The other border: «Ein halb Asien»

Journal title STORIA URBANA
Author/s Massimo Libardi
Publishing Year 2016 Issue 2016/151 Language Italian
Pages 34 P. 147-180 File size 355 KB
DOI 10.3280/SU2016-151006
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Based foremost on literary sources, the essay dwells on the subject of the border between Asia and Europe in the time from the early 19th c. to the Twenties of the last century. After stressing the diff erence between border and frontier, the text turns to the frontier which separates the German Empire and the Double Monarchy from the Tsarist Empire through the so called Yiddishland and those territories called Halbasien by Galizian writer Emil Franzos. Leaving the Eastern border the journey continues along the Balkan frontier, crosses the Black Sea and reaches the Caucasus, a natural barrier between Europe and Asia. The journey is not so much a geographic one, but rather runs through the history of cultural representations. As a matter of fact, the defi nition of the frontier presupposes two steps: the defi nition of the other and the defi nition of who defi nes the other. One cannot defi ne the other without answering at the same time to the question about one self’s identity. Hence a complex mirror game, refl ecting the images the two sides create of the respective other.

Keywords: Borders Asia and Europe Philosophy of "The Other", Otherness

Massimo Libardi, «Ein halb Asien»: la mutevole frontiera fra Europa e Asia in "STORIA URBANA " 151/2016, pp 147-180, DOI: 10.3280/SU2016-151006