Appropriating the past, negotiating history: Kotzebue’s ’Belas Flucht’ in Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski’s adaptation (1841)
This paper investigates the negotiation of history in Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski’s translation of August von Kotzebue’s play Bela’s Flucht (1813). The original play, written for the opening of the new German theatre in Pest, deals with the exile of the medieval Hungarian King Béla IV (b.1206, r.1235-1270) one year after the Mongol invasion. In 1841 Kukuljević adjusted the historical context of the play and introduced a different perspective on this historical episode, creating a new set of references pointing to the national past. Kukuljević pursued this subject further in his dramatic and historiographical works, related increasingly to his own historical research. By negotiating history within a “dramatic frame” Kukuljević is also framing the collective memory.