Postcards from Europe: Dubravka Ugrešić as a Transnational Public Intellectual, or Life Writing in Fragments

Eva C. Karpinski

Abstract


The article explores Dubravka Ugrešić's ongoing project of interrogating and challenging different constructions of Europe from the perspective of “minor transnationalism”, focusing on the relationship between European minority cultures and the West. She has developed a hybrid form of political life writing that I call the autobiographical fragment, which mixes autobiography, personal essay, cultural criticism, travel writing, autoethnography, epistolarity, and diary. I argue that the autobiographical fragment is uniquely suited to address the discontinuities and ruptures of history, experience, and memory that have accompanied
Europe’s post-communist transformations. In the texts that I examine, including "Have a Nice Day: From the Balkan War to the American Dream", "The Culture of Lies", "Thank You For Not Reading", and "Nobody’s Home", she confronts the trauma of ethnic and gendered violence and integrates the personal and the “global”, linking the former Yugoslavia, present-day Croatia, the European Union, the United States, and the globalized cultural marketplace.


Keywords


transnationalism; life writing; autobiographical fragment; public intellectual, ethnicity; European citizenship;

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5463/ejlw.2.55

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European Journal of Life Writing - ISSN 1876-8156 - is an open access initiative supported by the VU University Library.