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The Empire Writes Back—Writing Back to the Empire

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Representing the USSR in Contemporary Ukrainian Literature

image of East Central Europe

The article offers a comparison between the representations of the former USSR in contemporary Ukrainian literature from Galicia and from the eastern part of Ukraine. In the main it focuses on the writers Yuri Andrukhovych, Serhiy Zhadan, and Lyubko Deresh. In Andrukhovych’s novels and essays, the former Habsburg monarchy is represented as a positive, liberal counterpart to Soviet collectivism and uniformity; Zhadan, in his poetry, depicts the cultural situation in Eastern Ukraine as a kind of a post-Soviet void; Deresh, finally, in his successful pop novels denies any further relevance of Soviet heritage in Galicia.

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Slawistik der Universität Wien,


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