Borders and Memory

Authored by: Tatiana Zhurzhenko

The Ashgate Research Companion to Border Studies

Print publication date:  July  2011
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9780754674061
eBook ISBN: 9781315612782
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043997


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‘Today Trieste seems a quiet Italian backwater, a city whose obsession with the past – both its glories and its traumas – mirrors its economic stagnation and political isolation, imparting a melancholy, almost oppressive, air’ – writes the American anthropologist Pamela Ballinger in her book on memory and identity in Istria (Ballinger 2003a, 28). She cites Joseph Cary, a writer who had long known and loved Trieste in its literary evocations: when finally confronted with its reality he called it a ‘ghost town’. There is another city on the Eastern margins of Europe which fits this metaphor. This is Lviv (Lvov, Lwów, Lemberg) once compared to a ‘ghost-ship’ by the famous Ukrainian writer, Yuri Andrukhovych. Lviv, like Trieste, is a border town, but even more important, in some sense they both find themselves in the past. There are many parallels in their historical destinies. Two aspects of this historical experience shared by Lviv and Triest – the rearrangement of political borders and the contestation of collective memories – will be addressed in this chapter.

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