Boris Buden

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Boris Buden (1958, Garešnica, Croatia, Yugoslavia), is a philosopher, translator and cultural theorist. His essays and articles cover the topics of philosophy, politics, cultural and art criticism.

He studied classical and modern philosophy in Klagenfurt, Zagreb, Ljubljana, and received his PhD in Cultural Theory from the Humboldt University, Berlin. Since 1984 he has worked as a free-lance journalist and writer. Buden regularly publishes essays in German, English and French on philosophical, political, and cultural subjects pertaining to the former Yugoslavia, western Europe and the United States of America in such journals as Zeitschrift für Psychoanalyse und Gesellschaftskritik, Literatur und Kritik, and the Vienna cultural magazine Springerin. In addition to his activities as a journalist Buden has made a name as a translator of Freud into Croatian. As an activist in the Yugoslavian peace movement he founded in 1993 the journal Arkzin, a cultural-political and social-critical publication devoted to international literature, art, pop culture and the new media. In addition, he is the founder and chief editor of Bastard Publishing Co. In 1998 it published the first Croatian new edition of the Communist Manifesto with a foreword by Slavoj Žižek. Buden's political activism has born fruit as a volume of essays that appeared as Barricades I and Barricades II.

Central to Buden's writing is the concept of a culturally-politically divided Europe: post-communist eastern Europe is regarded as an outsider and "bastard" of the European Union. In its exclusion, however, Buden sees the chance to define anew the universal appeal of west-European culture, for "this universal is not being reconfigured along the dividing line drawn between cultural identities, and even less upon the bulwark of multiculturalism which only freezes the existing relations, but rather it is being expressed on the barricades upon which, after all that has happened, it was born in a political and historical sense." (Based on source).

Buden is a permanent fellow at the European Institute for Progressive Cultural Policies (EIPCP) in Vienna and he teaches cultural theory at the Faculty of Art and Design, Bauhaus University, Weimar. He lives in Berlin.



  • Exegii monumentum..., 1992.
  • Barikade, Zagreb: Arkzin, Sep 1996, 207 pp. [1] (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Barikade II, Zagreb: Arkzin, 1997, 277 pp. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Kaptolski kolodvor: politički eseji, Belgrade: Centar za Savremenu Umetnost, 2002, xv+324 pp. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Der Schacht von Babel. Ist Kultur übersetzbar?, Berlin: Kadmos, 2004, 224 pp. (German)
    • Vavilonska jama. O (ne)prevodivosti kulture, trans. Hana Ćopić, Belgrade: Fabrika knjiga, 2007, 263 pp. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • with Stefan Nowotny, Übersetzung: Das Versprechen eines Begriffs, Vienna: Turia+Kant, 2008, 232 pp. TOC, [2], [3]. (German)
  • Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus, Frankfurt/Main: Suhrkamp, 2009, 213 pp. Review: Genova (Kontradikce). (German)
    • Zona prelaska – o kraju postkomunizma, trans. Hana Ćopić, Belgrade: Fabrika knjiga, 2012, 236 pp. [4] (Serbo-Croatian)
    • Strefa przejścia: O końcu postkomunizmu, trans. Michal Sutowski, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej, 2012, 192 pp. [5], Excerpt. Review: Templewicz (PT 2012). (Polish)
    • Zonă de trecere. Despre sfârşitul postcomunismului, trans. Maria-Magdalena Anghelescu, pref. Costi Rogozanu, Cluj: Tact, 2012, 206 pp. (Romanian)
    • Konec postkomunismu: od společnosti bez naděje k naději bez společnosti, trans. Radovan Baroš, Prague: Rybka, 2013, 292 pp. [6]. Excerpt. Reviews: Slačálek (A2), Hohoš (SPS). (Czech)
    • Cona prehoda: o koncu postkomunizma, trans. Samo Krušič, afterw. Gal Kirn, Ljubljana: Krtina, 2014, 208 pp. [7], Video interview. (Slovenian)
  • What to do with the question "What will the Balkans look like in 2020?" / Was tun mit der Frage "Wie wird der Balkan im Jahr 2020 aussehen?", Vienna: Erste-Stiftung, 2011, 59 pp. [8] [9] (English)/(German)
  • editor, with Birgit Mennel and Stefan Nowotny, Translating Beyond Europe. Zur politischen Aufgabe der Übersetzung, Vienna: Turia+Kant, 2013. [10] Online version as transversal 6, 2013.
  • with Želimir Žilnik,, et al., Uvod u prošlost, Novi Sad:, 2013, 221 pp. (Serbian)
  • Findet Europa. Eine Suche in der Dolmetscherkabine. Dokufiktion, Vienna: Turia+Kant, 2015, 135 pp. Fictional conference proceedings. [11] [12] (German)

Book chapters, articles

  • "Mythos und Logos des serbischen Schicksals", in Serbien nach den Kriegen, eds. Jens Becker and Achim Engelberg, 2008. (German)
  • with Darko Suvin, "Only Intelligent Planning Can Save Us", e-flux 86, Nov 2017. (English)
  • "Als die Freiheit Kinder brauchte", in Buden, Die Zone des Übergangs: Vom Ende des Postkommunismus, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 2009, pp 34-51. (German)
  • Articles on


  • Sigmund Freud, Budućnost jedne iluzije i drugi spisi, Zagreb: Naprijed, 1986. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Sigmund Freud, Pronađena psihoanaliza, Zagreb: Naprijed, 1987. Trans. of Studienausgabe. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • Alfred Lorenzer, Intimnost i socijalna patnja: arheologija psihoanalize, Zagreb: Naprijed, 1989. Trans. of Intimität und soziales leid Archäologie der Psychoanalyse. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • with Radmila Zdjelar, Jean Laplanche, Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, Rječnik psihoanalize, Zagreb: August Cesarec: Naprijed, 1992. Trans. of Vocabulaire de la psychoanalyse. (Serbo-Croatian)
  • short texts from Th. W. Adorno, J.F. Lyotard, R. Funk, H. Dahmer, A. Mitscherlich, S. Bernfeld, P. Parin, S. Zweig, H. Steyerl, G. Raunig, S. Nowotny, etc. (Serbo-Croatian)

See also