Belated Modernity and Aesthetic Culture: Inventing National by Gregory Jusdanis

By Gregory Jusdanis

Literary thought

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Extra resources for Belated Modernity and Aesthetic Culture: Inventing National Literature

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Increasingly Greeks of the diaspora came to believe they could pursue their fortunes under modes of "government like those in Europe" which, after the decline of the feudal system, restored internal order and enabled social prosperity. As the first Greeks to be integrated into western capitalism, they favored a structure of economic distribution and a form of political organization to facilitate their trade activity. The economic system desired by Pringos required a stable and neutral authority to secure financial transactions.

It evades the homogenizing and reconciling tendencies of major writing by "deterritorializing" its language and by implacably affirming the perspective of the minority. A minor literature chooses to be minor in the culture it inhabits. Modern Greek literature is not minor in this sense, since it was used for constructing a national identity. It does not deterritorialize within its cultural space but actually dominates the writings of other minorities. 12 But it can function as minor in the kingdom reigned over by western criticism, which seeks the transcendence of cultural differences.

6 The newly independent nation also became an instrument of western policy in the Balkans and Near East. But to the extent that certain groups promoted both the unification of Hellenism throughout the Near East and the expansion of comprador activity into Egypt, Sudan, and Anatolia, western interests coincided with the irredentist and capitalist aims of those communities (Yerasimos 1988: 38). The War of Independence The movement toward independence was not a unilinear process. It was marked by conflicts among groups representing differing political, economic, and cultural interests, each competing to determine the identity of the Greek Orthodox subjects of the empire.

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