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Trojanov, Ilija


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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung - Germany | 03/11/2009

Ilija Trojanow writes about Herta Müller and human rights

Nobel Prize-winning author Herta Müller has received the Franz-Werfel Human Rights prize in Frankfurt am Main. Müller's relentless attack on the crimes of the 20th century is a prerequisite for a humane society, writes Ilija Trojanow in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung: "The terrible suffering of decades past provokes confusing debates about remembrance. The way we deal with the past in Europe is a touchstone in our efforts toward achieving a pan-European ethic, an integration of destinies - it's a pipe dream, given today's romanticisation of Stalinism in Russia, and the criminal DNA of the elites in some new EU member countries that is ignored even by the former West. This is not just about achieving metaphysical justice, but about building a humane society. Because in every Eastern European country where the past has barely been illuminated and where files and remembrances are kept under lock and key, the political-economic conditions are dominated by mafia-like corruption."

Der Standard - Austria | 12/04/2007

Ilija Trojanov on Europe's complex identity

Bulgarian-born author, Ilija Trojanov, who has lived in many different countries and is currently lecturing in Vienna, criticises the equation of the EU with Europe: "The EU has taken it upon itself to create a European identity. This is absurd. No one in their right mind would doubt that for example Ukraine is part of Europe's identity. The attempts to define European tradition as a Christian tradition are also humbug. To give just one example: the western part of Europe, namely Spain, was not only predominantly Islamic for 800 years, but was also unusually multicultural in a positive sense and was characterised by a religious tolerance we can only dream of today. In terms of its identity, Europe is much more diverse and complex than current political discussion allows."

Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | 17/01/2007

Ilija Trojanow on cultural difference as a happy state of nature

Writer Ilija Trojanow is to receive the Berlin Literature Prize today. In an interview with Andreas Schäfer, he discusses the success of his new book. "Der Weltensammler" [Collector of Worlds] is about the adventurer Richard Burton, who toured India, Arabia and Africa. The book has touched "an existential nerve," says Trojanow: "Many people have an uneasy feeling about the current tendency to present cultural difference as something to be overcome. In fact it is an enjoyable, inspiring invitation to openness and diversity. Aside from that, cultural difference is the state of nature. Cultural development is an eternal hybridisation... that is, the repeated coming together and mixing of cultural elements that differ from one another. That is how culture arises. What we call tradition is a forgotten hybridisation. We also often forget that people who appear canonical to us did not come from the centre, but from the fringes. Kafka, Celan, Canetti."

Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | 18/10/2006

Ilija Trojanow on global warming

Bulgarian writer Ilija Trojanow points out that the dangers of global warming are being ignored: "Why is there so little discussion about the radical steps that must be taken to prevent a natural catastrophe and so much discussion about terrorism?... A chunk of the eternal ice the size of Luxembourg has broken off and is floating around, breaking up into smaller pieces and finally melting completely. Is this image of dissolving eternity, albeit only in iceberg format, not a terrible manifestation of violence for anyone with an iota of imagination?... The answer is simple and alarming: the fact is that ecology lacks an effective lobby. If we reacted to the greenhouse effect as hysterically as we're reacting to terrorism we would all be running round in life jackets with rubber dinghies strapped to our roof-racks. Instead, we have few hesitations about surrendering hard-fought civil rights and a proud stance on cultural and religious tolerance, while accepting the terrible impact our economic life is having on nature with a shrug of the shoulders."

Die Tageszeitung taz - Germany | 06/07/2006

Ilija Trojanow on the Bulgarian mafia

"In Bulgaria the mafia is not part of the state; the state is part of the mafia," writes author Ilija Trojanow about the country, which hopes to join the EU next year. "The Bulgarian mafia is a product of the country's totalitarian past. In Sicily the mafia came into being when the Habsburg Empire withdrew and most of the people who were employed in its army and police force lost their jobs. Over the next decades, the mafia became an annex of the state. In countries like Bulgaria and Russia, on the other hand, the mafia's power is based on the omnipotence of the communist party and the state security service. The nomenklatura created a parallel shadow economy dealing in weapons, drugs and all number of things, mainly with the goal of obtaining foreign currency. After the fall of communism, these infrastructures proved to be very useful for converting the plundered national assets into private capital via a series of metamorphoses and mutations…The hierarchical structure of the empire, with its centre in Moscow, is reflected in today's mafia networks because the connection between the two has yet to be severed."

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