Central Europe is an artificial creation. It is a state of mind. As a political notion, it is not primarily about geography. It is a term associated with horrors, especially in the German part of "Mitteleuropa," though in the recent past it has been politically invested with democratic hopes. The renewed interest in "Central Europe" in the early 1980s involved an act of symbolic secession from the Empire of the East. The investment represented a conscious, if somewhat utopian, decision to desovietize a political culture. Milan Kundera, Czesław Miłosz, and George Konrád, among others, juxtaposed center against east, pluralism against monism, antipolitics against ( Communist Party) politics. They remembered, glorified, and celebrated the diversities of the presovietized past, hoping to help constitute a more liberal, pluralistic, and democratic European future, a new spring of independent national cultures.