‘Everything Has Its Place in God’s Imaret’: Nostalgic Visions of Co-existence in Contemporary Greek Historical Fiction

  • Trine Stauning Willert
Part of the Modernity, Memory and Identity in South-East Europe book series (MOMEIDSEE)


Against the background of recent scholarship on the notion of nostalgia in literature and popular culture, this chapter discusses how two recent Greek historical novels set in pre-national Ottoman times in different ways make use of nostalgia as a literary device. The novels challenge hitherto perceptions of the Ottoman period as the Dark Age of the Greek nation. However, nostalgic representations of the past say more about the present and longings for a better future than about the past ‘as it was’. Therefore, the chapter suggests that the nostalgic remembrance of religious co-existence in Ottoman society and the persistence of cross-religious symbols in the novels function as proposals for a better dealing with increasing religious and cultural diversity in contemporary Greek society pointing to the transformative potential of nostalgia.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trine Stauning Willert
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Byzantine, Ottoman and Modern Greek StudiesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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