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The Culture Of Lies [Paperback]

Dubravka Ugresic
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 1999
The Culture of Lies shows us the banality and brutality of nationalism and the way that nationalistic ideology permeates every pore of life. Ugresic's acerbic and penetrating essays cover everything from politics to daily routine, from public to private life. With a diverse and unusual perspective, she writes about memory, soap operas, aggression against people's own 'brothers', the conformity of intellectuals, propaganda and censorship, the strategies of human manipulation and the walls of Europe which, she argues, never really did fall. Shot through with sarcasm and satire, The Culture of Lies, written in the tradition of Milan Kundera and Karl Kraus, is a gesture of intellectual resistance by a writer brandished 'a traitor' and 'a witch' in Croatia. This is one of the most intelligent and lucid accounts of an appalling episode in history.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Phoenix; New edition edition (1 July 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075380736X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753807361
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 13 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 905,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime essayist 6 July 2004
Format:Paperback
With this book of essays Dubravka Ugrasic proves herself to be on a par with Joseph Brodsky. Her insights into the complex machinations of mankind amuses and compels in equal measure, making these thoughtful and conscientious musings stunningly moving.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you want to have a look into the modern day mind when it is grasped in the hands of a demagogue and a political situation that is spiraling into unfathomable nationalism, this is a good book.
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Format:Paperback
The essays are fascinating. They communicate a sense of an overwhelming cultural trauma, not just because of the war itself but because of the whiplash speed of the changes as all the ex-Yugoslavs created new identities for themselves. Streets were renamed, history rewritten, the literary canon divvied up.

And it wasn't simply an assertion of a new positive identity for, for example, Croatia, it was necessarily a rejection not just of Serbia and Bosnia but of Yugoslavia. So the country where all of them had lived their whole lives, and which had been an imperfect but functional state for over 80 years, became a `prison of nations', and anyone who questioned this was suffering from the dangerously subversive `Yugo-nostalgia'.

The essays approach this central subject from various directions -- the metaphor of cleanness and cleansing, the relationship between eastern and western Europe, the kitschiness of nationalist aesthetics, pop music -- and they are all well-written, thought provoking and rather quotable.
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