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Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica

The Journal of "Sapientia" Hungarian University of Transylvania

2 Issues per year

Open Access
Online
ISSN
2391-8179
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Inventing the Enemy. When Propaganda Becomes History

Anca Andriescu Garcia
Published Online: 2014-05-30 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ausp-2014-0005

Abstract

Umberto Eco’s latest novel. The Prague Cemetery, has a complicated metatextual plot in which, as the writer himself stated, he attempts to create the most repugnant of all literary characters, in other words, some sort of “perfect loather" who detests everyone, including himself. I will discuss the various stereotypes of otherness, the way these stereotypical images interact, and how the author weaves the prejudices related to almost every European nationality, but mostly to the Jews, into the image of the “supreme enemy," an image divested of any ornament and so presumptuous that it becomes almost dense. Moreover, in relation to the image I mentioned above. I analyse the mechanisms language uses as a vehicle of deception especially when it describes what is familiar in propagandist texts. I also focus on the different fictional filters applied to real historical events (and texts) in order to entice the reader into trying to decipher a complex and factitious labyrinth in which the barrier between truth and fiction no longer matters, it is purely accidental, and has only one purpose-to generate conspiracies.

Keywords: Enemy. Propaganda. Jews; Metatext

References

  • Badiou. Alain. 2012. The Century. Malden: Polity Press.Google Scholar

  • Eco. Umberto. 2008. Turning Back the Clock. Hot Wars and Media Populism. Orlando: Harcourt Inc. Google Scholar

  • -. 2012. Inventing the Enemy. (Kindle edition.) Boston. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Google Scholar

  • -. 2010. The Prague Cemetery. (Kindle edition.) Boston. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.Google Scholar

  • Girard. René. 1986. The Scapegoat. (Kindle edition.) Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar

  • Herf. Jeffrey. 2006. The Jewish Enemy. Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust. (Kindle edition.) Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar

  • Schwab. Gabriele, (year not mentioned). Imaginary Ethnographies. Literature, Culture, and Subjectivity. (Kindle edition.) New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar

  • Wisnicki. Adrian S. 2008. Conspiracy; Revolution, and Terrorism from Victorian Fiction to the Modem Novel. (Kindle edition.) New York and London: Routledge. Google Scholar

About the article

Published Online: 2014-05-30

Published in Print: 2013-07-01


Citation Information: Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica, ISSN (Online) 2391-8179, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/ausp-2014-0005.

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© 2014. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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