Plamen Antov. Love and Fatherland. Studies on Bulgarian Revival Literature and Culture. Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Literature. Sofia, BAS Publishing House “Prof. Marin Drinov”, 2024. – 358 рр. (ISBN 9786192454050)


Although composed of separate articles, this book builds a complete (monographic) “inner space”, where literature is thought оf as the full-fledged philosophy of the Bulgarian existence in history, of the Bulgarian “entry” into modern history during the Revival.

The Renaissance itself is thought of as the Bulgarian “Axis Time” (Achsenzeit) in the scissors between autochthonous “vertical” legacies (folklore, deep collective memory) and external “horizontal” influences―the classical modernity of the 18th and 19th centuries; but even more the typological correspondences between them.

Rather, the book offers broad comparative typologies between the literature and culture of the Bulgarian Revival and some external, closer or distant contexts: Greece, Germany, France, America.

The mechanisms through which literature as a national-ideological “meta-narrative” produces the collective (monumental) being in the form of a symbolic, ideological “shadow” of history are investigated.

Although it mainly deals with classical works and names from the canon of the Revival era, infra-canonical angles are sought for them, revealing unwonted meanings―the “low” dimensions of the “high”.


The theoretical argumentation―historical-philosophical and literary―is drawn from the classical heritage: Paisii, P.R. Slaveykov, D. Voynikov, Botev, Zahariy Stoyanov, Vazov, but works and names from the periphery of the canon are also actively included: Kr. Pishurka, St. Mihaylovski, St. Zaimov… Some modern continuations of genre models with deep pre-literary roots are also included.

A special highlight is the erotic plot, unexpectedly loaded with high nationally prestigious meanings.


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