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Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica

The Journal of "Sapientia" Hungarian University of Transylvania

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Life Stories and Interculturality

Éva Toldi
Published Online: 2015-01-27 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ausp-2015-0009


This article examines two short stories: Teréz Müller’s Igaz történet [A True Story] and József Bálint senior’s Imádkozzál és dolgozzál [Pray and Work]. The argument explores the way the texts reflect on shifts in power in the Hungarian region of Vojvodina, and the way power structures define the relationship between majority and minority in a society that undergoes constant and radical changes. Contemporary historical events of the twentieth century, changes, faultlines, traumatic life events and identity shifts emerge as the contexts for these narratives of the daily experiences of a Jewish merchant family and a farmer family respectively. Thus, the two texts analysed are representative works rooted in two fundamentally different social backgrounds. The discourse about the I is always also about the other; the construction of identity is already in itself a dialogic, intercultural act, which makes it an ideal topic for the exploration of the changes and shifts in one’s own and the other’s cultural identity. Translational processes of transmission are also required for the narration of traumatic experiences. Teréz Müller was the grandmother of the Serbian writer Aleksandar Tišma. Her book is not primarily a document of their relationship; however, it does throw light on diverse background events of the writer’s life and oeuvre. Comparing the experiences of identity in the autobiographical novel of Aleksandar Tišma and the recollections of his grandmother reveals geocultural characteristics of their intercultural life experiences.

Keywords : interculturality; life stories; identity; memory culture; social interaction


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-01-27

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Philologica, Volume 6, Issue 1, Pages 87–104, ISSN (Online) 2391-8179, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ausp-2015-0009.

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© 2015. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. BY-NC-ND 3.0

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