The Influence of Ideology on the Slovenian Reception of the Novel and Film Gone with the Wind
Keywords:American literature, Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind, reception, ideology
The Slovenian reception of the novel and film Gone with the Wind has changed considerably over the last eight decades. Prior to World War II, responses in both left- and right-wing publications were largely favourable. Even the characterization of certain figures – which later became controversial because of the stereotypical portrayal of African-Americans – was pointed out as a positive aspect in most reviews at the time. After a socialist system was established on the Slovenian territory, responses to the novel/film became more critical, and in many articles a negative attitude towards the United States was expressed, something that was very characteristic of the immediate post-war years. After relations between Yugoslavia and the United States improved significantly in the aftermath of the Tito-Stalin split in 1948, critical opinions about Gone with the Wind were still expressed, but some sentiments about the novel/film were also distinctly positive. A similarly heterogeneous reception was characteristic of the two decades after Yugoslavia co-founded the Non-Aligned Movement and again distanced itself from the West. In the last decade before the end of the socialist system in Slovenia, Gone with the Wind was mentioned in serial publications much less frequently. In the 1990s, the novel and film were again featured in serial publications more prominently, but neither during that decade nor during the first decade of the new millennium was there much criticism of the novel/film. Several longer articles in the last ten years have reported on the increasing unacceptability of Gone with the Wind in the United States, above all on account of its alleged racism. However, most authors of these articles did not editorialize, which makes the contemporary reception of Gone with the Wind much less ideologically charged than was the case during the socialist period.
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