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Global Perspectives on the United StatesPro-Americanism, Anti-Americanism, and the Discourses Between$
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Virginia R. Domínguez and Jane C. Desmond

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780252040832

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252040832.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 26 September 2021

Lost and Found in Translation

Lost and Found in Translation

Problems of Cultural Translation in Hungary after 1989

(p.169) Chapter 7 Lost and Found in Translation
Global Perspectives on the United States

Zsófia Bán

University of Illinois Press

This essay contemplates playfulness, levity, and freedom of spirit in relation to Hungary, freedom, and the burden of history. Ban argues that one of the most enduring stereotypes of U.S. culture in Hungary (and elsewhere in Europe) is precisely its supposed “lack of reflection,” its lack of depth, its “childishness,” and its overall unserious nature. Moreover, she writes about Hungarian intellectuals as typically deploring the “Americanization” of their culture and their history. Debates have ensued and are now even being revived with the launch of Fateless, a Hungarian cinematographic memorial to the Holocaust based on Imre Kertesz’s book that earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2002. But Ban focuses on examples where the assumed congruence of Americanization and postmodernism can be detected and actually seen as problematic. As she sees it, the problem of Americanization in Central/Eastern Europe goes beyond the simple paradox of “particularism within the U.S.” versus “global Americanization elsewhere.”

Keywords:   cultural translation, Hungary, public art, stereotypes of U.S. culture, debates about “Americanization” history, postmodernism

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