Issue 1, 2022

Александър Панов
Институт за литература, Българската академия на науките
Райко Байчев
Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски“
Филип Стоилов
Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски“
Богдана Паскалева
Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски“
Катерина Б. Кокинова
Институт за литература, Българска академия на науките
Славея Димитрова
Софийски университет „Св. Климент Охридски“

Александър Панов Теорията за „антракта“ и съвременната наратология
Alexander Panov „Intermission“ theory and modern narratology

  • Summary

    The article analyzes one of the key ideas of Prof. Atanas Natev in his attempt to create a systematic theory of drama, namely his theory of "intermission" as a basic constructive principle for building dramatic action and the specific way in which drama affects the perceiver. The theory of "intermission" is compared with the ideas of the emerging at the same time literary discipline "narratology", the work of the structuralist trend in literary studies. This is necessary because narratology has given other explanations for some of the key ideas in the theory of "intermission". The main question that is asked in the article is whether in the seemingly devoid the figure of the mediator dramatic composition, such does not exist, albeit only implicitly. Because drama, as well as the other two genres - lyric and epic -, need the fictional figure of the subject, which turns the amorphous structure of the "flow of life" into "history", and then into a carefully composed plot for the viewer to recreate in his mind during the performance, as the theory of the "intermission" states.

    Keywords: dramaturgy; drama theory; narratology; intermission; composition; receiver

Читателски практики в България 2018 / Reading Practices in Bulgaria 2018

Александър Кьосев, Дарин Тенев Как да четем читателя? Методологически инструмент за изследване на читателя в съвременната българска литература

Alexander Kiossev, Darin Tenev How to read the reader? Methodological tool for the study of the reader in contemporary Bulgarian literature

  • Summary

    This paper develops a methodological framework to guide the efforts of a research team united by the task of investigating the reader in contemporary Bulgarian literature. For this purpose, we start from the receptive theory of Wolfgang Iser, but the authors develop, change and adapt this theory to the team's own goals. As a result, The Implicit Reader is seen as a textual program and normative instance in the texts, with which try to control and guide the behavior of their real readers. The categories of analysis with which this program can be approached and explored are grouped into three major groups: “repertoires”, “strategies” and “communicative competences”. They are further divided into finer operational sub-categories and tools, allowing shared methodologies of work between team members and comparability of research results.

    Keywords: reading; reader; implicit reader; reading rate; expectations; control; guidance; interpretation; repertoires; strategies; competencies

Райко Байчев Брой до 9: Литературна хипноза и сеанс в „Повече от любов“ от Радослав Гизгинджиев

Rayko Baychev Count to 9: Hypnosis and seance in “More than love” by Radoslav Gizgindzhiev

  • Summary

    The following text aims to analyze a growing mass of clichés and their penetrating power in popular Bulgarian literature. To understand how common notions are shared between the author and the implied reader we will discuss “More than love” by Radoslav Gizgindzhiev. It is a bizarre novel, where quasi-spiritual slogans are entangled with prescriptive and hypnotic guidance, which constitutes the narrator as an omnipotent godlike figure. Along with that, the analysis is focused on tracing how a peculiar mix of popular “quotes”, media imitations, and superstitions could melt into a story that becomes a market success. 

    Keywords: reading; implied reader; contemporary Bulgarian literature; popular literature

Филип Стоилов Еросът – мит и роман. Анализ на имплицитния читател в романа „Пиафè“ на Недялко Славов
Philip Stoilov Eros – Myth and Novel. Analysis of the Implied Reader in Piaffe by Nedyalko Slavov

  • Summary

    Within the framework of the research project “Reading Practices in Bulgaria 2018”, the text presents an analysis of a Bulgarian contemporary literary work directed towards the popular reading taste. Nedyalko Slavov’s novel Piaffe is a fictional narrative that clearly targets the wide Bulgarian readership. It is amongst the top-ranking widely-read books in Bulgaria of 2018. The novel treats the subject of doomed love between a man and woman via a mixture of mythological allegories and metaphysical conceptions, forming a stereotypical axiological model of erotic interaction. Situating the love conflict within the cultural context of complex and challenging modernity, this strategy ultimately produces a multiplication of popular ideologemes and mythologemes, which are supposedly overlooked by the reader who is expected to treat them uncritically and beyond any self-assessment. The novel is an example of auto-exoticization of one's own/the native through its refraction in the context of the foreign/unknown, thus implying a stereotypically ignorant or ill-informed Bulgarian reader who is nonetheless capable of gaining high-level cultural competence both in relation to local conventions and clichés, and to the complex system of values of a progressive but largely undigested foreign culture.

    Keywords: reading; implied reader; contemporary Bulgarian literature; popular literature; the erotic; novel writing; allegory; mythology; essentialization; auto-exoticization

Богдана Паскалева Кризата на литературната история: „Една и съща нощ“ от Христо Карастоянов
Bogdana Paskaleva The Crisis of Literary History: “The Same Night” by Hristo Karastoyanov

  • Summary

    The text is an analysis of the reader's figure in Hristo Karastoyanov's novel “The Same Night” (2014). In accordance with the instrumental framework of the ‘Reader in the Text’ project, the analysis traces the way in which the novel models its implied reader. The figure of this reader turns out to be essentially connected with the problems of history and within its framework – the history of literature. Therefore, the key competence that the novel “The Same Night” expects from its reader is the knowledge of the political history of Europe and Bulgaria, but much more of the history of Bulgarian literature and its forms of problematization of the historical after the Liberation of Bulgaria (1878) and onwards.

    Keywords: literary history; critique of history; the reader in the text

Катерина Б. Кокинова Четене „на прага на съня“ у Владимир Полеганов
Katherina B. Kokinova Reading “at the doorstep of dreaming” in Vladimir Poleganov

  • Summary

    The article studies the implied reader of Vladimir Poleganov’s “The Other Dream”. The novel models a reader capable of perceiving nonlinear narrative and palimpsest worlds. The other world is built up as a product of reader reconstruction and thus the novel stages the act of reading as an oneiric experience.

    Keywords: implied reader; strategy; repertoire; Wolfgang Iser; Vladimir Poleganov

Александър Кьосев Образи на читатели в съвременната българската литература: между либерални индивиди, жанрови патриоти и ядосан Народ
Alexander Kiossev Images of the reader in contemporary Bulgarian literature: liberal individuals, patriots of genre and angry People

  • Summary

    The preliminary results from the study „Reading Practices in Bulgaria: The Implicit Reader in the Text“ identified different images of readers and readership, produced by various Bulgarian literary and media works. In spite of the genre convergence between the so-called „high“ and the so-called „popular“ literature, it was found that „high“ works leave more space for reader navigation and interpretation and open more free spaces for a wide range of different readers. On the other hand, popular literature has proven to be much more controlling and guiding. It allows its implicit reader some complex and specialized competencies, but only as far as the levels of genre are concerned. On the other hand, the popular texts expect significantly less from their reader what concerns other abilities: reading verbal and style registers, ability to understand complex metaphors and symbolic motifs, understanding of character building and conflicts. The text expectations toward the reader. What concerns philosophical and axeological levels in popular readings, the text expectations are especially modest: such works often presuppose a one-sided patriotic consensus among their audiences. 
    As for the small number of media texts of scandalous journalists that were analyzed in the frame of the collective study, they model a similar patriotic audience, yet, in a state of anger and emotional excess. In parallel with this „state of emergency“ of communication, media texts model a clear hierarchy between the undisputed authority of their charismatic authors and the supposedly silent, admiring readers, merging into a homogeneous and emotional audience of like-minded people (implicit image of „the angry People“, construed by the media text).

    Keywords: Reading; reader; reader in the text; implicit reader; text program; control; freedom; interpretive amplitude; reading competencies; genre rules


Rathinasamy Nagalakshmi & Kulamangalam Thiagarajan Tamilmani Tales of Heart: Askesis in Joyce Carol Oates

  • Summary

    The meaning of the word ‘text’ has been the ground for ideological contestation right from the beginning of the twentieth century. Though postmodern texts debunk certain conventions, they cannot be separated from what T. S. Eliot proclaimed it as the ‘literary tradition.’ Writers strive hard to exercise their intellectual and literary acumen to appropriate the artistic drives they have received from their predecessors. Harold Bloom’s postulation of the revisionary ratios is concerned with the movement of writers towards or away from the influence of great writers, and it might be seen as an annex to the formulations of Eliot. Considering such standpoints, the article purports to examine Joyce Carol Oates’ short story Give Me Your Heart (2010) and trace the plausible intertextual underpinnings in its relation to Edgar Allan Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart (2021). It focuses on the points of convergence and divergence in the writings of Poe and Oates, and elaborates on how askesis, one of the six revisionary ratios, supplements the formulation of intertextuality as a literary theory.

    Keywords: Askesis, Bloom’s Revisionary Ratios, Edgar Allan Poe, Intertextuality, Joyce Carol Oates

Хроника/ Chronicles

Славея Димитрова Преходът след 1989 г. – процеси, кризи и трансформации в съвременната литература и културата
Slaveia Dimitrova The Post-1989 Democratic Transition – Processes, Crisis and Transformations in Contemporary Literature and Culture

  • Summary

    The paper presents and comments on the papers, responses, and discussions from the Round Table “The post-1989 Transition in Contemporary Bulgarian Literature.” It gave focus to several topics related to events, ideas, and attitudes intrinsic to the understanding of the Transition but also to the period preceding it. The participants offered their analyses of how the changes in the social and political order were reflected in the literature, the public consciousness, the media, theatre, and film, among others. 

    Keywords: contemporary Bulgarian literature; Transition; conceptualizations of the world; topical relevance; experiment