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In the Mirror of Western Europe

Author(s): Gergana Georgieva
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Институт за литература - БАН

Summary/Abstract: Stefan Launer’s study The Character of Slavdom (1847) is an original attempt at an interpretation of Europian history. The erudite author builds the hypothesis of Slav fragmentation and of Slavdom as a mirror image of Western Europe. It runs counter to the widely popular idea, current at the time of the Slav Renaissance, of Slavic mutuality. The consciously selected and established in European history Slavic communities 1. Croats, 2. Poles, 3. Russians and 4. Czechs, united with Moravians, Slovaks and Silesians are regarded as the heirs and successors of the Western “quartet”: 1. Italians, 2. French, 3. English and 4. Germans. Launer draws parallels between political principle and religious confession of the selected foursomes from Western and Slavic Europe which were current in the middle of the 19th century. The study was part of the debate from the middle 19th century about the linguistic standard of the Slovak community which negates L. Stur’s attempt at codification and elaborates on the author’s pro-Hungarian proclivities. Launer’s vision negates the opposition Western - Eastern (Slavic) Europe, offering mutul stimulation of European peoples and the “emancipation” of the Slavic nations in various spheres of state and cultural functioning by following in the Western European footsteps. Launer’s European model is based on an in-depth reflection (though flavoured with sophistic arguments) upon the cultural diversitty of the Slavs, connected to their divergent historical destinies. It is a text doubtless pregnant with politological, culturological, scholarly and anthropological potential but remaining retrograde, delaying the path towrads Slovak national self-awareness.

  • Issue Year: 2000
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 78-87
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Bulgarian