Issue 2, 2009


Симеон Хаджикосев, Още по въпроса за романа
Simeon Hadjikossev, More thoughts on the issue of the novel


In Bulgarian literary science the theory of the novel is a total blank. The author of this article, in general, shares the opinions of Michail Bachtin and his Bulgarian follower Bogdan Bogdanov. He approves of Bachtin's statement that the novel has been a unique genre still in statu nascendi since ancient times. It is probable that the beginning of the novel is connected with the writings of Xenofontes (5th century BC).

The author supposes the papyrus fragments with the story of Sinuhe the Egyptian (about 20th century BC) could be examined as the prototype of the later Hellenistic logoi (novels, 2-5 century BC.). If proved, this hypothesis can refute the traditional scheme of the successio of the literary types: epos - lyra - drama.

Лари Улф (Ню Йорк), Просвещението и православният свят
Larry Wolff(New York), The Enlightenment and Orthodox World


This short monograph considers the perception of Orthodoxy from outside the Orthodox world during the age of Enlightenment. It was originally conceived as a lecture to be presented in Athens, at the invitation of the great Greek historian of political thought, Paschalis Kitromilides. Inspired by Kitromilides' own work on the Enlightenment within the Orthodox world, I attempted to reverse the perspective and to offer a reciprocal study of the enlightened perspective on Orthodoxy. Beginning with the accounts of Western travelers, I analyzed a persistent pattern of disparagement by travelers, focusing on three general areas: 1) the aesthetic qualities of Byzantine icons, completely unappreciated by these travelers; 2) the allegedly excessive character of Orthodox ritual, which appeared as superstition to the eye of the Western Enlightenment; and 3) the alleged ignorance of the Orthodox clergy (a problem also noted within the Orthodox world, as Catherine the Great, for instance, established seminaries in Russia). My analysis of these categories of criticism suggests that in no case were they fundamentally religious in nature, but, rather, focused on more general issues of "civilization," such as education, artistic training, or enlightenment versus popular superstition. In this regard, the negative view of Orthodoxy was actually integrated into the entirely secular idea of Eastern Europe, transcending Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Muslim lands and peoples.

The second part of the monograph addresses the political perception of Orthodoxy that emerged after 1768, at the time of Catherine's war against the Ottoman Empire. For the first time, enlightened observers in the West became aware of the possible political significance of Orthodoxy for mobilizing populations. This was a matter of great interest, and sometimes concern, especially along the Triplex Confinium where the Habsburg and Venetian states bordered the Ottoman Empire, and where Orthodox populations were present. One of the things I was interested to note in the eighteenth-century discussions was an implicitly "Huntingtonian" perception of a political clash of civilizations based on the difference of religion. In fact, I initially presented this lecture in the year 2000, immediately after the NATO war in Yugoslavia in 1999, a moment when Western observers (in the United States and Europe) worried about the Huntingtonian emergence of an "Orthodox axis" sponsored by Russia. It was interesting to observe some of the eighteenth-century anticipations of this perspective as Western Europe worried over Catherine's mobilization of Orthodox sentiment within the Ottoman Empire during the Russian-Ottoman war of 1768-1774.

Considering the Bulgarian translation of this monograph, I regret that I did not have more material to include concerning Bulgaria itself. The most interesting source that I used, with regard to Bulgaria, was the travelogue of the Jesuit astronomer Rudjer (Ruggiero) Boscovich, who left Constantinople in 1762 and traveled overland through Bulgaria. Because Boscovich was a Roman Catholic priest and because he was born in Dubrovnik, he was sensitive to both the Slavic language and Orthodox piety of the Bulgarians, which he wrote about with considerable interest and appreciation. I have written a short separate article about this, exploring his particular perspective in greater detail:

"Boscovich in the Balkans: A Jesuit Perspective on Orthodox Christianity in the Age of Enlightenment," in "The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts," eds. John O'Malley, Gauvin Bailey, et. al. (University of Toronto Press, 2006), pp. 738-57.

Николай Аретов, Една мумия коментира Българското възраждане: Непозната адаптация на Едгар По от 1874 г. (Седянка с една мумия. Приказчица от Ив. Ев. Гешова)
Nikolay Aretov, A mummy commented on the Bulgarian National Revival: An unknown adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe from 1874


The paper examines a Bulgarian text published in 1874 in the periodical Chitalishte, which was an adaptation of Poe's short story Some Words with a Mummy. Although the name of the original author was mentioned in a footnote (in English, at that), the title was slightly changed and the plot was related to the Bulgarian society of the 1870s. While the American author criticized modern civilization, Ivan E. Geshof (1849-1924), the author of the adaptation and Prime Minister-to-be (1911-1913), focused on topics, topical for his compatriots - the newly-established Bulgarian church, Bulgarian teachers, etc - the Bulgarian National Revival as a whole.

This adaptation of Poe's work has not attracted the attention of the scholars, but was an important and, in a sense, extraordinary event in the history of Bulgarian reception of foreign literature. It was probably the first translation directly from English and demonstrated a relatively high literary competence. Along with the first translation of E. A. Poe - The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar (1856), which used a Greek source, Some Words with a Mummy set the American writer in an unusual context and preceded the interest in his poems in the early 20th century.

The article includes the full text of this second translation from Poe in Bulgarian.

Людмила Малинова-Димитрова, От коша на Парнас. Жестовете на едно литературно приятелство
Lyudmila Malinova-Dimitrova, From the bin of Parnassus Gestures of a literary friendship


The text traces a not-much-known literary friendship between Lora Karavelova and Petko Yu. Todorov, after Todorov returned from Germany in 1905 and before Lora bound her life with the poet Peyo Yavorov some years later. The fact is that being able to communicate with some of the most respected names in Bulgarian culture, it was Todorov that Lora preferred to share her creative experiences and plans with. She was in a creative upswing after her first publication in the journal Thought, thanked him and wished to share with someone who understood her and who she had confidence in. Lora relied not only on the undisputed literary reputation of her friend, but was also excited by his patience, tolerance and his intimate dedication to everything. Their inherent spiritual aristocracy connected them in a special way too.

The literary value of Lora's works is not very high, but she deliberately experimented in various genres. Todorov's editorial intervention in her texts shows his professionalism and desire to preserve the original intent of the author. The article raises questions about the state of Lora Karavelova's literary heritage.

Татяна Ичевска, Романите на Димитър Димов - стратегии на прочита
Tatyana Ichevska, D. Dimov's novels - reading strategies


This research focuses on the covers of Dimov's novels published as separate volumes. The main emphasis is on giving answers to several fundamental questions. First, how covers interpret Dimov's works; second, how they evoke certain readers' attitudes to the novels; and third, what trend in the interaction of cover and text proper can be observed when comparing early editions of Dimov's novels and later ones.

Пламен Шуликов, Крум Кърджиев - дълголетието на Бероновия комплекс. Опит за реконструкция по архивни материали
Plamen Shulikov, Krum Karjiev - Beron's long-life complex. An attempt at reconstruction based on archive materials


Based on unpublished archive materials, the study deals with the topic of the so-called "Karjiev case", which, without leaving any important traces in the humanitarian ideas in Bulgaria, is one of the indicators of the forthcoming "humanitarian fever" and without which its ethnology could hardly be explained. The extrapolation of the not quite definitive "Beron's complex" to the metaliterary practice in Bulgaria from the beginning of the 20th century up to the late 1940s aims at the metaphorical strengthening of our idea about the fateful, but not quite logical, difference between the literary language and the language of its conception. It prompts at the idea that the inventive "uniformity" between them, based on native accumulation, could only be seen in the 1960s and the role of people like Krum Karjiev is particularly important from a historical point of view.

Андрей Ташев, Иван Саръилиев и началото на прагматизма и семиотиката в България
Andrey Tashev, Ivan Sarailiev and the Beginning of Pragmatism and Semiotics in Bulgaria


The aim of the article is to determine the contribution of Professor Ivan Sarailiev to Bulgarian humanities. Unknown biographical data are revealed at the beginning of the text. It can be concluded that Ivan Sarailiev is an early Bulgarian pragmatist. Thus, the beginning of Bulgarian semiotic thought can be moved far back in time, around the turn of the 20th century, before names like those of Yuri Lotman and Roland Barthes. In the second part, this hypothesis is challenged and examined in order to be proved true.

Людмил Димитров, Мemento (me)mori, или как Горки помни Чехов
Lyudmil Dimitrov, Memento (me)mori, or how Gorky remembers Chekhov


The text draws attention to the two-way ego-perspective of memoirs: in addition to creative reconstruction, "quasi ballad" vision for the object of memory ("revives" him), they update the psychological portrait of the subject of the story. In this case, greater attention is paid to the psychological portrait of the author, A. M. Gorky, and his notes made on A. P. Chekhov's death. But the question is can this memory be regarded as reliable, especially in its claim of biographical fact? The friendship between the two writers largely fits within the ego-text: it begins as a correspondence, continues as personal meetings and conversations (some of which are recorded) and ends as memoirs. From similar memoirs of their other contemporaries, we can restore many of the Chekhov's external characteristics, to imagine him through his typical gestures, reactions, witty remarks, and habits. With Gorky it is different. Supplementing the notes of two stages, once ten years after Chekhov's death (1914) and a second time before its publication in 1923, is a gesture showing that Gorky wanted to consolidate his authority over that of his famous contemporary whose aesthetic platform he used. Characteristic of this approach is Gorky's style - without beginnings or endings, the lack of a coherent structure, rather chaotic remarks made casually and not arranged in a logical view. Allusions to Chekhov as an ideologist of class thinking even slip. Throughout his literary career, Gorky gradually established himself in the hierarchy and the doctrine required a new literary direction ("socialist realism"), excluding Chekhov's poetics. In this sense, his memoirs about Chekhov not only demonstrate the mechanism of manipulation, but also the dangers of the genre.


Бойко Пенчев, Литературоведската умереност срещу теоретичния фанатизъм(Яни Милчаков, Социални полета на литературата, УИ "Св. Климент Охридски", С., 2009 г.)