Issue 1, 2010


Александър Панов, Баладата и нейното присъствие в поезията на Христо Ботев
Alexander Panov, The Ballad and its Presence in Hristo Botev's Poetry


This article attempts to give an overall answer to the question of the presence of the ballad as a genre and the ballad motifs as an important aspect of the fictional structure of the literary work in Botev's poetry. Ever since the 1920s "Hadji Dimiter" has been qualified as a ballad in Bulgarian literary studies. There are even curious cases when the general characteristics of the ballad are described in such a way that they coincide with the structure of "Hadji Dimiter". But the truth is that the role which is played by the ballad in Botev's poetry is not clear enough.

And this role is diverse and has many directions, as far as the general literary background of the Bulgarian Revival is full of ballad motifs - not only concerning typical motifs for the ballad, but also in the overall presence of the ballad in literary life. This cannot fail to influence the plots, the motifs, the figures of speech and the strategies of impact of Botev's poetry.

To avoid misunderstandings which go along with the usage of the term "ballad", especially in the analysis of Botev's work, a detailed definition of the essence of the European ballad is given in this article. This article uses Hans Robert Jauss's scheme for describing a genre - model in four main directions - status of communication, world of understatement, attitude to tradition, and "place in life".

After that all possible aspects of the presence of the ballad and the ballad motifs in Botev's poetry are described and the conclusion is reached that it is saturated with them, but in most cases the result is not a typical ballad, but more likely an argument and transformation of the ballad expectations into another unexpected direction.

Of course, the author touches upon the question about the genre of "Hadji Dimiter"- the poem that seems to have grown together with the definition "ballad".After a thorough analysis of its structure and comparison with the structure of the ode, the ballad and the epic song, one reaches the conclusion that "Hadji Dimiter" is not and cannot be a ballad, at least in the meaning which world literary studies attribute to this term.

Миряна Янакиева, Съвместимост или несъвместимост между подходите към литературната творба?
Miriana Yanakieva, Compatibility or incompatibility between different approaches to literary works


There are many different conceptions in literary criticism because there are many different ways to answer the question "What is literature?" Every conception creates its own theoretical model of literature and its own methodology to analyze or to interpret literary works, which corresponds to this model. At first sight, we can make the following conclusion: if on theoretical level two conceptions are contradictory, it will be undesirable, unproductive, even impossible to combine their methods of reading literary works. However, the reality is more complicated. There is no unanimous response to the question if literary critics must stick rigidly to only one procedure chosen (semiotic-structural, hermeneutic, deconstructive) or it is admissible, even advisable, to combine different approaches in order to activate a bigger part of the potential meaning of the literary work.

The article refers to ideas about this problem of some well-known theorists such as Hirsh, Gadamer, Michel Foucault, Gerard Genette, Paul Ric?ur and it considers two approaches to literary texts - the structural approach and the deconstructive one. Its main proposition is that even though these approaches are contradictory, both prove that every meaning is a result of inner relations between the linguistic elements in a given text.

So, the collaboration between them is possible, but on condition that they should not be confused. In the course of their interpretation of a literary work, literary critics must explain clearly when and why he follows the structural method, when and why he includes the point of view of deconstruction.

Роберто Адинолфи (Неапол), Книгата за Синтипа в България: ръкописни и печатни версии
Roberto Adinolfi, The Book of Sindbad in Bulgaria: manuscript and printed versions


This paper provides a brief history of the diffusion and spreading of the Book of Sindbad, a medieval Persian collection of tales, in the Slavonic-Balkan area, in particular, in Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian, Serbian and Rumanian versions are derived from the Greek printed version, dating from the late 17 th or early 18 th century; therefore, they represent a very late stage in the history of the Book.
The book was translated in Bulgarian for the first time by Bishop Sofronij of Vratsa, and included in his Second Vidin Collection, a manuscript dating back to 1802. The collection was transcribed and slightly altered by priest Atanas (Krast'o), in 1850.
The second Bulgarian translation, made by Hristaki Pavlovich, was edited in 1844 and in 1854. Such a translation is the basis of numerous adaptations between the late 19th and the first quarter of the 20 th century; the editorial tradition of the Book of Sindbad in Bulgaria is quite impressive.
Particular attention is paid to the different ways of translation and interpretation in the Bulgarian manuscript and printed versions.

Ренета Божанкова, "Истинският живот на Себастиан Найт" и "Николай Гогол" на Владимир Набоков - текстове на границата
Reneta Bozhankova, "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight" and "Nikolai Gogol" by Vladimir Nabokov - texts on the border


The novel "The Real Life of Sebastian Knight" (written in English in Europe in 1939 and published in America in 1941) has a peculiarly borderline position in the author's life: it represents the first real creative step taken into the realms of the new language and focuses on the issue of the new language identity, on the trying on of masks and the tracing of the consequences of this change and play. This transition theme, as an aspect of the metamorphosis in its biological and metaphorical dimensions throughout the years, never stops occupying Nabokov, yet here it is most immediately outspoken, the novel being an attempt at solving a personal dilemma. Against the background of the transition theme's intensive discussion by the characters and the plot, this novel can serve as a showcase for the whole "catalogue" of Nabokov's techniques, themes, images.

On the other hand, there is one of his subsequent texts, written in English already in the United States, aimed directly at the English speaking reading public and per definition being assigned to the genre of a writer's biography - the book "Nikolai Gogol" (1942-1944). The study endeavours to see these two books from two standpoints in a parallel, outlining their similarities (while presuming identity), especially observing their modernistic nature of metaprose, of a text concerning the writing of a text, a text that is constantly regarding its own reflection in order to continue being written.

The end of the 1930s and the beginning of the 1940s is a time of territorial, linguistic, aesthetic transitions and changes for Vladimir Nabokov. The momentary change of masks and scenes in the novel "Sebastian Knight" can only be attributed to high-class craftsmanship, already achieved earlier by Nabokov in his Russian language novels. The histrionic re-clothing and re-making up in this novel - "a second birth" - appear to be one of the rehearsals for the actual transformation from a Russian to an English speaking writer, from Sirin to V.Nabokov. V. is simply an intermediary phase in the metamorphosis. In this unstable environment Nabokov seeks for support, and finds it in the Russian classic Nikolai Gogol, who will lend him some of his legitimacy in the New World.

Ирма Ратиани (Тбилиси), В кривото огледало на тоталитаризма: човекът и времето в романа на Михаил Джавахишвили "Ратаите на Джако"
Irma Ratiani, In the Crooked Mirror of Totalitarianism: Man and Time in Mikheil Javakhishvili's Novel Jaqo's Dispossessed


The paper investigates the time-space continuum and a key character pair within a novel created in Georgia, and written in Georgian, during the early Soviet era. It pays attention to two particular representations of twin-heroes, the dissolution of identity referred to being generated (as the paper's author suggests and the novelist implies) by the crooked mirror of the epoch: one which has doomed the man to shrink and degrade into the archetype of the Wandering Jew, Ahasver, and which has cast him away from his real Creator. Time proves to be the principal hero of the novel.

The paper focuses on the interaction of the two types of time-space continuum displayed in the novel. It associates one of them with the Christian eschatological breakthrough the ancient Greek cosmos, and the other with the latter, re-thought as a symbol of earthly existence which imprisons the human soul, and in this particular case recognizable through the image of the era of Sovietization.

As it occurs, each of the twin-personages has his horizon of existence belonging to one of these two types, or to one of the novel's chronotope "hemispheres". What is being also observed, is the relation between these parts, and within each of the two twin pairs born by this separation (the second pair evolving within one single, previously coherent in himself, personage). It appears to be a relation of mutual complementariness and non-interoperability at the same time. The paper suggests that the converging and the diverging between the two time-space types and between the two kinds of the human species might be seen as an implicit critique of totalitarianism from the viewpoint of Christianizing existentialism. It is the way, hypothesized here, in which Mikheil Javakhishvili's novel finds its way within the anti-totalitarian discourse.

The paper refrains from making an object of explicit interest the novel's semantic ambiguity, the relevance of both the naturalistic (in the sense of aesthetics of mimesis) and the existentialist (philosophy of active resistance, or struggle) code introduced already by the novel's title.

Анна Нашиловска (Варшава), Полската литература след 1989 година
Nashilovska Anna (Warsaw), The Polish literature after 1989


The article puts into consideration the processes of transformation in the Polish literature after 1989. According to the framework constructed, the changes could be traced out as: the contents and dynamics of the literary canon; the shift between centre and periphery, and the newly-invented accent on the peripheral zones of the cultures, the recent attention on regional identities intensified; the gender-turn. The analysis takes into account the effects of the changes, experienced both by artists and public as trauma and crisis. Another emphasis is put on the emergence of the last generation of Polish artists, radically distant from the socialist past.

Никита Нанков, Българският Друг като по-лош Западен Аз: маргиналия за маргиналността на българистиката в американската академия
Nikita Nankov, Тhe Bulgarian Other as a Worse Western Self: Marginalia on Marginality of Bulgarian Studies in American Academia


This essay has two entwined purposes. First, on a practical level, it analyzes the hierarchy of Slavic languages and literatures in American academia and some of the means by which it is created and perpetuated. It also covers the mechanisms used to promote Western literatures as superior to Russian literature. The main issue at this level is the unenviable place of Bulgarian Studies, especially Bulgarian language and literature, in the context of Slavic Studies in the US. Second, on a theoretical level and using the peripheral status of Bulgarian Studies as a springboard, the inquiry investigates the relationship between "major" and "minor" literatures and cultures and the role of academia and the media in creating this division of power. In clarifying the two objectives, the essay details various academic aspects such as: some general principles of paid higher education, language teaching in American academia, the value of scholarly degrees obtained in the West and in Eastern Europe, the American academic job market, the function of some scholarly organizations and journals, certain rhetorical and narrative means of writing post-modern literary histories, and the role of ideological and other cliches and biases in presenting Bulgarian culture in the US. The essay also shows how in American academia and media "minor" cultures are presented as things-in-themselves rather than things-for-themselves. The inquiry's conclusion speaks critically of the role of Bulgarian intellectuals after the dismantling of communism, and hypothesizes that the obscurity of Bulgarian Studies could be overcome within the dialectics among a) symbolically marked reality, b) narratives, and c) reading, interpretation, and action. The study's overall theoretical approach is in the Continental critical tradition, i.e., first, it presents things as they are and explains their man-made nature (deconstruction), and, second, it offers a better alternative (emancipation). The genre of the study is the marginalia, because this subsidiary scholarly genre is an exemplary implement for deconstruction and emancipation. The essay partakes in several disciplines: post-communist studies, theory of education, literary studies, narratology, Slavic Studies, Bulgarian Studies, semiotics, philosophy, theory of reading, and theory of action.


Яни Милчаков, Повторението на опита и сътворението на смисъла
(Радосвет Коларов, "Повторение и сътворение: поетика на автотекстуалността", Изд. "Просвета", С., 2009)

Светлана Стойчева, Палимпсест на българския модернизъм
("Kритическото наследство на българския модернизъм". Съставителство и редакция: Едвин Сугарев, Елка Димитрова, Цветанка Атанасова; Издателски център "Боян Пенев", С., 2009)