Written Here, Published There
How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain
Central European University Press 2014
New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Eastern European StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Literary StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network March 7, 2016 Amanda Jeanne Swain
Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain (Central European University Press, 2014) is a richly detailed description of the social practices, debates and discourses that were part of a transnational literary community created by tamizdat – literary works written in communist Europe but published in the West. Friederike Kind-Kovacs, Assistant Professor in the Department of History of Southeastern and Eastern Europe, University of Regensburg, demonstrates the permeability of the “Iron Curtain” through a study of the practicalities of book smuggling and publishing houses. More importantly, she reveals the motivations of non-conformist writers who sought publication in the West and the Western intellectuals, emigres and activists who facilitated publication – along with the tensions inherent in these relationships. Kind-Kovacs focuses as well as on how literary transmission between communist Europe and the West was shaped by and contributed to the human rights movement.
Amanda Jeanne Swain is executive director of the Humanities Commons at the University of California, Irvine. She received her PhD in Russian and East European history at the University of Washington. Her research interests include the intersections of national, Soviet and European identities in the Baltic countries. Recent publications include articles in Ab Imperio and Cahiers du Monde Russe.