Main topic

ESSAYS AND STUDIES

(WESTERN) BALKANS AS PUER AETHERNUS: A CONTRIBUTION TO THE READING OF A MYTH

Abstract

Until recently, the controversial concept of the archetypes of the collectively unconscious has become relevant again within the framework of political psychology. According to Agnes Horvath and Darren Kelsey, archetypal situations dominate the world political scene, and thus, archetypal figures should be identified. Drawing on the concept of affective mythologies proposed by Darren Kelsey in his book Media and Affective Mythologies: Discourse, Archetypes and Ideology in Contemporary Politics, different forms in which archetyse puer aethernus has appeared in the Balkans over the past century and a half were analyzed. The assumption that language, ideology and myth are inseparable allows the myth of puel/puella aethernus to be recognized both in internal and external discourse. Since the first reports from the Balkans linked with the independence of the states and the disappearance of the Ottoman Empire, the Balkans have been represented as a peninsula populated by ignorant and young people. During the interwar period, so called the liminal phase between tradition and modernity brought different form of this archetype although with similar semantics. Zenit magazine, imagining Barbarogenije, organizing the Sokolski savez Jugoslavije, affirming the myth of the St Sava is linked with the puer / puella aethernus myth. Beginning of World War II, and the construction of the socialist state, reveal that this myth was the backbone of Yugoslav socialism and its concept of non-alignment. The breakup of Yugoslavia followed a period of transition to its former republics. This process, internally and externally, is interpreted as the emergence/growth of young democracies. The Balkans, and today the Western Balkans ruled by the puer aethernus archetype, enter into a repetitive pattern of producing always new forms of youth, with new images, meanings, new rituals and renewed, modified grand narratives.

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PERIODICS Political Review 2/2020 2/2020 УДК 316.722:159.922.4(497)"18/20" 65-89
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