This article reflects upon world literature as a socio-cultural construct behind which one can discern particular historical dynamics and tensions. The first part seeks to locate the Anglo-Saxon discourse of world literature vis-à-vis three major reference points: time, space, and language. This chronotopic interrogation allows me to identify focal points of dissent from the currently prevalent liberal mobilisations of 'world literature'. The second part of the article is attempts to locate world literature on the level of literature's self-reflexivity. This is a specific meta-location of world literature which I examine through close attention to a 1930s novel. This enables me to think about dissent as a meta-reflexive position, from which literature itself skeptically relates to the notion of 'world literature'.
Keywords: world literature, self-reflexivity, novel, meta-reflexion
The paper argues that historic myths and myths of origin, being an essential part of national mythology, are neither the first to emerge nor the only one. Furthermore, as a general rule, there are often several variations of the narration about the past of a nation that are evolving and compete for the dominant position. In an attempt to evade the polemics the author analyses some Bulgarian aspects of the crucial problem about the evolution and competition among these variations of national mythology comparing them with analogical Balkan phenomena. In all these countries there are mythical narrations about the ancient times, about Christian Middle Ages and Byzantium, about the struggle for an independent state, etc. They were arguing for primacy in the beginning; later some ideologists of the nation managed to build one relatively stable synthesis.
Keywords: myths of origin, Bulgaria, Balkans, narrations
In the introductory part, the article presents Kiril Hristov’s Prague archive while paying special attention to documents which are likely to upgrade or alter our perception of the poet. There is included a detailed commentary on the manuscripts “Bulgarian grammar” and “Lectures on the Bulgarian language”, which both evince Kiril Hristov’s work as a lecturer in the Bulgarian language in Prague. The poet, who can be argued to have turned his identity into an aesthetic object and the literary scandal into an aesthetic creed, assumes the long-last role of intermediary and cultural ambassador, of the one held academically responsible for drawing the portrait of “the others” – of Bulgarian poets and writers and of Bulgarian culture as an entity.
Keywords: Kiril Hristov’s archive, Bulgarian language and literature for foreign students, cultural transfer
The analysis attempts to recreate the ideological parallel – on the basis of the genetic cohesiveness between two texts (novel “Nad tvoya dom spokojstvie” [Calmness over your home)] – 1962; 1967) and the essayist tract "Nishkite, koito se prekzsvat” [The Strands That Interrupt] – 1967. The ideology here is thought not as narrowly political as a limited doctrinaire, but by the model of Karl Mannheim – as a way of giving the world a total view, to build apart, contrasting, vivid images of reality. In this sense, ideology is valued for its creative potential: through its overwhelming prospect, the great narrative of alienation has been built, a socio-cultural phenomenon is seen in its historical continuity, the fraudulent similarity of its manifestations, its misleading unity. By means of ideological prejudices, the image of the West – the true event, the scene of evil, the place that has refused the same dialogue – was outlined and subsequently refilled. The West of Tsvetan Stoyanov is long-lived to be ideologically rejected. It is a place of premonition differences, but also of spontaneous, suddenly noticed similarities. Within its limits and vision of comfort, settling and affection to home is also seen, where the figure of the philistine, is the basis of the ideological writing of Svoyanov. The Philistine is a figure that collects epochs, infinite in its incarnations; it is the bearer of the author's incoherent idea of organic, warmth and fullness of being. This anathematic vision consistently undermines the grounds for an ideological description of the world. In the thinking of the remarkable Bulgarian erudite, the two obligatory poles are emerging – the food-saturated West and the ascetically-scattered, “shaggy communism” of the Red Guards in China. The unexpected, but clearly visible, image of the slightly outspoken socialist society, whose utopian horizon has not yet been revoked, emerges unexpectedly among them.
Keywords: ideology, alienation, West, Philistine, shaggy communism
In this paper essential aesthetical, ethical and social topics and motives in Tzvetan Stoyanov’s last novel, his article ‘Gangs’ and his essay ‘Homespun Intelligentsia” are subjected to critical scrutiny. Some of them are explored in other novels by the same author. Particular attention is paid to the questions of genre, literary formation of characters, the historical contexts of the novel’s creation and the fictional world created inside it, and to a contents structure based juxtaposition with Ilija Trojanov’s novel The World Is Big and Salvation Lurks Around the Corner. Moral and ideological dilemmas in the world outlook and the works of Tzvetan Stoyanov provide another subject of analysis.
Keywords: Tzvetan Stoyanov, novel, ideological dilemmas
The article explores the theme of Bulgarian Modernism at the beginning of the twentieth century through the point of view of L. Stoyanov's poetry and critical texts. He is a poet who experiences the heyday and the drama of the end of Symbolism. On the other hand, he is a critic who often puts negative assessments on the authors of his time. However, there are emblematic phrases in those articles that give a precise diagnosis of the literary phenomenon.
Keywords: symbolism, literary criticism, Ludmil Stoyanov, critical gesture
The reviewed book includes articles and studies by Nadezhda Alexandrova, dedicated to the life and creativity of Dimcho Debelyanov. Nevertheless, her work has the character of a monograph, which combines research and publication of archival sources, an in-depth textual and literary analysis of his poetic texts and comparison with the works of authors of his generation, such as Dimitar Podvrazacov, Nikolay Liliev and others. The lyric, poetry, prose and humor of Dimcho Debelyanov are tied to both his biography and the peculiarities of his spiritual world.
Keywords: Dimcho Debelyanov, History of Bulgarian Literature, Bulgarian symbolism, Bulgarian modernism