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Revolution's Urban Landscape

Bucharest Culture and Postcommunist Change

Raoul Granqvist

What are the implications of «change» as assessed from a Revolution's discourse point of view? Did Revolution in its Eastern European mode «happen» only to make its once heroic agents «vulgar banana eaters» (Slavoj Zizek)? To what extent is/was Revolution part of the globalization process (Americanization)? The answer of this book is that it constituted a series of occurrences of both contingency and continuation. It is Romanian Revolution as a metonymic and creative space, incorporating the Event (here the city of Bucharest, December 1989-1990), the Memory (refiguration of identities), the Contact zone (the street as a public place), and the Local-Global (the East-West dialectics) that Revolution's Urban Landscape discusses in much detail. Through combining and analysing materials from both the local cultural field and the international press (witness reports, journalistic documentation, travelogues, fiction, academic publishing, graffiti, etc.), Raoul Granqvist demonstrates a number of aspects of Revolution's self-reflexivity, vitality and amorphousness. The Romanian book industry, through its absorption and introduction of new areas of popular reading (such as the American romance), embodies, this book explains, the basic instincts of Revolution towards openness and interaction.
Contents: Revolution and Carnival - Revolution's New Geography - The University Square «Hooligans» - Memory as Forgetting: Bucharest's Civic Centre Discourse - Bucharest, the City of Homecomings and Arrivals - Revolution's Explanations and Apologies - Why the Poets? Revolution's Popular Book - Romanian Romance and Sandra Brown - Revolution's New Readers - Piracy.