1st Edition

The Anthems of East-Central Europe Reflections on the History of a National Symbol

By Csaba G. Kiss Copyright 2023
    184 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book juxtaposes national anthems of thirteen countries from central Europe, with the aim of initiating a dialogue among the peoples of East-Central Europe.

    We tend to perceive a national anthem as a particular mirror, involuntarily reflecting an image of nation and homeland; but how does it represent the community for whom it sounds? To answer this question, the book deploys a comparative approach – anthems are presented in the light of those of neighbouring countries, with the conviction that one of the key features of true Europeanness is good relations between neighbours. The development trajectory of the modern nation is the context in which the book examines the history of such national symbols, alongside the symbolic content of poetry, images of the homeland and nation depicted in the anthems, as well as the sometimes longer processes which led to the adoption and legal codification of current state symbols.

    The Anthems of East-Central Europe will be a great resource for researchers, journalists, college and university students, politicians trying to impact emigrees from this region and emigrees themselves.

    Introduction: The Dialogue of Anthems

    1. Nationalism and Nation-Building in East-Central Europe

    2. National Symbols and Myths

    3. The National Anthem

    4. Collective Symbols – Anthem Archetypes

    5. The Poem-Symbols of National Representation

    6. The "Interaction" of Anthems

    7. Images of Homeland and Nation in the Anthems

    8. National History and Its Heroes

    9. Symbols of Space in the Anthems

    10. Paths to the Rank of National Anthem

    11. After the Second World War

    Appendix: Anthems and National Symbol-Poems (A selection of texts in their original languages and English)



    Csaba G. Kiss is Emeritus professor (Eötvös Lóránd University – Budapest), cultural historian, essayist. Field of research: nationalisms in East-Central Europe, national symbols and myths. Visiting professorships: University of Zagreb, Charles University (Prague), University of Warsaw. Published 23 books (scientific, popular works and memoirs), including 3 in Polish, 2 in Croatian, in English: Understanding Central Europe: Nations and Stereotypes (2013).

    "This panoramic survey of the trajectory of nationalism and nation-building in East Central Europe during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is based on an ingenious comparative analysis of fourteen different national anthems from the region. Relying on an impressive array of primary and secondary sources, Kiss brings his expertise as a political scientist, cultural and literary historian, and comparativist to bear on national anthems as documents that quintessentially illustrate the evolution of national cultures and identities in the nineteenth century and ultimately national states in the twentieth. His well-informed and readable treatment of the region’s cacophony of national voices is fascinating!"

    Lonnie R. Johnson, author of Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbors, Friends (2011)