Europe – a threat or a craving?
In the 19th century, Europe and the influence, evolving from our open contacts with it, become the brightest symbol of modernity for the Bulgarian society. The attitude of Bulgarians towards Europe and the European is dual all since the time of the first enhanced interest to the Western education, culture and values.
The comedies, written in the period of the Bulgarian Revival, are among the most vivid examples of the confused attitude of the society towards the European modernity, which attracts unresistingly and scarily replaces our traditional values.
In fact, the modernity destroys the patriarchal spirit. The Home and the Family are loosing their guarding functions in the comedy plays. The moral and the physical face of the community can no longer be protected at Home. The intimate sphere of the Bulgarian has been left by part of one’s own and has let the other. The families send their children to obtain European erudition and in the comedy plots those children are coming back “infected” by too much modernity. The ones, who are most pliable to the temptation – the youth and the women, open their homes and the Other enters. The very productive for the Bulgarian drama play figure of the Parvenu appears in the comedies. This figure is the crooked projection of the craving for Europe.
The comedy plays of the Revival period formulates in a sentence the Bulgarian confusion on the modernity, calling the dual attitude with the title of Voinikov: “The phoney (misunderstood) civilization”.