Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination

Paperback | December 25, 2012

byVesna Goldsworthy

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First published in 1998, Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination achieved a rare combination of critical success, broad readership and enduring academic influence. It is now recognised as a key contribution to the study of Balkan and European identity. In this first paperbackedition, Inventing Ruritania is just as topical in the context of Europe's current turmoil as it was when it first appeared.Vesna Goldsworthy explores the origins of the ideas that underpin Western perceptions of the Balkans, the "Wild East" of Europe. European and Oriental at the same time, the Balkans are tantalisingly ambiguous: simultaneously attracting and repelling outsiders, an exciting alternative to the familiarennui of the West, both completely different from "us" and exactly as "we" used to be. Writers and filmmakers in Western Europe and America have found in the peninsula a rich mine of images for literature and the movies. In her prodigiously researched but very readable volume, Goldsworthy shows howthis lucrative exploitation of Balkan history and geography by the entertainment industry has affected attitudes toward the region. She considers the religious, national, and sexual taboos and fears projected onto Balkan lands, and discusses the political exploitation and media uses of the Balkanarchetypes.

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From the Publisher

First published in 1998, Inventing Ruritania: The Imperialism of the Imagination achieved a rare combination of critical success, broad readership and enduring academic influence. It is now recognised as a key contribution to the study of Balkan and European identity. In this first paperbackedition, Inventing Ruritania is just as topi...

Vesna Goldsworthy is Professor in English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University and the author of several widely translated and award-winning volumes. Following Inventing Ruritania, she published a best-selling memoir, Chernobyl Strawberries in 2005, which was serialized in The Times and read by Goldsworthy herself as ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8.5 × 5.59 × 0.71 inPublished:December 25, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199368376

ISBN - 13:9780199368372

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsA Note on SpellingMap of the Balkans1. 'And what should I do in Illyria?': English Literature and the Balkans2. Byron's Children: Literary Perceptions of the Balkans in the Nineteenth Century3. The Balkans in Popular FictionPrisoners of Zenda: The Imagined States of the BalkansThe Balkan Threat: Vampires, Spies, Murder and the Orient ExpressBalkan Settings of the Spy NovelOn the Orient Express Route4. War and Diplomacy in the New Ruritania: Comic Visions of the BalkansBernard Shaw's BulgariaSaki's Lost SanjakE. M. Forster's Passage to 'The Heart of Bosnia'Lawrence Durrell and His Predecessors: British Diplomats in the BalkansEvelyn Waugh: An English Officer with the Partisans5. Spectres of War: Representations of the 'Real' BalkansEdith Durham and the Balkan TangleRebecca West Travels EastOlivia Manning's Balkan Cityscapes'Why the Balkans Attract Women'6. Reclaiming Balkan ErewhonsNotesChronologyBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"There is a rich literary vein to be mined here, and Goldsworthy has a nice critical eye." --Tony Judt, New Republic