Diana Hitzke (Justus Liebig University Gießen): Sorbian Literature as Entangled Literature: Cultural Criss-crossing from Ultra-minor Perspectives

The case of Sorbian Literature, which is a minor and stateless literature, is a good example for developing a framework for the study of literatures and cultures as entangled. On the one hand it is seen as a duty of Sorbian Literature to be a part, if not the main instrument, of the Sorbian nation building process, as is expressed for example by Jakub Bart-Ćišinski within the młodoserbske hibanje (the Young Sorbian movement). On the other hand Sorbian literature, even in its nationalized period, is influenced by other Slavic and non-Slavic literatures and is formed within the frame of the German, Polish and Czech educational institutions where Sorbian authors studied. I may use the term ultra-minor in this context to express the situation of a culture that is forced to refer constantly to other cultural and linguistic constellations because there is, for example, no way to enrol in any field of study at a university that covers Sorbian culture and is taught in the Sorbian language, except Sorbian studies. My paper aims to show how Sorbian Literature develops as an entangled literature – and in which contexts entanglement is appreciated and when it is rejected. It focuses on two writers who reflect this entanglement in their literature in a very productive way. The bilingual writer Jurij Brězan writes his novels in both German and Sorbian, and the poet Róža Domašcyna introduces new hybrid words into German and Sorbian and so plays an active part in the cross-cultural intermingling.


Under and Tuglas Literature Centre

6 Roosikrantsi Street
10119 Tallinn
Phone: +372 644 3147
Fax: +372 644 0177
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.