chapter  8
Regimes of Value and Worthlessness: How Two Subaltern Stories Speak
ByDON KALB
Pages 14

In my earlier work on Poland and the Netherlands I have made extensive use of two longer life stories, one told by Maria van de Velde in Eindhoven, the other by Krisztof Zadrozny in Wroclaw. Against the background of other life interviews I held in these settings, those two exceptionally rich stories helped me to understand in more subtle and complex ways the antagonistic intimate experiences and immediate struggles that were characteristic of-but can never be “read off”—the historical dynamics of class in the places and times in which these histories were lived and narrated. These were working class stories grappling with the locally lived contradictions of the pre and high welfare state period in the Netherlands (1950-90), and the “transition” from “really existing socialism” to really existing capitalism in Poland (1985-2005), respectively.