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Prague palimpsest : writing, memory, and the city

Author: Alfred Thomas
Publisher: Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, ©2010.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Prague Palimpsest is one of the most intriguing and exciting books written about this ancient cosmopolitan city. Alfred Thomas invites us to revisit Prague and at the same time to rediscover lost splinters of our own past or identity." Primus-Heinz Kucher, University of Klagenfurt, Austria.
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Genre/Form: Legends
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Alfred Thomas
ISBN: 9780226795409 0226795403
OCLC Number: 499675385
Description: xv, 204 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: Women on the verge of history: Libuše and the foundational legend of Prague --
Deviant monsters and wayward women: the Prague ghetto and the legend of the golem --
The castle hill was hidden: Franz Kafka and Czech literature --
A stranger in Prague: writing and the politics of identity in Apollinaire, Nezval, and Camus --
Sailing to Bohemia: utopia, memory, and the Holocaust in postwar Austrian and German literature --
Epilogue: Postmodern Prague?
Responsibility: Alfred Thomas.

Abstract:

A city of immense literary mystique, Prague has inspired writers across the centuries with its beauty, cosmopolitanism, and tragic history. This interdisciplinary study helps to explain why Prague -  Read more...

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"A dazzling achievement, presenting a multifaceted, intellectually complex image of the fabled city at the crossroads of central Europe. Alfred Thomas reads Prague as the home of a multilingual Read more...

 
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    schema:description ""Prague Palimpsest is a dazzling achievement, presenting a multifaceted, intellectually complex image of the fabled city at the crossroads of Central Europe. Alfred Thomas, a historian with a deep knowledge of medieval Bohemia, reads Prague as the home of a multilingual culture inscribed with the recurrent pattern of forgetting and recovery, like a parchment on which the original writing remains visible under the erasures and revisions. Sifted through layers of historical time, his meditation on Prague weaves together narratives and arguments from the three groups of its settlers--the Czechs, the Germans, and the Jews--spinning their variations on the agonistic theme of belonging and estrangement. And most important, for this reader, he summons the voices of the poets of Prague who speak to us with the intimate beauty and warmth of individual human memory." Maria Nemcova Banerjee, Smith College."@en ;
    schema:description "A city of immense literary mystique, Prague has inspired writers across the centuries with its beauty, cosmopolitanism, and tragic history. Envisioning the ancient city in central Europe as a multilayered text, or palimpsest, that has been constantly revised and rewritten--from the medieval and Renaissance chroniclers who legitimized the city's foundational origins to the modernists of the early twentieth century who established its reputation as the new capital of the avantgarde--Alfred Thomas argues that Prague has become a paradoxical site of inscription and effacement, of memory and forgetting, a utopian link to the prewar and pre-Holocaust European past and a dystopia of totalitarian amnesia."@en ;
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    schema:description "Considering a wide range of writers, including the city's most famous son, Franz Kafka, Prague Palimpsest reassesses the work of poets and novelists such as Bohumil Hrabal, Milan Kundera, Gustav Meyrink, Jan Neruda, Vitezslav Nezval, Leo Perutz, and Rainer Maria Rilke, and engages with other famous authors who "wrote" Prague, including Guillaume Apollinaire, Ingeborg Bachmann, Albert Camus, Paul Celan, and W. G. Sebald. The result is a comparative, interdisciplinary study that helps to explain why Prague--more than any other major European city--has haunted the cultural and political imagination of the West. --Book Jacket."@en ;
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