Essay on Comparison between The Taste of Ashes and Post Communist Nostalgia

Essay on Comparison between The Taste of Ashes and Post Communist Nostalgia

Length: 1719 words (4.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

This essay will discuss two books, Marci Shore’s The Taste of Ashes and Maria Todorova and Zsuzsa Gille Post-Communist Nostalgia. Both books deal with post-communist Europe and use memory as a tool for their research. While Shore writes in a more personal narrative she gives us the realization that even when we rid countries of tyranny and coercion this does not in any way make these places better. In fact, things get far more complicated. It becomes evident that research has shown how you cannot throw people from a former communist regime into something democratic and expect it to automatically gain smooth running or for these people to know how to carry on as normal, while having the burden of being expected to block out their communist past and start afresh. We cannot assume that nothing could have been worse than dictatorship, so believing that whatever follows is evidently going to be something far better. This is the point Shore makes in her ‘Taste of Ashes’. This is different to post-communist nostalgia as it delivers a more personal tale from the author herself, writing about her own encounters with these countries. Shore explains that her book is a deeply subjective one, writing in the first person, owning the perspective of a young American women who wanders into a completely different world. Attempting to untangle the dark mysteries of Polish-Jewish relations, speaking primarily to those who experienced it all first hand, these people have been named and not named. Shore separates this book into a lengthily 27 chapters, which may immediately strike the reader as daunting. However, each chapter is arguably the perfect length, giving the book a great layout. This book moves forward in time from the early 1990’s through t...


... middle of paper ...


... are two different analyses, however they can be joined together in order to see things in a different light. Which we have from these two works on post-communism. Memory makes claims about the past, while history backs these claims up with fact and evidence. However, in terms of personal memory, historians have no way of really confirming whether or not it is real historic fact of fiction. This is where the difference between personal memory and history come into play. However, both books break some interesting ground in terms of post-communist memory and could be useful to those studying not only memory but history, sociology and perhaps psychoanalysis.



Works Cited

Shore, Marci The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe ( New York,2013)
Todorova, Maria and Zsuza Gille Post-Communist Nostalgia (Berghahn Books, Oxford, 2012)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Nostalgia And The Word Of Nostalgia Essay

- ... To really understand this concept of nostalgia, we have to look at the history behind the word to determine the types of emotions we evoke when we encounter it. The word nostalgia has been around since the late 17th century where it was used to describe the Swiss’s homesickness as they were sailors out at sea. It has since evolved to the way we use it today which according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary means, “a pleasure and/or sadness that is caused by remembering something from the past and wishing that you could experience it again.” Even though the meaning has changed with time, it has been used for the same basic concept which is a yearn for something dear to us whether that be hom...   [tags: Emotion, Psychology, Feeling, Nostalgia]

Powerful Essays
883 words (2.5 pages)

Essay on The Communist Party Of Greece And The Eurocomminist Party

- The communist Left entered the post-dictatorship political scene split into two parties; the traditional pro-Soviet Communist Party of Greece and the eurocomminist party of the Interior which was formed after the split of February 1968. Contrary to the two major parliamentary parties, the decade of the 1940s was a frequently addressed topic in the political agenda of the Left in the early years of the metapolitefsi. The restoration of Democracy and the legalization of the communist Left terminated a long period of persecution....   [tags: Communism, Communist state, Politics]

Powerful Essays
1110 words (3.2 pages)

Essay on The Communist Party

- ... Another example is why Schrecker seems sympathetic towards to Communist Party is due to what happened to them during McCarthyism. She tells of how thousands of people lost jobs, careers, or even commited suicide due to the persecution. Finally, another reason why I believe Schrecker is more sympathetic towards the American Communist Party is because she tells of how most of this fear of Communist danger was a possibility and not a certain reality and that she believes that the activities of the American Communist Party actually weren’t a serious threat to national security....   [tags: World War II, Communism, Communist Party USA]

Powerful Essays
965 words (2.8 pages)

Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder and Alcoholism Essay

- Post traumatic stress disorder is a disease that haunts our soldiers in this day and age. Even with the latest technology and treatments that our generation offers, the lasting effects that this disorder leaves veterans dealing with is so painful that many times these veterans will cope by using alcohol and later abusing it. The first step in understanding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and alcoholism is knowing exactly what theses disorders are and how much we actually know about them. There have been several findings of diary entries that describe the symptoms of PTSD ranging from Egyptian and Greek soldiers to Henry IV....   [tags: nostalgia, anxiety, traumatic experience]

Powerful Essays
2179 words (6.2 pages)

Essay on Alleged Communist Plots

- Alleged Communist plots were gradually growing post World War II and through the 1940s – 1950s, there was a fear to undermine Australian Society. Across the globe Britain, American and Australia had an underlying fear, which was the revolt of suburban security being taken away by the cause of communist plots. Australia’s attitude towards this was to attempt to expose and remove all communists and communist plots across all of society within Australia. (Skwirk, 2014) Fear of communists within there own society was definitely a threat that was in the mind of the Australian government but also the fear of communist invasion from outside of Australia....   [tags: post world war II, australian society]

Powerful Essays
1295 words (3.7 pages)

The Decline of Aristocracy in The Communist Manifesto Essay

- The Decline of Aristocracy in The Communist Manifesto The decline of aristocracy in The Communist Manifesto began with Karl Marx’s statement, “The history of all hitherto existing societies is the history of class struggles.”1 Marx recognized the ideals of the social rank, which has influenced every society throughout history. The two social classes described by Marx were the Bourgeoisie, or the upper class, and the Proletariats, or the lower class. Before the Bourgeoisie came to social power, landowners and corporate organizations ran the society....   [tags: Communist Manifesto Essays]

Powerful Essays
968 words (2.8 pages)

The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx Essay

- The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx   Karl Marx (1818-1883) has been established (post-mortem of course, like almost all greats, it seems) as one of the most influential thinkers and writers of modern times. The Communist Manifesto published in 1848, lays down his theories on socialism. This manifesto was used to establish Communist Russia. Although that "experiment" failed, there are still points in his work that I find relevant in today's society.   One of Marx's arguments is that the society created by the bourgeois is so powerful and out of control that it can no longer be controlled....   [tags: Communist Manifesto Essays]

Free Essays
514 words (1.5 pages)

Post Communist Politics in Czech Republic Essays

- Post Communist Politics in Czech Republic Ten years after the revolution that brought down Communism in Czechoslovakia, the Czech Republic is still plagued by Leninist legacies that prevent it from transitioning fully into a successful liberal democracy. On the superficial level, it appears as though the Czech Republic is progressing well into the realm of a viable democracy. Its economy, thanks to the liberal policies of Vaclav Klaus, is arguably one of the strongest in the region. Its constitution mandates the rule of law that was so lacking under the Soviet hegemony, and its President is a man that has been dubbed by many to be a “philosopher-king,” one which was expected to lead hi...   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1279 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Applied Nostalgia

- Applied Nostalgia Without past memories, Americans lack a standard to base present conditions upon. These memories lie carefully shuffled and categorized in the giant shifter called the brain to crudely approximate the present standard of life. They hope to draw gratification and fulfillment in the progression of the quality of their and especially their children’s lives. This innate desire to compare the past to the present drives personal and political decisions, especially conservatives who advocate a change to the policies and values of the past....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
3446 words (9.8 pages)

Nostalgia Essay

- I think I have a disease. It’s called, if I’m not mistaken, nostalgia. You know, that homesickness originally ascribed to Swiss merchants plying their wares in the lowlands of France. In a lesser form, this sickness is the over-merchandized appeal of the golden age transferred from the shining future of idealists to the glimmering past age of the cynic—i.e., Non sum qualis eram bonae sub regno Cynarae. Either way, perhaps, the view that the Golden Age is somewhere distant from the now is as dangerous as longing for some philosophically abstract perfection....   [tags: Personal Experience]

Powerful Essays
908 words (2.6 pages)