Memories in Dialogue: Transnational Stories About Socialist Childhoods

  • Helga Lenart-Cheng
  • Ioana Luca


The chapter is an auto-duo-ethnographic exercise carried out by two scholars of life-writing, who grew up in the late 1970s and 1980s in Hungary and Romania. They draw on life-writing scholarship and memory studies in order to engage with the post-socialist representations of childhood, as well as the methodological challenges that accompany such narratives. Their personal narratives allow paradoxes to coexist, and cast into doubt the inherited paradigms of the “communist child” as an icon of socialist utopia, or a traumatized victim of the repressive regime. The chapter also investigates the role of autobiographical narratives in the process of witnessing and suggests that their co-construction of each other as witnesses can never be about confirmation, but only about the articulation of their mutual co-exposure.


Socialist Childhood Communist Heroes Adult Self Powerful Resurgence Socialist Realist Painting 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors are very grateful to the editors whose insightful suggestions have helped strengthen the current chapter. Ioana Luca acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan, research grant 104-2410-H-003-038-MY2.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helga Lenart-Cheng
    • 1
  • Ioana Luca
    • 2
  1. 1.World Languages and Cultures, Saint Mary’s College of CaliforniaMoragaUSA
  2. 2.Department of EnglishNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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