The Talmud states that the Messiah is a beggar waiting at the gates of Rome. And how can one recognize him? While the other lepers change their bandages all at once, the Messiah does so one bandage at a time, so as not to be late cf. The first of the eight scenes into which The Golem is divided, entitled Clay, takes place at night just outside Prague and presents an argument between the rabbi and the shadow of the Golem that he is about to remove from the darkness.
His grave in the Jewish cemetery of Prague, which has remained untouched to this day, is often visited. Legend holds that he was the cre- ator of the Golem. The shadow then disappears, after one last unheeded prayer, his apparition soon replaced by the sinister one of the Priest, whose name is Polish — Tadeush Ta- deusz — and who hisses to the rabbi: Nor ze, funvanem kumen dos tsu dir azoyne oygn?
Retsikhe shpritst fun zey un shvartse gvure, Vi kumt retsikhe tsu a rov? The cynical Tadeush is certainly right when he sees retshikhe, slaughter, in the eyes of the rabbi, when he recognizes him as an alter ego of the Golem. The Golem, half man and half puppet, endowed with supernatural strength but ready to obey every request of his creator, will be the savior of the helpless Jews.
He will be the one to stain his hands with blood in obedience to a higher will; thus it has 15 Quotations in this article from the original Yiddish text of The Golem are taken from Leivick , while the English translations found largely in the notes are from Leivick In the second scene, entitled Walls, the Golem is no longer a shadow, but a person. He has a name, Yosl, Joseph, that reminds us of his messianic destiny and a rough-hewn appearance: At first, the Golem can feel only the most primordial, violent feelings: The rabbi seems both disap- pointed and fascinated by his creature.
He teaches him to bend his head if he has to walk through a very low door, to move objects instead of sweeping them away; he teaches him that the sunset is not a fire that will soon devour every- thing. His rage explodes in an expressionistic outburst, his desperation at finding himself in a world so incomprehensible and threatening recalling scenes in works by other contemporary authors about the tragedy of the First World War: Es hoybt zikh epes inveynik in mir un vergt, Un klapt, a klinkerey in beyde oyern, Un far di oygn — royt un grin… Un mayne fis zey hoybn zikh, zey viln geyn, Un mayne hent ot gibn zey a khap dikh farn halz Un trogn zikh avek mit dir In the following scene, Through Darkness, the distance between the Golem and the community that he is supposed to protect continues to grow.
When the biblical God had called Abraham, the patriarch had answered with the single word: Hinneni, Here I am, and it is from this absolute readiness that Jewish sa- cred history was born. The relationship between the Golem and the rabbi may also be seen as a degraded version of this narrative from the Book of Genesis: God-Maharal will not call Yosl, but Yosl will think he has heard the call, and when he, like Abraham, leaves everything to answer: Un shtendik dakht zikh mir, ikh her dayn kol: Ikh tu a sets Di hak in holts areyn un entfer: Un ale nehmen lakhn, iberkrimen: In the meantime, events come to a head.
And the rabbi answers: Gor a sakh, a sakh Nor gebn konen mir zey gornisht, gornisht, hert mir? Un epes konen mir — o, io, mir konen, reb Basevi, mir viln ober nit. Mir viln nit… mir hobn Tsu alts un alemen fun gor der velt Nor tsugerirt zikh mit eyn shpits fun finger, Gor fun der zeyt a hoykh geton mit unzer otem, Un alts un ale fun der gantser velt Vet trogn shoyn oyf eybik unzer finger, Un shturems, virblendike shturems veln oysbrekhn Fun unzer leykhtn oysgehoykhtn otem… The fourth scene, Beggars, is set among the poor who are quartered in the Fifth Tower, a sort of timeless non-place belonging to noone, perhaps a refer- ence to the Minsk Tower where Leivick himself had been imprisoned.
Tadeush wants to throw the Jews out of even that horrible shelter: According to a well-known prophecy, the Messiah will come when the world is either completely good or when it is completely evil. In either case, mankind will have to be ready to welcome him and to accept change. In the scene Unbidden, Prophet Elias and the Messiah are two beggars, one old and one young, both with sore hands and feet and waiting for dawn at the out- skirts of Prague. As noted above, however, no redeemer may come without having been called for.
The time is not yet ripe; the awaited Messiah can only be the Last One, who marks the end of time. It is the Maharal himself who sends the two miserable beggars away. Fun den man, vos trogt zayn tseylem Tsu dem betler mitn zakh, kumt der oysleyzer, der goylem, mit a fist un mit a hak In scene six, Revelations, the Golem wakes up in the Fifth Tower, where the Maharal had imprisoned him together with beggars and victims of the pogroms. Here, the puppet suddenly reveals his messianic role; the time set for his birth has come: Nevertheless, the power that he has suddenly acquired does not mean that the Golem is moving away from his creator: In the penultimate scene, In the Cave, the plot draws to a close.
In the dark tunnels of the Fifth Tower that connect cathedral with synagogue, Tadeush and a monk carefully carry sealed bottles containing the blood of the child they have killed. Blood is the key word in the last pages of the poem, the blood which the Golem smells from afar. Only he will be able to prevent the final slaughter, but the means by which he can do so are the same as those used by Tadeush and his fellows. The Golem tries to brace up, repeating the ter- rible formula, but he is continually tormented by nightmares and phantoms he cannot explain.
Deserted by the Maharal and lost in the airless underground tunnels, he finds the bottles with the blood and probably intends to murder Tadeush and his assistant. But visions haunt him: The rabbi has not visited him for eight days. The memory of that terrible night in the Fifth Tower is still vivid in the larg- er community: And yet, the Rabbi would still like the Golem to learn to live among other Jews, to relish the sound of their prayers.
Moreover, the violence that the Rabbi himself has triggered within his creature — indeed, the violence for which the Rabbi created him — cannot be restrained. The result is a grotesque tragedy: Iz dos a shtraf far unzer freyd, Reboyne oylem? Iz doz dayn shtraf far veln rateven zikh?
Ti hostu nisht baviligt? Mayn zind far veln opnemen baym faynt dos zeynike; Der faynt hot oyfgemant Ikh hob gevolt farmaydn blut un blut fargosn Dvorel runs in, terrified. The Golem reaches out to her, thinking she has come to be with him. The Maharal orders the faithful to resume the song that marks the beginning of the Shabbat. Here again, Leivick highlights the problem of violence being completely alien to Jewish identity. Dervayl hot zikh mit eynuneyntsik rege Fartsoygt mer, durkh mir, dayn leben; Zay dankbar mir far der gerateveter rege, Vayl ot fargeyt zi The devising of utopias and conjuring up of complex plans for salvation is pointless, Leivick argues.
While Leivick knew that even the greatly yearned for coming of the Mes- siah would change nothing in the human condition, he also held that continuing to wait for and to believe in his arrival was necessary. As the narrator explains: While Yiddish, to which Leivick chose to attach his destiny, is generally associated — at least in its secular version — with the simul- taneous acknowledgement and acceptance of dispersion and of exile, Yiddish language and culture also participated, albeit in often conflicting and troubled ways, in the building of the new country. Leivick spent the greater part of his life hovering between two idealizations of life in the Diaspora, both of them reflective in mood: These two visions culminated after his death, as had often happened in his life, in a symbolic event, namely the creation in Tel Aviv in of the House of Lei- vick, a cultural center and museum, as well as the Israeli seat of the association of Yiddish writers and journalists This institution is one of very few in the state of Israel where the sounds of Hebrew and Yiddish, together with the multiple nostalgias of the Hebrew world, coexist in relative harmony — and both worlds, significantly, are contained in its name: Bet Leyvik, Leyviks Hoys.
Translated by Cecilia Pozzi and Sara Dickinson 27 At the same time, this guttural and poetic idiom of a disinherited and homeless people, a language whose very structure would seem to symbolize exile, necessarily sug- gested paradox and a sort of bizarre defeatism. Indeed, in the early years of the Israeli state, Ben Gurion led an aggressive campaign against Yiddish culture, which he identi- fied with the humiliation and powerlessness of the Diaspora. This article will focus on that variety of Vysockian toska that might be defined, paraphrasing Giambattista Vico Unless otherwise noted, subsequent volume and page numbers in this chapter for citations of Vysockij refer to this edition.
Heroic gestures simultaneously constitute a supreme form of human ex- perience for Vysockij and serve as the object of nostalgia — and it is in this light that they appear in his most well-known musical-poetic cycles. Harsh expanses of steppe and polar ice, underground mines, and mountain peaks are among the spaces selected by Vysockij to elaborate his conception of heroism. When locat- ing heroism in other eras, Vysockij often chooses to contemplate the heroic feat in the context of war. Particular attention will be devoted in this article to the origins of this choice as well as to the expression of heroism found in his songs about the men who fought in World War II.
The blend of a profoundly personal nostalgia for the heroic feat with widely shared public sentiments enabled both Vysockij and his audience to transcend the quotidian reality of daily Soviet life. In these lyrics, we can begin to intuit a link between heroism and the ethical nature of true friendship the only admissible kind found elsewhere in Vysockij as well6. Nikolaj Rerix, who in characterized podvig as a concept that is specifically Rus- sian and thus untranslatable into other languages, highlighted the notion of moral choice found at its core: Heroism accompanied by fanfare is not capable of conveying the immortal, complete, and all-encompassing idea contained in the Russian word podvig [ Those who choose to take on the heavy burden of the podvig bear it voluntarily Rerix His impetu- ous temperament, his romantic sense of honor, and his irrepressible surges of creativity clashed constantly and irremediably with the paralysis that reigned in Soviet society during that era.
In particular, Vysockij suffered from the stifling conformity that reigned in the official artistic institutions and from the hostil- ity of the politico-cultural bureaucracy, that, while never overt, was insidious, systematic, and encountered by him daily8. His travels through poetic space took him to dramatic geo- graphical settings and harsh climates: His colleague, however, who up until that moment also been his friend, obeys a mistaken instinct for survival and, in a display of irrationality and irresponsibility, succumbs to the urge to flee. Luck- ily, fate has prepared a happy ending for both men, as well as for the truck that they are delivering to a construction site beyond the Urals: Having overcome adversity with remarkable firmness, the hero reaches his apotheosis in a demonstration of magnanimity — as genuine as it is laconic — to- wards his weaker companion: In role lyrics, a lyrical procedure is used to appropriate epic material: Regret for the Time of Heroes 81 Though his coworker fails the test of friendship, the heroic protagonist re- mains generously disposed towards him.
Both songs are set in dramatically rendered environments that sharply contrast with one another and with daily life: Severe atmospheric conditions are exploited still more fully in Beloe bezmolvie White Silence , where perennial pack ice serves as stage for the mental states and heroic acts of polar explorers: Such homecom- ing is tolerable only because it is necessary in order to subsequently embark upon yet another path of ascent.
In his mountain songs, the vital and vitalist Vysockij suggests that our only means of achieving happiness is choosing to set out again and thus to perform not just one, but several heroic feats, waging sustained battle against our own weaknesses and fears: As we gradually supersede one trial after another, uncertainty and appre- hension give way to a self-confidence that borders on exaltation: Not one step back! While the two brief and apparently random quatrains that Volodja intones lack any explicit connection with mountain heroism, they can be linked to his general vision of mountaineering.
The quest for such opportunities is con- stant in his work, perhaps because it is through the demonstration of heroism, in his view, that one earns the right to be called a human being. Hero- ism constitutes an ongoing process that, despite moments of triumph, is imbued with uneasiness and longing. Vysockij himself appears to have been driven by a troubled restlessness or anxiety in his ceaseless desire to uncover heroes. He searches for heroes everywhere, ranging widely through space and time to do so. The feats of such personages offer at least temporary respite from the con- tinued threat of quotidian stagnation, their repeated acts of heroism constituting a bulwark against the encroachment of the mundane as well as the vital reasser- tion of full human dignity.
As noted, the quest for heroism takes Vysockij to ex- treme geographical contexts: His search also leads him to the past and, particularly, to the era of World War II and to the heroism of the soldier. He began to write war songs in the first half of the s25, when no theme in Soviet culture was more widespread than that of the Second Great Patriotic War. Ubiquitous in the figurative arts and classical music, the War was also featured in hundreds and hundreds of novels, stories, plays, poems, lyrics, songs, historical essays, journalistic reportage, war diaries, and films, both doc- umentary and non-.
Regret for the Time of Heroes 85 the conflict with Napoleon that broke out in , clearly underlined historical continuity with the tsarist epoch. Nonetheless, while he does mourn a profound lack of heroism in the dismal, gray, and dispiriting life that surrounds him, Vysockij does not seek return to the past. A lack of interest in such themes allows him to avoid the heavy finality of either tragic or rhetorical emphasis, and to conclude his songs with the acknowl- edgement of a permanent, ongoing state or condition of toska. At the end of the day, artistic pro- duction seems to have allowed Vysockij to simultaneously sublimate and come to terms with a sense of loss through the act of commemorating it.
It is also true that since his songs contain no clearly expressed desire for any actual restoration of the past, they generate in listeners a variety of nostalgia that is linked less to properly historical memory than to remembrance shot through with an emotional and even deeply personal nostalgia. Since the struggle for survival that characterized the War era did not lend itself well to the discussion of ideological fine points, rehabilitated s pa- triotism was easily reconciled with the official image of the USSR as different nationalities united to defend the native land against medieval Nazi barbarity.
In the initial months of the war, I had to take him, as a three-year-old, with me to work. Sometimes he would sleep right there on the tables. When the air-raid sirens went off, we went down into the bomb shelter. It was always crowded, very hot and stuffy. And did he whine?
Volodja came up to the loft several times, too, with his little toy bucket Safonov With the adjective bylinnye, referring to the Russian folk epic, Vysockij blends historical reality with folkloric reminiscence. The age-old concept of the war trophy requires little ulterior explanation. With the passage of time, the term progressively moved towards the criminal world, becoming a slang term for institutions of detention cf.
It is instructive to compare the verses quoted above with what Vysockij himself declared about the motives that drove him to write songs about the war: Indeed, most of the protagonists in his war songs are individuals or well-defined groups. Nonetheless, Ballad on Combat contains no trace of any disenchantment or bitterness towards youthful romantic idealism. On the contrary, fidelity to the teachings of books read in childhood and adolescence constitutes an ethical requirement for human beings: Immediately after the war, Volodja lived with his father and stepmother on a Soviet military base in Eberswalde, East Germany for almost three years from the end of to August Volodja began to love books very early [ He loved retelling to his friends what he had been reading.
He had an excellent memory. He could memorize a poem after reading it only once [ In Germany and later in Moscow my friends would come to see us. You can imagine what men who had served together on the front lines would talk about when they got together. I pay tribute to this era with my songs.
Regret for the Time of Heroes 91 Red Banners. Nonetheless, for all their plausibility, these songs seem to be set both in World War II, and also — simultaneously — in a metahistorical or mythologically prototypical dimension. May 9, was proclaimed a national holiday — as it had been in the early postwar years — and the tradition of holding an impos- ing military parade on Red Square was revived as well.
Ana- tolij Kulagin This twentieth anniversary of the victory was celebrated with under- standable pride by the large majority of Soviet citizens, to whom the War had caused indescribable suffering and hardship. The Communist Party exploited the event to launch a major campaign of self-celebration, mobilizing expo- nents of the creative intelligentsia. Painters, sculptors, prose writers, poets, playwrights, theatre and film directors each responded to the call on the basis of their talents if they had any and character, be it a tendency towards servil- ity or the affirmation of courage and a sense of dignity.
Vysockij himself was involved during this period with two important projects that he would never have occasion to regret and that marked a significant step in his artistic evolu- tion. Danelija that met with great success. He committed suicide in Regret for the Time of Heroes 93 the heroic to the lyrical The most well known among them, Mass Graves Bratskie mogily , was sung off screen by Mark Bernes and used by Turov as a connecting thread in the plot He was a truly extraordinary man, who really valued bard music.
And this had a surprising effect, because, for ex- ample, we received a letter from a woman who had lost her memory when two of her sons were hanged right in front of her. She watched this movie in the hospital and she wrote us a letter telling us that she had suddenly remembered where that had happened to her children. She wrote both to Bernes and to the studio in Minsk. Vysockij, like Bernes, regularly received a number of letters from veterans who thought they had rec- ognized themselves in the protagonist of this or that song, a fact that he often mentioned with pride during his concerts.
Here director Jurij Lju- bimov used an approach that would become one of his trademarks, namely pre- senting the bare poetic text without any set. As was the case with all Taganka productions, restrictions imposed by the censorship meant protracted struggles, lengthy negotiations, and multiple post- ponements.
In point of fact, the song Mass graves was itself cut before the drama opened in November , although Vysockij had the honor of singing another of his songs on stage. More- over, when he made a brief video in May in order to introduce himself to Warren Beattie, who was then casting the movie Reds, Vysockij began by reciting in Russian some poems from The Fallen written by wartime poet Semen Gudzenko , rather than a selection from his own wide repertoire.
Unlike the prohibited theme of the illegal underground that Vysockij had explored in previous work — and that had no official outlet — the war theme was publicly approved and even officially embraced; his own approach to the War, however, remained sui generis. An initial answer to this question was given by Vysockij himself in an explanation of his constant references to war: Having argued that war provides the best context for investigating hu- man nature, offering as it does constant opportunities for such to be revealed, Vysockij goes on to note that in the martial setting questions of themes such as courage or cowardice, selflessness or egotism, responsibility or lack thereof, re- main substantially invariant across eras: And I often find them in those times.
It seems to me that there were simply more of them then, that the situations in which they found themselves were more ex- treme. If you think about and listen to them care- fully, you will see that they can even be sung today: The motives for courageous acts on the battlefield are quite specific and differ from those that inspire, for instance, climbers. The sentiment is so natural and deeply-rooted, in other words, that no explicit mention of it is neces- sary. Indeed, Vysockij makes no use of patriotic rhetoric in his entire oeuvre — a fact essential to understanding his poetics.
The soldierly sense of duty that Vysockij describes does not appear to be trig- gered by conditioned reflex since the men do reflect upon it , nonetheless, this sentiment ultimately prevails over their other motives for action and, most nota- bly, over an instinct for self-preservation. Their participation in the war results situations have been taken from those days [of war], but all of it could very well happen here, too, even now. This is how I regard them: Regret for the Time of Heroes 97 from various pressing events, but it is mainly the product of individual choice.
In- deed, Vysockij rarely deprives his characters of the chance to choose or, at least, to challenge their fate even in the most dramatic contexts. And thus he thinks before obeying: Nonetheless, it is not the order from above, but his own sense of personal responsibility in pursuit of the common good that prevents him and his companions from giving in to hatred or instinc- tive emotion.
Despite a few variations in poetic tone, the war cycle is a coherent group of songs persistently laced with the themes of friendship, danger, courage, fear, physical exertion, life, and death. Certainly, such an approach itself might be interpreted as adding a touch of aesthetic and psychological authenticity to the subject, insofar as those who were actually involved in the War, whether as participants, witnesses or victims, were often quite unwilling to offer up the grisly details, preferring to recollect the tragedy in all its emotional complexity as a world in and of itself.
While not all of the persons described perform heroic feats, they do all overcome their fears and transcend the limitations imposed by an egotistical sense of self-preservation in order to create an epic together. Recalling the land where he was born, the protagonist remembers his orphanage childhood with implicit gratitude: Decades of exile, misfortune, hardship, unfreedom, and displacement follow: The Chechen does not speak of his own sad fate in order to inspire compassion, but reflects upon it, fully aware that his experience is but one detail in an immense collective portrait of the entire na- tion: Of all the types of violence to which he has been subjected, he is particularly haunted by the ethnic variety perpetrated among the deported peoples: More than one third of the deportees died during the journey or from hardships suffered in the first years of exile, while the survivors were forbidden to leave their place of destination.
The same fate also befell the Crimean Tatars, similarly accused of col- laboration with the Nazis and rounded up by the Red Army in May for deportation to Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan. No one could move, everyone sat in silence. And suddenly someone burst into tears, another began to cry, a third. In the last stanza, a long-awaited note of almost cathartic liberation sounds: As Austrian scholar Heinrich Pfandl He thus contextualized his own personal and familial affairs in the greater historical narrative that saw the Jews of the tsarist Empire adhere en masse to the progressive and universalist ideology of the Revolution inimical as it was to nationalism and antisemitism , as Yuri Slezkine brilliantly demonstrates.
Initially rewarded with roles of power and responsibility, the Jews fell victim to Stalinist repression in the s: In a list of historical situations allowing humankind to demonstrate its heroic qualities, he regretted that such an opportunity had been denied to him by the epoch in which he lived: We can agree with Klimakova There is no lasting escape from existence: Summing up, Vysockian toska is an existential melancholy that is incom- mensurate with the rudimentary mechanisms of restorative nostalgia: Vysockij at- tempted to overcome the anxiety produced in him by this divide through artistic expression and experience.
Singing offered him a means of transcendence and it is not mere coincidence that Vysockij set himself a furious pace in work and as a result in life cf. His frenetic attempts to achieve an exalted state yet again illustrate an attitude that deeply worried those close to Vysockij and was the primary cause of his premature death.
It is quite probable that he more or less consciously considered artistic creation to be his own individual podvig, a heroic feat whose realization required a vzlet or act of taking flight that could not, alas, continue uninterrupted. His quest to soar con- stantly above daily life was ultimately impossible to reconcile with the physical limitations of human existence.
Vysockij was not content with artistic creativity that was restricted to an intimate or personal scale — the result of factors both external and internal, in- cluding his character, his theatrical training, and a certainty that he would not be published or officially recorded in Soviet Russia. Vysockij was driven to share his art, and the more he immersed himself in others, the more successful he felt it to be. Writing verses was only the first step in this heroic creative process: Vysockij himself affirmed that his songs assumed semi- definite shape only after having passed muster with his audience: This re- corded Alice, directed by Oleg Gerasimov, was first released in as a double album and, after its great success, reissued almost every year until the early nineties; an MP3 version became available in Will you chicken out at once?
Or will you boldly leap? Inter- estingly, his compositions never achieved a final form: Perhaps he felt that the heroic feat of performing a song could not be repeated mechanically and that each realization required new effort and new adjustments. Some clarification of this apparent paradox is suggested by Boym The border between bytie and byt seems to parallel the mythical border between Russia and the West. Vysockij also meets the definition established by Antonio Gramsci This is exactly what Vysockij does and it explains his success: And by voicing nostalgia for the War and, more generally, for heroic contexts located in other spatial and temporal worlds, Vysockij allowed his public to both accept daily life and to understand it as preparatory to the heroic feat.
Melancholic Humor, Skepticism and Reflective Nostalgia.
Primavera di Praga, risveglio europeo : F. Caccamo :
Svetlana Boym What is freedom? To me freedom is the Russian language. He now lives in Jerusalem. Although Guberman worked for many years as an electrical engineer, he has written verse throughout his life. A reliable biog- raphy that might offer insight on this charge does not currently exist, although Guberman himself provides some information on the subject in his prose writings and other scat- tered comments may be found in the memoirs of his friends and other acquaintances.
Indeed, dozens of gariki demonstrate that the poet does not take his own literary endeavors too seriously. Later books including the Seventh and Eighth Journals came out in and , respectively cf. According to Svetlana Boym Melancholic Humor, Skepticism and Reflective Nostalgia on oppositions whose psychological appeal belies their rhetorical and artificial nature: Restorative nostalgia is a means to assertively translate a vague and intimate longing into a concrete sentiment that is both ideologized and goal-directed, whereas reflective nostalgia cf.
Reflection or introspection corrodes any comfortable, self-referential sys- tem of values I vs. He is content with everything. Where indicated, we have been able to use the translations of Guberman found in Sokolovskij , although the bulk of the gariki cited here have been rendered into unrhymed English verse by Sara Dickinson, Cecilia Pozzi, and Laura Salmon.
Indeed, the sober unmasking of this delu- sion is the only existential happiness that humans can hope for: Toska with no object, in other words, is nothing but the feel- ing of reflective nostalgia, or melancholia. The same can be said of other frequently occurring lexemes referring to the same semantic domain, i. His smiles and his tears transcend rhetoric and eventually blend: Even when oppressive toska drives the poet to respond in typical Rus- sian fashion by praying, drinking and writing, he invariably filters his feelings through skepticism or irony, rather than dramatizing them: Such individuals live on the margins of a domi- nant culture, in a borderland whose fertile soil nourishes skepticism.
For such exiles, there is no spacetime on earth where this in- ner sense of diversity might be erased — hence their questing takes the shape do Jews always answer a question with a question? Melancholic Humor, Skepticism and Reflective Nostalgia of wandering not through actual spacetime, but through their own minds. The component of reflection that is specific to reflective nostalgia results from this process of mental wandering.
They are always potentially ready to leave, to find and adapt to new spaces, and yet to preserve their constitutive strangeness wherever they are. Whereas Apollonians have a clear sense of belonging to a concrete territory and constituting a stable nation — they can leave immovable property to their heirs — Mercurians tend to cultivate knowledge, an asset that can not be inherited, but is easily transport- able in case of flight. In the host countries of the Diaspora, the Jewish condition of alien brought with it fear, uncertainty, and a sense of ontological suspension, and encouraged concomitant Jewish-Mercurian tendencies towards mastering the languages of the Others, reflecting on alterity, and renewing and even subverting various cultures: Regardless of the particular form that it assumes, Jewish-Mercurian exile appears as intrinsically disharmonic cf.
This state of incertitude and its related inclination for reflection inspires in the Jews of the Diaspora both increasing curiosity towards the Other and partial — and ambivalent — identifica- tion with them.
They are the artistic expression of a thoughtful and empathic Mercu- rian mood36, for reflection also means looking at oneself from an outside per- spective, i. A direct connec- tion between his mental flexibility and the reflective nature of his social critique is evident. If serious Apollonian writers experience a concrete sense of cultural be- longing, Mercurians operate in a reality that is paradoxical. Where Apollonians offer conservative answers, Mercurians pose thorny questions: Such stability does not necessarily mean rigidity, however.
Why did my friends always laugh so much at parties? In his treatise On Humor, Pirandello, who was also quite preoccupied with fluctuating identities as at- tested in The Late Mattia Pascal and One, No One, and One Hundred Thou- sand , provides a good description of the empathetic reflective mood, albeit in somewhat different terms cf.
Aimed at in- dividuals or groups that are seen to represent specific faults ignorance, greed, arrogance, etc. Paradox, by its very nature, is exclusively horizontal and anti-Manichean: But I know you are going to Cracow. So why are you lying to me? According to Freud Ivi: Throughout the twentieth century, the paradoxical melancholic mood of Ashkenazi Jewish culture exerted a strong influence on Apollonian culture in the West.
Skeptical humor is by no means frequent in either everyday life or literature Freud But the fact that our life is a comedy is understood and felt by only very few of its participants. I perceive both of these two genres. Melancholic Humor, Skepticism and Reflective Nostalgia Guberman expects that the audience for his skeptical humor will be com- posed of skeptics and humorists as well: His well-disposed reader enters an illogical world where laughing is a re- sponse to toska, which in turn is the response to cheerfulness: Indeed, skeptical humor is a form of subversive cogni- tive deprogramming that can make sense of ambiguity much like the insights of Zen Salmon Insofar as Mercurian Jews tend to re- ject dogma, nourish doubt, and invert moments of inconsistent logic, they are perceived by Apollonian culture — which defends the status quo and aches for restoration — as a dangerous threat: A reflective, humorous response to feelings of regret, sorrow, melancho- lia, and nostalgia implies a thorough revision of human binary postulates.
In such cases, subjective empathy paradoxically means the demystification, and thus humanization of the object itself. The process of subjectivizing and humanizing the object also para- doxically makes it available to the Other. Indeed, the more subjective the object of nostalgia, the more universal it becomes. This [Russia] is my one and only homeland. Poor, hungry, crazy, and drunk! Having lost, destroyed, and exiled her best sons! How could she be kind, cheerful, and loving?!
But does that make it any easier? The altered jackets of our elder brothers. San- dwiches wrapped in newspaper. Girls with severe brown skirts. The Languages of Russian-Jewish Nostalgic Feelings As is well known, the Jews lived for many centuries as exiles in the lands of their birth, with no homeland of their own.
This lin- guistic melange that echoed inside and outside of Jewish life fostered, on one hand, open-mindedness, creativity, and an appreciation of novelty, and, on the other, distress, disorder, and a sense of split or discontinuous identity. There is a clear interrelationship among the languages used by Russian Jewish writers, their respective poetics, and the different modalities restorative or reflective of nostalgia that inform their work. That said, the semantically hybrid term pocket. A glass of Azerbaijani wine in the entryway My baby daughter, her mit- tens, her woolen tights, the crushed back of a tiny shoe Manuscripts, the militia, the Emigration Bureau Everything that happened to us is our homeland.
While the earliest examples of Jewish literary writings in Russian were pub- lished in the early s, it was only in the second half of that century that an impressive number of journalistic, prose, and poetic works appeared. Prior to Soviet times, Russian-Jewish writers and publicists had used one or more of the three languages at their disposition: Russian, Yiddish, and the newly revived Hebrew Salmon With few exceptions, Yiddish was the language of exile and popular mostly oral tradi- 63 Some scholars e.
At the same time, the Yiddish used in the ghetto of the Pale was an idiom with dual and contradictory significance, a symbol of both exile and home. Yiddish had produced an aesthetic in which ideas of beauty and standards of artistic worth are inextricably linked to expressions of longing and pain [ Yid- dish arose, at least in part, to give voice to a system of opposition and exclusion Ivi: For several decades, Yiddish remained the sole language capable of fully describing Jewish life, the sole means of realizing the incredible potential of Jewish oral communication.
By choosing to write in Russian and about Jews, a writer is taking on a tradition that runs counter to the kind of unconscious self-identification that others, working in their national literatures, take for granted [ If you were going to write about Jews the obvious language was Hebrew or Yiddish; to do so in Russian was to em- bark on a journey of self-contradiction Nakhimovsky The structural ambiguity of the Yiddish world influenced Jewish writers, first among them Sholem Aleichem, to lean towards paradoxical humor as a specific re- sponse to the difficult condition of permanent exile: In Hebrew He dictated the commandments to Moses, in Hebrew He spoke with the prophets, scolded the children of Israel, and sometimes pitied them.
All this He does in Hebrew. But the Lord laughs and cries in Yiddish Jewish authors who chose to write in Russian or Hebrew were inclined towards restorative nostalgia: Palestine was also the chronotopic setting for Rus- sian-Jewish restorative nostalgia, the chief feeling at that time cf. Restorative nostalgia took various forms: In this context, melan- choly was produced by the knowledge that the Jewish love for Russia would never be reciprocated: Similarly, the Russian culture and language assimilated Jewish toska: They started a new life, one finally shared with their Russian neighbors cf.
While Yiddish was spoken primarily by parents and grandparents children born in the s who attended Soviet schools could understand Yid- dish better than they could actively use it , it continued to reverberate inside and outside of Jewish life. Such mutual hybridization was made possible by oral exchanges between Jews and Russians in the shared urban spaces of Soviet daily life. Because of the Soviet hostility towards religion, the overt ex- pression of a specifically Jewish identity was a provocative and dangerous action.
During the Soviet era, Russian tears became Jewish and vice versa. The ability to mock, even maliciously, even with derision towards themselves, is the wonderful, high-minded feature of the ineradicable Jewish people [ Jews returned to Russian verbal art the forgotten predilections — easiness, elegance, total humor. That is exactly how — would you believe it? On this song see also M. Due to Stalinist repression, and although appreciated by the Soviet intelli- gentsia, Jewish skepticism and paradoxicality found no support in official Soviet ideology, which was characterized by seriousness and increasing dogmatism as well as a quasi-religious set of beliefs, axiomatic myths, and rules.
If the Soviet authorities were ready to accept humor structured on a binary principle jokes are always widespread in dictatorships , they could not admit doubts and ques- tion marks. Soviet Jews became increasingly adept at using encoded subtexts as their verbal skills grew stronger. The relationship between Russians and Jews became more complex in the last two decades of the Soviet era, when massive Jewish emigra- tion to Israel and to the United States began.
There was no choice or, rather, it was a ridiculous choice: The general pattern would appear to be that the stronger the dream of a radiant future or pride for a glorious past, the more an author is prone to gravity, romanticism, and rhetorical dramatization cf. Sud- denly my wife and I were invited to that department of visas and registrations that all remember [ How many people have dreamt that all their doubts would thus be resolved by others, removing the damned splinter of free choice! In the seventies I saw many Jews who dreamt not of emigration, but of a life-long struggle for permission to emigrate [ Having been Jews in Russia, in Israel they paradoxically became Russians: An affective attachment to Russia was constituted by memory alone: The most onerous of these concerned the linguistic sphere, since language was not only a marker of his identity, but also the means for his professional activity.
For almost all of the Russian Jews who emigrated to Israel after the s, He- brew remained a foreign language. Melancholic Humor, Skepticism and Reflective Nostalgia In The Book of Wanderings Kniga stranstvij , Guberman describes the ful- fillment of a request made by an old Russian Jew who had asked his daughter to divide his ashes between Petersburg and the Judea Desert in a humorous, but poignant image of the Russian-Jewish split identity: Such a profound division of identity triggered in its subject either of two opposite reactions — denial or acceptance — both fraught with toska.
An old Soviet joke summarizes this paradox quite well. A Soviet Jew emigrates to Israel, but after a few weeks regrets the decision and heads back to the USSR; he then once again returns to Israel, then back to Russia, and so on, several times. When finally asked by the increasingly impatient authorities in both Russia and Israel in which context he ultimately feels better, the Jew replies: His dau- ghter took out of her handbag an old school pencil case, we shook out of it a handful of gray ashes: We smoked in silence.
Whatever he sings in gariki or states in prose about Russia contains apparent inconsistencies and contradictions: In meta-exile, the poet finds that his real, one and only homeland is neither a time nor a place, but the Russian language, the very essence of his identity. Inseparable from experience, emotions, and perception, language constitutes the ontological core of the Self: Russia is also the place of memory and intimacy, where the Russian lan- guage reverberates on all sides, be it in Siberia or in a Moscow kitchen: Thus, Russian today assumes the function of Yiddish in the past, giving voice to the nostalgic sounds of the exiled.
If the Lord laughs and cries in Yid- dish, those exiled from Russia to Zion laugh and cry in Russian: Through reason, he gains distance and the resulting ostranenie facilitates his empathic approach to all kinds of nonsense. Unlike tragedy, skeptical humor is not cathartic, but represents a form of emancipation or even abdication from drama and tragedy, an acceptance both cognitive and affective of the funny-yet- poignant paradoxes of human existence.
Whatever his political views and regardless of his obvious affection for Israel, the poet looks at any religious orthodoxy or dogmatic ideology with marked diffidence, precisely because his general ontological mood conflicts with the assumption of such a cogni- tive position. In both prose and verse, he also repeatedly rejects any form of blind nationalism: Skepticism, the poet suggests, is the direct result of a discontinuity between dreams and reality, and allows one to substitute false beliefs or illusions with the comparatively liberating feeling of sober melancholy: Such melancholic suspen- sion is an enduring phenomenon in the history of Jewish cognitive and emo- tive experience.
Although Jewish tradition also includes a Rabbinical branch of cognitive inflexibility the heritage of Shammai , skepticism is an ancient component of traditional Jewish exegesis as well — and it reflects the condition of exile itself as well as an elemental Judaic aversion to dogmatism. The roots of melancholic Ashkenazi humor thus seem to be of a piece with the ancient tradition of skeptical Judaism Here, God Himself can be considered a student of the Talmud, his arguments bested in discussions with rabbinical scholars Ivi: Such an idea of God renders Judaism and the Judaic God substantially different from the Christian religious model: Only Christianity has dogmas and moral authorities, which invoke the authority of God and his representatives.
Judaism does not [ So the question still remains unanswered: In response to difficult questions people often answer with a counter-question: The rabbi is not a dogmatist who determines truth for future generations. Rather, he negotiates between past and present. And if he does not do his job well, he is fired. So God as an authority plays no role [ In sum, between God and the Jewish people, in history and the present, there is a loving, skeptical, but constructive and mutual mistrust Ivi: Guberman seems a worthy heir of both ancient Hebrew and modern Ash- kenazi skeptical traditions, his latest collections of gariki giving ever more evidence of this philosophical framework.
God paradoxically re- sponds to humanity with benevolent mocking, sometimes even expressing him- self in seemingly trivial language — albeit in an entirely non-trivial way: Jews can amicably joke with their sole God because they created Him at least as much as He created them: Here again, the gariki trigger a feeling of skeptical melancholy: He has at least three contradictory hypostases, ranging from the empathic and powerless, to the powerful and indifferent, to the guiltless and absent: God represents our longing for Him, a nostalgic reflection of His longing for us: Through contrast, Guberman illustrates the intrinsic gap between metaphysical ethics, which im- plies passive subordination to external dogmas, and skeptical ethics which vi- tally contributes to the moral struggle within each of us.
In a universe governed by an inconsistent God, on a planet inhabited by inconsistent beings, in chaos that is governed by chance and necessity, verbal humor and drinking are the only responses that Guberman, a mournful optimist, has to combat toska. Life is so heavy that it deserves lightness: Poetry itself becomes the stylization of chaos, rather than a means to achieve fame or status. For Guberman, accepting toska means transcoding it into Russian-Jew- ish paradoxicality — and thus reinvigorating all the humorous resources of his beloved mother tongue.
The more refined his verse technique, the stronger the element of playfulness. His verses propose an approach to life without either self-deception or despair, replacing these with humor and skeptical melancholia, in short, a form of ethical, ironic, and melan- cholic heroism: Once we accept the logic of the universe — which at first seems senseless to us — we can change our perspective and look at things from an estranged ostranennoe position. Gariki express the poignan- cy of knowledge and the pleasure of de-dramatization: As Guberman puts it: The Presence of Absence.
Paolo Sorrentino, La grande bellezza1 Reconciliation is to understand both sides; to go to one side and describe the suffering being endured by the other side, and then go to the other side and describe the suffering being endured by the first side. Thich Nhat Hanh 1. In his view, memory, or shared history, serves as a constitutive element in the formation of human so- cieties. The problems of mem- ory and identity that Margolit and Blustein tackle seem particularly crucial in the swiftly changing context of contemporary Russian society, where it is now possible to witness a process of reconstruction and re-creation very similar to that typically occuring in individuals after the experience of trauma or shock — which is exactly what the collapse of the Soviet Union was, in diverse and often contradictory ways, for many of its citizens.
Rather, socialism was the ideal Other to justify the glorification of American capital. The truth of the consequences For a sci-fi writer like Jules Verne, the 20th C. But the technological and medical advances were not sui generis. They were based on the need for capital to find ever more sources of profit.
Thus while for the privileged life is easier, healthier and with more leisure time for myriad activities from travel to hobbies to media consumption, for less privileged, life remains harsh and is getting harsher. While for a brief period industrialization had a tendency to increase wealth and distribute it to wider numbers. But for the reasons noted, the recent transformations described have led to an increase in class inequality and the various psychological stresses and strains. The combination of globalization and post fordist production eliminated many of the well paying jobs that were available to blue collar workers.
Many high tech and managerial jobs have been eliminated. But computerization has made many of these jobs vulnerable to decline. The growth of the knowledge- symbolic workers in the global cities creates jobs for many of the semi-skilled at the lower ends of the service sector. Buildings need to be cleaned, trendy restaurants pop up like weeds to claim dishwashers and bellboys, and the yuppy scum need domestic workers and baby sitters. These jobs tend to be 1 poorly paid, 2 without benefits and 3 there are far too few of these jobs to seriously impact the ever larger pools of the unemployed.
Just as the feudal city attracted those displaced from the countryside, the global cities are often the sites of a rapidly growing underclass. Forced urban migration began with the enclosure acts. While these changes have been beneficial to corporations that face increasingly competitive markets, this has been a disaster to the lower echelons of workers.
As is likely well known to readers of a book like this, the major areas of job growth are likely to be in services. And while some of these are likely to be the highly skilled knowledge dependent services, most are likely to be semi-skilled. These jobs are likely to be poorly paid and without benefits such as health care or pensions.
One of the largest growing segments of the labor force, as many are declining, consists of temporary workers. Finally, the decline of the union movement has meant workers will stay poorly paid. In the US, the real wages for most of the work force has been stagnant or declining for the last 20 years.
Those that are still employed in manufacturing are more likely to be more skilled, more suburban or rural, less unionized and less well paid as in the past. Most of the lower echelons of the service sector are falling ever further behind. For a large number of workers at this level, full time work does not put one over the government defined poverty level.
Observing this trend, Kevin Phillips, one of the few Republican intellectuals, suggested that anger at politicians was one of the key factors in the 92 race. Some of this was expressed as support for Perot see above as well as Langman His attacks on Nafta, while quite misguided, struck a responsive chord with many voters. They seem to be aware that globalization has had major effects on the economy, and that politicians are unable to do much.
The thought that a twerp like Perot could reverse history goes beyond wish fulfillment to border on delusion. As the global city became more central for the international division of labor, we see in modern form, a reproduction of the contradictions of town and country that characterized the feudal period. But this is now played out on an international stage and it is the nation state whose power wanes much as did the power of the nobility as capital replaced land as the basis of wealth. Like the feudal town, the global city is somewhat autonomous from the country. It is part of an international division of labor and its wealth no longer serves the local communities, but the transnational enterprises that are ever less linked to particular nation states.
Thus while the service and controls may be in the global cities, the profits go to banks in Switzerland, Cayman Islands or Panama to be redistributed to shareholders. Given new infor- mation technologies, funds transfers take place instantly. Every day billions of dol- lars circulate around the globe.
But few of these dollars get to the nation states that host the global cities. We have noted how the transformations of late capital have had enormous ramif- ications. The most blatant of these consequences are the growth of the urban wastelands of every major city in the US. Many of these urban wastelands tend to be in the same global cities that are the hubs and centers of multi billion dollar corporations. While the transformations of the world economy created these conditions, the multi-national corporations little or no concern with the particular nations in which they do business, let alone the social problems those nations are ever less able to deal with.
This is especially the case when the executives are foreigners who will have a limited stay. Often they do not even learn the language. National governments with declining funds are ever less able to deal with the social problems created by the changes described. Taxpayers with declining incomes are less willing to pay for ameliative programs. Thus we see a number of intertwined crises of legitimacy.
In the advanced states, we see the paradox of declining nationalism in face of the globalization of the economy and mass media, at the same time as there are various reactionary movements waving banners of nationalism that emerge in face of declining incomes and rising populations of the poor. There have been quantitative and qualitative changes in the nature of capitalist production. Many of the once powerful manufacturing centers such as Manchester where it all began, the Monongahila valley, the Ruhr valley, etc.
Given changes in technology, transportation and cheap labor in the third world, many of the well paid manufacturing jobs in the advanced nations are now gone. While the amount of the GNP dependant on production has remained constant, less than half as many workers are now found in manufacturing and few of those have the real wages of 2 decades ago. Further, many of the low skilled jobs in textiles, clothing, toys and even many light assembly jobs in high tech industries have also been exported to countries with cheap labor.
Look at your watch, calcu- lator or underwear. Thus computers have so vastly increased productivity, that far fewer managers are necessary to run organ- izations except the Pentagon , fewer workers are needed to design and produce goods, track inventory or ship goods anywhere in the world overnight.
With e-mail, networks, databases, etc. Whereas capitalism and nationalism long sustained each other, the globalization of late capital has led to the erosion of the nation State and waning of nationalism. The various agreements over taxation, tariffs, currencies, etc. These agreements generally benefit both the local and global elites. By include we mean the ability to provide sufficient wages, incomes and entitlements to enable general participation and identification with the mainstreams of bourgeois society rather that at the margins.
Growing numbers of people can be considered little more than marginaliz- ed surplus populations that are ever more culturally and socially isolated from the larger society. The capitalist State faces a crisis between a growing urban underclass and the ability of national policies or budgets to ameliorate the problem. The marg- inalized segments of surplus people, pose three major threats to the nation.
Dependent populations, including prisoners become a drain on national fiscal re- Many mainstream economists suggest de-industrialization arguments greatly distort the number of jobs that have actually be lost to the third world, rather they argue that most of the lost jobs are due to increasing productivity and not import substitution. Secondly, young males in such groups are especially prone to various criminal activities including hard drug use that diffuse to the larger society. Finally, such populations push political agendas of the voters to the right which inevitably leads to ass backwards policies that create more problems than they solve.
Further, various retrenchments in direct and indirect benefits push many closer to the peripheries. Between declining incomes, rising taxes, and deteriorating services, individuals become less enthusiastic about government and even commitments to the nation. At the same time, stagnating or declining incomes among the workers has fostered resistance to increased taxation, especially when it is seen as supporting the undeserving subaltern outsiders. The political elites of the advanced economies either don't understand the basis of the problems and implement foolish policies, or if they do understand the problems, they are politically unable to implement ameliorative programs, in both cases, the primary concerns are to secure re-elections and media politics mitigates against solving the serious problems of today.
Not only are the resources insufficient, but as a legacy of the Reagan, Thatcher Kohl policies, already burdened taxpayers, reluctant to fund more programs either regard politicians as ineffectual or support the various forms of simpleminded policies of the right. Nationalism to the rescue: Or at least its simulations This combination has eroded concerns for politics for most and abdicated the de- bates to increasingly vocal conservative nationalists.
The misunderstandings of the right frame the issues as variations on blame the victim, decline of family values or damnation of popular culture. In turn there have been major investments in new prisons, more police and military efforts to interdict drugs. Retrenchments of welfare are assumed to en- courage teen aged chastity. As if teenagers who can't plan whether to screw that night can anticipate benefits a year later. What is essential for my argument is that religion and later nationalism provided 1 communities with solidarity rituals to maintain social ties, 2 ideologies that explained reality, gave meanings to injustice and sacrifice, moral codes for conduct, and goals to strive for, and 3 provided identities that gave the individual dignity and personal meaning.
What I am suggesting is that just as capitalism eroded feudalism and nationalism eroded religion, mass media has eroded nationalism as a political agenda and it is now a form of entertainment. Each can be seen as a ideological world view that creates particular forms of communities-church, nation and audience, identities- believer, citizen and fan, and goals-salvation, pride and now amusement.
As most commentators have noted, the advent of television has had major conse- quences on politics in general and electoral politics in particular. The use of expensive commercials, photo-op sound bite campaigns orchestrated by political consultants is now the accepted procedure. Campaigns are no longer based on partisan politics but focus group responses, what feel good about candidate, why the opponent is despicable and dreadful. People who are anxious, fearful and discouraged about the conditions of their lives respond with hope and enthusiasm to unambiguous promises to improve those conditions and also to clear definitions of enemies responsible for their deprivation.
The leader who persuasively offers such promises and definitions becomes a hero; the public that identifies with his or her expressed hopes and fears is now inclined to attribute their misfortunes to political enemies It is for such reasons that conservatives, indeed reactionary politicians have certain built in advantages, they are more amusing, and they are more likely to provide psychological gratifications, especially sustaining identities being assaulted by global capital.
And nationalist rhetoric is especially conducive to expressing the discontents that have been indicated. Insofar as electoral politics has become a form of amusement, albeit sustaining hegemony, nationalist appeals are especially amus- ing at a time when nation states have more limited realms of options in the global economy. They are on the wane Insofar as the prestige of the nation state has thus declined, the simulated forms of nationalism as amusement maintain legitimacy. This can be seen in such varied forms as the Gulf war or what is misleadingly called the rise of the Christian right.
What must be clearly noted is that electoral politics is a form of amusement and nationalist appeals the most amusing. The fundamental danger however, is that while such politics has little consequence on the functioning of global capital, some specific policies can make life very painful for the poor and already marginalized. But such trends have been taking place in all the industrial societies. Ironically, the demise of developed nations began with the rise of colonial independence movements.
With the loss of colonies political capital fell. With the emergence of the global post fordist system, economic autonomy was lost. Now the dream world of amusement compensates for the loss of political and economic power. From the political to the personal For most societies, social reproduction was based largely on a combination of socialization, networks of personal ties and obligation and culturally patterned routines of everyday life.
Most people were largely concerned with their immediate lives, kinship obligations and social ties. These obligations and ties often meant hating another family. Social arrangements were not topics of much concern. Religion provided justifications for class arrangements, a basis for community, and in turn meaning systems and identities. In this way,for much of European history, religion sustained hegemony. It should be further noted that for most people, religion was closely tied to biblical tales, laws and rituals of birth, marriage, baptism and death that were interwoven with family life.
Otherwise said, most peasants were largely concerned with their immediate lives and not the abstract ponderings of academic theologians. Or sociologists for that matter. The magic of modernity was to shatter the domination by the Church and put in place a hegemonic nationalism that lured subject positions from the immediate worlds centered around family and perhaps village life.
While class was the dom- inant feature of the new capitalist order, nationalism became a more important force than class conflict. The members of a national community had a new basis of dignity and identity, the citizen. In every case of nationalism, there was an attachment to a national community, its framework of meaning and values.
Indeed when class interest became an aspect of partisan electoral politics, it was essentially neutralized by gradualism and reform. Further, the prestige of the nation now affected individual self esteem, pride in scientific and literary achievements, shame in military or economic loss. But no sooner than nationalism fostered a migration of subjectivity from the Church and local community to the nation, capitalism fostered mass mediated consumerism.
As was previously claimed, this led to a migration of subjectivity from the nation and the larger life, to the privatized realms of personal consumption. Bellah following Durkheim as well suggests that occupational mobility, residential changes, the growth of leisure and lifestyle choices, etc. While he is essentially correct, he remains at the level of consequences and not causes.
If we start from the radical individualism of Americans that emerged when its English tradition met abundant land, then it becomes clear how consumerism and media have only contributed to the fragmentation of communities that had been long been typical of capitalism. This presumes the very existence of long term stable communities. Firstly, consumerism fragments the public into a number of consumption based groups.
If not yet available, in the near future, we can expect perhaps channels available by cable.
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This will permit even greater differentiations of taste, eg. Then there are the genres of popular music from bubble gum rock to heavy metal to salsa. Further are the variations in fashion and style. There are wide variations in life styles of the affluent who sail chartered yachts in the Aegean to the poor who join bottle gangs or visit crack houses of the ghettoes. The fragmentation of the audience can also be seen in the rapid proliferation of computer communication, specifically the vast number of bulletin boards available on internet which now has about 20 million subscribers.
It was estimated that , people read the bondage posts every day alt. There are thousands of bulletin boards ranging from intellectual or scientific exchanges, pro- gressive sociologist network being the best, to the grotesque alt. What is being suggested is that the vast range of goods, media and cultural choices and life styles not only fragments a society into so many divers segments, but as was argued, lures selfhood from commitments to the community, in this case the nation, to the manifold realms of privatized hedonism in which market generated individualism becomes superimposed on traditional individualism to provide a vast number of communities, some virtual, meanings and identities.
Of necessity, this has resulted in a decline of political interest and commitment. The end of political man and woman As we have noted the magic of nationalism was its ability to bring large numbers of the society from the peripheries to the core. The current simulations of nationalism, made for television bad guys like Newt Gingrich, LePen, Berlusconi or Haider, and the chumpian sic of them all, Zhirinovsky the anti-Semitic Jew cannot deal with the issues they raise since global capital is the problem, not the immigrants, women, gays, Jews, Turks or Klingons.
Further, it must be noted, that these appeals do not attract majorities, rather, the general trend to move away from the political. In the advanced nations, a plethora of mass mediated spectacles has shifted consciousness from the social and political back to the self and local communities, even if such communities are now virtual and exist largely in cyberspace.
This migration of subjectivity and consciousness is evident in a number of interrelated trends. Perhaps the growth of the therapeutic society is one of the most telling trends. Most bookstores, at least the national chains, have hundreds of books on self help, improving relationships, achieving ultimate orgasm and producing child prodigies.
At any given time, millions attend various 12 step groups, support groups, therapy groups, etc. While to be sure many of these may be quite laudable, and psychotherapy itself a legacy of the Enlightenment, has helped many overcome a variety of problems, whatever else it may or may not do, is that it focuses concern on the private, the personal and the important relationships in one's life.
While many of today's social movements are directed toward positive social change, feminism, ecology, gay rights, a far more significant movement is the quest for new religious meanings. Many have moved away from mainstream religions, often the liberal Churches and synagogues with social messages. They have moved to a variety of feel good religions. Perhaps the most significant has been the various new age religions.
While there is a large variety of these new age religions, they largely consist of ripping off rituals from other religions including Native American ceremonies, they ignore social gospels and social teachings. The growing witch covens generally encourage egalitarianism and harmony with nature. Many of the new age religions tend to be concerned with personal enlightenment and benefit, often healing. While whatever else can be said of Judeo-Christian religions in terms of sustaining hegemony, it must be noted that they did have a very strong social message encouraging charity, forgiveness and concern with others.
The pursuit of truth from the crystals, the stars or Tarot cards does little to encourage social con- cern. Indeed following Adorno, such beliefs may sustain a degree of conformity and acceptance of everyday life that can be called little more than fascism on the cheap. Finally, we might note another indication of the movement from the political to the person is attraction to celebrities.
The relations to the manufactured stars of media has become a major industry. National inquirer has about 25 million readers each week more concerned with Dolly Parton's breasts, Michael Jackson's weirdness and Oprah's diet than with serious social interests. At the time of this writing, far more Americans are interested in the trial of OJ Simpson than any political event. Then we could note the vast num- bers of fanzine bulletin boards. And as Rome deteriorated, the circuses were filled. And so we have seen how the globalization of post fordist production has teamed with a mass mediated culture of spectacles to usher a retreat from the political.
But as we have warned, as more people escape the political, they abandon the game to the angry, atavistic demigods of the right. The complexity of social psycho- logical phenomena related to the nation might be an explanation for the relative scarcity of literature concerning the psychological roots and modes of operation of the sense of national belonging, which has tormented the lives of millions of human beings since the French Revolution up to now, in Europe as well as throughout the world.
Scholars studying national identity from the perspective of those affected have developed sharply contrasting theories on the nature of the nation as a group. Histo- rians are divided in their arguments over whether the nation has always been a sort of group which primordially enabled human beings to identify with it, versus the insistence that nations emerged as a means of satisfying new needs that were aroused by modern structures of social organization such as classes, institutions of representative democracy and the market.
Consequently, there is a clash of views over whether the nation should be considered a cultural unit providing a common set of assumptions concerned with the way the world is constructed socially, or whether it should be treated as a political unit creating a public sphere of communication where ideological and social differences can be safely expressed without fatally weakening social cohesion.
Sociological reconstructions of the national experience are unable to agree on the nature of the common base of communication provided by the national principle of group organization. Some argue that national development can be understood solely on the basis of continuity of socio-biological forces which form identity through the belief of common descent and ancestry. This view has been challenged by scholars who maintained that the nation is an invention.
Results of this invention have been conceived as projections in the past creating plausible and feasible images of the nation in an ideological sphere which is completely devoid of feasibility and plausibility. There is not much consensus on whether national identity is rooted in deeply seated psychological needs dominated by irrational patterns of a collective mind, or whether varieties of national experience stem from the need for meaning of the world with the help of national categorization.
The interest in solving these problems cannot be constrained within the scope of academia. Despite expectations concerning the death or loss of relevance of the na- tion recent developments in the world demonstrate the opposite.
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Nations seem to be enduring entities of human social life and disputes can hardly be continued unless careful investigations are carried out which would yield empirical evidence support- ing or refuting the various hypotheses which exhibit no inclination to be reconciled with each other 2.
This paper attempts to contribute to the discussion of the aforementioned problems through analyses of texts of European national anthems. While it can well be that nations had existed primordially, their anthems have characteristically been concomitants of a historical process leading to the emergence of states seeking their social-psychological location in the consciousness of people living within their boundaries as well as abroad. National anthems can be regarded as paraphernalia of a state which aspired not merely to command the obedience of its subjects but to rally their loyalty as citizens.
The capital city, representative buildings of government, monuments, the national flag, distinct military uniforms, coats of arms, postal stamps, bank notes, visible bor- der markings, and national holidays formed the stock of national symbolism which were to enhance not just the level of identification of citizens but to delineate and make the reality of nation visible to foreigners. The inclusion of the national anthem 1. The nation, however, can be viewed purely as a construction stemming from politics without implying any value judgement Breully The role of imagination informed by cultural forces is stressed by Anderson Sociological constituents of the national formation are discussed by Deutsch ; Weber ; Hroch Continuity of the national existence is represented in much of the literature e.
Armstrong ; Smith ; Connor National experience as a form of irrational group consciousness characterises psychoanalytical writings on national identity such as Freud ; Adorno et. National identity as a manifestation of irrational group consciousness has been challenged by Stokes, Tajfel. No matter how national identity had earlier been represented in literature most recently it has been subject of deconstruction from the perspectives of post- colonialism and feminism.
See Bhabha ; Chatterjee ; Enloe C. Nationalism in the context of post-socialism is discussed by Kennedy ; Verdery Kligman ; Rothschild Efforts to collect valid and reliable data concerning present national identity pattern in the world and especially in Europe are underway. See Nationalism, ethnic conflict, etc. The imagery of national anthems in Europe 39 was based on the model of the British, whose anthem dates back to approximately Hobsbawm But the British national anthem had to wait for its revered status of patriotic hymn.
Earlier it was sung infrequently and without competence Scholes Ironically, the national anthem was more important among groups of people living in empires who had been deprived of their independent state. The text and tune of a patriotic song elevated to the rank of national hymn served as a powerful psychological substitution of existing political institutions of nationhood for certainly it was easier to acquire a national hymn than to achieve internationally recognised national territory within which the symbols of nationalism could exert their natural infiuence. No wonder that in many European countries the creation of the national anthem as a means of mobilization of masses preceded the creation of the national state, which was later more than ready to exploit the legitimizing potential of the inherited patriotic song.
What are the features of the texts of the national anthems which made them accessible to the masses and helped reinforce the political power of the state over them, or elicited the wish to belong to a nation state? According to Elemer Hankiss, who carried out an investigation of national anthems, the Iyrics to these patriotic songs have a strong emotional appeal and seemingly have a mobilizing function due to their military overtones.
But this analysis failed to reveal a comprehensive struct- ure which can be viewed as an underlying generative matrix of the genre. Moreover, Hankiss did not make a systematic comparison between the texts of national anthems of Western and Eastern European nations which would have contributed to the solution of the problem of possible typical differences between political and cultural types of nationalism.
Themes Let us begin the analysis of the texts with an investigation into how these texts redeemed the physical environment and endowed it with national meaning 3. The texts need to create a scene where the drama of the national life could be conceived. Patriotic meanings stem fiom projection of three major distinct themes into the physical world.
Twenty-five national anthems are available at this moment. Spain's national anthem has no text. On the basis of geographical location two groups of countries were made. In the group of Western European countries the following countries were included: Common natural objects such as rivers, mountains, plains, ocean shores, and even pinetrees can immediately assume national relevance simply because of their inclusion in the text.
Once the association has been made the landscape becomes familiar and even a characteristic. Having described and detailed the land, most of the texts continue to increase the strength of psychological association through placing the land or more frequently giving a name to it. There are two types of names. In some instances the land is named after the national group which claims the right to inhabit it e. Hungarians in Hungary while in other cases the group simply assumes the geographical term e. The result is identical in both cases. Identification of the land by the group's name or identification of the group by the territory's name equally contribute to the establishment of a cognitively inseparable spatial relationship between a physical space and its residents, suggesting that there is no geographical alternative living area.
While references to landscape can be found more frequently in the texts of Western European national anthems the establishment of a cognitive relationship between land and nation by usage of a name in the text is equally frequent among Western European and Eastern European nations. Time can be endowed with national meaning by inclusion of historical themes which provide a narrative framework for the creation of the nation as a collective entity embedded in the familiar sequence of past-present-future.
Some hymns insist on eternity, rendering the assumption that the nation involved has always existed and there is no reason to believe that this existence will discontinue in the future. Because eternity is in remarkable contrast with the common experience of mortality of individual human beings it creates favourable conditions for identification with the acceptance of a promise for a kind of immortality, which earlier was provided solely by religion.
There are basically two versions of the past represented in the national anthem texts. One is the frequently found version full of struggles and battles which emanate glory and salvation to sustain feelings of positive identification. One is always ready to follow the path of victorious forefathers especially if he or she is spared the costs and risks of those warriors' enterprises.
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Less frequent is the version dwelling on the suffering and burden of the past which were to lead to the present celebrated moment of singing the song of the nation. Tears, misfortune, blood, loss of beloved ones are the most characteristic elements of this kind of narrative. While some texts tell of a misfortunate past and some recall a glorious one, the future is always depicted in bright colours. In some instances, however, before stepping on the road to a bright future some nations need to awaken, following the French example.
Loyalty and dedication are the major manifestations of this positive affection which can sometimes be streched to sacrifice one's life. The positive impression of the nation located in space and time is enhanced by inclusion of a set of basic human values which can serve as specific arguments for the intriguing question: Values Analysis of values reveals psychological, political, military, aesthetic, everyday, and international concerns as possible justification for patriotism.
National anthems, no doubt, resuscitate heroes who represent brave, persistent, bold spirited, firm, enduring types of human species. The political world of these heroes is dominated by freedom, law, and unity. No wonder that memories of the struggles for realization of these values are overwhelmed by traces of military victory and glory, helped sometimes by good fortune.
Increasing the powerful motivation stemming from heroism, idealism and military success some texts em- phasise the extraordinary beauty of the landscape where all the noble actions have been pursued. In peaceful times happiness, prosperity, trust, faith, joy, and work are mentioned as leading values of the nation. To make this characterization irresistible some texts move even further bringing out the nation's own positive evaluation as it was expressed by other nations as well as the entire world.
In the national imagery of the anthems, ruled by supreme positive values, there is not much room left for anything which could be even remotely connected to cri- ticism, negativity or ambivalence 4. If the lonely world of absolute perfection of 4. There is not much for irony either. How many Greeks would accept for instance as their national anthem the following text which by selection of its theme and values would certainly qualify? Thermopylae Honor to those who in the life they lead define and guard a Thermopylae.
Never betraying what is right, consistent and just in all they do but showing pity alas, and compassion; generous in small ways, still helping as much they can; always speaking the truth, yet without hating those who lie. Inversely, disturbances are seen as far removed from the bold spirit of the nation such as misfortune, and foreign occupation.
Traitors are rare actors in scenes of the national drama and they are damned whenever they appear. National anthems in Western Europe refer more frequently to political values than anthems in Eastern Europe, and place more stress on overcoming negative for- ces, mainly foreign enemies. Misfortune and betrayal are somewhat more emphasis- ed in the texts of the Eastern European national anthems than in the Western coun- terparts.
God seems to play a more important role in the life of Western European nations. While the texts of seven out of sixteen Western European national anthems are explicit on divine presence or influence concerning the state of nation, in Eastern Europe no nation invokes God in the text of the anthem except the Hungarians who are keen on being blessed by God.
Rules of speech The cast which is implied by the grammatical pattern of the texts of national anthems suggests that anthems are supposed to be performed by collectives rather than by isolated individuals. Some of the anthems are in fact prayers, but taking into account the nature of their themes and values it would be an utter misunderstanding to whisper them alone. Despite theories which stress the links of ethnocentrism and nationalism, the potential membership invoked by the application of the name of the national group as it is manifested in the texts shows a remarkable readiness to include anyone who joins the group of utteres.
This tendency to include can be a major factor behind the assimilatory power of modern nations and wherever tendencies of the opposite direction prevail they can be accounted for by limitations imposed by cultural or political rules rather than by those of linguistics, which decidedly encourage participation and equality of utterance. Consequently, national anthems appear as powerful means of homogenization of those who are voluntarily willing to become members of the national community irrespective of their alterna- tive layers of identity.
Sherrand, Princeton UP, Princeton, pag. The imagery of national anthems in Europe 43 In some instances the texts of national anthems imply a singular anonymous person who invokes or describes the nation as a group. Again, the group invoked or described can consist of anyone who is willing to join. Rare exceptions are those anthems which give voice by lyrical means to a famous historical figure this is the case of the Dutch national anthem or give an account of the deeds of a hero e.
Revealing boastful patterns of self-assertion in anthems of the European nations, which by no means can be considered as products of modernity emerged in the midst of enlightenment, one is involuntarily reminded of the characterization of the ethnocentric world view described by Sumner in his Folkways of Folkways correspond to it to cover both the inner and outer relation.
Careful comparison of the cognitive aspects of the ethnocentric syndrome and the rosy world of the nation manifested in the texts of national anthems demonstrates, however, that there are important differences between the two belief systems. First there is the problem of group membership, which we have mentioned above. According to Sumner the differentiation between the in-group and everybody else, or the outgroups, arises by kinship. Members of the outgroup are outsiders whose ancestors waged war on the ancestors of the in-group. Members of modern nations, whether they constitute a state of their own or have a common cultural heritage without having a common state, certainly cannot be regarded as descendants of the same ancestors.
This might be the reason membership criteria are treated so loosely in the texts of the anthems. Furthermore, while bellicose traditions can prevail and memories of past enmity can haunt the hostilities between the nations, they cannot be equalled with wars and fights between primordial groups. Although references to the enemy can be fre- quently found in the rhetoric of national anthems the issues at stake are always ideological. This is why utmost importance is attributed to the value of freedom in the texts. Additional values such as wealth, prosperity, happiness, joy, natural beauty, and even heroism, which are also mentioned in the national anthem texts, re- present individual aspirations embedded in a collective framework and elaborated by national ideology.
The group which is created as the nation by semantic means bears indeed more resemblance to an imagined community than to the in-group implied by the original ethnocentric syndrome. How can national an- thems nourish pride of the nation and lead to extreme forms of national identific- ation which are full of contempt and hostility toward foreigners? The answer to this question lies in the remarkable similarity between the structure of the collective self as it is represented by the anthems and the structure of the modern individual.
The power of the former over the latter can, in reality, be ex- plained by default of the immediate collective experience which gave a sense of se- curity and orderliness to members of the in-group. Human beings became uprooted by the torments of modernity and they could rely only on themselves. Unlimited self-reliance, however, breeds narcissism which is considered by modern society as pathological behaviour. According to Freud's deep-sighted observation, pathological behaviours cease to be seen as deviant as they are practised collectively.
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The world of boastful, self-indulgent national identity consequently can help the individuals rid themselves of their surplus self-love and channel it to another object which still belongs to the self. This legitimate object would be the nation. In the light of recent national conflicts in Europe one is tempted to believe that the ethnocentric syndrome has not died out completely either.
Jung was probably right in assuming that human beings drag their collective consciousness, which is haunted by ghosts of ancestors who would view with pleasure their descendants up- holding the fight, and help them kill, plunder and enslave outsiders. Nevertheless, there is not much proof that the texts of national anthems can do anything about this. References , Nationalism, ethnic conflict and conceptions of citizenship and democracy in Western and Eastern Europe, Ercomer, Utrechts.
Selected writings, Boulder, New York. Colonial and post-colonial histories, Princeton UP, Princeton. The quest for understanding, Princeton UP, Princeton. Suny , From the moment of social history to the work of cultural repre- sentation, in G. Sexual politics at the end of the cold war, University of California Press, Berkeley. The imagery of national anthems in Europe 45 Freud S.
Europe, , in E. On the semantics of historical time, Mit Press, Cambridge. Campbell , Ethnocentrism: Jewish and western nationalism, University Press of New England. The history and romance of the world's first na- tional anthem, London. Kligman , Romania after Ceasescu: Send her victorious, Happy and glorious, Long rein over us God save the Queen. Thy choicest gifts in store On her be pleased to pour, Long may she reign May she defend our laws, And ever give us cause To sing with heart and voice God save the Queen.
Ireland Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland; Some have come from a land beyond the wave, Sworn to be free, no more ancient sireland, Shall shelter the despot or the slave. Tonight we man the 'bear na baoil' i. France Ye sons of France, wake to glory, Hark, hark, what myriads bid you rise!
Your children, wives and grandsires hoary, See their tears and hear their cries. Shall hateful tyrants mischief breeding With hireling hosts, a ruffin band Affright and desolate the land, While peace and liberty lie bleeding? To arms, to arms ye brave! The imagery of national anthems in Europe 47 Th'avenging sword unsheathe! All hearts resolved On victory or death. O sacred love of France, undying, Th'avenging arm uphold and guide. Thy defenders, death defying, Fight with Freedom at their side.
Soon thy sons shall be victorious When the banner high is raised; And dying enemies, amazed, Shall behold thy triumph, great and glorious. To arms, to arms, ye brave! Belgium O noble Belgium, well beloved Mother, To you our hearts and hands we give. To you our life blood dedicating, Together swearing y ou shall live. You shall live, ever great and splendid, Your unity, enduring evermore, Shall have as its immortal emblem: Your King, your liberty and law, Shall have as its immortal emblem: Your King, your liberty and law.
I'll trust unto Thy guidance. O leave me not ungirt. That I may stay a pious Servant of Thine for aye, And drive the plagues that try us And tyranny away. Oh Father in heaven, Whose powerful hand Makes states or lays them low, Protect the Luxembourger land From foreign yoke and woe. God's golden liberty bestow On us now as of yore. Let Freedom's sun in glory glow For now and evermore. Switzerland When the morning skies grow red And over us their radiance shed, Thou, O Lord, appeareth in their light. When the Alps glow bright with splendour, Pray to God, to Him surrender, For you feel and understand, that He dwelleth in this land.
In the sunset Thou art nigh and beyond the starry sky, Thous, O loving Father, ever near. When to Heaven we are departing, Joy and bliss Thou'lt be imparting, For we feel and understand That Thou dwellest in this land. When dark clouds enshroud the hills And grey mist the valley fills, Yet Thou are not hidden from Thy sons, Pierce the gloom in which we cower With Thy sunshin's cleansing power; Then we feel and understand That God dwelleth in this land.
After these let us strive Brotherly with heart and hand! Unity and Right and Freedom Are the pledge of happiness. Bloom in the splendour of this happiness, Bloom, my German Fatherland! Austria Land of mountains, land of streams, Land of fields, land of spires, Land of hammers, with a rich future, You are the home of great sons, A nation blessed by its sense of beauty, Highly praised Austria, highly praised Austria. Strongly fought for, fiercely contested, You are in the centre of the Continent Like a strong heart, You have borne since the earliest days The burden of high mission, Much tried Austria, much tried Austria.
Watch us striding free and believing, With courage, into new eras, Working cheerfully and full of hope, In fraternal chorus let us take in unity The oath of allegiance to you, our country, Our much beloved Austria, our much beloved Austria Denmark King Christian stood by the lofty mast In mist and smoke; His sword was hammering so fast, Through Gothic helm and brain it passed; Then sank each hostile hunk and mast In mist and smoke. I greet thee, thou loveliest land on the earth, Thy sun, thy skies, thy verdant meadows smiling.
Thy throne rests on memories from great days of yore, When world-wide renown was valour's guerdon. I know to thy name thou art true as before. Oh, I would live and I would die in Sweden. Norway Yes, we love with fond devotion This our land that looms Rugged, storm-scarred over the ocean, With her thousand homes. Love her, in our love recalling Those who gave us birth.
And old tales which night, in falling, Brings as dreams to earth, And old tales which night, in falling, Brings as dreams, as dreams to earth. Norseman, whatsoever thy station, Thank thy God, Whose power Willed and wrought the land's salvation In her darkest hour. All our mothers sought with weeping And our sires in fight, God has fashioned, in His keeping, Till we gained our right. Yes, we love with fond devotion This our land that looms Rugged, storm scarred, over the ocean With her thousand homes. And, as warrior sires have made her Wealth and fame increase, At the call we too will aid her, Armed to guard her peace.
Iceland Our country's God! We worship thy name in its wonder sublime. The suns of heavens are set in Thy crown By thy legions, the ages of time! The imagery of national anthems in Europe 51 With Thee is each day as a thousand years, Each thousand of years, but a day, Eternity flower with its homage of tears, That reverently passes away. Eternity's flower with its homage of tears, That reverently passes away. Finland Our land, our land, our native land, Oh, let her name ring clear! No peaks against the heavens that stand, No gentle dales or foaming strand Are loved as we our home revere, The earth our sires held dear.
The flowers in their buds that grope Shall burst their sheats with spring; So from our love to bloom shall open Thy gleam, thy glow, thy joy, thy hope, And higher yet some day shall ring The patriot song we sing. She bows her head to you, You, whom God created As the slave of Rome. Let us band together, We are ready to die, Italy has called us.
Portugal Heroes of the sea, noble race Valiant and immortal nation, Now is the hour to raise up on high once more Portugal's splendour. To arms, to arms On land and sea! To fight for our Homeland! To march against the enemy guns! Unfurls the unconquerable flag In the bright light of your sky! Cry out to all Europe and the whole world That Portugal has not perished. Your happy land is kissed By the Ocean that murmurs with love. And your conquering arm Has given new worlds to the world! To arms, to arms etc. Salute the Sun that rises On a smiling future: Let the echo of an insult be The signal for our revival.
The rays of that powerful daun Are like a mother's kisses That protect us and support us Against the insults of fate. Greece I shall always recognise you By the dreadful sword you hold, As the earth, with searching vision, You survey, with spirit bold. It was the Greeks of old days whose dying Brought to birth our spirit free. Now, with ancient valour rising, Let us hail you, oh Liberty!
Poland Poland still is ours for ever, Long as Poles remain; Chains the foe bound on her never Shall the foe retain. From Italy's fair plain! Lead us on to greet our homeland, Lead us back again! The imagery of national anthems in Europe 53 Vistula and Wartar over, Poles we shall ever be; And from Bonaparte discover Paths to victory. Czech Lands Where is my home, where is my home?
Streams are rushing through the meadows, 'Mid the rocks sigh fragrant pine groves, Orchards decked in Spring's array Scenes of Paradise portray. And this land of wondrous beauty Is the Czech land, home of mine, Is the Czech land, home of mine. Slovakia Lightning strikes our mighty Tatra tempest-shaken, Lightning strikes our mighty Tatra tempest-shaken.
Stand we fast, friends of mine, Storms must pass, sun will shine, Slovaks shall awaken. Hungary God, bless the Hungarians With good cheer and prosperity! Extend a protective arm If they fight the enemy. Torn by misfortune for long, Give them happy years. These people have expiated The past and the future. Romania With three colours I'm acquainted Which recall a gallant race. Since old times by glory sainted Battles has it won apace.
This tricolor flag of ours Flutters crimson, yellow, blue, Like a star in sky bowers Rise my people, brave and true. In this world we are a nation Keen on work and of soul, Free and with new reputation, Sharing one ambitious goal. For the homeland's greater glory We crush enemies at fight, But we'd share a peaceful story With all peoples in proud light. Our grandfathers' word still lives, As long their sons' heart beats for the people. It lives, the spirit of Slavs lives, it will live for centuries. The abyss of hell threatens in vain, the fire of thunder is in vain. Now let everything above us be carried away by the bura.