Patricia D. Fox's article, "What's Past is Prologue: Imagining the Socialist Nation in Cuba and in Hungary," examines the symbolic mooring of Cuban and Hungarian identity, recuperated Caliban from William Shakespeare's The Tempest and an ever conflicted Faustus/Adam from Imre Madách's Az ember tragédiája, respectively. Despite serial cosmological fragmentations and political upheaval, the present analysis holds that production and reproduction of these founding figures in the process of imagining the socialist nation represent an ongoing litigation of meaning. This process then conserves a marked thematic continuity through temporal conceptions, totality of exegesis, the mix of rational and mythical, and the recoding of past symbols to serve the present reality and to indirectly realign the past and prophesy the future. Beyond the formative and transformative points of similarity between the two cases, the essay discusses culturally specific divergences and the impact of differing experience and mentalities on literary and filmic expression. In conclusion, the study first offers a tentative model of socialist nation, positing a framework within which to understand and complicate Cuban and Hungarian sui generis patterns and then describes in the more universal context of narrating the nation those practices and characteristics common to that genre.
Fox, Patricia D.
"What's Past is Prologue: Imagining the Socialist Nation in Cuba and in Hungary."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
This text has been double-blind peer reviewed by 2+1 experts in the field.
The above text, published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University, has been downloaded 1183 times as of 04/15/15. Note: the download counts of the journal's material are since Issue 9.1 (March 2007), since the journal's format in pdf (instead of in html 1999-2007).
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture is published by Purdue University Press ©Purdue University in open access. Please support the journal: Click here for more information and to make your donation online.