Europe as Other in Contemporary Balkan Literatures
The Balkans are a region where different images of the world have continuously been offered, as well as different points of view regarding the idea of Europe itself. The richness comes from the diversity of nations, people, languages and cultures, and is the basic characteristic of this particular region. However, some ideas have already grown as a «regional» concept, created and developed within the above-mentioned diversity. Although the Balkans belong to Europe, both geographically and historically, from the moment the concept of «Other Europe» was invented for them, the distinction was already made. Usually seen by Europeans as Others, the Balkan people started to create their own idea of Europe as Other. Balkan nations have mostly supported the idea of Europe, as a dream, desire, or reality, longing to join (or to return to) the big European family. Some of them have recently become Member States of the European Union; others are still waiting their turn. But, another concept is also present, very close to the idea of Occidentalism, created as an answer to Edward Said’s Orientalism or Maria Todorova’s Balkanism. This is mostly related to the new social circumstances during the post communist period of transition. Different stereotypes and prejudices of Europe have been created, and can easily be found in literature works, too. In our paper we deal with some of these imaginary concepts, which are present in different works of fiction, published in the last few years in several Balkan countries: Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Albania and Turkey.