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"Levatyński bazar duszy". Bałkany i Morze Czarne w Dunaju Claudia Magrisa

Michał Czorycki

“A Levantine Bazaar of the Mind”. The Balkans and the Black Sea in Claudio Magris’s Danubio

This article focuses on the representation of Eastern Europe in Claudio Magris’s Danubio (1986). As demonstrated by recent critical studies, Eastern Europe is more a cultural concept than a geographical designation. The region has often been described through the use of a number of specific topoi which have contributed to its perception as fundamentally different from the West. Eastern Europe has often appeared – in particular in travel narratives written by Westerners – as a negative reflection of its Western counterpart. Some of these topoi are still present in many Westerners’ accounts of the region. This essay examines Magris’s depiction of Romania – the last stage of the narrator’s Danubian journey – which, even though Danubio remains a work of a highly critical and open-minded observer, contains a number of motifs and figures characteristic to the discourse on the radical West/East division.