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Europe and Its Fragments: Europeanization, Nationalism, and the Geopolitics of Provinciality in Lithuania

  • Neringa Klumbytė

With a focus on Gintaras Beresnevičius's book The Making of an Empire (2003) and the marketing and consumption of "Soviet" sausages, this article explores the rise of national ideologies that promote an "eastern" and "Soviet" identity in Lithuania. Both during the nationalist movement against the Soviet Union and later in the 1990s and 2000s, the west and Europe were seen as sites of prestige, power, and goodness. Recently the reinvented "east" and "Soviet" have become important competing symbols of national history and community. In this article Neringa Klumbytė argues that nationalism has become embedded in the power politics of Europeanization. National ideologies are shaped by differing ideas about ways of being modern and European rather than by simple resistance to European Union expansion. The resulting geopolitics of provinciality, a nationalist politics of space, thus becomes an integral part of the story of European modernity and domination within a global history.

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I would like to thank Elizabeth Novickas, Susan Paulson, Jonathan Larson, Leigh ton Peterson, Christina Leza, and James Bielo for their comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of this article. Mark D. Steinberg and several anonymous reviewers provided invaluable suggestions for improvements. I also thank Jane T. Hedges for her editorial work. I am deeply grateful to all.

1. For a detailed discussion, see Klumbytė, Neringa, “Ethnographic Note on Nation: Narratives and Symbols of the Early Post-Socialist Nationalism in Lithuania,” Dialectical Anthropology 27, nos. 3-4 (2003): 279–95.

2. Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Rimas Frizinskas, sales director of Samsonas, personal communication, Kaunas, July 2010.

5. Despite the increase of euroskepticism, the support for the European Union (EU) is still very high in Lithuania compared to the EU average, see "Eurobarometras 63.4 (2005)," at (last accessed 1 September 2011) and "Eurobarometras 70 (2008)," at (last accessed 1 September 2011). For a discussion of Lithuanians' attitudes toward the EU in the 1990s and 2000s, see Vladas Gaidys, "Lietuviai ne prieš eurq—jie prieš eurq rytoj" (2007), at (last accessed 1 September 2011). For a discussion of Lithuanians' perceptions of the EU as a site of the material well-being, see Virginijus Savukynas, "What Comes after the Nation? Possible Scenarios of Postnationalism in Central Eastern Europe (The Case of Lithuania)," LIMES 1, no. 2 (2008): 113-23.

6. I argue that national ideologies promoting "eastern" and "Soviet" identities propose east-privileging geopolitical alternatives. Although "Soviet" may not be associated with the "east" in other contexts, in this article I follow the popular public discourse in Lithuania, according to which "Soviet" and "east" are synonymous geographic categories.

7. Lithuanians themselves use "provinciality" to speak about their social, political, and economic situation in Europe.

8. An intellectual nationalist platform and the marketing and consumption of sausages may seem unrelated; both are nationalist practices, however. Intellectuals' prominent role in creating nationalist ideologies in eastern Europe from the nineteenth century to post-Cold War democratization has been documented in various studies. See, for example, Kuus, Merje, “Intellectuals and Geopolitics: The 'Cultural Politicians' of Central Europe,” Geoforum 38, no. 2 (March 2007): 241–51; Prizel, Ilya, National Identity andForeign Policy: Nationalism and Leadership in Poland, Russia, and Ukraine (Cambridge, Eng., 1998); Tismaneanu, Vladimir, ed., The Revolutions of 1989 (London, 1999). Elsewhere I have argued that in eastern Europe the market has become a political arena that rearticulates social history and shapes national identities and belonging. See Neringa Klumbytė, "The Soviet Sausage Renaissance," American Anthropologist 112, no. 1 (March 2010): 22-37. The marketing and the consumption of "Soviet" sausages is a form of political engagement that, like intellectual activism, creates values and ideologies. On the political role of the market and marketing, see Paley, Julia, Marketing Democracy: Power and Social Movements in Post-Dictatorship Chile (Berkeley, 2001); and Foster, Robert J., Materializing the Nation: Com-modities, Consumption and Media in Papua New Guinea (Bloomington, 2002).

9. Sausage may appear an uncommon national symbol. Unlike ethnic foods, it is not considered related to national history or ethnicity. See, for example, Toomre, Joyce, “Food and National Identity in Soviet Armenia,” in Giants, Musya and Toomre, Joyce, eds., Food in Russian History and Culture (Bloomington, 1997), 195214 , and Pilcher, Jeffrey M., ¡Que Vivan los Tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (Albuquerque, 1998). As a quint-essential European food, however, sausage is closely connected with people's sentiments and everyday experiences. By labeling their sausage "Soviet," the producers achieved an unexpected effect—they elevated sausage to a commodity with national relevance. See also Klumbytė, "Soviet Sausage Renaissance."

10. This article is based on research conducted in Lithuania since 2003.1 rely on my research on political identity, nationalism, and the state during 2003-2004 and on follow-up research on politics, identity, consumption, and Europeanization in the subsequent summers. The research on "Soviet" sausages and Beresnevicius's The Making of an Empire was carried out during the summers of 2005-2010.

11. See Keane, Webb, Christian Moderns: Freedom and Fetish in the Mission Encounter (Berkeley, 2007), and Keane, , “Semiotics and the Social Analysis of Material Things,” Language and Communication 23, nos. 3 - 4 (July 2003): 409–25.

12. In his study Christian Moderns, Keane extends the idea of language ideology to semiotic ideology. Language ideology can be most broadly defined as "shared bodies of commonsense notions about the nature of language in the world." From Rumsey, Alan, “Wording, Meaning, and Linguistic Ideology,” American Anthropologist 92, no. 2 (June 1990): 346. According to Irvine, Judith, language ideology is “a cultural system of ideas about social and linguistic relationships, together with their loading of moral and political interests." Irvine, "When Talk Isn't Cheap: Language and Political Economy,” American Ethnologist 16, no. 2 (May 1989): 255 . On language ideologies, see also Silverstein, Michael, “Language Structure and Linguistic Ideology,” in Clyne, Paul R., Hanks, William F., and Hofbauer, Carol L., eds., The Elements: A Parasession on Linguistic Units and Levels (Chicago, 1979), 193247 ; and Woolard, Kathryn A. and Schieffelin, Bambi B., “Language Ideology,” Annual Revieiw of Anthropology 23 (1994): 5582.

13. Keane, "Semiotics and the Social Analysis of Material Things," 419.

14. Ibid., 421.

15. Ibid.

16. Cf. Irvine, Judith T. and Gal, Susan, “Language Ideology and Linguistic Differentiation,” in Kroskrity, Paul V., ed., Regimes of Language: Ideologies, Polities, and Identities (Santa Fe, 2000), 3583.

17. Ibid.

18. On cultural intimacy, see Herzfeld, Michael, Cultural Intimacy: Social Poetics in the Nation-State (New York, 2005).

19. In the Lithuanian language there is an important difference between tautiškumas and nacionalizmas: tautiškumas refers to positive articulations of a "nation" in the context of traditions, history, and language while nacionalizmas is often a negative and violent movement. On tautiškumas see, for example, Paulius Subačius, Lietuviu tapatybės kalvė: Tautinio išsivadavimo kūltura (Vilnius, 1999).

20. My understanding of nationalism as a geopolitical process of nation building rooted in everyday practice and experience departs from conceptions of nationalism, especially in political science, as mass mobilization (see Steven L. Burg, War or Peace: Nationalism, Democracy, and American Foreign Policy in Post-Communist Europe [New York, 1996]), as a political doctrine or political ideology ( Breuilly, John, Nationalism and the State [Manchester, Eng., 1982]; Griffin, Roger, “Nationalism,” in Eatwell, Roger and Wright, Anthony, eds., Contemporary Political Ideologies [London, 1999], 152–80), or as a theory of political legitimacy related to nation building and state expansion (Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism [Ithaca, 1983]). Moreover, in my approach, nationalism does not necessarily involve engagement with the (ethnic) other ( Eriksen, Thomas H., Ethnicity and National-ism: Anthropological Perspectives [London, 1993]; Brubaker, Rogers, Feischmidt, Margit, Fox, Jon, and Grancea, Liana, Nationalist Politics and Everyday Ethnicity in a Transylvanian Town [Princeton, 2006]), or a reassertion of legal rights of citizenship or ethnicity ( Hayden, Robert M., “Constitutional Nationalism in the Formerly Yugoslav Republics,” Slavic Review, 51, no. 4 [Winter 1992]: 654–73; Hobsbawm, Eric, Nations and Nationalism since 1780: Programme, Myth, Reality [New York, 1990]).

21. For various approaches to Europeanization, see Borneman, John and Fowler, Nick, “Europeanization,” Annual Review of Anthropology 26 (1997): 487514 ; Bellier, Irene and Wilson, Thomas M., eds., An Anthropology of the European Union: Building, Imagining and Experiencing the New Europe (Oxford, 2000); and Cederman, Lars-Erik, ed., Constructing Europe's Identity: The External Dimension (Boulder, Colo., 2001).

22. "European welfare to every home" was the major slogan of President Valdas Adamkus's presidential campaign of 2004. For a review of the articulation of east and west Europe in public discourse in Lithuania, see Vonderau, Asta, “Yet Another Europe? Constructing and Representing Identities in Lithuania Two Years after the EU Accession,” in Darieva, Tsypylma and Kaschuba, Wolfgang, eds., Representations on the Margins of Europe: Politics and Identities in the Baltic and South Caucasian States (Frankfurt, 2007), 220–41.

23. Eastern European differences are addressed by mapping them on the scale of Europeanness and eastness. See Kuus, Merje, “Europe's Eastern Expansion and the Reinscription of Otherness in East-Central Europe,” Progress in Human Geography 28, no. 4 (August 2004): 474, cf. József Bōrōcz, "Goodness Is Elsewhere: The Rule of European Difference," Comparative Studies in Society and History 48, no. 1 (January 2006): 110-38. Attila Melegh claims that Europeanization is conceived as a kind of graduation from eastern Europe to Europe captured by the metaphor of the "East-West slope." See Attila Melegh, On the East-West Slope: Globalization, Nationalism, Racism and Discourses on Central and Eastern Europe (Budapest, 2006). It is also a fractal process—some practices, texts, and agents become more western or democratic, while others continue to lag behind and are associated with economic or cultural backwardness. On fractal recursivity, see Irvine and Gal, "Language Ideology and Linguistic Differentiation." Milica Bakić-Hayden argued that overlapping images of "the Orient" or "the East" constitute nested orientalisms. This takes the form of a gradation of "Orients," which she describes as "a pattern of reproduction of the original dichotomy upon which Orientalism is premised. In this pattern, Asia is more 'East' or 'other' than eastern Europe; within eastern Europe itself this gradation is reproduced with the Balkans perceived as most 'eastern'; within the Balkans there are similarly constructed hierarchies." See Bakić-Hayden, Milica, “Nesting Orientalisms: The Case of Former Yugo-slavia,” Slavic Review 54, no. 4 (Winter 1995): 918.

24. See Kuus, "Europe's Eastern Expansion," 474.

25. For a detailed discussion, see Bōrōcz, József and Kovács, Melinda, eds., Empire's New Clothes: Unveiling EU Enlargement (Pittsburgh, 2001), at (last accessed 1 September 2011); Kuus, "Europe's Eastern Expansion"; Kuus, Merje, Geopolitics Reframed: Security andldentity in Europe's Eastern Enlargement (New York, 2007). On the discourse that eastern Europe lacks EU traits, see Melinda Kovács and Peter Kabachnik, "Shedding Light on the Quantitative Other: The EU's Discourse in the Commission Opinions of 1997," in Bōrōcz and Kovács, eds., Empire's New Clothes, 147-95.

26. I would argue that many studies of electoral politics in eastern Europe, especially the politics of the 1990s, as well as transitology studies, which explore the topics mentioned above and use concepts of legacies, path-dependency, and other similar ones, tend to produce this effect. In these studies socialist legacies obstruct the smooth transition to democracy, and socialism is often contrasted with liberalism. For a general review of perspectives to 1989 and transition, see a special issue of East European Politics and Societies 13, no. 2 (March 1999). See also Rogers, Douglas, “Postsocialisms Unbound: Connections, Critiques, Comparisons,” Slavic Review 69, no. 1 (Spring 2010): 115 , for a critique of transition studies in postsocialist Europe. For a critique of Cold War rhetorics in postsocialist studies, see Alexei Yurchak, Everything Was Forever, Until It Was No More (Princeton, 2005). Some recent studies on Baltic postcolonialism similarly advance the notions of Baltic inferiority; for examples, see Violeta Kelertas, ed., Baltic Postcolonialism (Amsterdam, 2006).

27. See, for example, Boym, Svetlana, The Future of Nostalgia (New York, 2001); Kuus, , Geopolitics Reframed; and Maria Todorova, Imagining the Balkans (New York, 1997). On the invention of "eastern Europe" during the Enlightenment, see Larry Wolff, Inventing East-ern Europe: The Map of Civilization on the Mind of the Enlightenment (Stanford, 1994).

28. See Piotr Sztompka, "Civilisational Competence: A Prerequisite of Post-Communist Transition," 6, at (accessed 25July 2009, no longer available). Emphasis in the original.

29. Václav Havel, "Paradise Lost," trans. Paul Wilson, New York Review of Books, 9 April 1992, 6, cited in Sztompka, "Civilizational Competence," 6.

30. Sztompka, "Civilizational Competence," 6.

31. Ibid., 10. Emphasis in the original.

32. See Romualdas Ozolas, "Provincija: Lietuva," Siaures Atenai 718 (25 September 2004), at (last accessed 1 September 2011). On provinciality, see also Ekstra, 30 November 2006, an interview with Valdas Papievis, "Valdas Papievis: Anykstenas, kuriame apsigyveno Paryzius," at (last accessed 1 September 2011).

33. See Chakrabarty, Dipesh, Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference (Princeton, 2008), 43.

34. See (30 June 2006), an interview with Juozas Imbrasas, "J. Imbrasas Vilniuje mato provincialumo sindroma.," at (last accessed 1 September 2011); and XXI amziaus horizontal, no. 12 (30 June 2004), Vladimiras Laucius's interview with Tomas Venclova, "Darbo partijos pergale rodo musu visuomenes provincialuma.," at (last accessed 1 September 2011). On the lack of European political culture and provinciality, see (4 June 2004), Tomas Viluckas, "Provincialumas," at (last accessed 1 September 2011).

35. In Lithuania, the rhetoric of stagnation, backwardness, and inferiority is over-arching, even if the trope of provinciality is not mentioned. For example, in a recent drama by Marius Ivaskevicius, who explores nationalist themes, the author introduces Lidiuanians in a sarcastic tone: they lag behind in cultural and material resources; they are people who expect somebody else to decide their destiny; they lack initiative and action. The main character Pokstas (Joke) proposes to transfer the nation from Lithuania to Madagascar, where they could enjoy life from sea to sea. See Marius Ivaskevicius, Madagaskaras (Vilnius, 2004). This sense of inferiority and provinciality is not new and dates back at least to Soviet times. But only recently has it become entangled witii the nationalist agenda and euroskepticism at the public level. I thank Elizabeth Novickas for drawing my attention to this aspect.

36. See Alex, Serguei. Oushakine, “Introduction,” The Patriotism of Despair: Nation, War, and Loss in Russia (Cornell, 2009).

37. For example, on resistance to the capitalist food market, see Buechler, Hans and Buechler, Judith-Maria, “The Bakers of Bernburg and the Logics of Communism and Capitalism,” American Ethnologist 26, no. 4 (November 1999): 799821 ; on euroskepticism as opposition to the EU or Europeanization, see Taggart, Paul, “A Touchstone of Dissent: Euroscepticism in Contemporary Western European Party Systems,” European Journal of Political Research 33 (1998): 363–88; on integralist politics as opposition to the EU's politics of integration, see Douglas R. Holmes, Integral Europe: Fast-Capitalism, Multiculturalism, Neofascism (Princeton, 2000). Some other studies conclude that reservations about EU membership, the introduction of the Euro, or the Lisbon Treaty are not a reflection of general resistance to modernization and economic reforms. See, for example, Karen Henderson on euroskepticism before integration to the EU, "Euroscepticism or Europhobia: Opposition Attitudes to the EU in the Slovak Republic," Opposing Europe Research Network Paper, no. 5 (Brighton, 2001).

38. See also Dace Dzenovska, '"In the Claws of the Black Crab': Historical Imagination in Postcolonial Europe" (paper presented at SOYUZ: The Post-Socialist Cultural Studies Network, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 11-12 March 2011).

39. Gintaras Beresnevicius, Imperijos darymas: Lietuviškos ideologijos matmenys. Europos Sqjunga ir Lietuvos geopolitika XXI a. pirmoje puseje (Vilnius, 2003), 41.

40. Ibid., 31.

41. Ibid., 8.

42. Ibid.

43. Ibid.

44. Ibid.

45. Ibid., 5, 21.

46. In pre-World War II Lithuania, the GDL and Vytautas were important national symbols celebrated in history works. One of the most popular historical works of that time, Adolfas Šapoka, ed., Lietuvos istorija (Kaunas, 1936), propagated Romantic ideas about Lithuania's past. This book was especially influential during the nationalist movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s when Soviet interpretations of Lithuania's history were rejected. In the absence of more current non-Soviet works on the history of Lithuania, many schools used it as a textbook.

47. See Foreign Ministry of Lithuania at (last ac-cessed 1 September 2011), and the European Commission at (last accessed 1 September 2011). Lithuania has other geopolitical interests and projects as well. Discussions of the Baltic-Scandinavian model, which would bring together Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, are increasingly common. See, for example, Ramunas Vilpisauskas, "Ar eisime Siaures keliu?" 16 February 2011, at (last accessed 1 September 2011).

48. This European Neighborhood Policy framework is proposed for sixteen of the EU's closest neighbors—Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, and Ukraine. See (last accessed 1 September 2011).

49. On the eastern partnership, see (last accessed 1 September 2011). Lithuania's involvement in the democratization of Belarus, Ukraine, and the countries of the Black Sea region is also supported by the United States. See the excerpts of the interview with Stephen Mull, the U.S. ambassador in Lithuania, in Savukynas, "What Comes after the Nation?"

50. In the Batde of Grunwald, Polish-Lidiuanian troops defeated the Teutonic Order.

51. Kulakauskas appeared on a Lidiuanian television show commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Batde of Grunwald, 15 July 2010.

52. On the popularity of Vytautas, see Irena Šutinienė, "Tautos istorijos simboliai Lietuvos gyventojij tautinėje vaizduotėje: Heroju. jvaizdziai ir ju. kaita," Sociologija. Mintis irveiksmas 1 (2009): 47-48.

53. See Remigija Paulikaitė, "Giedrius Klimkevičius: Juodojoje jūroje pagirdyti žirgu.," Zmones, 4 November 2010, at (last accessed 1 September 2011). See Birutė Jonuškaitė, "Magnus Ducatus Poesis, arba lietuviskai-Poezijos Didzioji Kunigaikstyste,"Afemu«as28 (12July 2007), at;Number(187);Article(4474) (last accessed 1 September 2011).

54. On the interpretation of GDL's heritage in nationalist narratives, see Irena Sutiniene, "Lietuvos Didžiosios kunigaikštystės paveldo reikšmės populiariose tautinio naratyvo interpretacijose," in Lietuvos istorijos studijos 21 (Vilnius, 2008), 102-20. On documentary films and GDL historiography, see Ruta Sermuksnyte, "Ideologijos ir istoriografijos itaka Lietuvos Didžiosios kunigaikštystės istorijos aktualinimui. Lietuvos dokumentinio diskurso (1988-2007 m.) analize.,"in Lietuvos istorijos studijos 24 (Vilnius, 2009), 136-49. On the discussion of the results of various state-funded projects exploring GDL heritage and popular myths, see Sutiniene, "Lietuvos Didžiosios kunigaikštystės paveldo reikšmės." On the relevance of the batde of Grunwald in Lithuania's history, see Rimvydas Petrauskas, "Žalgirio mūšis ir lietuviij istorinė tradicija," Naujasis Židinys-Aidai 7-8 (2010): 224-29.

55. See Šermukšnyte, "Ideologijos ir istoriografijos jtaka," and Šutiniene, "Lietuvos Didžiosios kunigaikštystės paveldo reikšmės."

56. Beresnevičius, Imperijos darymas, 15.

57. See (accessed 4 April 2007, no longer available).

58. The Center for Strategic Studies was founded by the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of National Defense, and State Security Department. Its aim has been to pursue research in diplomacy and security.

59. For a discussion of the Utopian character of Beresnevicius's idea of the GDL and its popularity, see Virginijus Savukynas, "G. Beresnevičiaus 'precedentika:' LDK ideja XXI a. globalizacijos fone," Lietuvos Rytas, 5 July 2009, at (last accessed 1 September 2011).

60. Interview with Vytautas, Rudamina, 16 July 2011.

61. See Savukynas, "G. Beresnevičiaus 'precedentika.'"

62. Ibid. Some recent studies on GDL include Brigita Speičytė, Poetinės kultūros for mos: LDK palikimas XIX amiiaus Lietuvos literatūroje (Vilnius, 2004); Darius Kuolys, Res Lituana: Kunigaikstyštes bendrija. Respublikos steigimas (Vilnius, 2009); Zenonas Norkus, Nepasiskelbusioji imperija (Vilnius, 2009); šutinienė, "Lietuvos Didžiosios kunigaikštystės paveldo reikšmės"; Alvydas Nikzentaitis, "Lietuvos Didžiosios kunigaikštystės politinė tautos specifika ir santykis su moderniaja tauta," in Praeities pedsakais. Skiriama Profesoriaus daktaro Zigmanto Kiaupos 65-meciui (Vilnius, 2007), 135-54; Alfredas Bumblauskas, Iharis Marzliukas, and Borisas Cerkasas, Žalgirio mūšis-tautu mūšis (Vilnius, 2011).

63. See Savukynas, "G. Beresnevičiaus 'precedentika.'"

64. Throughout the EU, numbers preceded by an "E" indicate food additives, such as colors, preservatives, antioxidants, stabilizers, flavor enhancers, and so on. On the consumption of "western" products, see Caldwell, Melissa, “Taste of Nationalism: Food Politics in Postsocialist Moscow,” Ethnos 67, no. 3 (2002): 295319 ; Caldwell, , Food and Everyday Life in Postsocialist Eurasia (Bloomington, 2009); and Patico, Jennifer, Consumption and Social Change in a Post-Soviet Middle Class (Stanford, 2008).

65. Some other products predate "Soviet" sausages and invoke associations with the Soviet period without using "Soviet" in the brand name. For example, the name of the packaged bakery rolls "Trys kapeikos" (Three Kopecks) derives from the price of a roll in Soviet Lithuania. "Soviet champagne" has been produced in Soviet and post-Soviet Lithu-ania. Unlike "Soviet" sausages, however, the brand name of the champagne was written in Russian and in Cyrillic characters, which made it look foreign.

66. See (last accessed 1 Septem-ber 2011).

67. See (accessed 13 February 2005, no longer available).

68. Rimas Frizinskas, sales director of Samsonas, personal communication, Kaunas, August 2005.

69. Samsonas was awarded diplomas and medals for its "Soviet" production in a num-ber of national competitions and fairs. See (accessed 29 May 2006, no longer accessible).

70. See (last accessed 1 September 2011).

71. See Fitzpatrick, Sheila, Everyday Stalinism: Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times. Soviet Russia in the 1930s (New York, 1999), 9091.

72. Ibid.

73. Ibid., 91.

74. Katia Belousova, personal communication, Princeton, N.J., April 2007.

75. See, for example, Maisto pramone irjos vystymosi perspeklyvos (Vilnius, 1970); and Leonardas Grudzinskas, "Dešru karalystėje," Valstiečiu laikraštis 124 (16 October 1966): 4.

76. Interview with Laima, Kaunas, 2006. In keeping with standard anthropological practice of anonymizing sources, the names of interviewees have been changed.

77. Interview with Audra, Kaunas, 2006.

78. Interviews with Regina, an art critic, and Alina, Kaunas, 2006.

79. See Klumbytė, "Soviet Sausage Renaissance."

80. In my usage, "nostalgia" refers to a longing for a place and time that no longer exist; this longing embraces feelings of romance, pleasure, loss, irreversibility, and displacement, as well as grief and stasis in some cases. Cf. Boyer, Dominic, “ Ostalgie and the Politics of the Future in Eastern Germany,” Public Culture 18, no. 2 (2006): 361–81; Fred Davis, Yearning for Yesterday: A Sociology of Nostalgia (New York, 1979). Nostalgia is a present-focused discourse; the recollections of the past that emerge in nostalgia are inaccurate and selective. For a detailed discussion, see Klumbytė, Neringa, “Nostalgia for Soviet Times and the Post-Soviet Publics in Lithuania,” in Schroeder, Ingo and Vonderau, Asta, eds., Changing Economies and Changing Identities in Postsocialist Eastern Europe (Berlin, 2008), 2745.

81. Klumbytė, "Soviet Sausage Renaissance."

82. Klumbytė, Neringa, “Memory, Identity, and Citizenship in Lithuania,” Journal of Baltic Studies 41, no. 3 (2010): 295313.

83. See Taylor, Charles, Sources of the Self: The Making of Modern Identity (Cambridge, Mass., 1989).

84. On the normalization of the west in eastern Europe through consumption practices, see Daphne Berdahl, Where the World Ended: Re-Unification and Identity in the Gentian Borderland (Berkeley, 1999); Krisztina Fehérváry, "American Kitchens, Luxury Bathrooms and the Search for a 'Normal' Life in Post-Socialist Hungary," Ethnos 67, no. 3 (2002): 369-400; and Patico, Consumption and Social Change.

85. Boym, The Future of Nostalgia, xiii.

86. Ibid., 49.

87. Ibid.

88. Interview with Kristina, Vilnius, 2007. Emphasis in the original.

89. On the politicization of nostalgia in eastern Europe, see Gille, Zsuzsa, “Postscript,” in Todorova, Maria and Gille, Zsuzsa, eds., Post-Communist Nostalgia (Oxford, 2010), 278–89.

90. See Boyer, Dominic, “From Algos to Autonomous: Nostalgic Eastern Europe as Postimperial Mania,” in Todorova, and Gille, , eds., Post-Communist Nostalgia, 22.

91. Ibid.

92. Interview with Tomas, Vilnius, 2007. On the relation between preference for "Soviet" sausage and people's political identities, see Klumbytė, "Soviet Sausage Renaissance."

93. Interview with a woman from Šiauliai, 2006, and an anonymous comment on a Lithuanian Television and Radio Web page, 9 January 2007. Emphasis in the original.

94. See Klumbytė, "Soviet Sausage Renaissance."

95. Although Beresnevičius himself most likely never bought "Soviet" sausages, his opposition to the EU also involved gastronomic concerns. He argued that among many other "idiotic regulations [there are those] which will take away our [smoked] eels, Zep-pelins [potato dumplings], and [smoked] lard," the traditional food loved by many Lithu-anians. See interview with Gintaras Beresnevičius, "Pokalbis su Gintaru Beresnevičiumi: 'Imperija turi eiti rodydama švarumo pavyzdi,"' Omni laikas, 25 November 2003.

96. Samsonas production catalogue (n.p., n.d.)

97. See (last accessed 1 September 2011).

98. A label with a woman with a scarf was introduced around 2009, and a label with a pilot came out around 2011.

99. I thank Mark D. Steinberg for drawing my attention to this aspect.

100. Samsonas marketing specialists, personal communication, Kaunas, July 2007.

101. On nostalgia in postsocialist settings, see Berdahl, Where the World Ended; Boyer, "Oslalgie and the Politics of the Future in Eastern Germany," 361-81; Savukynas, , “What Comes after the Nation?”; Todorova, and Gille, , eds., Post-Communist Nostalgia ; Mitja Velikonja, Titostalgia: Studija nostalgije pojosipu Brozu (Ljubljana, 2008).

102. See the discussion by journalist Audrius Matonis on the program "Be pykčio" on Lithuanian Television, July 2005.

103. See Laimantas Jonušys, "Sovietinės dešrelės ilgesys," Literatura ir menas 3027 (10 December 2004), at (last accessed 1 September 2011).

104. See Leonidas Donskis, "Aukos meilė budeliui, arba už ką lietuviai taip myli Rusiją?" Klaipeda (28 February 2005), at (last accessed 1 September 2011).

105. At present, the "Soviet" sausage industry has proliferated not only in Lithuania but also in other former Soviet states. The Lithuanian company Vilniaus mesa has been producing "Soviet" sausages for the Latvian and Estonian markets. Samsonas also sells "Soviet" sausages in Latvia, Estonia, Ireland, and England. "Soviet" sausage creates com-mon tastes, cultural intimacies, and consistency, and symbolically unites consumers in the former Soviet space in the same way that Beresnevicius's empire envisions uniting people in the former space of the GDL.

106. On the plurality and heterogeneity of "nation," see Duany, Jorge, “Nation on the Move: The Construction of Cultural Identities in Puerto Rico and the Diaspora,” American Ethnologist 27, no. 1 (2000): 530.

107. Cf. Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe, 46, 249.

108. I thank Diana Mincyte for this point.

109. Cf. Chakrabarty, Provincializing Europe.

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  • ISSN: 0037-6779
  • EISSN: 2325-7784
  • URL: /core/journals/slavic-review
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