Issue 2, 2008


Александър Панов, Антропологическият подход в литературознанието
Alexander Panov, The Anthropological Approach in Literary Studies


What does reading a text anthropologically mean? Is interaction between anthropology and literary science at all possible? What exactly would the object of study be, as it is clear that its very definition depends largely on the analytical methodology?

When we juxtapose the goals of general anthropology and literary science, we will find that they have an important point of intersection - the specific role, played by literature in the building and regulation of the system of human beliefs, dispositions and values that form the basis of human culture and lifestyle. In order for this to be achieved, though, one has to describe the principle by which the specific traits of literature - that is to say, the relationship between reality and fiction, form and content, text and discourse - contribute to the realization of this basic function.

This article proposes the hypothesis that for the systematic execution of such an analysis one could start from the description of genres - a verbal phenomenon that can be referred both to the content and to the structural, communicational and functional aspects of the artistic discourse.

At the centre of attention it does not pose the structure of the text, not even merely the discursive analysis, but the entire complex of artistic activity that is directed towards the formation, maintenance and transformation of human beliefs, images and views of the world, the dispositions, feelings and values that are the fundament of the very idea of humanity.

Албена Хранова, Историята на понятията - дисциплинарни и инструментални чертежи
Albena Hranova, Mapping Conceptual History - Disciplinary Field, and Methodological Instruments


The text deals with the disciplinary mapping and methods of the conceptual history field. It starts with the already classic opposition between Reinhart Koselleck's and Quentin Skinner's founding notions, and the emerging of many newer interpretations of the issue in the recent years. It pays special attention to 1) the relevance of conceptual history to the cultural history paradigms, and 2) its debatable relevance to comparative methods, which could ensure or not its instrumental power as it refers to different separate case studies, and especially Balkan ones.

Стоян Атанасов, Старите и модерните: един идентичностен хоризонт
Stoyan Atanassov, The Ancients and the Moderns: an Identity Horizon


The antonymic pair ancient-modern is a lasting form of self-consciousness systematically used in the Western European tradition. This history is long: it stems from the beginning of the late Antiquity, takes shape during the early Middle Ages, continue through all major periods, and leaves an imprint even today.

Although the West has resorted to it for more than fifteen centuries, its usage follows relatively limited paths. They never reach Eastern Europe, particularly Bulgaria, whose social and cultural identity has always relied on spatial rather than temporal models: Byzantium, Turkey, Soviet Russia, the West... How to explain then our preference for a certain "somewhere" instead of some kind of "before"? The answer could be the assumption that the identity development of Bulgarian society does not take the shape of a dialogue with its own past. It is rather part of the logic of catching up with historical time, in other words, in a process of modernization, which presupposes striving to perceive a certain cultural or social matrix existing somewhere else now, i.e. not existing here, in our country. In this sense the identity process in Bulgaria could be considered the result of a given political will, while the dichotomy ancient-modern in the Western tradition is, in its nature, a cultural phenomenon.

Ангел Ангелов, "Европейската филология" на Ерих Ауербах
Angel Angelov, Erich Auerbach's European Philology


The first question pertinent to the subject of this study is: Did Auerbach and the other great Romance philologists work with a European consciousness and presuppose a common European horizon for their literary and linguistic studies from the very beginning? Or was this European consciousness formed gradually as a result of personal and social cataclysms? I was led to the conclusion that in addition to the First World War, the threat of another military conflict in the 1920s, mostly between France and Germany, also influenced the way part of the German Romance philologists rethought their academic pursuits. My purpose here is to find the main motive why Auerbach chose to use the non-disciplinary term "European philologists" and what he meant by that. I argue that Auerbach's European consciousness as a historical entity was formed in the 1920s, but his exile turned this consciousness into a standpoint.

The second question is about the symbolic geography of European culture in the works of Auerbach. The synonymous use of Europe and Abendland distinctly reveals Auerbach's dual, both unifying and divisive, understanding of the identity and symbolic geography of European culture. If we accept the opinion that Europeans have been represented by Romance literatures for centuries, then the tasks of Romance philology as a European philology will become clearer and the cultural geography of Europe narrower. The cultural and historical identification of Europe and Abendland after the Second World War solidified the already existing division of Europe into two blocs. Literary history and philology divided Europe the relevant political doctrines did. The humanities also contributed significantly to the creation of values and attitudes, and an study of the former from this perspective gives us additional reason to assume that the agreement on the division of Europe after the Allied victory was not based solely on strategic interests.

Надя Данова, Няколко страници от историята на балканските утопии
Nadia Danova, From the history of the Balkan utopias


The aim of this study is to present and find the historical place of some of the Balkan utopias created by Greeks and Bulgarians during the 18th,19th and 20th century. The focus falls on a way of thinking,which although marginal and eclectic, existed in its own time and helps to make clear the difficult process of the building of modern ideologies.Attention is paid to the mechanism which transfers the utopias of the future, born elsewhere, into the Balkan space as well as to the social and cultural circumstances that help to build the ideal picture of the future.The author studies the problem of the role of history and memory in the imagined communities as an expression of the relation between history and utopia,as well as the relation between utopia and eschatology.The examples that are studied testify to the comparatively quick reaction of some of the representatives of the Balkan intelligentsia to what is happening in the sphere of the utopia in other countries.Texts which aim at living up to the existing expectations, while at the same time making an attempt to turn them into instruments are created.The conclusions of the analysis of the utopian texts allow elaborations concerning the level of the political culture as well as about the different tendencies in the idealogical and political life, which caused combinations of views and tastes that are paradoxical at first glance.

Дечка Чавдарова, Москва и Петербург в пътеписа на Вазов "Извън България"
Detchka Tchavdarova, Moscow and Petersburg in Ivan Vazov's travelogue Outside Bulgaria


Vazov's travelogue "Outside Bulgaria" enters into the "Petersburg's text" and the "Moscow text" of Russian culture. Although written by a foreigner, this travelogue includes both the outsider's view of Russia, and the assimilated insider's Russian viewpoint. Metaphorically, Vazov turns out to be both inside and "outside Bulgaria".

The writer perceives Russia through the Russian national auto-stereotypes; the Russian myths of Moscow as the "soul of Russia", of the "great Russian soul", and of Petersburg as a "window on Europe" are present in his text.

The Russian viewpoint is embodied in many quoted proverbs. However, the insider's viewpoint in the text combines sometimes opposite stands on Russian culture (these of the "Westerners" and the "Slavophiles").

Besides the writer also perceives Russia from a foreigner's point of view where the negative sides of Moscow appear (the uncleaniness, the fatalism of the Russians, the drunkenness), and to whose mind Petersburg's cold calls out the image of the gardens of Eden in Bulgaria.

Thus, Ivan Vazov does not limit himself to the area of one genre, combining the mythologization of Russia (through the Russian viewpoint) with its demythologization, containing both the Russian viewpoint and that of the foreigner.

Жоржета Чолакова, Защо спи езерото?
Jorjeta Tcholakova, Why does the Lake Sleep?


This research is concentrated on the poem The lake sleeps (Спи езерото) with a view to two main questions: when and why did the image of lake in the European poetry begin to be different from the common background of water and how explain his sudden appearance in P. Slaveykov's lyrics. The first question is answered by studying in its antique, biblical and literary interpretation until the end of the 19 th century. The essay finds out that the lake gets his poetic emancipation during the romantic period. Special attention is paid to poets admired by Slaveykov like Goethe, Heine, Shelley, Southey. The research finds answer to the second question in the Vrchlicky's poetry, in particular in his poems included in the Vrchlicky's book of poetry From the gulfs (Z hlubin, 1875) : Near the lake (U jezera) and Over the lake (Nad jezerem). The genealogy of The lake sleeps (Спи езерото) explains some of the intertextual features of the early Bulgarian modernism revealing in P. Slaveykov's poetry.

Едвин Сугарев, Фигурата на смъртта в поезията на Яворов
Edvin Sugarev, The Figure of Death in Iavorov's Poetry


Edvin Sugarev's article "The figure of Death in Iavorov's Poetry" examines the polyphonic meanings of the"death" concept in Iavorov's poetry - the existence of death as a "terrible ghost" as well as a universal creative force ,understood as a "beginning" of everything - life itself being seen as its dream.In this extremely broad spectrum the article interprets the visions of death in poems such as "Death","Masque","Song of my Songs","Night" and others by defending the thesis of the existential connotation of concepts such as death,night,loneliness,blindness and others in the context of thinking that is closer to Eastern philosophies and untypical for Bulgarian traditions.

Цветан Ракьовски, Славчо Красински
Tsvetan Rakiovsky, Slavcho Krasinski


Slavcho Krasinski is one of the gifted Bulgarian lyrical poets between the two world wars. When he was 21 (1929) he published his first book of poetry entitled Gunshot and attracted the critics' attention. The poet's real character is revealed by his two subsequent books - Spring Guest (1932) and Green Clouds (1938). From 1930 he actively contributed verses to the renowned Zlatorog magazine (edited by Vladimir Vasilev). His work paradoxically combines the characteristics of symbolism (the critics see N. Liliev's influence here) and imaginism, which penetrated into in Bulgaria under the influence of the Russian poet Sergey Esenin. These are the two poetics which create an intertextual web of links for Slavcho Krasinski's lyrical poetry.

Младен Енчев, Лъчезар Станчев. Мимикриите на играта
Mladen Enchev, Lachezar Stanchev. Mimicry of the Game


The article deals with the attempts of Bulgarian children's literature to preserve its entertaining function after the end of the Second World War.

The means of expression and mechanisms of retaining the playfulness in this literature, the ideological education of children being turned into a cult, are analyzed in Lachezar Stanchev's poetry, published at the end of the 1940s and the 1950s.

The paper focuses on the methods and forms of disguising the game, a politically necessitated literary practice at a time characterized by extreme pedagogical strictness.

Genre mutations of the fairy tale, domination of then topical issues in the riddles and structural adaptation of the nonsense poem are part of the mimicry of the game, allowing children's poetry at that time to communicate with its readers on the basis of their own values in spite of the difficulties.