of the metaphorical conquest of pain. 5. Paigallend: Ethics and Freedom Krosss text presents fundamental images of unlocking or locking, opening or closing, escaping or staying, and of flight or fight. There is the literal thematic of whether Timo and Eeva will be able to escape, but underneath this surface action code, which is frustrated by Timos last minute decision not to leave, is a fundamentally philosophical and ethical issue. It is the issue of freedom as the interplay between desire and law. What is Timos own personal law that he must obey and what is his desire that he must not destroy? And how can he, given the paradox of

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desire that he is, make a choice that will both free him and bind him to be who he is? Timos decision to stay and to continue his writing under the cover of madness prefigures Krosss great master novel Paigallend, literally flying in place, with its grand metaphor of a static sublimation, or we can say a flying, a desiring, a fantasizing, or a writing in place. Flying in place is a painful metaphor in that it is an image of a bird confined and restricted in the exercise of its most fundamental activity. But it is also a pleasurable image in that flying is inherently a dream image of freedom, both spatial and erotic. It is bodily liberation, both internal and external. Thus, flying, even if only in a limited space and in a limited way, is still a way to continue to assert ones essence: the human drive for selfsymbolization, sublimation, love, and an ethical thinking that is a special human privilege and the consequence of its unique condition. Paigallend is an image of the drive once again circling its object a, its unobtainable object of desire. This passion in stasis, as one might also call it, is not a rationalizing away of what is happening, nor a numbing of the soul that eliminates any feelings of pleasure or pain, but a continuing passionate responsiveness and working throughpsychically and existentiallyof what remains and what is, without the expectation of any help from anyone outside of oneself. 16 For a free bird, merely to be able to fly in place is to suffer. It is to suffer, not on a cross, but while flying. Flying in place is a new metaphor for suffering that displaces the Christian metaphor of crucifixion, which figures so prominently in this text and in Timos thought. Timos sudden decision not to escape takes even Timo himself by surprise, and his finally unsatisfactory, partial explanation of it (because it is not explicable) attests to his freedom, or to the mysterious free play of unconscious pain and pleasure in him. The decision emerges from what Lacan calls real time, the time of the emergence of the unconscious, which disrupts our chronological and conscious plans. There is allegiance to pain in Timos decision, but there is also jouissance which is the mixture of pleasure and pain. This jouissance is significantly (given his oral torture) a pleasure of taste, an oral pleasure, the tart taste of rowanberriesbecause of these berries, I cannot go anywhere... (italics mine). But the taste is also an identificatory union with another prisoner, Count von Pahlen, who stays in place and who says that it is the tart taste of his oranges, the most northern in all of Europe, that keeps him from escaping. The irrational cause of the berries is Timos primordial archaic inclination to bitter taste, to what is not pure pleasure. And this sensation of taste is his guide to his singular desire: I had a handful of rowanberries Id picked off the tree, and, without thinking, I put some in my mouth...

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Maire Jaanus He pulled a cluster of rowanberries out of his pocket and held it in front of her face. Seehere it is... He put his hand on Eevas neck and pressed his face against hers, squashing the orange berry cluster between their lips. He said, And I understood: let them do with me what they wantbecause of these berries, I cannot go anywhere (280)

He surrenders to the jouissance of berries, passively, naturally, as to his originary food, his originary place, his originary desire, where he is lost to himself and self-forgetful, like an object released from the burden of language and the burden of being a subject. Fulfilled in the way that only a primordial want or desire can fulfill us, he loses the impulse to act; what he was previously invested in doesnt matter. The rowanberry is life, a determined life at that, in that it is a fruit; it is life in fruition, and what makes fruit ripen and bear is union is love. Thus, he turns to Eeva as he always could, in trustful love. And as Timo responds to the potential loss of his country with resistance and anguish, he discovers and grasps once again what he loves, what place and what person. Passions are a guide to truth and bring certainty and peace. As Lacan says: But I am asking where the peace that follows the recognition of an unconscious tendency comes from if it is not more true than that which constrains it in the conflict?17 The conflicted desire to go or to stay is resolved in the sudden decision to stay, and the near merriment and peace in Timo that accompanies the decision tells him it is his own true desire. However, as the iron nail in the body of the empire, Timo represents the intractability of pain, its ineliminability, and its unforgettableness. As the iron nail, he is what calls into question the paradigm of power maintained through torture, cruelty, trauma, or what in Estonian is contained in one word, vgivald or violent, tyrannical power: But for me, the only right place to be is the place where I am being forced to remain! To stay therelike an iron nail in the body of the empire... (279). At this moment, he is in fact not forced to remain, but chooses to remain in order to obey his own inner law and destiny. And he knows that he is giving in to a darker impulse in himself by doing so, because he says if he went anywhere, it would not be to Switzerland, but to somewhere beyond Irkutsk, which is on Lake Baikal at the far end of the Soviet empire, close to the Mongolian border. The metaphor establishes his identification with suffering and idealism, with his military and Christian ancestors who came to Estonia to christianize it (which, as he said earlier, is the only thing that gives him the sense of a right to remain there). It elaborates his narcissistic, bodily fantasy as one of service and purpose. It also establishes his self-identification as a soldier who obeys the categorical imperative never to flee from a battle (278), and it asserts once again his identification with von Pahlen, whose dictum was that those who

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want revenge go abroad, but that those who want something more important stay at home. These identifications are part of Timos imaginary-symbolic identity, and they are in inner opposition to his identity-lessness and self-loss in jouissance. The image of the nail gives him a different kind of pleasure than do the berries. It is a symbolic pleasure because the image makes meaningful his pointless suffering and pain. The meaning and purpose that the image lends him come from its association with the crucifixion. In the image, he is merely the nail and the suffering body is actually the Russian empire or its Tsar. In his account of an extraordinary hallucination in prison, we have the background for this metaphor, which fuses his body with that of the empire or, in particular, with that of Tsar Alexander. As the hallucinatory Tsar scene makes clear, Timo has an intense identificatory and mirroring relationship with Tsar Alexander. It is a highly idealized and romanticized master-slave relationship, which masks the true nature of the master and of the relationship. Timos fantasy is that Alexander is suffering because of what he has done to his friend and that he, Timo, is on the Tsars mind (124). He imagines Alexander coming to his prison cell and praying to Christ on his knees to release him of the guilt of conscience that Timo is for him. He wants Timo to ask Christ for forgiveness for his transgressions (1278). For Timo, Alexander is the necessary other to whom he sacrifices, the indestructible support of his play of pain.18 The relationship persists because the other never responds. What Timo in fact desires is what he makes Alexander desire in his hallucinatory scenario. The revelation of the need for forgiveness of the son that the emperor prays for is Timos own desire of what he wishes the emperor would feel impelled to do. It is a typical identificatory drama of aggression and guilt, hatred and expiation, sacrifice and domination. We can read Timos deepest imaginary want for human and fraternal love from his creation of this scene. It is a humanized, Christian image that covers up a brutal power relationship. Such an idealized vision of the sudden transformation and end of all evil, which finds its climax in the Book of Revelation and its vision of the end of all pain, is what the Lacanian category of the Real calls impossible, and what Krosss text also criticizes and contradicts. But the personal and psychological importance of this mirror scene lies in Timos imaginary way of resurrecting himself via the other and as an other. A profound transference is operative which enables Timo to recast himself as a sufferer in a basic Christian and human context (a transference that defends him against the inhuman actuality he is in). It is an imaginary act of self-stabilization. Later Timo understands that his portrait of the Tsar was a selfish way to rid himself of guilty knowledge of the real conditions in the empire. It was a narcissistic act of self-cleansing in which he projected

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onto the You what the I wanted (that the other should kneel, plead, be concerned), which revealed all the false expectation and demands that the I has of the You. As Timo says, he believed in the Tsar, but he believed what he wanted to believethat the Tsar was his own ideal ego, which he can only wish to be. Belief creates trust and a relationship, but in this instance the mutuality is both imaginary and grandly arrogant and such signs as there are that contribute to Timos idea of his importance to the emperorthe cigars and chocolate (123), the piano, the paid debt, Georgs rapid promotions, the sons educationmay just as well be the eccentricities of someone who is either sadistic or insane himself (78). What Timo seemingly never gives up is his original belief in the possibility that his belief in the Tsar, which he now knows was untrue, might have been true, and that then the course of history might have been changed by his writings. The belief is an inner, unconscious choice on Timos part of belief over disbelief. And Timos choice, which affirms trust over doubt, is the opposite of the narrators. The choice is underpinned by a deep conviction that the fundamentally aggressive master-slave relationship currently existing between human beings is actually an erotic struggle rather than a pure power struggle, and that it can become a different relationship of equality, compassion, and sympathetic identity (i.e. of romantic Mitfhlung and Einfhlung.) The vision of the body-politic in terms of the nail and the body of the empire is a vision of the significance of the individual within the political-social collective, and of the need for the individual to be a nail or a source of pain in an evil political body even if that entails pain for the individual himself. If we grant that words wound, that language can cause pain, that we have a nonbodily source for receiving and giving pain (namely, the language center itself in the brain), then the iron nail itself is finally Timos writing. When the narrator asks Timo who the adversary was in his battle, Timo replies that it was the Tsar and the tyranny he represents. And when the narrator asks further: But Timo... in that battle, could youdid you have the faintest hope of victory? Timo answers with assurance: Of course I did. That hope was what I relied upon... Because I was hoping that he would not be able to endure it. That the Czar wouldnt be able to endure it to the end... [endure] gradually killing his former friend. (125) Timo, the Christian-romantic, was idealistically hoping that a Sadean delight in killing did not exist, that there was no such reality as a desire for murder. The suffering Christian body was invented to halt the unbearable and endless suffering due to death. Its meaning is the fulfillment of a universal desire: the desire for immortality. Christianitys revolutionary

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turn to the suffering body enabled it to make of the body an image of a limit placed on death as one would wish a limit placed on power. Timos suffering as the nail in the body of the empire is to halt the endless suffering due to the sadism of political power, which is another ancient and deep desire. The suffering Christian body was used to cover the body in pain, the body given up to death. Thus, the crucifixion became an image or phantasm covering the void. Lacan calls the crucifixion the apotheosis of sadism,19 while acknowledging that this was a brilliant answer to the psychic pain and knowledge of death, and an answer rightly placed on the body itself, where death occurs. Timothys very name recollects the Christian leader and companion of St. Paul to whom two of Pauls epistles are addressed. However, as Timos continued service is to a dead emperor, his destiny is, in a sense, to suffer and be crucified without ever receiving salvation or consolation from an other or a living master. Timo never sees his torture as merely his own brute and blank destruction by tyranny; he sees it as a trial, a test, an agon within a historical context of such challenges. Among such sufferers, Job was able to abdicate his desire for meaning and surrender to mystery only when God himself finally spoke to him out of the whirlwind.20 Timo has no such God or mystery to surrender to, and yet he does surrender, but it is to himself, to the mystery of his own being, to his unconscious choice and destiny. Above all, the action that strikes him as necessary reveals his inner law, the ethical law that always demands the sacrifice of some pleasure. Pain, says Lacan, is a correlative of the ethical act.21 The law is the curbing, delay, or castration of some pleasure. It is originally the surrender of the object for the mere word, the emptying of reality of its living sensuousness. Lacan calls the assumption of ones own unconscious ethical law, the assumption of an experienced desire,22 a desire that we must assume although it is not entirely for our good or our happiness. Timo makes a final assumption of a now mature, analyzed desire for reform and change; an assumption that he already knows will not be fulfilled and that he sees no prospect of being fulfilled by his militarized and regimented son. In experienced desire Timo literally re-experiences his original desire and reasserts it in a radically de-idealized and deheroized way. Most importantly, with the metaphor of the berry and the nail Timo acknowledges himself as an object. He acknowledges the sovereignty of the object over the sovereignty of the subject. Before and after language we are an object, or less than that, we are merely waste matter. To understand and accept this fact is at once to accept the law of language and its other side, which is nonsense, meaninglessness, death, and everything else that is not in our control because it is on the other side of language. This hard-earned insight produces a momentary surrender to the register of the Real, which is in fact Timos surrender of his sovereignty as a symbolic subject. When one surrenders completely to

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being voided, one can begin again. That is the only possible form of resurrection in actual and ordinary existence. The scene of his decision not to flee affirms the beauty of the unconscious and how its sudden appearance brings the gift of freedom to consciousness, and even if this gift is a desire that is paradoxical, painful as well as pleasurable, it is oneself that one is brought to, to ones own law. The berry and the nail make visible the paradox of desire in Timo. They are his new sanity and consciousness. The eruption in us of such freedom is the essential antidote to seeing existence skeptically or nihilistically as mortal, inconsequential, and predetermined. A culture that limits the human to determinism and materialism, to being a product, a socio-historico-economico-cultural construct, must still account for the figures of Eeva, who is too unbroken (229), a slaves whip in the empires bosom (346), and her madman, Timotheus von Bock. It has to account for a hidden free agency that is not free in the old, heroic, conscious sense of a Kantian rational free will that one is entirely in control of. The mysterious, unbidden unconscious experience which Timo bears within him, its vividness, and its surprising force on himself and on those around him has a power far beyond any outward experience forced on him. 6. Pain, Belief, and Culture; the Narrator and Repetition One cannot only believe in pleasure. One must also believe in pain. One cannot only believe in goodness and truth. One must also believe in evil and lying. Kross is the greatest chronicler of Estonias suffering, colonization, and survival. He reminds us that the issues of pain, evil, and lying are important because what one believes about these matters, the attitude one takes to them, has fundamental implications for ones culture and what one transmits to the next generation. Do trauma and pain represent a life of slavery, as Marcus Aurelius believed? Is pain a sign of the loss of freedom and of falling away from wisdom as the Stoics taught?23 If this stoic teaching were correct, then one would have to say that Christ himself fell away from wisdom when he consented to his crucifixion. Christs consent to pain is precisely a negation of the Roman idea of pain as slavery, and of the body in pain as a defeated body. Clearly a revolution in the classical paradigm of pain and pleasure occurred with Christ, as it did again with de Sade; one proved that the reaction to pain can be modified by strong belief, the other that it may be so modified by strong desire. Timos life represents yet another new turn/trope in the history of pain and suffering. Spiritual regeneration, as Michael Dash has argued in the case of the Caribbean, requires not only the reiteration of injustices done in the past or of the facts of spiritual loss, privation, and dispossession, but also a stress on the techniques of survival, adaptation, and the emergence of a colonized culture that liberates the oppressed from the negativity of pure

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protests.24 To isolate and trace the complex culture of survival in Estonia, one has to look to the counterculture evoked by the dominant culture to combat our tragic environment, and one must analyze, in particular, its acts of small pleasures and pains. What energizes a culture is the emergence of new metaphors and a new consciousness. And it is this new consciousness in the narrator that is the final achievement of Timo and Eeva. Masing once said: Nothing is stronger than love... but there is something else, I dont know what: philosophy most likely (17). The emergence of a new consciousness is the final philosophizing of Jakob the narrator. Jacob, Timos Estonian brother-in law, begins his journal in 1827, the year of Timos release after nine years of imprisonment and torture, and ends it in 1859. He describes the difficulties of trying to write under conditions of constant surveillance and censorship and of his compulsion to record Timos endurance and troubled emergence from direct physical and mental torture. Above all he seeks to comprehend and weigh the value of the passions that drove Timo and Eeva, Timos wife, to make the ethical commitments and sacrifices that they made compared to his own more moderate choices and his desire for a peaceful and normal life. In Jakob there arises a repetition, though in a less dramatic and clear form, of the inner meaning of Timos life. In a sense he assumes Timos pain. He comes to suffer, as did Timo, from his thoughts and an inability to control them (302), and from a constant lowgrade anxiety. His unconscious assumption of suffering, and specifically of the burden of Timos mission, is clearly announced in his identificatory dream of a crucifixion, where it is uncertain who is to be crucified, whether it is he or Timo (25860). Jakob knows that in relationship to violent power there is escape, conformism, collaboration, dissidence, or protest through inner withdrawal (which power also does not assimilate very well). Initially, it is Jakob who in a sense escapes or withdraws from the fundamental problem of Timo: the problem of the occupation, of the colonization, of the surveillance, and the limitations, insecurity, paranoia, and need to hide that come with it. He retreats to normal life, to the comparative safety of bourgeois domestic existence, to wife, child, house, and vegetable garden. He defects to the ordinary, the everyday, the relatively unproblematic. He is the one who fundamentally attempts to flee and forget the entire problem of the colonization of the Baltics. When Timo refuses to escape, the narrator says angrily that Timo wanted to destroy the empire but that he destroyed himself instead (212). Later, the narrator comes to realize that perhaps he is the one who has destroyed something in himself, namely love. Jakob abandons the woman he loves because her father was a suspect traitor (and possibly the murderer of Timo), (341) not realizing that he is the father of the woman he does marry as well. In his effort to avoid betrayal, Jacob betrays his most intimate desire; he betrays what he loves, whereas Timo dared boldly

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to love his Estonian peasant, as boldly as Eeva, Jakobs sister, defied everything and everyone to love him back. Jacob comes to admit that his love for Iette was the deepest love I have ever felt. It is so great that every time I think about it, something still rejoices and comes alive inside me, and then subsides with a kind of sweet pain (301). In rejecting her, he lost something that made him feel alive. He discovers that his voided, blocked, and attenuated desires have left a pain that has hollowed out his self and left him empty. He comes to the humble realization that the discourse of his own desiring body or embodied self is a more powerful discourse than that of caution, doubt, and reason. He also comes to realize that he cannot rid himself of this unconscious discourse of desire; Iette remains alive in his dreams. Then, when his first-born son dies the same day he is born, on the day that is also Timos birthday (281), he realizes that he must act to do something to check death and the erasure of their experience. It is the narrators final ethical responsibility to decide what to do with Timos writings and his own. He decides to give Timos manuscripts to Eeva and his own diary to Timos son (3478). But neither he nor we know at the end of the novel whether there is any hope that the son of Timo will this time read all the writings to the end as he did not do earlier (3179), whether he will destroy or forget these writings, or whether he will take them into his heart.

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Notes
1. My discussion of pain employs, above all, the ideas of Lacan. But two other valuable books that inform my discussion are David B. Morriss The Culture of Pain and Elaine Scarrys The Body in Pain. The Culture of Pain is an excellent and broadly historical discussion of different perspectives and approaches to pain. Morris is opposed to a predominantly medical approach to the control of pain and he believes that the other nonmedical methods, techniques of pain control, and the functions and purposes of pain should not be repressed. Elaine Scarrys The Body in Pain addresses a great many issues brilliantly (see my review), but it does not address the psychoanalytic dimension. Scarrys understanding of pain is primarily imaginary and symbolic. It assumes that pain is eliminable. Her thesis ignores the more complex dialectic of simultaneous and overlapping pleasure and pain in the organism, which makes of pain something that can come to be desired and of pleasure something that is avoided. For Scarry there is first the need to alleviate pain and then the cultural labor that does that. Thus she focuses on the material and empirical answers and solutions to bodily pain and imposes a Marxian-Hegelian dialectic on the body and its affects. This works for the body as organism because material and cultural creations do alleviate bodily pain. And this works for the imaginary because the actual production of the imagined does satisfy the imaginary and its demands. But insofar as psychic pain is the consequence of a knowledge that language specifically brings us (namely the knowledge of death) and therefore in some part can be alleviated only in the symbolic, is a problem that her approach does not deal with. 2. Kross, 1993, 97. Further references to this text appear in parentheses. 3. For an analysis of the zone of the mouth both in Freud and Lacan, see my Inhibition, Heautoscopy, Movement in the Freudian and Lacanian Body. 4. Opposite vows are made in the text that also characterize the speakers: Timo vows to tell the truth to the emperor; Jakob vows to be silent to his sister. In the course of the narrative, Timo learns to tell the truth within the silence of noncommunicatory madness and Jakob, with his decision to pass his diary on to Timos son, learns that certain truths must be rescued from the potential silence of history. 5. For example, the scene of his stormy proposal (9) and the scene in which he defends the age of Christian chivalry (a period with which he identifies) and condemns the ethics of his contemporary German nobles (3234). 6. More, 1965, 634. 7. Lacan, 1992, 82. 8. Ibid, 304. 9. Ibid, 261. 10. Ibid, 212.

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11. Freud, 1962, 24. 12. The Odyssey, 1974, 165. 13. Brodsky, 1999, 389. 14. Lacan, 1992, 104. 15. Brodsky, 1999, 385. 16. The critical scene here is the one where the hero realizes that the outside world will not respond to his desperate SOS calls for help. 17. Lacan, 1977,118. 18. Lacan, 1992, 261. 19. Ibid, 262. 20. Morris, 1991, 145. 21. Lacan, 1992, 108. 22. Ibid, 303. 23. Morris, 1991, 162. 24. Dash, 1995, 199.

Bibliography
Brodsky, J. (1999), Less Than One. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux. Dash, M. (1995), Marvellous Realism: The Way Out of Ngritude, in: B. Ashcroft, G. Griffiths and H. Tiffin (eds.) The Post-Colonial Studies Reader. New York: Routledge. Freud, S. (1962), Civilization and its Discontents. New York: W.W. Norton. Jaanus, M. (1986), Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World, Critical Texts, Spring/Summer: 258. Jaanus, M. (1990), Inhibition, Heautoscopy, Movement in the Freudian and Lacanian Body, Literature and Psychology XXXVI, 4: 126. Jaanus, M. (1997), The Ethics of the Real in Lacans Seminar VII, Literature and Psychology XXXXII, 12. Kaplinski, J. (2000), Eesti dekoloniseerimine, Eesti Ekspress, 2 veebruar. Kross, J. (1993), The Czars Madman, trans. by A. Hollo. New York: Pantheon Books. Lacan, J. (1977), crits. New York: W.W. Norton.

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Lacan, J. (1992), Seminar VII: The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, J. A. Miller (ed.). New York: W.W. Norton. More, T. (1965), Utopia. New York: Dutton. Morris, D. B. (1991), The Culture of Pain. University of California Press. The Odyssey of Homer. (1963). New York: Anchor. The Odyssey. (1974). New York: Norton Critical. Scarry, E.. (1985), The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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Postcolonial Subjectivity in Latvia: Some Signs in Literature Inta Ezergailis


The new freedom brought by Soviet departure meant renewal to Latvians, but it also presented the populace with a new set of problems and choices. It was not only about the establishment of new political, social, and economic systems or demographic issues left by the occupation, but also about the existential question of where to make a connection with the past, and how to establish an ethnic, national, political, even a personal identity. The Wilsonian republic, established in 1918, went through a Russian occupation in 1940, then a German one (19411945), and survived a second Soviet rule as a Soviet Socialist Republic for 45 years. Even though the first president of the renewed state shared a name (and a family relationship) with the last one of the first republic, one could hardly pick up where one left off a century ago. The long occupation had left its mark and could not just simply be bracketed out or erased. Where, then, was one to look for models? This search is reflected in the literary texts written in the ninetiesperhaps more dramatically than in political debate or argumentative expositions. In this essay I will look mainly at some texts of the novelist and short-story writer Gundega Repe, a member of the generation that grew up under Soviet domination, a generation that was strongly active in Latvias own velvet revolution. Repes texts present various sources and models including ancient pagan traditions, the age of the feudal German barons, the first independence, attitudes bred in resistance to the occupation, the influence of Western Europe, and the blandishments of American-style capitalism.

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The Raveled Past Early in Gundega Repes novel nu Apokrifs (Apocrypha of shadows) the protagonist Nna visits Mra, an acquaintance from her days at the Academy of Art. The young Mra, mentally ill after bearing a stillborn illegitimate child, lives by the sea with her parents. Her name immediately evokes ethnic associations to Latvias earlier incarnation as the Land of Mraa pagan, perhaps syncretistic, Latvian goddess tempting one to read the novel on both an individual and a collective/national level. Such a reading seems especially appropriate with texts like this, written in the decade after regained independence. Few if any of them are allegories, and surely Repes novel is not one in any defining or limiting sense. Still, episodes like the one with this schoolmate hint at concerns with individual and collective identity that arise out of the post-Soviet situation. What has been born? How is one to keep it alive and nourish it? Can you go back to some old model of personal and social subjectivity? If so, which of the many older conceptions of state and person could possibly serve? New national definitions can at times be regressive, particularly for minorities, and especially women. In post-Soviet Eastern and Central Europe, new ethnicisms and nativisms sometimes appear to be in opposition to progressive views of womens rights.1 Should one accept the mixed blessings of the free market? Does preserving some of the preSoviet traditions merely produce a society of museums? Gundega Repes prose raises some of these questions. It is also prose that is worth examining for its formal aspects and its aesthetic, moral, and metaphysical content.2 Here I will look at it primarily as documentation of the search for possible new identities after half a century of enforced Soviet models that, to some extent, also influenced constructions of identity that were formed and/or preserved in radical opposition to them. My essay will be centered mainly on Repes Apocrypha and some of her shorter prose, but I will also refer occasionally to another post-Soviet novel written by Ilze Indrane in the same period. As Nna enters the yard, Mra is sitting in a rocking chair, taking apart a sweater. The narrator refers to Mras father, interrupted at mowing grass, as Mrastevs (Father-of-Mra), and her mother, frying what Nna tentatively identifies as flounders, as Mrasmate (Mother-ofMra), contractions that lead one to think generically. Here she sits..., Nna thinks, the jasmine scent, the Baltic Sea washing against the shore, the Renaissance has decayed into Mannerism, life seems over. Nothing much left to do. Taking apart a sweater.3 The references to Renaissance and Mannerism derive from the young womens shared experience at the Academy, but in the emblematic presence of the Baltic Sea, they also suggest the renaissance or rebirth of the nation and the inevitable disillusionment with political and ethical mannerism in its wake. Does the old sweater need to be discarded, taken apart, reknit, or replaced

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entirely? Here, the answer is not promising. Mra, Nna realizes, is not capable of knitting anything new. The obvious next candidate would be her own mother. But it turns out that she is blind. As Nna escapes the depressing scene, the narrator comments: But I notice that the woman was ashamed about her flight. I also know the question that churns in her headwho will knit the yarn that Mra has unraveled? (13). That question never gets a definitive answer, but there are many suggestions as to material and pattern. The title of the novel suggests complexity and layering: nu ApokrifsApocrypha of shadows. Repe invokes both the uncertainty of shadows and the lack of authorization that characterizes the apocryphal.4 It is not enough that there is no authorized text or traditioneven the uncanonical version seems to be a palimpsest. The layers of Latvian history deposited in itones that a reader needs to read to understand Repes people and the events they remember, experience, or dream aboutinvite a social, political, and spiritual archaeology. If there is an authentic inscription underneath all these layers, Repe, like most of the post-Soviet authors, does not pretend to have found or identified it. There is much in the book that tells of the half century of Soviet occupation. Many family members and friends of the main characters have made the trip to Siberia; not all of them were lucky enough to return. We get a brief glimpse of life in Siberian exile as Nnas mother Natalija answers the daughters query about her strange name (Nna, with a long i, is not familiar in Latvia). The name, it turns out, comes from Natalijas friend Nna in Siberia, who brought food to her when she was starving and later fell through the ice, while Natalija was unable to save her. Nna, at first, is furious that her mother would name her for a drowned girl, then realizes that she was named for someone who was generous and helpful. The past has many faces. This is true of all of the post-Soviet societies. Thus George Konrad, in his novel Stonedial, ponders how to talk about the forty years between the Hungarian uprising and the fall of Communism: Were those 40 years nothing but a mistake, a detour, a waste? Didnt they read or write anything worthwhile in those 40 years? Didnt they ever find their sweethearts gestures endearing? Or have a decent cut of meat, drink tolerably good wines? Didnt they ever take their children skating or to a ballet class? Or gaze at the stars?5 A similar ambivalence pertains to the German occupation of 1941. It is an experience that bears a burden of confusion and conflicted feelings in the memory of many Latvians. After a first wave of deportations and other atrocities by the Soviets, some initially felt the German invasion saved

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them from the heavy Soviet hand, and, more unrealistically, that under the Germans there was still some slight chance of reestablishing Latvian independence. This ambivalence toward the German invaders is reflected in much fiction. Thus, in Ilze Indranes popular novel Putnu stunda (Hour of the birds), written in the same register as Repes novel, the protagonists daughter Zilgma is granted a brief lyrical love relationship with a young Latvian soldier in the German army before a chronic illness makes her bedridden for the rest of her life. And in Repes novel Juta, the mother of Haldors, Nnas lover, has saved, for more than fifty years, the letters of a young German soldier with whom she had an affair. Now old and ill, she tells Nna that she has undertaken to answer each one. Is this an attempt to encounter the memory of a time never fully faced in all its implications? Surely these memories haunt many. Alse, the protagonist of Indranes novel, searches for the soldier Emils in lists of the dead, the missing, and the returned, even after Zilgmas death. Repes novel does not dwell much on the first Latvian independence period (19181940), though some of her stories do, but the connection between the periods is generally a given in a country where, at the time of the writing of this novel, the president was the namesake and nephew of Karlis Ulmanis, the last president before the loss of independence. The ambiguity and ambivalence that characterize attitudes to the various occupations, however, extends to the new independence as well, particularly to the more problematic implications of the culture of capitalism. There are the expected mentions of McDonalds, jeans, and other cultural imports that permeate everyday life and language. In Indranes novel, Gena, son of a Latvian and a Russian, serves as an example of the unfortunate result of the long Russian occupation and its aftermath. Not only does he mix Latvian and Russian, he will say: Vot tas ir bizness! the Russian intensifier and the American borrowing swallowing the neutral Latvian that is in the middle. Deeper critique hits the post-Soviet arrangements that have to do with social injustice. After the miracle of independence, the time on the barricades, and the idealism of the Popular Front, come disillusionments, as former owners repossess properties in city and country, bulldozing farms to build kempings (in Hour of the Birds), or, as in Apocrypha, fencing in property previously considered public, such as rich mushroom hunting woods or fishing streams. Told that mushrooming would henceforth be allowed only in state forests, Nna complains: One would think that those owners had planted the mushrooms with their own hands. Everyones gone nuts! If we all just acquiesce, she protests, well have baronial autocracy. And her lover Haldors is even more enraged by one of the new owners putting a fence in the middle of the stream and collecting tolls: [] here, here is my country, I belong here, but now an overfed hog with signet rings on his fingers and an earring in his nose, with three bloodhounds at his ass, asks for five lats so I can row through

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his sacred property (111). Perhaps this also serves as a perverse reminder of the barricades. Such repossessions of property can entail evictions of helpless inhabitants and squatters. Nnas husband Rauls takes part in expelling several old people from the hotel for which he works, one that is reclaimed by a Latvian-Canadian. To Rauls, it is progress, a new life, getting out of the Bolshevik shit. In response to such an unthinking reaction, Nna, who sees the suffering and confusion on the faces of the pensioners, asks the question that, I believe, is central to most of the literature written in Latvia since the new independence: Who are you yourself, then, Raul? Where, underneath all this thick layer of political, cultural, and personal memory is the new identity, collective and individual, that is to go with the new state? And some of the complexity involved in answering this question is also intimated in this very exchange between husband and wife. Rauls answerIn any case, certainly not a Soviet man,is clearly not sufficient, a failing Nna is quick to diagnose. As with all such binary definitions, the seeming opposition on which it is based privileges the primary aspect (here, Soviet) and restricts the Other to simply that which this term is not, a radically confining strategy. Nna agrees, with a remark that expresses an attitude mercifully characteristic of much postSoviet writing: It seems to me that is not nearly enough. 2. The Positive Moment The merely negative will clearly not do. The Hour of the Birds, which also tries to find some foundation for a new identity, finds the process no less daunting. After her invalid daughters death, Alse wants to burn all her own belongings along with those of the family; it would be best, she thinks, to set fire to it all and level the ground for new houses, for the roots of other trees and humans.6 But, as she asks herself who will do the leveling of her farm, she realizes that new societies do not get built by negating the past: Is it going to be Adolfs sons from Rga? Or the heirs of Lota from Germany? Vain speculation, as though I didnt know who rolls around with the tractors and bulldozers, either Pu Gustaks with a three-day drunk or his cousin who sleeps under the caterpillar tires and does not look for a soft bed. The insight into the impossibility, perhaps undesirability, of such total erasure becomes quite clear as she generalizes from the farm to the whole country: Its just such men we need to level the last ruins of this land, so that finally one could build and live justly and right.7 In that novel, most of the choices offered are not tempting: the opportunism of Alses daughter in Rga, Alses own isolation, total at the end, as the crumbling farmhouse collapses over her head, or the marginal existence of her nephew Vilmars, who fights a losing ecological battle. Alses own options seem to vacillate between the stone of the farm buildings, a solidity that now is giving way, and the dream of flight that

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winds through the novel and provides an illusory moment of transcendence at its end, as Alse is dying. Neither the seeming stability of stone nor the escape of flight offer a promising prospect for building a new society. Alses death occurs at the break of day, an apocalyptic moment at the end of one state of being and the beginning of another. ATMODAS stunda (Hour of AWAKENING), she calls it, and the author capitalizes the same word awakening, the word used to describe the activities of the Latvian Popular Front that helped bring about the second independence (besides the 19th century cultural Era of Awakening, it was also the name of an important newspaper that appeared during the fight for freedom from Soviet occupation). It is an hour where there is still no battle over mating, no quarrel over food and housing, no division of hunting grounds. There is only awakening, awakening, premonition of awakening []. Right away, right away the world will be an other. The hour of birdsawakening will be past.8 But the battles over food and housing and social arrangements have to be faced if one goes on living. The evanescence of that privileged moment is also invoked by Repe, as Nna recalls the euphoria of the barricades. For her, it is a materialization of the inside, a rare experience that has to do with a deep sense of identity. Her maternal grandmother Puka, she thinks, was inside during the last years of her life. In spite of, or because of, her experience of exile and death she was a warm and accepting presence, unlike Natalija, her daughter born in Siberia, who carries the cold into her marriage and childrearing. The time of the barricades was, to Nna, also such an inside, although [] to return to it causes her pain, even shame. A disgust with the rattle of flat patriotism prevents her from such return, but, maybe, if one tries very cautiously, slowly, and with just a few glances, the original might not be spoiled. She is thinking of January 1991 in Rga, the barricades, a moment full of life. This understanding and the volcanic spasms of feeling shatter the woman through and through, some prison wall goes down, even a small opening to the most hidden safe of the soul, almost a burial ground, is open. She is all alive then, and this sense of aliveness is what characterizes Nna at those moments when others comment on her being somehow different. (75) That moment figures in many post-Soviet novels, along with an often bitter sense of the disillusionments bound to come with its difficult institutionalization. Repe, in Apocrypha, touches on it very gingerly in the above meditation, and again at the meeting of Nna and Juta, as the former recognizes in the mother of her lover the gray barricade, the old

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woman who sat in the cold for days without a hat during the protests, and to whom Nna had brought one of her knitted caps. Im not about to return your hat, says Juta, before Nna has even remembered the occasion,I have knitted you a new one. Unlike Mra, she has not unraveled old material, but made a new piece, one to perform the function of the old, but not an imitation. City and Country In the recurring juxtaposition of rural and urban settings, which is also prominent in other texts by Repe, we can see another aspect of the attempt to find orientation, rootedness, a clear connection to the past, interrupted but not fully ruptured by the era of collectivization. Nna feels bad about not wanting the inheritance of Virzisievi, her other grandmother, who worked her own plot of land after a full day at the collective farm with a flashlight hanging from her neck. Her love for Haldors deepens and is consummated in the idyllic setting of his familys farm, among fields of valerian, streams, meadows, and Jutas drying herb teas. When Nna sees the farmstead, she cannot hold back her shock at its authenticity: Will your mother come out dressed in national costume holding a kokle?9 she asks ironically. Instead, Juta provides another more recent kind of authenticityshe is the gray barricade at the dawn of the new independence. Which past, then, should, or can, one connect with? There is some desire here to bracket the times of feudal slavery, preserved in the castles that the government rehabilitates and tourists visit. When these are featured, the past tends to be rendered nostalgic, covering over the abuses of the lords and the beatings of serfs. It is the pagan groves and heathen worship places of the deeper past that are left for us. Life in the country seems closer to that tradition. In Hour of the Birds the rural life is much more strongly privileged than in Repes novels, while its certain demise is foregrounded throughout. Alses farmstead has lasted this long only because of its isolation. In spite of the vanishing of the old rural life, it is during episodes in the country that most of these figures gain strength for their political, existential, and intellectual challenges. In Hour of the Birds, it is Vilmars, the ecologically aware outsider, who may yet save some of what is worth saving. In Apocrypha it is both the country grandmothers lore, if not her lifestyle, and, most importantly, the reviving atmosphere at Haldors farm, that enable Nna to leave Rauls and start to come to terms with her past. She refers to the new Latvian state as re-animated, a term used for efforts at the Emergency Unit, where extreme measures are applied to bring the seemingly dead back to life. Nna herself is gradually brought back to life after her deadening existence with Rauls. One could even argue, in a Jungian vein, that the reanimation is aided by various animusfigures: Rauls, Haldors, Erlands who committed suicide. But it is not some 3.

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perfect bucolic return that is envisioned here. In spite of affection for the rural life, all these authors make it clear that an easy bridging with this tradition is not possibleneither on the level of family continuity, nor on the level of the forgetting-and-remembering that is immured in museums. The task of self-reinvention as Nna witnesses it in the city does not look promising either. The city is exciting, bustling, and confusing: the city-gentlemen and ladies of the new free nation, dressed now in nice little Boss jackets and Lagerfeld dressestheir faces left over from the cubistic paintings of Picasso and Braquefragmented, disconnected (18). Reading society through the convention of fashion or, as Repe sometimes does, through paintings, is reading the collective through the individual. In turn, Nnas individuality is greatly determined by the common experiences of her family and nation. This kind of reading back and forth indicates that neither level is authoritative, that there is no authentic, authorized text underneath. It is in the city that Nna is imprisoned. In a sado-masochistic episode, Rauls has tied her down to a chair for days. Eventually, she flees. This recurrent pattern of flight is established early, as a street artist tells her to get away, to flee. To Nna, this is a prophecy of her life to come. After escaping from Rauls imprisonment, Nna tries several times to escape Haldors, who never restrains her, finally fleeing his house, and, at the end, flying to Norway and not coming back, as the novel ends with husband and lover waiting in vain at the Rga airport. It is striking to see such images of imprisonment in a post-Soviet text, images that could be more readily explained in Soviet-era novels such as Alberts Bels Cage, where a long imprisonment in a cage was often read as an allegory of Latvias political situation. At the fence in the river, as Nna protests, the fisherman asks: Didnt you yourself scream for freedom? He is performing his own version of freedomcapitalist enterprise. 4. Freedom But what is freedom, then? In dreams, freedom could be seen clearly against the reality of oppression. Now it is not so simple. Surely it cannot be equated with Nnas repeated attempts to escape. The final episode of the novel, with the two men angrily staring at each other as the plane arrives without Nna, is not necessarily about female liberation. Nnas escapes have been revealed as evasions a number of times, not so much escapes from bondage as attempts at avoidance. She has gone to Norway, presumably to settle an earlier disturbing episode, a brief one where she has slept with Erlands, the male half of a Norwegian couple who have taken her under their collective wing. Erlands, stricken by guilt, commits suicide, and the event haunts Nna. Her failure to return at the end of the novel, then, ambiguous as it is, may speak to her failure to deal with this aspect of her private past. Shortly before Nna leaves for Norway she has one of her richly layered dreams, one in which, in a kind of coda,

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many of the figures of the novel appear in an absurdist painting of sorts. In the center of it is Haldors, who is lying in a glass room, bound by chains of pearl (invoking Snow White and, perhaps more specifically, Rainis canonical Latvian play in which a princess in a glass coffin, a clear allegory of slumbering Latvia, is rescued by a wise peasant simpleton). The dreaming Nna attempts futilely to tear the bonds, as dangerous prows of ships threaten to break the glass. What are you fighting, even in your sleep? Haldors asks, as he shakes the screaming woman excitedly. I had tied you down, but then []. I wanted to hold you forever, you were happy too, and yet []. (172) The real freedom, the one that is not identical with constant escape, eludes all. What was she screaming for at the barricades? Not the illusory, wishful idyll of the countryside that is just still barely visible in the seeming serenity of Jutas farm, as it is in the crumbling beauty of Alses world in Hour of the Birds. Not the grandmothers post-Siberian resigned sense of securitywhat more can happen to me? Nor the tenacity of the other grandmother who has stubbornly held on to her small freehold through the long era of collectivization, only to find no one willing to continue cultivating it. The men do not present much hope. Either they have escaped, like the fathers of both Nna and Haldors (Not much can come of the offspring of such fathers, comments Nna, invoking perhaps more than just their individual fates), or they follow the new order without thinking about it, like Rauls, or they drink themselves to death, like many in the countryside. Self-invention Nnas escape, then, could hardly be a sign of hope. Her mother Natalija, too, escapes, as she goes off to join her husband who has established a more comfortable life abroad. Given her incapacity to nurture Nna and her eventual decision to leave, Natalija is no model for a viable self-construction either on the individual level or for the new state. She has, Nna ponders, neither an inside nor an outside. The grandmother Puka is all inside, while Natalija, a psychiatrist by profession, changes constantly: Every day, mother somehow grows from nothing, like a straight and fast bamboo. No, this is no mere expression, her old self gives birth to a new one every day (82). This may seem an appealing non-essentialist, postmodern model, but Latvia is a country of oak and birch, not of bamboo. In any case, it makes it clear yet again that subjectivity and identity formation is central to the text. 5.

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Haldors, as I indicated, is different. Like Nna, who is a perfect city dwellersophisticated, ironic, as well as a mower of grass, milker of cows, and mushroom gathererHaldors, a man of the generation that is asked to establish the new identity, is a figure rife with contradictions: gentle and caring at times, at other times unpredictably brutal, an amateur philosopher and painter and policeman, a man who has been married to a German journalist from Holland, whom he lost in a deadly accident. Like Nna, he has footholds both in Rga and in the country. Like her, he is aware of divisions within his family. Like her, he is unsure about permanence and commitment. Given the ending and the dream that precedes it, perhaps he is the allegorical figure of the dream whom Nna is to disenchant. This would be a reversal of gender from the Rainis play, where the national symbolic is represented by the female. It seems, though, that any disenchanting will have to wait. First, Nna has to decide who she is herself, and for that she cannot wait for Haldors to help her. They need to define themselves apart from each other before they can be together without dependence and resentment. Thus it is wise of Repe to leave it unclear whether the two can possibly stay together. To say, implicitly, that this is what we have to go on, that these are some of the traditions and the qualities available, is to hint that this union, though it may be difficult, is somewhat hopeful because these two are trying to be aware of their differences and their shared past. In the earlier story Stigma, a similarly unlikely pair, Malle and Klauss, represent some small hope for starting new life after the destruction of the planet. 6. Interventions Looking at reality in its varied refractions, examining various reflections of the past in memory, art, and dream in order to make sense of the relation of past to present, is an activity at the very core of the novel. It is also part of its structure. As Guntis Berelis stresses in his review, the intrusive presence of the narrator is nothing new. But then very little is new, and for us latecomers the important test is not necessarily what we add to the large reservoir of existing themes and devices but how we treat them. And Repe does work the narrator/character duality with interesting tension. For one, the narrator does not always know what goes on in her protagonists mind, let alone be able to control her. She introduces this hesitation early, just after Nnas escape from Rauls. The narrators conceit is to pretend that she does not know her character as yet and is gradually coming to know her, from the outside in, as she describes her outward appearance with some care. Her eyes are not just gray but uniformly gray, without even the slightest bit or twinkling spark of another tone [...] (10). Nna is in-between, gray, indeterminate, especially as those eyes evince a constant expression of surprise or

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amazement as the author locates her experiences in the setting of an uncertain post-Soviet reality. The landscape and situation into which the author sends Nna at the outset is also strikingly vague. She had originally intended to go to Salacgrva. Why Salacgrva? If the bus stop at which she impulsively gets off is undetermined and random, a wooded area, as it turns out, an hour from the Baltic Sea, then the original destination had been just as capricious: Nna cant tell what stop it is where she suddenly gets out, not waiting for Salacgrva. It doesnt matter because Salacgrva was just the first spot on the map of Latvia that came into her head that morning (10). Startled by Nnas scream as she awakens after dozing off, the narrator yet again examines her from the outside, approvingly, then slowly starts to look deeper. Periodically, we are reminded that the narrator is watching her characteris she ashamed? Is she hungry? Eventually, the narrator lets us see that she knows more about Nna: I am not surprised by the ease with which Nna enters on a strange road, going to strangers. She almost never is aware of boundariesat least those which are considered risk zones. Hindrances, barriers, only stir the banal desire to cross, to arrive at the unknown, tstra the other side. But she also knows that the true boundaries are in the individual, not in the view from the guard tower in a dead zone protected by barbed wire. (72) The narrators I appears briefly at the euphoric moment by the barricades, as she sees Nnas single-minded commitment, and reappears at a moment of misunderstanding between Nna and Haldors, when she wants to help them: I want to cast a bridge between them, but have no idea from what to fashion it. Perhaps just a separate life vest for each? (77). It is not clear whether she has decided on the latter rescue at the end of the novel. The most interesting aspect of these interventions, however, may be the back-and-forth between the narrators sense that she can indeed do what she wants with and to her character, and the uncertainty, as she claims not to know what Nna will do, what she is thinking. Thus, Nna becomes a self-in-process, let loose in a confusing world, to explore the possibilities, a kind of scout. One has put her out there, and at times feels sorry for her (let her sleep, lets not wake her yet), at other times one would prefer not to see the necessary pain that one has exposed her to: I dont dare look into Nnas mother-of-pearl eyesit smarts, it stings, I cant tell what the expression is, I would like to turn away, I [] (140). As Nna leaves the haven of Haldors family farm, the narrator appears to lose not only control but also understanding of her protagonist:

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For a moment, while her hands have still not gone numb from the heavy load, her eyes mist over, but then they light up with obstinacy in a distant desire unfathomable for me, known only to her (162). At the conclusion of the text, the tension between the narrator and her creature has become a contest. Through the clouded windows of the airplane, Nna dares to look at the I of the novel: There, on the inside, she feels safer. Her mother-of-pearl eyes betray a deep triumph. She is convinced that she has carried off a victory over me (173). It is not up to the novelist to control this woman-in-process, emerging from a series of dependencies, flying off on an errand that has to do with a past not worked through. The two men, waiting in vain, also acknowledge the power of their inventor, but they do not appear to have any of the mutuality with her that Nna has. Their resentment is one-way, while, throughout the novel, the narrator has insisted on keeping alive the vital tension between Nna and herself. Her heroine is a woman of city and country, of intellectuality and downrightness, daring and helpless, a bundle of contradictionsthe many-hued clay for the post-Soviet woman. Early on, speaking of Nnas naked body, the narrator comments: In my opinion, she is quite good-looking. Everything in Nnas body that bears witness to her femininity is unfinished [] If God had managed to place heavier accents, her life would surely have taken a simpler, more common shape, one less challenging (12). Repe needed to leave her up in the air, witness to a process still very much on-going, unfinished. 7. The New Sweater Materials for finishing the body of the woman/nation abound in this novel. Along with references to the old rural life of fishing and gathering herbs and mushrooms with its overwhelming scent of valerian in the fields (also rife in Hour of the Birds an attempt to forget? A calming of the chaotic, conflicting elements?), to the farm museum on the one hand, and to urbanized cosmopolitan living on the other, as well as to outside cultural borrowingsMcDonalds, jeans, and Western European fashionsthere are numerous mentions of art. These contexts offer various possibilities for constructing a renewed ethnic and personal identity. Besides the general opposition of city and country, varying landscapes contain specific reminders of the past and warnings about the future. Getting off the bus and starting down the forest path, near the outset of the novel, Nna is a little afraid of boars, bandits, and the bombs from World War II that had been exploding here and there for some fifty years. This explosive potential hints at the whole inheritance of the relatively brief German and the long Soviet occupations. Political and moral bombs from that history will keep exploding for a long time. Near the end of the text, returning to Rga, Nna finds pot-smoking punks, parents with their children at the handily emblematic McDonalds, tourists

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taking pictures at the Freedom Monument (where, she sardonically observes, even Bill Clinton had told the little nation that he felt their pain), limousines at the embassiesa lively multi-cultural cityscape. Then she turns off into some of the smaller side streets and finds utter desolation and emptiness. What war had passed through here? she asks herself, the Livonian? The Polish-Swedish? Perhaps the Great Northern? See if perhaps you can find in the gutters some nagaika, at least a pizhik10 [] (166). What she finds there instead is no more promising for memory to build on than those devastating warsonly flattened cola bottles and condoms. Shattering an outlived notion of self and finding pieces for a new onea similar preoccupation with individual and collective selfinventionrecurs in a number of Repes texts. Many of them share a similar structure: a young woman who arrives from a kind of outer space in a place and time utterly different, reflects on her earlier life, and undergoes some radical change. In the case of Nna the new space is the farm and the natural life of Haldors rural family. Coming from Rgas bustle and her imprisonment in the apartment, she feels this as a temporary release into what she believes to be freedom. It does not turn out to be that, and we leave her in the air, not knowing if she will return to either of those places. The farm, though closely connected with contemporary Latvian events through the gray barricade, is still in some ways the farm from the museum that Nna sees with some ironic detachment when she arrives. It is only the mother who furnishes a tie between the new independence and knowledge of old country ways. In any case, it is a life that might just as well be on another planet, though it provides yet another facet in the mirror in which Nna is trying to recognize her self after her childhood in Siberia, her growing to adulthood in Soviet Rga, and her witnessing the struggle for national autonomy, then finding that her own autonomy was still very much in doubt. In 1998 Repe published a volume of short stories by the title Red, which centers on women faced with traumatic changes and challenges in the process of reinventing themselves. In the story titled Cinnabar, the alienation between the two worlds inhabited by the central female figure is even more extreme. The time is an unnamed ancient period, and Aurelija, whose brother Markuss has drowned during their escape from a far country on the other side of the sea, is rescued by Alberts, a strong primitive fisherman with a greenish beard. Alberts family takes in the foreigner, who never learns to speak their language but lives among them until she attempts a mystical union in death with her beloved brother. The girl is never quite able to adopt the new ways which greatly differ from those of the warlike society from which she comes. The man who loves her, the lonely hunter Rimvids, different as he is from Haldors, shares with the latter a combination of gentleness and a potential

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for violence. And, again, the problematic male becomes a catalyst in the self-understanding of the woman. As in Apocrypha, a range of possible female identities is offeredfrom the masculine military existence Aurelija has known in childhood, to the lifestyle of Alberts wife Gaja, an erotic earth-mother, to Gajas twin daughters, who are Amazons of sorts. As in the novel, the motherly woman holds a special place, but it is not one that the protagonist can or wants to imitate. Repe not only puts her women into various extreme situations but also opens more room for indicating their individuation process by showing their inner life and furnishing them with dreams and visions. Still, this is a rather strange variety of the Bildungsromanwhat the young women learn is never clear. We do not get Goethes Wilhelm who is sent out into the world well equipped to contribute to it in ways that we come to see; nor is this the paradoxical Bildungsroman of Thomas Mann who sends his Hans, newly enlightened, into the hell of World War I. Rather, the author introduces us to a flawed, unsure female protagonist and gives us some samples of modes of life and association that we might offer her. The heroine may or may not accept our choices, as she does not obey the preferences of her creator. More like Hans than Wilhelm, Nna and Aurelija appear to evaporate at the end rather than go forth to a waiting world. It seems clear, nonetheless, that a search for understanding, for a new identity, stands always at the center. In Apocrypha, a self-division was implied in the hybrid quality (Latvian-Russian) of Nnas name and in the relationship between protagonist and narrator. For Aurelija, the split is inwardin her ambivalence about her rescuers and her refuge and the small feminine possibilities available in her old world. Kamilla, the central female figure in Carmine, the second story in Red, also stands between places, between times, and between men. Her name, like Nnas, hints at that position gently. It is not common in Latvia, and, at the outset of the story, one of the characters mistakenly addresses her as Karmena. Like Nna, she is escaping a bad marriage. For her, there were also other unfortunate experiences with men during the eight years she had spent in a Russian town, her absence from Latvia implying that she had not been present during the fall of Soviet domination. The male characters, though variously and dramatically presented, remain rather mysterious, ranging from the man back in Russia who, for reasons we never quite discover, finances Kamillas research trip back to her native Latvia, to a former school principal who now runs a gas station. The women in this story also present various possibilities of selfhood, though at first most of them repel Kamilla. This is true particularly of FierkundzeMrs. Fisher, whose newly re-bourgeoised status shows in her clothing and in her repossessed rental properties. As the conflation of the Mrs. with her Latvian last name indicates, she is now effortlessly fused with her bourgeois capitalist

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identity, of which Kamilla is highly critical, particularly its manipulative and calculating side and the smooth-waxed living room with its candlesticks, paintings and collected works. Yet Fierkundze, too, has her surprises, and, at the end, forms part of the small saving remnant that has, it turns out, been on Kamillas side all along, in spite of the appearance of small-town rancor and pettiness. The surprising and unexpected aspect of Fierkundze may have to do with her fourteen years of Siberian exile, during which, she once dryly admits, she had tasted bark. There is more to her than Kamilla can see behind the new-capitalistlandlord front. This is also true of the woman doctor for whom Kamilla at first does not feel much respect, but who turns out to be another true mother. The elements for a new female identity may well lie hidden among the rubble heap of the past, and one has to look carefully to find and cleanse them. Kamillas assignment is to find out everything about the life of Ceclijawho is dead, and who, we gradually learn, has lived her life backwardsbecoming, at birth, an old crone and growing younger until she commits suicide to avoid having to choose new parents and enter a new womb. The assignment given by Kamillas employer is to track down Ceclijas body, which is not in her grave, and which is coveted by scientists ready to take it apart and study it. In the end, this sacrilege is prevented by the conspiracy of several of the chosen, as they smuggle out the body, burn it, and perform a funeral rite over the pyre, ending with a feast and Mrs. Fishers amen. This ritual resembles the end of the last story in this volume, where the woman is exiled and disappears into or becomes flame, as well as Aurelija in the first story, who burns the wolf she believes to be her alter-ego brother and then herself. Elisabeth Bronfen, in Over Her Dead Body: Death, Femininity, and the Aesthetic, writes, in a chapter titled Sacrificing Extremity: The construction of Woman-as-Other serves rhetorically to dynamise a social order, while her death marks the end of this period of change. Over her dead body, cultural norms are reconfirmed or secured, whether because the sacrifice of the virtuous, innocent woman serves a social critique and transformation or because a sacrifice of the dangerous woman reestablishes an order that was momentarily suspended due to her presence.11 The communal aspect of Ceclijas burial strongly suggests that some new order may be established here, though (or perhaps because) its main characteristic seems to be the difference between the various mourners. But what does Repe intend with the strange story of Ceclija? Here we literally have to piece a woman and her life together. We do not find out much about Ceclija, except for the many lovers she had, the one husband,

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and the daughter who is left, living with her mothers last lover. It is as mother and lover that Ceclija becomes important. In the post-Soviet Baltic, there is much talk about liberation of sexuality on the one hand, and, on the other, great emphasis on the mother, as the Baltic ethnics worry about their demographics and encourage multi-child families, but the two aspects rarely converge. Repe seems to show at least some possibility of Eros and motherhood coming together. With Gaja (whose name points clearly in the motherly direction), sexual vibrancy comes in a strong maternal presence. In Repes novels and stories relatively explicit sexual scenes abound. It may be the combination of Haldors vital sexual appeal and the presence of his mother (who, we saw, is in a sense also one of the mothers of the nation) that makes the farm so attractive to Nna. In Ceclija, too, an assertive sexuality is linked with at least a symbolic maternity. Kamilla connects her more closely to the latter, as she mentions that her mothers name was also Ceclija. If mother had not died so early, I would have had a Motherland, she comments. [The Latvian word for land that she uses does not have a gender association, but she does not say tvzeme, the commonly used fatherland]. She continues, describing more precisely what she misses: [] a home. An I thus clearly connecting the mother to identity, both collective and individual. The retrieval of Ceclijas body from dissection may be the sign of a larger retrieval toward which these texts point. The process of going backward is partly a resistance to the temptation of selective forgetting, but also a warning against mere nostalgia. 8. The Alchemy of the Self The central conceit of Red is the color of the title. Each shade of red, each story, has a brief encyclopedic introduction that explains the composition and derivation of the dye it represents. Though the information must simply have been taken from a reference work, it points toward aspects of the color that connect it to central concerns in the stories. Repe stresses, in each of these short prefaces, the immense concentration necessary to achieve the final individuation, the small amount of recognizable particular substance. With cinnabar, she starts out with the process of crystallization, mentions that it occurs in mercury ore and that of all minerals, it has the highest power to refract rays. Refraction and a sense of elective affinity characterize many of the relationships in these texts. For carmine, she cites the derivation from female plant lice and the yield of one kilogram of dye from 150,000 animals. Similar processes of concentration and refraction play a part in the psychological transformations, failed or successful, of the protagonists. Most of Repes characters are nothing if not mercurial, and refraction, the bending of rays as they pass obliquely from one medium to another of a different density, describes the interaction between these entities well.

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Some transformations are well-nigh alchemical, though Aurelija cannot meet the Dionysian demands of the red gown that Gaja has made for her, as, in spite of coming to love the family and Rimvids, she cannot separate from the warlike totalitarian society of her childhood and adolescence. This may reflect Repes critique of writers and critics who cannot free themselves from the puritanical restraints of soviet literary prescriptions, an anger she has expressed in her essays as well. Kamilla resists and ridicules what to her seems like the narrow horizon of the small town until the dye gradually seeps in, and the final crystallization of the small insights into the people she has too readily categorized occurs as they meet over the last distillation of Ceclijas bones. Some of that attitude, like Kamillas other mistrusts, could be ascribed to what she calls her paranoid experience as a Soviet citizen. Twenty-nine years of that regime had not only massaged me into a shrill cynic, but had made me into a lithe, quick animal with an unerring sense of smell and wary fear of any attempts at domestication.12 In all persons, she admits, she sees a double lining. But the end of that regime presents problems as well, evident in Kamillas ambivalent sense of freedompersonal and collective. As in Apocrypha, Repe is concerned here with the formation of subjectivity, now that the social constraints that played on its formation have changed so drastically, as well as with the meaning of the freedom that she and her contemporaries had longed and fought for. Now that it was here, what did it mean, especially for the individual? The personal new life that Kamilla enters to some extent reflects the problems and possibilities of the new collective existence. She feels the excitement of an infinite space in her belly and wonders: Perhaps I will be able to call it freedom.13 Still, that kind of body mysticism will not be enough. In the meantime, she has to start elsewhere, where she has never been. Rigonda, the small town where she settles to do her research is only 12 kilometers from Rga, the slight distance reflected in the name. But its important that it not be Rga. It may not be wise to start at the center. Nor should one start with the too-familiar. Everything is new, she finds, Everything must be new [] Though I feel threatened and small, I am newly created. Thats how it should be. A stranger in a strange place.14 Early on, though, she inevitably finds the mistrust of the others meeting her own, and realizes that you can never start clean, that it cannot be that easy. My thirst for freedom, diving into the first sentence of the introduction to an unknown biography, has been clipped in the first move, she fears.15 Ceclijas living backwards may be the acknowledgment of precisely that problem. With autonomy, the nation and its people were born into a new state, but they were also old in experience. Not that Ceclijas fate can in any way be taken as a literal parallel16 hopefully, regression to infantilism will strike no one as an option.

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Kamilla has tried, in various ways, to stimulate this process of liberation and individuation. At the moment of her divorce, she recalls thinking ecstatically: [] dont cripple your will, Kamilla! Listen! Its everywherein the body, in the subterranean drive toward being and affirmation that ache in the consciousness, in the trembling expansions of the spirit. Hear and distinguish the true call from the fake, God from Satan. Then you will not sin, then you will be yourselfthe master print of His original. Knowing yourself. Spiritual hygiene. Means to realize in yourself the Womb of the World which will not be constituted by any man. I am the beginning and end.17 Disillusion is sure to follow, and does. Even Ceclija, Kamilla guesses, must have been subject to error, perhaps including her suicide: Was Ceclija wise enough not to lose her mind when she became a young womanafter the fiery course of three husbands and thirty-three lovers, after the saltily desperate race of looking for her being? More likely that she could not stand the burden of fear.18 What is at stake in this seemingly ecstatic search is the more prosaic task of maintaining the impetus of personal and national liberation among many disillusions. Unlike Nna, who participated in the barricade actions of 1989, Kamilla is absorbed by the deaths of her parents during those events and finds that the external tumult does not help her to resolve her internal one: Here everything was dead, though in 1989 Latvia roared and thundered, pulled into an avalanche of words. There was no silence. The decades of muteness dissolved the present in an indeterminate chaos of freed words.19 Indeterminacy is frightening. The mystique of red permeates the stories. Kamilla remembers a visit to the eye doctor in childhood, where she is told to concentrate on seeing red. Though at first she concentrates so hard that she only sees a rainbow of bubbles, a Dionysiac red is envisioned in the story. To bring back sex, the body, sensuality, to inject an erotic vitalism into all aspects of the new life has been part of Repes project all along. Next to the apartment that Kamilla rents from Fierkundze lies a park that, in the old days, had been quite a marvel: [] all the four alleyslinden, ash, oak, and maple, had been lighted, luring all the winds of heaven to the center of the crossto the green bronze Dionysus who had spurted clear water from all holes that the sculptor had afforded him. Now Dionysus has returned to Olympus,

Postcolonial Subjectivity in Latvia but the nostalgic mortality of autumn leaves rots in the pond.20

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Dionysus absence becomes part of a dismal scene where Kamilla mourns other absencesmother, home, self. Outside in the park, the winds no longer run to the well of Dionysus to stir up a wild passionate swirl and excite the pond into unruly, foamy waves. Dogs of darkness, somber figures of their masters, the glow of cigarettes.21 This Dionysian longing complements other strong impulses in Repes prose, such as the search for individuation and clarity of vision that is usually classed as Apollonian. In any case, in her emphasis on the body and sexuality, Repe partakes of the post-modern temper of mind where, it can be claimed, the discovery of who one truly is inevitably flows into discovering the true nature of ones sexuality, by whatever means.22 At one point, as she is tempted to remember some of her lovers, Kamilla promises herself: We decided that in your new life you will not trouble so much with your reflections in glass and in the biographies of men. Well look for Ceclija. It is important for someone in this world.23 She may be implying that she is not the only someone. In small-town Rigonda she finds much to dislike, some of which, as I mentioned, she will reevaluate later, but it is a movement and a change from her life in Russia. The Ceclija expedition, she finds, asks me to be reborn into another condition. Latvia asks me to be born into a different quality. In principle, I have nothing against that because I was so tired and disgusted with myself, so left-over. I say in principle, though I have no principles yet. They depend on Ceclija.24 If in Apocrypha the fate of the woman protagonist is rather explicitly tied to that of her country, the parallel is there for Kamilla too, though she repeatedly tries to separate herself, physically and mentally. The very excess, the chaos she distances herself from is akin to the excess of vitality she describes in Ceclijas life and to the vitality of the re-born state, old but new, living to some extent backwards as it connects itself to the earlier decades of independence and much earlier ethnic traditions. It is perhaps in this sense that Ceclija is the blind one who teaches us to see.25 Is this a warning against search for impossible returns? Since the meaning of Ceclijas fate itself is by no means clear, the process of finding identities is very much open. The important attitude, and perhaps the only honest one at the moment, seems to be a kind of persistent oppositionto the puritanism of the Soviet period, to facile thoughts of living backwards, to the blunting of spirit involved in some aspects of the new condition. It means, finally, not just opposing past or present conditions, but incorporating those very oppositions into the work, of holding them in the suspension of the text where various characters at times hit one extreme or another, within that somewhat safe, though notquite-closed, container.

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Persistence of the Past Ceclija is consumed by flames at the end, her body saved from science and buried in a ritual attended by those who were, in various ways, touched by her life. Fire, that final transformative agent, appears repeatedly in Repes prose. In the third part of Red the mystical Mila Melka, a dangerous seductress, has been exiled from another militaristic puritanical state whose citizens consider this too small a punishment: Expulsion from the state where Mila Melka had been merely a trampimmigrant from nowhere seemed more a vindication than a punishment. This was a disappointment in the just court and law of the country.26 The soldier who accompanies her to the border sees her disappear as a flame. The bonfire that Aurelija lights at the end of Cinnabar burns the wolf that Rimvids has shot and which, to her, has represented her brother Markuss. After the remains of the wolf are burned, the figure of young Markuss rises and melts into the horizon. There are aspects here of sacrifice as well as of exorcism and transformation. In the burnings, there is both an attention to the past and a purification, if not destruction, of it. Acts that are central in these texts are the gathering or putting together of bones and going back (but not living backwards). Nna not only returns to the Rga she has fled, but then goes farther back into her past to revisit the scene of Erlands suicide in Norway; Aurelija dreams of going back. This, however, is a double-edged pursuit, as illustrated in the fate of Ceclija. Though the latter is important to Kamilla, she is hardly a model. It is probably because of this that the bones must be destroyed to prevent the scientists and academicians from taking samples and reproducing Ceclijas backward-living capacity. Reliving the past, or being nostalgic about it, is not helpful in either the personal or the collective quest. One needs to go back, individually and collectively, to remember history, to face guilt and trauma, to piece it all together. But one needs to maintain a strong foothold in the present while doing that. This is the juggling act of the postcolonial identity. Though there is much mention of the new life, it becomes clear to Nna and Aurelija that it cannot be lived without reference to the old life. For Kamilla, Ceclija is the link to a period that she has not experienced and a reason for her to return to the country and then the city that she has not been eager to revisit. Continuity is at stake for the other characters as well, and it is of course a major issue of the new independent state as well: should one simply repress the half-century of Soviet domination and, as seamlessly as possible, link up to the short-lived first independence? What can one gather from pre-history and history in order to purify, to crystallize in the fire of consciousness, to construct a new life and a new identity? Similar concerns already appear in Repes Seven Tales of Love. Stigma features a motley group of employees from a publishing house who, after attending a Vilnius opera performance of Othello, are suddenly

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thrust into a post-catastrophe world without humans or animals. They drive through the countryside, fight, make love, go over old affairs and grudges, supply themselves from fully stocked farmhouses and apartments, finally ending up in Berlin. It is a Grand Hotel scenario. Again, there is something almost utopian about the world left to these time travelersthey can take what they want of the ample supplies of food, gasoline, cars, and other conveniences; they can choose houses and apartments to their liking, swim in (apparently unpolluted) streams. But, as they soon discover, it is more of a dystopia in the absence of any other form of life. Like Kamilla and Nna, they insist on returning, in this case to Latvia, and on their return there is a slight hope: around the old farm building where they stop, someone has walked recently. There are footsteps in the deep snow. Most of the characters in Stigma carry some past individual or shared traumabad marriages, failed love affairs, spying for the KGB. In this they stand for the collective need to deal with the past. The sudden rupture, as they emerge from the opera performance into an estranged world suggests the break in national history occasioned by independence, though of course the latter is very much a welcome rupture. They do share the challenge to sort out, to reform, to think through relationships among the survivors, to form new alliances and re-examine the past. Their burdens tend to represent some of the collective problems from the period of independence, and particularly from the German and Russian occupations: young Malle crosses a class line that had been perceived as problematic in her liaison with the chauffeur Klauss; Bertrand has been North and lost his family; another member of the group suspects her father was involved in killing Jews. Their meanderings across Europe widen the historical field of choice. The group tours all the major capitals of Europe, with frequent stops at museums, cathedrals, and other repositories of Western culture. There is also a reference to the danger of Western materialism and the glut of consumer culture, as some of them lug clothes, toys, and other wares from the well-stocked shops. One of the women has brought blue, yellow, and brown teddy bears and bunnies for her boy and shows up carrying innumerable packages and, under her arm, a long fur coat made from arctic fox. An implicit question might be: what can we use from all this baggage, this heritage? Art, religion, technology, consumerism? Much is offered, as goods and inventories proliferate in the textplaces, pictures, plants, architecture. In the end, the main gift to their country, to which they decide to return, is the child Malle carries, a child conceived in the hiatus between psychological and political states, by two people who would not have come together were it not for the catastrophe.27 An ethnic specificity reasserts itself upon their return in the emphasis on traditional rural geography, as Repe carefully enumerates the classic farm buildings associated with Latvian agriculturea low, gray, log house, a sauna, a

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stable: Around the house, toward the sauna, near the barn and the threshing barnsomeone has lately walked with broad, steady steps.28 The steps are fresh, amid great expanses of clean white snow. Time has been obscured throughout the description of the long journey, but now it could be January when borders, states, and bridges have been crossed, and a sacred weariness guides them into a snow-covered forest pasture.29 A time of beginnings, perhaps. But, then, as Repe has often made the reader aware, one has to be skeptical about following in anyones footsteps. Homecoming, in some form, is central to several of the stories in the Seven Tales volume. Rokalne points this out: the opposition own house/strange house (in Latvian house and home are one, and strangesvesindicates not so much quaintness or exoticism but simply something alien, not ones own) is, for her the main dualism, from which all the other polarities arise.30 In Strange House, the woman tries to bring her lover home. After he dies (there is a highly intentional ambiguity about this death), she drives his body around in his car and ends up at the strangers house again, only to find the lover alive. I became a road over which you wentfrom nowhere to nowhere. I too will once go, I always go, since I am a road. From the strangers house to mine. To our house, because, you see, that one, from which there is no return, is ours. Rokalne points out that in both Strange House and Stigma, life returns when the emotional and ethical problems of the characters have been unpacked and clarified. The house, the native country, thus represent both a point of departure and of return, but the movement is not simply a closed circle. The return has to be earned and occurs at a different cognitive and emotional level than the (postulated, never shown) departure on the journey. In the final section of Seven Tales, The Opening of Seals, Veronika writes to Knut Hamsuns Lieutenant Glaan: When we meet in the hut in the woods again, you will be wiser and I will be wiser, as long as we will know how to remember. The returns do not always materialize, but they are always in the wings. Aurelija dreams of her cruel homeland, Nna goes back to her apartment, from which we witness her escape at the outset of the novel and, eventually, to Norway, the site of her original sinanother attempt at clarification of responsibility and emotion. We do not know the outcome; nor can we tell which home her own home is. Surely not the apartment she shared with her husband, perhaps also not the farmhouse of her lovers mother. Most likely it is half constructed, unfinished, like the woman herself. The house, like the fiction generally, is not an allegory, though from the above one could claim that it exists in an intimate interaction with the self. In Apocrypha, the apartment in the city, the farm, and the other dwellings mentioned, like that of Haldors in Rga or even the briefly evoced hut in Norway where Nna has had her sexual encounter with the Norwegian artist, are all closely connected with stages in Nnas

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individuation. Beyond that, they are also reflections of a larger entitythe Latvian countryside with its traditions and its changed face, the capital after the new independence. In Stigma, the buildings that the group inhabits and visits connect them to European tradition, especially in art. As I noted, their return to the markedly ethnic, traditional Latvian farm site with its characteristic outbuildings carries associations of home and tradition. At times Repe conjures the language and social context of earlier eras or introduces elements of the Latvian past into contemporary society. This foregrounds problems that have been fundamentally the same for generations, though the particular manifestations may seem quite differentfamily relations, gender, love, the social nexus. In From the Owl to the Third Crowing of the Cock (Seven Tales), some of the identities seem transparent to earlier incarnations. The setting is the most telling. It is an old manor house called Edenfelde, dating from feudal times and German overlordship, that is being restored by four experts. The layering of the past is relatively clear herethe feudal edifice has given way to the degraded structure of the present, with a small shop on the ground floora tiny foreroom with a rotten floor and a storage room beset by rats. Nails, manure forks, sharpeners, suckers, margarine, and a salty bacon. On Thursdaysa nice bit of schnapps and a loaf. Fridays, Saturdays, Sundaysclosed.31 At the end, here, as in Apocrypha, there is indication of a new life: The ceilings are done. The buttocks of the amoretti preserved glowing between the rosy rosettes of roses. Summer is over. The store will be closed next year, and the manor of Edenfelde will start a new life.32 The irony about the rosy prospects is rife and evident. The past here is emphatically pre-independence, one of Latvian serfdom. The shopkeeper Matilde becomes the obsession of one of the restorers who sees through her the ghostly presence of an earlier occupant of the manor, Dorothea Anna Charlotte. As Franss sits through the nights watching Matildes window, scents from various eras mix: In the night air, the rotting of apples ripened in Dorothea Anna Charlottes orchard, the wilt of the green peels, and old, moist Russian gunpowder.33 In his erotic dreams, Franss addresses Matilde in various incarnations: Duchess? Communist? Gypsy princess? The lords tribute? During the night, a dead comrade from his army days visits and, among other mysterious pronouncements, tells him: We all are others, and others are we.34 10. The Women It is primarily a female postcolonial identity that Repes texts problematize. When she reviews Vizma Belevicas memoir Bille, she correctly sees that work as a female Bildungsroman, and, even though she perceives problems in that work, she feels that in the never-ending process of coming to oneself one could hardly do without this text that

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follows this girl from childhood to adulthood. She greets a work that can reflect the growth of a womans self in terms that do not sentimentalize or falsely aestheticize, and, importantly, one that unflinchingly faces the overlap between Belevicas early childhood during the last part of Latvias first independence, the brief German occupation, and life under the Soviets, an era that formed the sense of identity for most men and women living in the country today. Belevicas memoir is particularly germane to Repes explorations as well as to the postcolonial selfunderstanding generally, as it stresses the connection between the private self and the public sphere. No male characters in Repes work are followed as relentlessly as the women. Rokalne speaks of the more utilitarian role of some of the men in Stigma. Replying to Rokalnes comment on another story in Seven Tales (The Alien House), Repe herself stresses the individuation of the woman in the story: [] the sleeping man has left the woman orphaned. And she walks her own self-searching road of identity [].35 If one follows the more critical analyses of gender relations in the postSoviet societies, one might apply this assessment to most of them.36 11. The Communal One could argue, of course, that most of what Repe sees as problemssubjectivity, freedom, and relation to the past, applies to men as well as to women. When there is no clear identity, there is a possibility to invent yourself anew, but it should not be done either by jettisoning the past or by living it backwards. What one needs to do is question it. This is the reluctant insight of Nna, Kamilla, and the world-travelers of Stigma, who cannot shed their old problems amid drastically changed places and circumstances. Instead of finding easy parallels and clear messages, Repe revives the multiple pasts of the area, lets them play off each other, and shows the moral and psychological complexities that face any restoration. How is womens subjectivity connected to the male, how does it relate to ethnic and universal traditional images of woman, what affects its formation? Throughout many of Repes stories and in Apocrypha, interactions between the individuals in a group are vitalat times their shared past comes alive in old love affairs, or political or personal disagreements or resentments; at others, the conflicts in their present situation need to be aired, clarified, accepted. Thus, even though personal individuation, especially the coming-to-herself of a central female figure, is frequently central, there is also very often the level of the group, the collective, the nation. In an interview with Rokalne on May 22, 1992, Repe is asked whether she still believes what she had written in 1989 that she had faith in the awakened voice of the genes in Latvians. She answers that she believes in that voice, though it has shriveled almost to nothing. She sees an outlet for such a voice, but it will be nothing

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collective.37 Even though she claims to sense solidarity, she thinks it will have to start as a thin small stream. Self-realization and internal transformation may be necessary before the reformation of any collective voice. 38 Reading Repes texts it becomes clear that the new identity of the state must take into account the subjectivity of women. It should be evident from the above discussion that womens individuation and the contexts within which it can develop is at the center of Repes writing. Her women are modern, conflicted, and sexual. The latter emphasis is part of the reaction by many writers, male and female, to the desexualization of Soviet life. The author is not proposing some new model for the postSoviet Latvian woman, let alone the post-Soviet man, but she is raising questions about the possibilities and sources of a new subjectivity-inprocess. To realize oneself. What other assignment could an artist have? she asks in her personal memoir of the painter Kurts Fridrihsons.39 And she answers: Art does not resolve the problems of life. It sheds light on the ways and garden paths of the chaotically meaningful course of society. She shows Latvian women not only as little bourgeois landladies (who have their good points) and the good and not so good mothers, but also as women who were brought up under Soviet rule, who are faced with a liberation that is not always as personally enriching as it pretends to be, with men who are as confused and conflicted as they are, with layers of a past that offers itself as a possible new national mythbe it pagan, German or Russian-dominated, independent or the various models proffered by the West. Ellen Berry in the volume Postcommunism and the Body Politic, writes: Gendering the national body politic often renders invisible the material realities of individual womens lives as woman becomes the mute symbolic ground upon which transactions of nationalist history are enacted.40 Western feminists have learned not to dismiss too readily some of the seemingly regressive tendencies in postcommunist countries, such as womens desire to leave work and become housewives, ethnically driven nativism, or the feminine continuing fascination with beauty pageants, though there are real possibilities for losing ground here. Writers like Gundega Repe, who present the reader with a wealth of possibilities for womens lives (though surely none of them are models in the usual sense), should keep the problematics as well as the potential open.

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Notes
1. Jirina iklova writes about the Czech situation: As the enforced false ideology breaks down, many people welcome the freedom to return to traditions once forbidden. Young girls and boys are becoming nuns and monks; women are opting to stay at home. Freedom takes on different forms. This may give the impression that we are returning to patriarchy, but it is more a reaction to our recent past. (iklova, 1993, 76). 2. Anita Rokalne discusses many of these existential and metaphysical aspects in Rokalne, 1999a. 3. Repe, 1996, 13. Further references to this text appear in parentheses. 4. Apokrupteinto hide away, hence apokryphossecret, hidden. In Biblical matters, it is the part of scripture (variously) considered uncanonical, so Repes intervention here may be intended to come from a non-canonical standpoint. 5. I cite from the review in New York Times Book Review, 2000, 19. 6. Indrane, 1996, 10. 7. Ibid, 11. 8. Ibid, 242. 9. The best known old musical instrument in Latvia, practically identical with ethnicity. 10. These are references to Russian itemsa short whip and, possibly, a hat. I had some difficulty in determining the meaning of pizhik, even after asking native speakers. The importance of the reference, however, I believe, is its national coloring, whereas a cola bottle points toward debris of very recent vintage and provenance. 11. Bronfen, 1992, 181. 12. Repe, 1998b, 68. 13. Ibid, 69. 14. Ibid, 75. 15. Ibid. 16. As surely one cannot rush to interpret the tied-down Nna at the outset of Apocrypha as some emblem of the captive state. 17. Repe, 1998b, 91. 18. Ibid, 92. 19. Ibid, 113. 20. Ibid, 70. 21. Ibid, 87. 22. Atlas, 1999, 64. 23. Repe, 1998b, 77. 24. Ibid, 80. 25. Ibid, 123. 26. Ibid, 142.

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27. A child can often stand for a kind of wishful optimism at the end of literary texts, but it can also be a deeply ambiguous figure. 28. Repe, 1992, 122. 29. Ibid. 30. Rokalne, 1999a, 37. 31. Repe, 1992, 33. 32. Ibid, 42. 33. Ibid, 35. 34. Ibid, 39. 35. Ibid, 31. 36. At a conference more than a decade ago, Repe stated that she had recovered from the disease of feminism, that the latter had no roots in Latvia (surely a debatable view), and that it was not needed there. Whether these were contrarian opinions voiced in the context of a specific debate, I cannot recall. In any case, she tends to set her most subtle quests for identity within the minds and souls of women. 37. Rokalne, 1999b, 917. 38. In her volume about the Latvian painter Kurts Fridrihsons, Repe asserts the necessity for such self-realization even more forcefully. She even goes so far as to say: The flower of the adequate realization of personality is elitist in the best sense. Repe, 1998a, 42. 39. Ibid, 41. 40. Berry, 1995, 6.

Bibliography
Atlas, J. (1999), The Loose Canon, The New Yorker, March 29, 64. Berelis, G. (2000), Gundegas Repse vieta, kuras nav, Karogs, 9: 181 201. Berry, E. (1995), Postcommunism and the Body Politics. New York and London: New York University Press. Bronfen, E. (1992), Over Her Dead Body: Death, Femininity, and the Aesthetic. New York: Routledge. Indrane, I. (1996), Putnu Stunda (Hour of the birds). Riga: Karogs. Konrad, G. (2000), Stonedial. New York: Harcourt. New York Times Book Review (2000), 7/2, 19. Repe, G. (1992), Septi ststi par mlu (Seven tales of love). Riga: Rigas Komercbanka.

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______. (1996), nu Apokrifs (Apocrypha of shadows), Riga: Preses Nams. ______. (1998a), Pieskarieni. Riga: Jumava. ______. (1998b), Sarkans (Red). Riga: Preses Nams. Rokalne, A. (1999a), Poetiska Anatomija: Fantazija par Neizzinamo Gundegas Repses Proza. Riga: Petergailis. ______. (1999b), Zvaigznes supoles. Riga: Press Nams (reprinted from Literatura un Maksla). iklova, J. (1993), Are Women in Central and Eastern Europe Conservative? in: N. Funk and M. Mueller (eds.), Gender Politics and Post-Communism Reflections from Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union. New York and London: Routledge.

Labyrinths of Meaning in Aleksandrs Pelcis Siberia Book and Agate Nesaules Woman in Amber: A Postmodern/Postcolonial Reading Karl E. Jirgens
Pelcis and Nesaules non-fictional accounts of deprivation, torture and imprisonment during World War II venture through labyrinths of meaning to discover that empiricism and objectivity are ultimately impossible. Traumatic engagements with privation and the mutability of memory lead to an awareness that lifewriting must ultimately be epistemological. Any empirically-based will to truth is forsaken for greater mythological truths that combine provisional accounts of the self with actual events of the past. The hybrid literary forms of both authors break conventions of genre by combining elements of autobiography, fiction and non-fiction. These works are shaped by their postcolonial perspectives and their politically engaged postmodern stylistics. The will to truth would then have to be investigated psychologically: it is not a moral force, but a form of the will to power. Friedrich Nietzsche, Will to Power, No. 583c. A heavy pencil placed in my hands Jau Desmit gadu rakstu t. Over ten years Ive written so. Sniegs balo paprloksnes viet, Snow whiteness in the place of paper Ir jraksta ar lauzni cietu I must write with a steely pike Man vrsmas sve tundrj. My verses in this strange tundra. Alexandrs Pelcis, Ar Melno Vju (from the cover-jacket of With the Black Wind, trans. K. Jirgens) When I told Ingeborg about Lehrte, she said, It was a prison, and you were prisoners, which shocked me. No, I said, Smags zmulis man rok iedots

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it was like a prison, but we were not prisoners. Now I think it was a prison and we were prisoners, but it is impossible for me to find out the real meaning of so many things. Agate Nesaule, A Woman in Amber, 47. Alexandrs Pelcis and Agate Nesaule have provided accounts of their experiences during and following World War II. Much can be revealed through a comparison of the two authors texts. Pelcis as an adult was already an established author when he was arrested for crimes against the state. His crime was the writing of poetry. Years later, following the death of Stalin, and after 23 years in the Siberian Gulag, Pelcis was set free. He returned to Latvia where he wrote an account of his experience. Nesaule, at the age of seven, fled Latvia during the crush between Soviet and Nazi forces. Along with her mother she endured hostilities by Soviet forces, escaped to Germany, spent time in the camps, and eventually was freed. She journeyed to the United States where she became a professor of literature, underwent therapy to help her deal with the trauma of war, and wrote a book documenting her experience. Interesting similarities and contrasts emerge when considering these two accounts. Pelcis, an older male, was dislocated to Siberia, then returned to occupied Latvia. Nesaule, a younger female, was dislocated to the United States, and never returned to Latvia. Both writers endured extreme physical hardship, starvation and physical torture in various forms. Both experienced psychic trauma, recurring nightmares and a need to express their experience in words. Both wrote autobiographical accounts using ruptured narratives that are structurally postmodern and conceptually postcolonial. Both addressed the interrelationship between physical and psychic entrapment through their writing. Nesaules account is provisional, based on a very young, traumatized and uncertain memory. Her narrative acknowledges a degree of narcissistic projection and dismisses any final attempt at objectivity. By contrast, Pelcis offers a darkly satiric, dialogical vision that includes the perspectives of inmates, guards and others views embedded within his own. Both authors works are imbued with degrees of indeterminacy. Pelcis writing can be interpreted in Bakhtinian terms as a macabre carnival of death. Nesaules book can be read in psychoanalytic terms as a rite of passage. Both authors representations embrace disjunctions in narrative as a means of portraying a fragmented psyche. These two views are written from very different physical viewpoints. Pelcis text is set within the physically hostile and emotionally dead Siberian gulag. Nesaules retrospective is set in a socially hostile and emotionally perplexing middle-class United

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States. Both authors deal with escape from oppression. Pelcis writing features a lengthy physical entrapment followed by release from prison and the discovery that he still exists within a prison of the mind. Nesaule succeeds in physical escape relatively quickly, but much later discovers that she has been psychically entrapped for many years. Neither author is entrapped by the will to truth as defined by Nietzsche, but Nesaule avoids this trap more wilfully than Pelcis, whose plans are sabotaged by state censors. The will to truth that Nietzsche is addressing is empirical and quantitative. But such a will is impossible and more of an obsession than an experiential reality. With both writers the empirical gives way to the provisional and the epistemological. It has been generally acknowledged by historians and theorists such as Eksteins, Adorno and Foucault that any empirical version of history is ultimately unverifiable. I contend that purportedly empirical truths are of far less consequence than mythic truths. One only needs to consult accounts of First Nations peoples in North American history books written during the first half of the 20th century to recognize the subjectivity of interpretations by non-aboriginal historians. This tendency to distort, and the narcissistic projection of self onto the native as other, applies almost universally, whether we are talking about the plight of those at Wounded Knee, Chiapas, East Timor or the Baltics. The so-called truth is relative to the position of the observer. Of the witnesses to the Holocaust, the first and second World Wars, and the Gulag, only a few remain alive. As the Nuremberg trials have shown, and as the Literature of Witness emerging out of East Central Europe and the Baltic has demonstrated, these often traumatized eyewitnesses cannot always agree on all of the purported facts. Instead, history and personal or subjective accounts combine to generate networks or labyrinths of interpretations. Some of these interpretations may arise as the dominant ones, but that does not grant them any special authority. The absurdity of supposed empiricism reveals itself when considering such truths as the earth is flat, or the earth is the center of the solar system, or Europeans discovered North America. The Nietzschean notion of a will to truth indicates a closed labyrinth of thought: a labyrinth without an escape. Of greater importance is the epistemological questioning of this obsession for a will to truth. In considering the Baltics, and in particular Latvia, it can be demonstrated that a mythic truth is of greater significance than any forensic arguments over factual evidence. In Latvia, such myths often arise in response to centuries of foreign occupations. For example, the Latvian flag is a polyvalent signifier. Some contend that the burgundy, white, burgundy bars of the flag of Latvia symbolize a lengthy heritage of

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war, peace and war. Others suggest that the flag represents a white shroud that was used to cover a soldier who lay mortally wounded after fighting to defend his homeland: the two burgundy bars were the sections of the sheet that lay beneath him as his blood coursed out; the white bar, the part that rested unstained above. It does not matter which version is the true or definitive one. The meaning of the flag, like much of the history of Latvia or the Baltics, is beyond any empirical truth. Suffice it to say that the Latvian heritage is rich in bloodshed and warfare. As so many scholars have already demonstrated, history is simply a version of what has happened, often written either by or under the influence of the victor. Pelcis attempts to overcome censorship in his own homeland serve to illustrate this clearly enough, because his writing was sabotaged by state censors. On another level, Pelcis also acknowledges that his account is but one version of many tales, and he is not so arrogant as to suggest that his portrayal of the Gulag is in any way a definitive one. In his foreword to the Siberia Book, Pelcis acknowledges that he did not experience the worst prison camps in Siberia, such as Kolyma. Thus, he admits that his account is not fully representative. Further, he is aware of many lies and half-truths involving the Gulag and does not pretend to speak for others but of others, not for himself, but of himself and his memory of the millions dead. The difference between for and of is subtle but indicates a wish to avoid putting words in the mouths of the dead. Further, he candidly admits that many things in the Gulag were simply not revealed to him.1 Still, one gets the sense that he is situating his text in a manner that will deconstruct the Soviet party line. Pelcis attacks Moscows official version of the truth more aggressively and satirically than Nesaule. Like Pelcis, Nesaule also acknowledges that her sense of the past is provisional because it depends on her sense of memory. She explains in her Authors Note to A Woman in Amber: I know that memory itself is unreliable: it works by selecting, disguising, distorting. Others would recall these events differently. I cannot guarantee historical accuracy; I can only tell what I remember. I have to speculate and guess, even to invent in order to give the story coherence and shape. I have also changed some names and identifying details to protect the privacy of others.2 Like Pelcis, Nesaule acknowledges that she is offering a version of the past which might differ from the perspectives of others. For her, the greater myth of the oppression of Latvians supersedes the plethora of often

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unverifiable details of individual case histories. Putting any empirical will to truth aside, there can be a consensus that Latvia has been the victim of centuries of hostile invasions and that these hostilities now define a traumatized psychic condition that has become part of a national identity and a national myth. Incidentally, I do not speak of myth here in any pejorative sense. Instead, I speak of myth in the classical sense as a story that embraces a transcendental truth based on a collective memory. In his essay, The Writers Audience is Always a Fiction, Walter J. Ong studies the idea of an imagined audience and its relationship to the writer. Both Pelcis and Nesaule have a particular audience in mind. It is a primarily Latvian audience, and one which is already familiar with the tragic history of the nation. It is an audience which is already aware of its own oppression and its history of genocide. Just as the Book of Exodus serves as a testimonial, so the Literature of Witness provides a testament to an enduring collective national Latvian memory. The audiences that both Pelcis and Nesaule are writing to are already aware of many of the empirical facts of the nations history. There is no need to convince the reader of the truth value of these events. They are accepted. But Pelcis and Nesaule are moving beyond the empirical to the experiential. Like impressionist painters, they include emotive and subjective responses in their accounts of the devastation. An empirically based will to truth would confine the narrators to a labyrinth of words that closes in on itself and ultimately imprisons both narrative and narratee. Instead, these two authors generate epistemological texts, which by virtue of their open polysemous and dialogical patterns, question the regime of genocide and thus provide an escape from the labyrinth. These books establish either polyvalent or indeterminate meanings that liberate the narrative so that an account of individual trauma is revealed to the reader. Such trauma is not defined by factual lists with dates and numbers. Rather, it is defined through an emotive and poetic response. The structures of these two books emulate the patterns of the authors lives by taking the form of labyrinths, each with an opening permitting escape, and by foregoing closure. By using these structural modes of presentation, both writers align themselves with a larger postcolonial and postmodern world literature that includes authors such as Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri, Tomson Highway, Leslie Marmon Silko, Jerzy Kosinski, or even Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Typically, Pelcis accomplishes an open narrative form by clashing lexis (way of saying) with logos (what is said). For example, Pelcis poem quoted at the beginning of this essay features his typical rhetorical strategy. The poem is taken from the cover of Ar Melno Vju (With the black wind), the censored version of his account of the Siberian

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Gulag. Within that account, and within the unexpurgated version Sibirijas Grmata (The Siberia book), the reader learns that the euphemistically named pencil with which he writes is in fact a steel crowbar used to break open the tundras permafrost so that he can dig yet another grave. One of his tasks in the gulag is grave digging and his verses, inscribed in snow and ice, are the final resting places of fellow prisoners. Pelcis dialogism arises from polyvalence in lexical signification, but Nesaules openness or dialogical perspective results from a provisionality of meaning. As the short excerpt introducing this essay illustrates, the term prison may or may not be an accurate term to define her condition, either in the past with reference to a physical incarceration, or in the present with reference to an entrapment of the mind. Nesaules writing has a tendency to write, re-write and un-write itself until it becomes its own palimpsest. Polyvalence in Pelcis and the indeterminacy in Nesaules writing gesture to a cascade of failures. Both books address the failure of reason, the problematics of truth, and the deficiency of language itself. The emerging openness of meaning in these two books serves to defeat a monological thetism, and instead results in a blurring of conventional literary borders. These books could be called biotexts in that they include the features of autobiography, or life-writing, but also adopt many of the stylistic and formal patterns of postmodern fiction. Somewhat paradoxically, by virtue of their very openness and the manner in which they break conventional literary boundaries and genres, these two texts ultimately define themselves as both postmodern and postcolonial expressions. In Strangers to Ourselves, Julia Kristeva discusses the Lacanian notion of the Other with reference to open hostility. She relates the