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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 85 | volume XV | July-August, 2012



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 85July-August, 2012
Essays

From Totalitarian to Transcultural Public Awareness

– Dialogues of discourses and eras –


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p. 1
Angelina Banović-Markovska

Eleven years ago I wrote an essay entitled “From Gutenberg to InteLnet”[1]. The essay follows the history of writing seen through Umberto Eco’s semiotic glasses, via Bakhtin’s vision on the two voices of the word, leading to Epstein’s transcultural way of thinking, which incorporates the theoretical and philosophical postulates of the poststructuralist thought of the XX century. However, in 2001, at the very beginning of the century, my view of transculturality as a new type of freedom functioned independently from the political constellations defining the global changes in the world. I was only oriented to letters and sounds, meanings and significance produced by a hypertextual poetics neglecting the fact that the visions also persist in the truth that is not spoken (especially in the totalitarian regime societies), creating the aperceptive basis of our speech. And it has always been present in the texts that I read: Bakhtin, Foucault, Epstein, Derrida… That is why I decided to seek for those silent or postponed truths not in the articulation (construction) of ideas, but in the deconstruction which starts with authors and reconstruction that continues with the readers, ready to disseminate their knowledge. This is what I did, especially when I found an interesting conclusion in an essay by Mikhail Epstein, who makes an analogy between the abbreviations WWW and SSS(R), suggesting that the World Wide Web history was written in the history of the break-up of the former Soviet Union[2], as a chronological continuum which has confirmed the match of an end with a rise: the end of the powerful totalitarian world and the beginning of the new – virtual one (see: http://old.russ.ru/journal/netcult/98-04-17/epstyn.htm). What is this all about?
    In 1989 a series of events led to changes in the geopolitical structure of Europe. That year, the world saw the picture of the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alois Mock and his Hungarian colleague symbolically opening the fence of the border line between the two countries. Soon after, Austrian politicians and representatives of the Hungarian opposition reached an agreement to open the border at Sopron area for several hours, due to the event planned for 19 August – the Pan-European picnic for Otto von Habsburg[3]. It was a political act of ordinary people who woke the “genie of the bottle”: encouraged by the contents of the fliers that symbolically asked that the “iron curtain” is cut, six hundred citizens of the Democratic Republic of

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1. This essay was first published at the beginning of 2002, in the January issue of Блесок : двојазично електронско списание за литература и други уметности; no. 24 (see: http://www.blesok.com.mk/tekst.asp?lang=mac&tekst=375). The English translation “From Gutenberg to InteLnet (the cyber-theories of Mikhail Epstein and Umberto Eco)” was soon at Mikhail Epstein’s site http://www.emory.edu/INTELNET/l.author.html. The original version of this text is part of my book Групен портрет: културолошки и литературно-теориски есеи (Магор, Скопје, 2007).
2. “When I see the letters WWW, I remember SSSR”, says Mikhail Epstein in his essay “Из тоталитарной эпохи – в виртуальную. К открытию Книги Книг”, (see: http://old.russ.ru/journal/netcult/98-04-17/epstyn.htm).
3. The organiser of the historical Pan-European picnic was Otto von Habsburg, the former heir of the Austro-Hungarian crown, an international president of the Pan-European Union and a member of the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The current European Union was only a European Community of several member countries then.






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