Sociologický časopis
Czech sociological review


← Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 4/2013

Jakub Grygar:
The New Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk: Subversion of the State and Cultural Intimacy in the Ukrainian-Polish Borderland [521]

Grygar, Jakub. 2013. „Nové příběhy dobrého vojáka Švejka. Podrývání státu a kulturní blízkost v ukrajinsko-polském pohraničí.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 49 (4): 521-548

Abstract: This article sets out to study creative works of collective memory in contrast to state-backed representations of the past. It takes as examples for analysis the erection of statues of the title hero of Jaroslav Hašek’s novel The Good Soldier Svejk in the border region of western Ukraine. It looks at the political and social contexts of creative readings of this novel and how such readings interfered with the dominant state-backed representations of the past and upset historical interpretations that had become deeply anchored in the national discourse. The erection of these statues also had the effect of expanding room for the imagination and fostering discussion of local cross-border cooperation. Activities of this nature tend to dowplay rather than emphasise the state border that cuts through the Urkainian-Polish border region. Methodologically the article is based on an ethnographic study of the unveiling of Svejk statues in Skelivce, Uzhhorod (Ukraine) and Przemyśl (Poland). These new contextualisations of Svejk help to establish an alternative representation of the past and political geography of the borderland area and make Svejk into an object that emphasises the differences between the inhabitants of the Ukrianian-Polish borderland on the one hand and the inland populations of these two stages on the other.

Keywords: collective memory, mimesis, bricolage, borders, boundary object, Svejk

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