Kaitlyn Tucker Sorenson’s “Radical Play” analyzes how one Slovene official’s response to student movements in June 1968 (“Changes—yes, circus— no!”) established a formula that structured relations between official and alternative culture in Ljubljana. Borrowed from de Gaulle’s famous remark in May ’68 (“La réforme, oui, la chienlit, non”), the Slovene translation captured the essence of a new mode of cultural production, both playful and political, which was beginning to emerge in Ljubljana and which would come to dominance in the late socialist period. In addition to framing the distinction between mainstream and avant-garde cultures in Ljubljana, this response became a catchphrase that was reappropriated in various contexts in order to articulate social conflict. This article traces that history in order to consider how this Slovene story contributes to broader debates about 1968.
Radical Play: Ljubljana’s Alternative in 1968
Kaitlyn Tucker Sorenson is a postdoctoral humanities teaching fellow in the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures at the University of Chicago. Her articles on Yugoslav intellectual history have appeared (or are forthcoming) in Slavic Review, Forum for Modern Language Studies, and European Review.
Kaitlyn Tucker Sorenson; Radical Play: Ljubljana’s Alternative in 1968. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 July 2020; 119 (3): 535–548. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8601398
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