Multistable FiguresOn the Critical Potential of Ir/Reversible Aspect-SeeingVienna: Turia + Kant, 2014
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Cite as: Gal Kirn, ‘Multiple Temporalities of the Partisan Struggle: From Post-Yugoslav Nationalist Reconciliation Back to Partisan Poetry’, in Multistable Figures: On the Critical Potential of Ir/Reversible Aspect-Seeing, ed. by Christoph F. E. Holzhey, Cultural Inquiry, 8 (Vienna: Turia + Kant, 2014), pp. 163–90 <>

Multiple Temporalities of the Partisan StruggleFrom Post-Yugoslav Nationalist Reconciliation Back to Partisan PoetryGal KirnORCID


The article departs from the diagnosis of post-Yugoslav contemporary accounts of Yugoslav and partisan events. The critique of nationalist and Yugonostalgic discourses discloses shared assumptions that are based on the ‘romantic’ temporality of Nation and on history as a closed process. In the main part of the article the author works on the special, multiple temporality of partisan poetry that emerged during the WWII partisan struggle. The special temporality hinges on the productive and tensed relationship between the ‘not yet existing’ — the position of the new society free of foreign occupation, but also in a radically transformed society — and the contemporary struggle within war, which is also marked by the fear that the rupture of the struggle might not be remembered rightly, if at all. The memory of the present struggle remains to be the task to be realized not only for poets, but for everyone participating in the struggle. This is where the revolutionary temporality of the unfinished process comes to its fore, relating poetry to struggle, but again producing a form of poetry in the struggle.

Keywords: art, Yugoslav; identity politics; multistable figures; multistability; nationalism and collective memory; partisanship; poetry, Yugoslav; Yugoslav wars (1991-2001); Yugoslavia – History

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