Anna Alexieva

The Mnemonic character in the mid-19th century Bulgarian poetry – Traveling through time


The notion of Mnemonic character in this text is designated to mark the psycho-social characteristics of a certain type of a significant for the poetry of the 40s and the 50s of the 19th century character who, feeling nostalgia for the past (experienced or imagined), mythologizes it and turns it into a fundamental story about the national identity. This character can be outlined in the poems of Petko Slaveykov, Nayden Gerov, Dobri Chintulov, Hristodul Kostovich, and predominantly in the works of Georgi Rakovski, and is distinguished by his “retentive memory”. He “remembers” mythical prehistoric events connected with the genealogy of the community, he “remembers” the sacred times of the Bulgarian Golden Age and the symbolic portraits of glorious tsars, stately patriarchs, heroic battles, and the independent Bulgarian land. The Mnemonic character also remembers the recent past marked with the signs of suffering, life of servitude, and the sharp contrast with the one-time greatness.

The text follows both the routes of those nostalgic travels through time, and the models on which their organization has been formed in the poetic narration.


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