Reference : Inventing Luxembourg. Representations of the Past, Space and Language from the Ninete...
Books : Book published as author, translator, etc.
Arts & humanities : History
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/2052
Inventing Luxembourg. Representations of the Past, Space and Language from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-First Century
English
Kmec, Sonja mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Majerus, Benoît mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Margue, Michel mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
Peporte, Pit mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE)]
2010
Brill,
National Cultivation of Culture; 1
383
9789004188815
Boston/Leiden
[en] Historiography ; Nationalism ; Borders ; Master Narrative ; Identity ; Discourse
[en] This book is divided into three main parts, dealing with historical narration, territory and language. Historical narrations have played a key role in ‘inventing’ national, gendered, ethnic and racial identities, and in presenting deterministic and essentialist conceptions of time and human action. The importance of (abstract and social) space in the production of history and the equal importance of the temporal dimension in the production of geography have been underlined
by Doreen Massey. Her concept of ‘space/time’ abolishes the binary opposition of time and space and defines them as interrelated.This double process of spatial and temporal construction of identity is analysed here in a diachronic way from the late nineteenth to the early
twenty-first century, comprising the period traditionally considered as key to nation-building processes as well as current trends towards de-and renationalisation. The scale of this study is limited to discourse in Luxembourg and concerns the production of internal and external borders.
Part One retraces the ‘genealogy’ of the master narrative from the early modern period and examines its absorption into public expressions of political self-identity after 1919. It then looks
at the dissemination of the master narrative by means of textbooks, celebrations, literature and popular culture. Finally, it highlights the transformations of this narrative, the opening of fields of possibilities and new trends.
Part Two examines how representations of space complement the master narrative by embedding past experiences in a certain territory and within certain defined borders. Territorial delimitations are projected back in time and legitimised by reference to the same bounded space in the past. Two different discursive strategies for the creation of ‘collective identity’ are distinguished: the centripetal and the centrifugal. The former characterises the national master narrative, while
the latter has more of a supranational, Great Regional or European focus.
Part Three traces the evolution of Luxembourgish, which still is in full nationalisation mode. Once again, the watershed here seems to have come in 1919, when the language began to be seen not as a mere dialect of German, but as a distinctly different tongue. On first sight, a native language seems to be a constant of human existence, in the sense both of history and of an individual’s life. As its title indicates, however, this book seeks to deconstruct the notion of a natural language
and focuses on the act of creation and on the social actors involved in this process. The evolution of the language is, moreover, placed in a broad context. Th e gradual codification of Luxembourgish was part of a larger movement which aimed to give the comparatively young state a sense of substance and meaning. As in most European nationstates, the state of Luxembourg existed before any systematic attempts at nation-building were undertaken. It was—and still is—heavily involved in this process. Thus, in recent years, Luxembourg has created new national institutions, such as the Central Bank in 1998, the University of Luxembourg in 2003, and the establishment of several
Luxembourg-related research institutes between 1995 and 2008. This book investigates whether this nationalisation tendency may be confirmed by the study of the representations of the past, the territory and the language from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day.
Researchers ; Students
http://hdl.handle.net/10993/2052

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