[CfP] Brukenthal. Acta Musei XIII.5 – Brukenthalia, no. 9 (4 BDI)

posted 25 Mar 2019, 07:48 by Echipa de Management al Cercetarii

The Wars after the Great War in Memoirs, Literature and Arts (1923-1928)

For some historians, the Armistice (11/11/1918, the 11th hour) meant the end of the Great War, also known as the Great Carnage. Between 1918-1923, in Europe, even after the collapse of the empires, there were regional military conflicts, international litigations, great changes/reforms and social movements, civil wars. A new geopolitical configuration emerged as a result of the empires’ dissolution and the experimentation of Bolshevism as a socio-political system. The terms of the armistice, the negotiations and the peace treaties concluded (during the Paris Peace Conference, 1919-1920) are not necessarily synonymous with securing peace and returning to „normalcy”. The repercussions of the war upon the lives of civilians and demobbed soldiers, military men and prisoners of war returning to civilian life, were unpredictable and even tragic. The collective trauma dominated the public sensitivity, the reflection about the meaning of life, of the state, of progress. The reconstruction of the society was slow, the economic rebirth was fragile and quickly altered by the great international economic depression (1929-1933). Frustration and scepticism became generalized attitudes, especially among the intellectuals and the working class. The political landscape was determined by fluctuations, institutional reconfigurations, writing and rewriting constitutions, and the reconsideration, in a modern paradigm, of citizenship and women’s liberation.

The social polarization, the reconfiguration of the states, which implied new ethno-cultural realities, the need for geopolitical payback, on the one hand, and, on the other, positive phenomena like the women’s liberation determined the aggressive manifestation of class hatred, the radicalization of anti-Semitism and ultra-nationalism, xenophobia, the attraction of totalitarian ideas and misogyny.

War itself and the diseases which, after the war, decimated the civilian population, famine and the difficult economic reconstruction brought individual and social suffering to the forefront and imposed a new image of death. This image re-emerged, in the representations of this age, with the full strength of medieval symbolism as well as of modernism. The conservative social norm was eluded by reinventing the culture of the body, of music, literature and art.

Memoirs, literature and especially visual arts reacted to the new challenges, expressing reflections, the traumas of the war generation, evoking pacifism and the distrust in moral progress. The countries whose national dream came true witnessed the process of building the mythologies of war and victory, doubled by the enrichment and affirmation of national axiologies. There was, in the macro-communities which suffered the state’s dissolution, a collective anxiety and moral crisis, which came along a mythology of defeat and the exacerbation of the Golden Age, a time of ethno-cultural richness dating back to the Antiquity and the Middle Ages. These myths stimulated the desire to take revenge and seek recuperation.

Specifically, visual arts, funeral architecture, literature and film best reflect, in our view, these mutations, the oscillation between tragedy and orgiastic joy. Therefore, we are especially interested in the papers which will choose to focus on research in these areas.

Please send your contributions to: mihaela_grancea2004@yahoo.com, dana.percec@e-uvt.ro, olgagradinaru@gmail.com

Deadline for submission: 1 June 2019.