Issue 2, 2020

Пламен Антов
Институт за литература, БАН
Александър Панов
Институт за литература, Българската академия на науките
Николай Аретов
Institute for Literature, BAS
Рая Кунчева
Institute for literature, BAS

Пламен Антов Ботев contra Пишурката, или силните жестове на слабите гласове
Plamen Antov Botev contra Pishurkata, or the Strong Gestures of the Weak Voices

  • Summary

    The article starts from two translations of historical (Roman) dramas during the Bulgarian Revival – “Belisarius“ and “Cremutius Cordus“ – and two theatrical performances – “Long-suffering Genoveva“ and “Belisarius“ (Lom, 1856) – to discuss the problem of ideological effectiveness of theater during the Revival epoch compared to literature. Theatrical performance in its entirety (mise-en-scène, sceneries, properties, and especially the “alive“ play) is seen as essential, languagelly relevant to the voluminous, multi-layered naive-folk thinking, pre-aesthetic and prehistoric, as opposed to the flat ideological logos of the modern one. – The unpretending, weak writer and theatrical worker Kr. Pishurka is the personification of the first type of thinking, and Botev – the genius of the epoch – of the second type.

    Keywords: ideology, Erzieher; theater/mise-en-scène/sceneries/play vs literary/word; naive-folk vs modern thinking

Анализи / Analyses

Александър Панов „Албена“ – жанр и наративна структура
Alexander Panov „Albena“ – genre and narrative structure

  • Summary

    This article is based on the question why Bulgarian classic writer Yordan Yovkov’s short story „Albena“ – featured in the collection „Nights at Antym’s Inn“ – has been subject to so many different interpretations of its main concept. Does it reaffirm the strength of love, beauty, or consciousness as the main principles of being? We proceed from the assumption that its interpretation depends on the correct positioning of the text in its relative context, as well as on the adherence to the correct genre paradigm of the text and on the adequate deciphering of its narrative structure. If we position this text in an inadequate context, we will be misled to read, understand and interpret its meaning incorrectly. This is one of the main laws of literary hermeneutics. This is where the author of this article bases his main task – to analyze all elements and aspects of the story’s narrative structure that define its belonging to a particular genre paradigm. 
    This article analyzes in detail the scheme of the plot shaping the story of „Albena“. It infers that each of its elements poses certain questions, regarding both the depicted events and the manner of their depiction. The dilemma whether the story gives answers to these questions or not, as well as the way this is done, allows the development of the plot scheme into nine distinct genre paradigms: a social novel; a psychological novel; a naturalistic novel; a criminal novel; a play depicting everyday matters; an exemplum; a ballad; a short story; and a novella. Yordan Yovkov has chosen only one of these genre paradigms. It defines the meaning and the potential for emotional effect of the story. 
    The article analyzes the role played by the narrator, the composition and the typology of the
    characters and infers that the narrator has only minimal and purely technical presence in the fictional universe created in this work. In this manner the author allows his reader to perceive the entire development of the plot, with all its vicissitudes of fortune, revelations and wrongful opinions, as objective and disconnected from the author’s claim of demiurgical control. As a result, the four main humanitarian values discussed in the text – life, beauty, love and family – are allowed at least two possible interpretations, depending on the value system we use to rationalize and evaluate them. In general, these rationalizations and evaluations are made by the crowd in the story which plays the part of an ancient Greek tragic chorus, led by the coryphée Old Man Vlasyu. This technique allows us to conclude that the narrative substrate that serves as the basis of „Albena’s“ storyline is the matter whose main task is to test and reevaluate various everyday situations, as well as the validity of certain societal and moral laws that help people rationalize and evaluate them. Hence the final conclusion of the article – the genre paradigm in which „Albena“ has been developed is not the paradigm of the short story, as most analysts believe, but the paradigm of a novella. This conclusion would allow for an adequate readers’ behaviour and for a correct interpretation of the work.

    Keywords: Genre/Genre paradigm; Analysis; Interpretation; Narrative structure; Narrator; Autor/Reader; Plot/Fabula; Event; Short story; Novella; Casus; Value system/Value norm; Receptive strategy/Reader’s behavior

Николай Аретов Двама млади „барабанисти“: Борю Завзека и Чудомир
Nikolay Aretov Two Young “Drummers”: Boryo Zevzeka and Chudomir

  • Summary

    This paper deals with the humourist periodical “Baraban” (Drum) and two of its active authors and their relationship. Boris Rumenov known by his penname Boryo Zevzeka (Boryo the Joker) was a prolific writer of different types of humourist short stories, pieces for theatre, etc, editor of the periodical, killed by the communists in 1944. Chudomir is famous and author and painter; he became very popular when he left “Baraban” and started to publish in the newspaper “Zora” (Dawn). In his youth Chudomir was close friends with all the other contributors of “Baraban”, they exchange funny letters and deliberately build their public images as bohemians. This paper also offers some less known their works from the 1910s.

    Keywords: Baraban, Boryo Zevzeka, Chudomir, humour

Радослава Илчева България и българите в руската литература от първата половина на XIX век: въпроси и (възможни) отговори
Radoslava Ilcheva Bulgaria and the Bulgarians in Russian literature from the first half of the XIXth century: questions and (possible) answers

  • Summary

    The traditional for Bulgarian literary science idea about the Bulgarian presence in Russian literature is reconsidered in this paper based on newly discovered texts from the first half of the XIXth century with Bulgarian characters present in them. Answers to the following questions are sought: Which text should be considered as a starting point for the topic at hand? Who is the first Bulgarian character? Who is the forefather of the Bulgarian theme?

    Keywords: Bulgarian themes, characters, and plots; Russian classic literature; discoverer; forefather

Преглед/Book Reviews

Рая Кунчева Ангел Ангелов. Анти/Модерност: образи на екзотичното и на земния рай в Европа през XIX век
Raya Kuncheva Angel Angelov. Anti/ Modernity: Images of the Exotic and the Earthly Paradise in 19th century Europe

  • Summary

    The book Anti/Modernität: Bilder des Exotischen und des Paradieses auf Erden in der ersten Hälfte des 19. Jh. in Europa deals with a social position in the first half of the 19th century in Europe, which is a reaction to economic and political changes, creating a feeling of insecurity and disharmony. Angelov defines it as anti-modern. What distinguishes his staging is that he does not develop this issue in the discourse of power. By looking at visual images and specific texts as social media, he challenges the aesthetic canon of modernity. In the line of the communitarian turn, his book is methodologically important and makes it possible, through a subtle analysis, to raise again the question of the problematic encounter with the other. The review seeks the context of Angelov’s research in Jauss’s hermeneutics.

    Keywords: Anti-modernity; Exoticism; Virtual image; Hermeneutics