, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 21-32

First online:

Paratexts in (social–political) transition

  • G. C. KalmanAffiliated withInstitute for Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Email author 

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The paper addresses the modifications of certain paratextual information in a given territory and period, i.e., before, within and after the years of transition in Hungary, around 1989. After a short comparison between the legal and literary concepts of paratext, some examples are given of what paratexts in a specific period (under given circumstances) may mean, what implications they may have, and in what way they govern interpretations. These traits, it is argued, can be connected to the ruling ideological (or even political) considerations of a highly controlled literary communication, characteristics of the pre-1989 “Socialist” countries of East and Central Europe.


Paratext Law and literature Ideology Political transition Interpretation Authority