Inventing Luxembourg: Representations of the Past, Space and Language from the Nineteenth to the Twenty-first Century

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BRILL, 2010 - History - 383 pages
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The grand duchy of Luxembourg was created after the Napoleonic Wars, but at the time there was no 'nation' that identified with the emergent state. This book analyses how politicians, scholars and artists have initiated and contributed to nation-building processes in Luxembourg since the nineteenth century, processes that as this book argues are still ongoing. The focus rests on three types of representations of nationhood: a shared past, a common homeland and a national language. History was written so as to justify the country's political independence. Territorial borders shifted meaning, constantly repositioning the national community. The local dialect initially considered German variant was gradually transformed into the 'national language', Luxembourgish.
  

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This book is a very important re-consideration of Luxembourgish historiography, which stands in corrective of many of the established myths of domination and victimisation that fuel nationalist discourses. Unfortunately, I was only able to preview about 150 pages, but I am eager to read more of this fascinating, well-researched and lucid study.  

Contents

Introduction
1
Part One Narrating the Past
21
Time Memory and Historical Narratives
23
1 The Meaning of History
25
2 The Time of the Historian
26
3 The Time of Memory
27
4 The Crossing of the Times of History and Memory
29
Chapter One The Master Narrative of Luxembourgs History
31
4 Territorialisation of the Fatherland
175
42 The Three Dismemberments
177
43 Particularism
179
44 The Barrier of the Ardennes
182
DeRenationalising the Territory
195
Institutionalisation of Crossborder Cooperation
197
2 Early Modern Maps and Contemporary Readings
203
3 Inbetween and Nomadic
209

2 Arthur Herchens Narrative Strategies
37
22 Nationalising certain Rulers
41
23 The Foreign Dominations
43
3 Emergence of the MasterNarrative
46
31 Before the Nineteenth Century
47
32 The Orangist Heritage and its Catholic Future
53
33 The Foreign Origins of the Foreign Dominations
58
34 Reacting to a Crisis
63
Chapter Two The Dissemination Reception and Public Use of the National Master Narrative
65
2 The Master Narrative and the Arts
78
The 1939 Pageant
86
Legitimising Dynastic Rule
88
Chapter Three Different Narratives?
97
Nicolas van Werveke
98
12 The German View during the Second World War
104
13 Views of the FarLeft
106
2 New Variations on an Old Theme c 1963 to 1989
109
21 Continuing the Tradition
110
22 A Slow Emancipation
112
A Return to a National Model
115
New Trends since the 1980s and 1990s
121
Conclusions
127
Part Two Drawing the Boundaries
129
Introduction From Border Patrol to Border Petrol Stations?
131
Nationalising the Territory
139
1 The topos of Monarchical Loyalty
140
11 The 1598 Oath of Allegiance
142
12 Erycius Puteanus
146
13 The Brabant Revolution
149
14 Past Geographies
150
15 The Belgian Revolution
153
2 Surviving the Foreign Dominations
155
3 Reification of the Homeland
160
32 EthnoCulturalism
163
33 The Nationalisation of the Homeland
170
4 Providing the Great Region with a Common Identity
213
41 Looking for a Common Heritage
214
42 Working towards a Future Identity
219
Conclusions
223
Part Three Constructing the Language
227
Introduction
229
Chapter Six Our German 18201918
233
2 Writing about a German Dialect
236
3 First Steps in Nationalising Language
237
The Society for Luxembourgian History Literature and Art
244
4 First Efforts at Standardisation
247
42 How to Write Luxembourgish
251
5 Luxembourgish in the Political Discussion
254
52 Luxembourgish in ParliamentSpoos Speech 1896
257
53 The 1912 School Law
259
6 Mischkultur
261
Chapter Seven Making Luxembourgish a Language
267
11 Associations in Favour of Luxembourgish
268
12 Luxembourgish as an Object of Analysis
272
13 State Interventions
274
14 Luxembourgish in the Press
277
16 World War II and its Aftermath
279
2 A Momentary Lull 1950s to the 1960s
288
22 The Initial Failure of ProLuxembourgish Associations
293
3 Confirming the Standing of Luxembourgish from the 1970s to the Present Day
295
31 Actioun Lëtzebuergesch
296
32 Language as a Political Tool
301
33 Luxembourgish in the Media and the Arts
317
34 Luxembourgish as an Object of Scholarly Analysis
322
Conclusions
331
General Conclusions
337
Bibliography
347
Index
377
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About the author (2010)

Pit P port, PhD (2008) in History, University of Edinburgh, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg. With a background in the medieval history of the Low Countries, he has also published in the fields of historiography and collective memory. Sonja Kmec, PhD (2004) in History, University of Oxford, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Luxembourg. Her latest book is "Across the Channel, Noblewomen in Seventeenth-Century France and England" (Trier: Kliomedia, 2009). Beno t Majerus, PhD (2004) in History, Free University of Brussels, is a postdoctoral researcher (FNRS) at that same university. He has published extensively on the German occupation of Belgium and Luxembourg in the two world wars and the history of psychiatry. Michel Margue, PhD (1999) in History, Free University of Brussels, is Professor of History at the University of Luxembourg and currently also its Dean of the Faculty of Lettres, Humanities, Arts and Education. He has published extensively on medieval history.

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