The process of developing national self- consciousness at the balkans during the second half of 18th century and its expression in some examples of the greek and bulgarian literature

Solo disponible en BuenasTareas
  • Páginas : 16 (3954 palabras )
  • Descarga(s) : 0
  • Publicado : 14 de enero de 2011
Leer documento completo
Vista previa del texto
The Process of Developing National Self- Consciousness at the Balkans during the Second Half of 18th Century and its Expression in some Examples of the Greek and Bulgarian Literature

In the contemporary European way of thinking nationality has gained ground as one of the most important identifications of belonging. In the words of Benedict Anderson “nation-ness is the most universallylegitimate value in the political life of our time”. During the past decades the nature of national identity has been re-examined and the romantic view of the nation as naturally raised entirety gradually steps aside to redefined theories which have in mind that “nation-ness, as well as nationalism, are cultural artefacts of a particular kind” and which pay attention to the mechanisms of creating nationalidentity and constructing images in favor of legitimizing the status of the community as a nation. One of the most influential concepts was formulated by Benedict Anderson in his book Imagined Communities, first published in 1983, in which he defines the nation as “an imagined political community - and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign.” He advocates that national identity issocially constructed in some historical point (approximately the end of the eighteenth century) and from that point on the national idea turned into one of the most important factors that navigated the political and social life of Europe. The principal part in the process of construction national identity was usually taken by the intellectuals, even though often not intentionally.
There is no doubtthat in a historical perspective nationalism has supported an important part of the “social background” that affects on the one hand the mutual relations in the society and on the other some of the major political decisions thus the “connection between national affiliation and political processes” is undisputable, especially during the past century. Like the rest of Europe, the Balkans was seizedby the process of shaping a national consciousness during the 18th century. The emergence of this idea led to arising of the Balkan nations during the following century and drew up a political line that was followed throughout the 19th and 20th century. The national idea was one of the ideological bases for the struggles of the Balkan communities against the Ottoman Empire and the numerous warsand conflicts between the Balkan states or stateless communities demanding their “liberation”. Guiding major political decisions nationalism turned to become “one of the most powerful – and perhaps also one of the most destructive – forces shaping the course of Balkan History in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”
The result of this process and the way it shaped the modern Balkan appearanceand the Balkan political map the topic of numerous researches and I will not attempt to cover them. In the present work I will try to answer the questions how and when was shaped and articulated the idea of belonging to certain nationality, “how ethnic consciousness is cultivated so that a sense of national identity may be imprinted upon a social group” in the very early stage of nationalawareness long before the emergence of the national states. The period that I am focusing on is the second half of 18th century when the earliest evidence for imagining the Balkan national communities could be found in some examples of literary expression. I will focus particularly on Greek and Bulgarian cases of the period and try to examine the mechanisms of constructing a national identity that areused in these examples. The specified period is known as the Early National Revival in Bulgarian historiography and its main characteristic is that the idea of ethnical belonging starts being shaped in the minds of Bulgarian intelligentsia. In the Greek historiography the period is called Modern Greek Enlightenment. Adopting the hypothesis that nations have a constructed character I am examining...
tracking img