Issue 1, 2015


Литературна мисъл, 1, 2015
Гражина Шват-Гълъбова
Instytut Slawistyki PAN ORCID 0000-0003-3930-2084
Юп Лерсен
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

Пламен Антов, “Под игото” – тоталният български роман. Случаят Кандов: към началата на българския декаданс/сецесион
Plamen Antov, “Under the Yoke” – the Total Bulgarian Novel. The ‘Kandov’s Case’: to the Sources of the Bulgarian Decadence/Secession

Summary

Starting from a previous article by the author published in 1994, the present study develops two theses, one of which encompasses the other. The first thesis states that the Vazov’s novel „Under the Yoke” (1888/1889) is a total paradigmatic Bulgarian novel. Not simply chronologically the first novel, setting a classical standard in Bulgarian literature, but the novel which organically combines all genetic components of the novelness/romanceness, even mutually incompatible or opposing each other components. Two of them are considered in this study. The first is the ‘popular-carnival’ which is subliterary. Here we recall a 20 years old paper, in which the author considers „Under the Yoke” to be a popular-carnival book (according to Bakhtin), not to be a novel in the modern, „Hegelian” meaning of the term. Moving away from this original thesis, the present study is archeologising the opposite novelistic direction in Under the Yoke” – the modern-novelistic, Romantic, which is downright literary and even meta-literary in essence. In its pure form this meta-literary component, explicitly presented for a thorough discussion, is discovered in the micro-subject of ‘Kandov’. The chapters are analyzed in detail proving the key position they occupy in whole architectonics of the novel. At the end it is emphasized the complicated and multi-stratified way the modern-novelistic, bourgeois-romantic concepts associated with the novel are discussed, including in the meta-consciousness of the novel. The most important point is considered to be the justification of the second basic thesis, which is the following: By developing the ‘Kandov’ line in the mentioned six chapters, Vazov transformed in 1888 the literary substance of the Romantic into something which, a quarter of a century later, will become topical for the mainstream of the Bulgarian literary process. The „Kandov” story anticipates the essential elements of decadence and symbolist-secessionist poetics which will enter Bulgarian literature only through Yavorov and his language-Sleeplessness (1905-06). Direct linguistic (poetological) analogies are drawn between the ‘Kandov’ case and some central, constituent topoi in the poetics of the literary decadence and symbolic-secession imagery. (However – NB! – the study considers not the subjective intents of the author Vazov, but the happenings in the field of language and in the self-consciousness of the novel, archeologising the genre consciousness, including its literary-unconsciousness.) The paper, constructed as a dialectical triad, in its last, third part, considers „Under the Yoke” as a dialectical synthesis of two mutually opposing trends. At the same time it exteriorizes the problem in philosophical-historical aspect. The subject ‘Kandov’ is seen as an ideology-language hetero-interfusion – an expression, an articulation of a principal discussion, central for the Late Bulgarian Revival: ‘Bulgarian’/‘our own’ against ‘European’/‘alien’.

Keywords: Ivan Vazov; novel; „Under the Yoke”; Bulgarian Decadence; Secession

Plamen Antov (Institute for literature, BAS), plamenantov@mail.bg


Гражина Шват-Гълъбова (Варшава), Адамовият мит в произведението на Стоян Михайловски „Поема на злото”
Grażyna Szwat-Gyłybowa,  The Adamic Myth in Stoyan Mihaylovski’s “Poem of Evil”

Summary

The present article reflects on the Poem of evil (1889) by Stoyan Mihaylovski as an original attempt to introduce a new language of artistic reflection into Bulgarian literature on the universal theme of religion. Making use of a paraphrase of the biblical theme of the fall, Mihaylovski makes his own interpretation; he poses the eternal question about the source of evil in man, looking at it from the perspective of the age he lives in; and searches for invariable in what is variable. In my article I examine the text of the poet in a manner consistent with the hermeneutical strategies of Paul Ricoeur. My goal is not the reconstruction of the artistic influences on the works of Mihaylovski, but an attempt for exegesis of the anthropological model presented in the poem, which, after Ricoeur, I call “Adamic myth”. Ricoeur turns the archaic symbols preceding the very concept of “evil” into a subject of hermeneutical analysis that enables the drawing, from the complex tangle of Middle Eastern and European myths, of four types of narrative structure about the origin of evil and its scope. Ricoeur’s typology covers basic cosmogonic and anthropological myths that have remained to this day not only as artistic facts, but also as still active mental structures. These narrative models have their own history, intertwined into the history of European cultures and literatures that, along with the dynamics specific to individual periods, remain proof of their adaptation. The “Adamic myth” understood as a universalized structure of thinking based on the Judeo-Christian (or rather the Jewish and the Christian) tradition, is situated at the very centre of the Christian tradition. This myth has been deeply rooted in the Church-Slavonic literature of the long Bulgarian Middle Ages, but this does not give grounds to predetermine its place in the constantly changing map of the new Bulgarian culture. The question of the positioning of the “Adamic myth” in it is gaining significance, especially in view of its fascination by the gnostic anthropology of modernism. The Poem of evil by Mihaylovski represents an interesting attempt of the writer to avoid the pitfalls of dualistic thinking and the anthropological pessimism related to it.

Keywords: Bulgarian literature; modernism; Poem of evil; Christian anthropology; Mihaylovski; myth of the fall

Grażyna Szwat-Gyłybowa (Instytut Slawistyki PAN), g.szwat@gmail.com


Ирен Иванчева (Синсинати), Весела Страшимирова (1902-1995) - „…на песен ме морето научи” или първата българска писателка и поетеса маринистка
Irene Ivantcheva, Vessela Strashimirova (1902-1995) - "... a Song Taught me the Sea" or the First Bulgarian Marinist Woman Writer and Poetess

Summary

The purpose of this article is to present one of the forgotten by the literary history figures - Vessela Strashimirova (1902-1995), the first Bulgarian woman writer and poetess, expressed herself as a coherent marinist in her work from the 30s, 40s, and 90s of the XX century. Another goal of this article is to talk about and illustrate Strashimirova’s ideological project as a poetess of Thracia in the context of the historical losses of Bulgarian territories.

Keywords: marinist woman writer; poetess of Thracia; forgotten literary figure

Irene Ivantcheva (University of Cincinnati), ivantcii@ucmail.uc.edu


Юп Лерсен, Националната мисъл в Европа
Joep Leerssen, National Thought in Europe

Summary

The survey of the source traditions of European nationalism started with ancient notions of ethnocentrism and exoticism, the separation between self and other, between ordered society and wilderness. Into these ancient attitudes play circulating ‘ethnotypes’: conventional commonplaces regarding the mores and manners of foreign peoples. The relationship between country, population and character is further spelled out as a result of the rise of republican and democratic thought (resulting in the idea that the population (known increasingly as the ‘nation’) is welded into a whole (a ‘public’) by a communal solidarity and by shared civic virtues such as love of the fatherland, and on that basis deserves to exercise a constitutional mandate. At the same time, the notion of culture turns ‘inside out’ from a general one (culture opposing nature) into a comparative-contrastive one (mutually opposing cultures). The concept of nationality gains a political-constitutional importance as well as a defining function in establishing why and how countries and societies differ from each other. These developments and source traditions between them form the root system, the ingredients as it were, of the ideology of nationalism. Over the period 1795-1915, these will be welded together in the pressurized atmosphere of the Napoleonic Wars, and coalesce into that ideology which sees humanity as naturally divided into nations, each with their different culture and character, each deserving a separate nation-based sovereignty, each commanding the overriding allegiance of their members.
Keywords: European nationalism; national thought; ideology


Преглед

Николай Аретов, Българският ХХ век. Колективна памет и национална идентичност. Съст. А. Лулева
Nikolay Aretov, Bulgarian 20th Century: Collective Memory and National Identity. Ana Luleva (ed.)

Summary

Review of a collections of ethnological studies on collective memories about socialist period of Bulgarians from different parts of the country and on different topics. The problem of cultural memory/culture of memory is fundamental for the modern humanities. The matter of memory and especially its ambiguity, serving different scientific disciplines, creates a long and fruitful discussion joined by Bulgarian researchers in the end of the 1990s. and it is successfully continued in this book.

Keywords: review; ethnological studies; collective memories

Nikolay Aretov (Institute for literature, BAS), naretov@gmail.com


Бисера Дакова, Българският символизъм – модуси и употреби
Bisera Dakova, The Bulgarian Symbolism – Modes and Uses

Summary

The review is dedicated to the monograph of Violeta Ruseva "Bulgarian symbolism: modus of distinctness" (Veliko Tarnovo, 2014) – a respectable literary historical study of Bulgarian symbolism, not seen as a complete artistic phenomenon, but as a "mobile hermeneutical field." The main aspect in the study is the denial of chronology and the trust in the historical, in "laconic fact."

The symbolism is not tracked in its exhaustion and completeness but through emblematic poetry books and notorious periodical synthesis ("Vezni" magazine) – as stored, transported and newly regenerated cultural memory in the decade after the Wars.

Keywords: review; monograph; Violeta Ruseva; Bulgarian symbolism

Bisera Dakova (Institute for literature, BAS) biseradakova@yahoo.de