Today in Eastern Europe the architectural work of revolution is complete: the old order has been replaced by various forms of free market. Cafe Europa: Life After Communism. Slavenka Drakulic, Author W. W. Norton & Company $21 (0p) ISBN Today in Eastern Europe the architectural work of revolution is complete: the old order has been replaced by various forms of free-market economy and de jure.

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Drakulic, however, the failure of Western Europe to prevent or intervene in the Bosnian war has demonstrated that the dream of Europe is just that: A glimpse of a young man selling some bananas in an Albanian city prompts a meditation on post-Communist dreams of capitalist riches. Affluence demands planning, and the idea of a future. It also means learning not to live in an eternal present: There are no reviews yet.

Cafe Europa, Life After Communism | Slavenka Drakulić

Upon returning home to Croatia, after spending some time in America, the Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic noticed something she had never noticed before: The book not only helps to illuminate the political and social problems facing much of Eastern Europe, but also sheds new light on the daily life of its residents, their emotional habits, fears and dreams.

For years, she adds, the residents of Eastern Europe dreamed about the West, dreamed about becoming a part of the Europe that enjoyed freedom and democracy and consumer goods.

We have learned better than others what you do to your own brother. Drakulic, it means learning to say “I” instead of “we,” to embrace the idea of individual responsibility, be it demanding higher standards of cleanliness in public toilets or protesting arbitrary government decisions. Euroap of the essays in “Cafe Europa” — like a piece on Ms.

As a result, you don’t invest, build or save vafe the name of the future. Drakulic sees a metaphor for what is wrong with so much of post-Communist Eastern Europe, a metaphor for the failure of people to develop a sense of individual responsibility and seize control of their lives, a failure she believes may ultimately affect these countries’ ability to become true working democracies with involved citizens.

She argues that the reluctance of consumers to invest in quality products stems from an inability to think about the future in any practical way. We need to accept our responsibilities towards both others and ourselves. Other articles from this issue Smashed Pumpkin.


We need a daddy, somebody who will look after us, so that we don’t have to look after ourselves.

Book Review: Cafe Europa, by Slavenka Drakulic – THE VIENNA REVIEW –

Some of this I experienced first hand in Slovakia in — making her observations like the opening of hidden doors in the house of my memory, each leading to vast rooms that I may have dimly sensed but now enter, fascinated. But as Slavenka Draulic observes, “in everyday life, the revolution consists much more of the small things – of sounds, looks and images In this brilliant work of political reportage filtered through her own experience, we see that Europe remains a divided continent.

Instead of fear, she feels nothing, as a mental slide show of bomb-torn houses and shattered lives, runs through her head. Less than a generation later, these experiences have already faded from our memories and fallen out of our conversations.

The difficulty of buying a new vacuum cleaner becomes a lesson in the absurdities of Croatian bureaucracy and the resignation evinced by Croatian citizens. Then the rules change, rules of behavior, of language, of expectations…”. Books for People with Print Disabilities. See also WorldCat this item. There were some very able Western reporters, like Laura Silber and Alan Little, who were close to their subject, and some Central Europeans available in translation.

Cafe Europa: Life After Communism

She observes that the new Government of Croatia has begun to erase its Communist past, while re-embracing the period of independence, without coming to terms with the fascist crimes committed during that era. In the place of the fallen Berlin Wall, there is a chasm between East and West, consisting of the different way people continue to live and understand the world.

Drakulic’s father — are acutely personal; others — like a report on what would have been the 75th birthday of the late Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu — are more reportorial. And she suggests that the eagerness of taxi drivers and hotel-keepers to rip off tourists with exorbitant rates stems from the desire to make money quickly to compensate for the deprivations of the Communist years and the belief that “there must be a trick” to getting rich.

In Vienna, even today, a Kaffeehaus is a part of life, a place where people go to meet friends, to read or write, have a meeting or do a little work, a place where you can go to spend unhurried time, where one cup of coffee buys you a table for as long as you want to stay.

And the Hall of Mirrors quality of the re-“Balkanized” world, where going from Buzet to Trieste, you had to show your passport four times in the course of a journey that took an hour and a half “People from the Three Borders”. In short, of civilization. The essays in this collection are remarkable in part because of her mastery of the everyday reality of war, a friend arriving for dinner with a bag of all her documents, some biscuits and a bottle of water — for emergencies, as instructed by the Territorial Defense Authority.


She contends that the paucity of smiles among shopkeepers stems from the tendency to see serving other people as an act of humiliation.

Drakulic argues, the people of Eastern Europe must learn to stop treating history as “a washing machine,” in which historical guilt can be laundered and absolved. Worldcat source edition Are these differences a communist legacy, or do they run even deeper? In the early years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was very little insider reporting available to English-speaking readers about life in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.

Drakulic’s earlier books, “How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed” and “Balkan Express” — concerns the aftermath of Communism and the challenges of making the transition to democracy. They live in the twentieth century, but at the same time they inhabit a past full of myths and fairy tales, of blood and national belonging. In this image, Ms.

And we need to understood where each of us has been. And then, when she gets home, calls her mother.

Cafe Europa, Life After Communism

In all of them, however, the voice is conversational; the tone, impassioned; the point of view, unabashedly subjective. To say simply that it is the understanding of the past, or a different concept of time, is not enough. But a visitor to this part of the world will soon discover that the Eastern Europeans live in another time zone.

When these two collections were written, Drakulic was dividing her time between Sweden, Croatia and Vienna, and the sensibility of this city is infused in much of her writing — for example, the idea of drakilic Viennese coffee house.

Drakulic goes on, also helps explain why some Romanians actually mourn the death of Ceausescu and why royalists in Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania have “appeared in euro;a numbers and with visible aspirations. It is a very simple image:

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