Noteworthy: Eastern Europe
There many places on the web to discover more about Eastern European culture and literature. Actually, a plethora of well-researched and in-depth sites to keep you busy for hours. As far as Polish Literature, check out the Polish Cultural Institute with my favorite part being the profiles of Polish writers. Check out the literary journal Czas Kultury for new Polish writers along with painters and musicians. The literary journal FA-art for post-modernist Polish literature(site is in Polish, although there is info about it in English). The Polish Literature Page offers poetry in Polish, while Polish Writing offers an extensive collection of reviews, excerpts and essays about Polish literature. If you’re looking for some good short stories by a great Polish author, visit the page of Bruno Schulz. Bacacay, the blog of the Polish Cultural Institute, is fantastic and is usually my first stop for all things in Polish Literature.
And if you nudge your way over to Central-Eastern Europe, the first stop is Hungarian Literature Online. Full of novel excerpts, translators of Hungarian, Hungarian publishers and links to take you anywhere you want to go concerning Hungarian literature, this site takes you on a journey through history right from your own thinking machine. It even has an English-Hungarian dictionary which is a brilliant idea as far as literature in translation websites go. The ever impressive HUNLIT is my personal favorite out of the Hungarian Book Foundation. And for a overall view of Hungary and its culture, try the site for The Hungarian Quarterly which covers all aspects of the arts and current events.
And how about Romanian? This is a fun site for who’s hot now, Contemporary Romanian Writers, which is your basic bread and butter site – authors and books only, no relish. The Observer Translation Project is also a great place to get your bearings about Romanian literature, old and new. I love this site because it’s like a lit journal and a history lesson filled with well-thought out lit crit and incisive commentary. Dig it, friends.
Some of the Eastern European countries don’t have much dedicated to them as far as literature for English readers, but I did find some good starting points. Oxford University site on Czech and Slovak Literature is, well, academic, but contains classics that have been translated and is about the best place to start and end. The Encyclopedia of Ukraine gives a brief overview of Ukrainian literature. Lituanus is a wonderful online literary journal dedicated to Lithuanian arts and sciences. Books from Lithuania is a solid resource for articles and list-related reference to discovering Lithuanian literature. Slovenia.si has a good history of Slovenian literature as well as some update. Rochester Institute of Technology has a thorough reference site broken by genre, author, title, etc. of Croatian literature. It’s a exhaustive list of Croatian lit from the pre-1000 A.D. to the present. I don’t think I will go mining for the early stuff, somehow it always comes down to religion, but the material from the 17th century on I think this is about as good an education as you’re going to get without actually being Croatian. Robert Elsie’s Albanian Literature in Translation is too good to be true. The History of Albanian Literature is really interesting and far-reaching(calling all Muslims and Socialists!). And don’t shy away from Bulgarian literature. Try Slovoto an online virtual Bulgarian library with short stories and novels free for your perusal.
I know that this post does not contain all things interwebal for Eastern European literature, but it is a place to discover some of the better places on the internet if you are searching for works in a particular language or country. This does not include the great websites that focus on literature in translation, including but not beholden to Eastern European literature. I am talking about Three Percent, Words Without Borders, Absinthe Minded, Transcript, University of Virginia’s European Literature guide, and TOL: CultureSerbia and Montenegro. Hopefully, these stops will satisfy your curiosity about the complex and rich literary history of Eastern Europe.