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Fremd- und Selbstinszenierung in der slowenischen Literatur der Moderne. Die Habsburgermetropole in Ivan Cankars Wiener Erzählungen

Matjaz Birk


Pages 177 - 192



The article discusses the Slovene modernist author Ivan Cankar’s representation of the Austrian imperial capital in his narratives of the second Viennese period (1900 –1913) by drawing on theories of intercultural perception, from the point of view of alterity and identity. The narratives’ modernist topics such as death, erotics and sexuality raise social implications. On the one hand, Cankar portrays the imperial capital’s alterity as the opposite of identity. The narrator is fascinated by the capital’s city center, the life of the artistic Bohemians and Judaism, unusual for Slovene literature, also fi nds favor. On the other hand, Cankar’s images of Vienna’s alterity also serve as a complement to identity when the predominant setting is the suburb or “Vorstadt”. Social criticism arises through a varied view of the self and the self’s incoherence. Alterity is also refl ected in images of the subaltern female population both in proletarian Vienna and at home. These diverse representations of cultural alterity make use of satirical, fantastic and grotesque poetic devices. Cankar’s early narrative prose shares similar catastrophic attributes with the poetics of Young Vienna in particular, while the intercultural experience of migration more generally connects his prose with European migration literature.

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