De Kafka à Gorbatchev

NEW YORK – Le 2 août 1914, Franz Kafka écrivait dans son journal : « L’Allemagne a déclaré la guerre. Cet après-midi, nagé. » Malgré son détachement apparent de l’irréalité du jour, cet écrivain central-européen reclus et visionnaire est l'homme qui a donné le nom « kafkaïen » à son siècle. Soixante-quinze ans se sont écoulés depuis la nage de Kafka pour que les civilisations d’Europe centrale et orientale rejoignent une Europe élargie. Certains diront, une pause kafkaïenne.

Cette Europe centrale et orientale n’était pas seulement un lieu où régnaient les dictatures de droite ou de gauche, l’ethnocentrisme et la xénophobie ou des conflits perpétuels et figés comme les discours caricaturales nous le montrent aujourd’hui. C’était aussi le berceau d’un patrimoine spirituel, de penseurs et d'artistes, d’un mode de créativité spécifique et d’une quête du sens au-delà des négociations pragmatiques du quotidien.

Lors de « leur retour » dans l’Europe en 1989, les habitants de cette région ont apporté avec eux leur diversité et leurs richesses ; leur vivacité, leurs mystères et leurs souvenirs ; sans oublier leurs aspirations, anciennes et nouvelles. Ils ont aussi montré que passer d’une société fermée à une société ouverte est possible, mais extrêmement difficile.

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