‘How it all turned out alright’: Autofiction as Memory Form in Irena Dousková’s Novels about Childhood and Youth in Post-1968 Czechoslovakia
Keywords:autofiction, childhood, cultures of remembrances, Czech literature
Autofictions and memoirs about growing up in late socialism have proliferated in Czech as well as in other postsocialist Eastern European literatures. These retrospective texts are often tinged with nostalgia and infused with irony and humour. Two of the most popular texts of this genre in the Czech Republic are Irena Dousková’s autofictional books Hrdý Budžes [B. Proudew] and Oněgin byl Rusák [Onegin Was a Rusky]. The Czech author writes about growing-up in a non-conformist family dealing with everyday life in socialist Czechoslovakia. After discussing Dousková’s books as autofiction the article will take a closer look at the poetics of childhood autofictions and their contribution to cultures of remembering socialism in comparison to autobiographies. It will discuss the ways how writing about childhood creates a specific socialist identity through scarcity, ingenuity, and working with/against restraints and the way humour is used to transmit difficult memories.
Copyright (c) 2021 Anja Tippner
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