Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Quite a bit in the genesis of the modern use of the term if you look at the debates in the seventies and eighties. Quite prominent a theme in fact in the contributions of your co-national, Gyorgy Konrad.

I must admit I had no clue. Intrigued, I started off for a search; and so far I find there was apparently a so-called "Central Europe Debate", in which Konrád participated; kicked off by Milan Kundera's 1984 essay "The Tragedy of Central Europe", positing that in Central Europe is a part of the West kidnapped by the East, where intellectuals fight for European values against Soviet-Russian "de-Europeanisation", and that Central European intellectualism was the real center of European civilisation. That's strong tobacco indeed. Apparently, his strongest critic in the ensuing debate was emigrant Russian poet Joseph Brodsky. I am still reading.

(At any rate, while I may have absorbed Cewntral Europe myths created by the eighties dissident movement, I doubt my geography class curriculum was influenced by Konrád & co.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 04:58:14 PM EST
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That's when it hit the Western mainstream but the talking points began getting developed in the late seventies samizdat. Interestingly the mainstream Polish dissidents tended to be less Russophobic in that way. That might have something to do with the dueling Polish historical traditions of left nationalism - politically very Russophobic, but culturally Russophile and identifying strongly with the Westernizer tradition and right nationalism - politically Russophile but seeing 'real' Russia as the Slavophile one and thus as something utterly alien from and inferior to 'the West'.
by MarekNYC on Sat May 10th, 2008 at 05:24:06 PM EST
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