Aleš Debeljak

The Cold War: Spying Over the Wall

The half-century of Cold War affected the mental landscape of Europe. The Berlin Wall was not only the great symbol of the division but an instrument in a battle of Manichean ideas that the literature of the two worlds attempted to overcome.


The writers of the East, subject to totalitarian censorship, used the resources of irony and metaphor. Western authors questioned the stereotypes about the totalitarian East in the capitalist world, relying in certain cases on genres usually considered as being minor. The Slovenian writer Aleš Debeljak explains the "fissures" that literature caused in one of the most ideology-ridden periods of modern history.