Art entices us upon unknown and deadly paths: an interview with bulgarian writer Kalin Terziyski
Modern Language Studies
32 - 49
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"Bulgarian literature is exotic, crafted in an exotic language, and in this sense it is somewhat inaccessible to global communities, unified by world languages such as English, French, German, Russian," writes Antoaneta Alpieva in her overview of ways in which critics survey contemporary Bulgarian literature.1 "This kind of trait [i.e., inaccessibility]," she continues, "is compounded by not entirely caring institutions that, undermined by domestic squabbles, do not secure an equivalent export for current production, do not have a long-term vision for a storefront' of our literary contemporaneity, do not seriously prepare external translators who are motivated to care for, that is, to earn their sustenance from contemporary Bulgarian authors."2 Alpievas assessment is substantiated by the much greater familiarity of international audiences with Bulgarians writing in foreign languages outside of Bulgaria, the most prominent of them being Julia Kristeva and Tsvetan Todorov, though this is also true for a younger generation of writers, including Iliya Troyanov (in German), Rouja Lazarova (in French), and Miroslav Penkov (in English). The position that Alpieva presents is also corroborated by a sentiment with a nostalgic underpinning, expressed by older generations of readers in Bulgaria, for the "great" or classical Bulgarian literature associated with the names of Elin Pelin, Yordan Yovkov, and Blaga Dimitrova, as well as Nobel Prize.