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The Master's Voice: Authenticity, Nostalgia, and the Refusal of Irony in Postsocialist Hungary

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In 2000, Benedek Uhrin - an elderly man with no apparent musical talent - became an internet phenomenon and later one of the unlikely hit performances at the yearly summer music festival in Hungary. Although local commentators argued that his popularity with youth audiences derived from his kitsch appeal, this article argues to the contrary. Uhrin rose to fame because his performance enabled his audience to refuse irony as rhetorical tool, ethical stance, and reading practice in postsocialist mass culture. Inspiring nostalgia rather than mockery, his much-vaunted sincerity offered an alternative to crises of authenticity created by postsocialism.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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