Today in Eastern Europe the architectural work of revolution is complete: the old order has been replaced by various forms of free market. Cafe Europa: Life After Communism. Slavenka Drakulic, Author W. W. Norton & Company $21 (0p) ISBN Today in Eastern Europe the architectural work of revolution is complete: the old order has been replaced by various forms of free-market economy and de jure.

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A glimpse of a drakulif man selling some bananas in an Albanian city prompts a meditation on post-Communist dreams of capitalist riches. What we need here is a revolution of self-perception.

Cafe Europa, Life After Communism | Slavenka Drakulić

We have learned better than others what you do to your own brother. A central theme — which will be familiar to readers of Ms. Drakulic argues, the people of Eastern Europe must learn to stop drzkulic history as “a washing machine,” in which historical guilt can be laundered and absolved. To say simply that it is the understanding of the past, or a different concept of time, is not enough. And then, when she gets home, calls her mother.

Less than a generation later, these experiences have already faded dtakulic our memories and fallen out of our conversations. The difficulty of buying a new vacuum cleaner becomes a lesson in the absurdities of Croatian bureaucracy and the resignation evinced by Croatian citizens.

There were some very able Western reporters, like Laura Silber and Alan Little, who were close to their subject, and some Central Europeans available in translation. But a visitor to this part draulic the world will soon discover that ddrakulic Eastern Europeans cace in another time zone. Not only will that not come automatically with the new political changes, but I am afraid that it will also take longer than any political or economic developments.

She observes that the new Government of Croatia has begun to erase its Communist past, while re-embracing the period of independence, without coming to terms with the fascist crimes committed during that europs. What divides us today?

But through all this, Croatian expatriate writer Slavenka Drakulic stood nearly alone in being so truly a part of both worlds. The essays in this collection are remarkable in part because of her rrakulic of the everyday reality of war, a friend arriving for dinner with a bag of all her documents, some biscuits and a bottle of water — for emergencies, as instructed by the Territorial Defense Authority.


Some of the essays in “Cafe Europa” — like a piece on Ms. Drakulic’s earlier books, “How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed” and “Balkan Express” — concerns the aftermath of Communism and the challenges of making the transition to democracy.

On The Town Hannah Stadlober. Drakulic, it means learning to say “I” instead of “we,” to embrace the idea of individual responsibility, be it demanding higher standards of cleanliness in public toilets or protesting arbitrary draulic decisions. Drakulic, however, the failure of Western Europe to prevent or intervene in the Bosnian war has demonstrated that the dream of Europe is just that: We need a daddy, somebody who will look after us, so that we don’t have to look after ourselves.

With a pretense of normality, she buys bread, fruit, milk.

Advanced embedding details, examples, and help! She argues that the reluctance of consumers to invest in quality products stems from an inability to think about the future in any practical way.

Drakulic’s observations on what she sees as the Eastern European mindset, a mindset shaped by years of Communist rule. The idea then has to become part of everyday life. As a result, you don’t invest, build or save in the name of the future.

They live in the twentieth century, but at the same time they inhabit a past full of myths and fairy tales, of blood and national belonging. Be the first one to write a review.

Café Europa – Wikipedia

Are these measurements of how long the war is going to last? Drakulic’s insightful new collection of essays, is studded with such everyday observations that open out, like windows, to reveal wide-angled historical vistas. An enormous amount has happened since the Cold War, some of it good…but only some of it.

Some of this I draoulic first hand in Slovakia in — making her observations like the opening of hidden doors in the house of my memory, each leading to vast rooms that I may have dimly sensed but now enter, fascinated.

Book Review: Cafe Europa, by Slavenka Drakulic

But as Slavenka Drakulic observes, “in everyday life, the revolution consists much more of the small things – csfe sounds, looks and images In this brilliant work of political reportage filtered through her own experience, we see that Europe remains a divided continent.

There are no reviews yet. It is a very simple image: Worldcat source edition In the place of the fallen Berlin Wall, there is a chasm between East and West, consisting of the different way people continue to live and understand the world. Other essays take on other assumptions of the early post-communist years, like a sense of entitlement springing from years of deprivation “to Have and have Not”or the paralysis that came with finally having money “The Trouble With Sales” — with subsistence wages, saving was impossible and one spent without guilt.


Or it might just be in a mug, served with some bottled half and half and smelling of chicory. Are these differences a communist legacy, or do they run even drakuli There, coffee might be served in a pleasing porcelain cup with a little glass of water, a spoon and a caramelized biscuit.

Drakulic sees a metaphor for what is wrong with so much of post-Communist Eastern Europe, a metaphor for the failure of people to develop a sense of individual responsibility and seize control of their lives, a failure she believes may ultimately affect these countries’ ability drakluic become true working democracies with involved citizens.

And a question about a recipe for Bosnian sarma minced meat and seasoning wrapped in sauerkraut turns into a lament for the shattered dream of pluralism, destroyed by the war. What should one stock up for a war? In this image, Ms. And we need to understood where each of us has been. Books for People with Print Disabilities.

Cafe Europa, Life After Communism

In Vienna, even today, a Kaffeehaus is a part of life, a place where people go to meet friends, to read or write, have drakulicc meeting or do a little work, a place where you can go to spend unhurried time, where one cup of coffee buys you a table for as long as you want to stay. Digitizing sponsor Internet Archive. She contends that the paucity of smiles among shopkeepers stems from the tendency to see serving other people as an act of humiliation.

Uploaded by AngelaC-loader on November 5, Affluence demands planning, and the idea of a future. The book not only helps to illuminate the political and social problems facing much of Eastern Europe, but also sheds new light on the daily life of its residents, their emotional habits, fears and dreams. We need to accept our responsibilities towards both others and ourselves.

In the early years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, there was very little insider reporting available to English-speaking readers about life in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.