photo: Marina Chamurkova
Georgi Gavrilov was born on June 15, 1991 in Sofia. He studied English, French and Hungarian. In 2014 he defended his Bachelor's degree in Physics at St. Kliment Ohridski ”. Since 2012 he has been working at the Institute of Nuclear Research and Nuclear Energy. He is the author of publications in the periodical press - "Literary Journal", newspaper "24 hours", newspaper "K", magazine "Tower", magazine "Page", magazine "Sea" and others.
In 2014 she won first place in the National Poetry Competition "Sea" (Burgas) and the "Irrelevant" competition of the Letters Foundation (Sofia), as well as the second place in the "Veselin Hanchev" competition (Stara Zagora). There is a nomination in the contest "Magic of Love" (Kazanlak). National Student Literary Competition "Boyan Penev" (Shumen), 2015 - second place. Georgi Cherniakov National Literary Competition for Student Creativity, 2015 - second place. Dobromir Tonev National Poetry Competition, 2016 - second place.
His debut book Shipbook on the Book Boat received, in 2016, an Outstanding Award from the Bulgarian Writers' Association for his successful participation in a National Literary Contest in the name of Hristo Fotev. A month later, the Book Boat Ship won the grand prize for his debut poetry book - the bronze Pegasus at the Southern Spring competition in Haskovo.
In 2016, his second book, Pieta, was published at Characters IC. In 2017, "Ephrasis" ("Scribens") was released, co-authored with Valentin Dishev.
His new poetry book, Blue Hours (Characters, 2019) is about to be released.
Georgi Gavrilov is the editor of the books "inclavo" ("Scribens", 2018) by Maria Kumanova, "The procedure for forgetting a person" ("Scribens", 2018) by Antony Atanasova, "Excessive" ( Scribens, 2018, Chris Enchev, Whispers (Signs, 2018, Polina-Desislava Bateshkova, "Death Not Awaited" (Scribens, 2018) by Stefan Goncharov.
Co-founder of the Hralupata Literature and Culture Space (Sofia, Stefan Karadja Str. 22).
Poems by Georgi Gavrilov have been translated into Turkish (by Ahmet Emin Atasoy for Bahar Berfin magazine, July 2016), into Spanish (by Natalia Ivanova) for the bilingual electronic collection with 12 Bulgarian authors under the age of 35 “Hamás Olvidados ”(“ Never Forgotten ”,“ Vallejo & Co ”, 2017). Translations into German and Arabic are being prepared.
The titles you give to your books, in addition to the specific meaning, are heavily loaded with a number of connotative meanings. "Blue Hours" is also one. Tell us a little bit more about the choices, the process of making up and the thoughts that you used to spend the blue hour?
The "blue hour" happens twice a day - after sunset and before sunrise - then only the blue shades of light reach the atmosphere of the earth and everything turns in bluish tones. It is a time of transition from gloom to day and vice versa. The most intimate moment, the change, the preparation for the new you have to live. A quietly scary moment.
Where do you see the golden hour in existential terms?
The "golden hour" is the holiday, intoxication, beauty that carries nothing but itself. A small moment of triumph, ascension, a hill with a view, a myth, a very mythical hour, as if the ancient appearance of the world came to life. So are the aspirations and hopes of antiquity for every person - you know it is fictional, but you give it up. The time we put our wigs on the gods.
photo: Marina Chamurkova
The structure of the book is also interesting and different. You have no titles, which creates the feeling of a continuous rhythm of overall thought and pronunciation. In the end, instead of the typical "Content" we see "The Hour", we also know what the "Hour" literally means. Tell us more about structural and compositional solutions, and why did you choose a similar look?
The structure follows the appearance of those blue hours of the day. There are three cycles - Evening, Into the Gap, Dawn. The first and the last is clear. "In the gaps," however, is an internally transitional cycle for the book itself - the blue hour between the opposite blue hours - the transition between transitions, especially. The choice to replace "Content" with "Hours" came spontaneously, slightly in jest, but I liked it. Completes the concept, such things give blood to the book body. It's like picking the right tie, it doesn't matter when you put in the effort for the costume.
Most recently, the poet Aksinia Mihaylova received the prestigious French award "Max Jacob" with her book "The Kiss of Time". This is the second prize from France, after the Guillaume Apollinaire Prize in 2014, and the second book written directly in French. The news is ...
In the transitional books, The Ship's Boat Diary and The Pieta, the lyrical self is constantly on the "path of knowledge and self-knowledge," seeking to articulate and discuss existential questions whose answers bring anxiety and fear. The last book seems to place the Self in other existential boundaries, although it is more adjacent to direct external markers. Does poetry here seem to be more self-expressing than expressing the world outside man?
This is also my path, my knowledge. The Blue Hours are suffering and experiencing. The book is a mausoleum of loving Pompey couples and dictators in the life I had while writing it. There is movement over previous books. Pieta is more contemplative, everything is there for a moment, time stops in it. The Ship Diary ... begins the search, which is already denied in the Blue Hours. This does not mean that I am denying something from the previous one, but the phase is different, it is not a search for a path, I am more interested in the outputs.
The first poem, genre can also be defined as a poem, is indicative of the movement of poetry in the book, sets a read. How is the lyrical rhythm of the lyrical character's life in "Blue Hours" different?
I think the previous answer will be repeated here. A way out of oneself, from prisons, but also from the desire for freedom, and from itself, from the inevitable being. The sanitary minimum of hope is to jump over the ladder with the last effort and in the middle to catch you thinking that you do not know why you are doing it. There is also a slight absurdity in the characters, self-destruction in the name of self-creation.
photo: Marina Chamurkova
Integrity is an abstraction that is more about moving towards something than actually achieving or aiming, rather it is a thinking and an idea of things. Feeling sick in Blue Hours?
I feel connected to many things, I would not say wholeheartedly. If there was ever a whole, and we are pieces of it, we would not be able to return there, otherwise time would have turned. To be connected is even more beautiful, you see the impossible wholeness to shine on the threads that start from words, gestures, presence and reach something alien. Let's keep things subtle, otherwise they'll probably disappear or be used on experienced mice. In Blue Hours, I feel survived - this word also contains wholeness - surviving in pieces.
"Existence is a wound in the absence, a gap in the wall of nothing that we touch and eavesdrop on." Nothing, lack, dark matter are images of fear, but here they seem to be the door to a reconciled worldview that leads to freedom. Is freedom as a metaphysical category in extinction?
From the outside, everything looks scary. When in its territories, the outside also becomes unfriendly. Touch, love. Do you touch the darkness, too. Nothing, lack, loneliness, they are human dogs. Whenever you go home, you always jump on your chest. They are devoted. And they are much scarier when they are foreign.
photo: Ivan Shishiev
Your editors are the poets Valentin Dishev and Katerina Stoykova. They have quite different poetics. Dishev's poetry is a philosophically reflective world, closed in itself and man, while with Katerina Stoykova we observe an extraverted approach and a look at the surrounding. Where are you between these two worldview prisms? Tell us more about your work with editors and what you got from them?
I have two great editors. Different in style and outlook but very well suited to this book. They gave me their views, notes, helped me see the gaps. I am very grateful to them! It was not difficult to work together, on the contrary - an extremely enjoyable job!
The book's Sofia premiere will be accompanied by music. Share more about the event and the participants?
Karel Marinovich - guitars and vocals, Chris Enchev - pianos, Peter Tarpomanov - kahon. I myself will get involved with the guitar too. We have several pieces of author, we also have several covers. It premiered on March 28. Ivan S. Valev also joined. He said a few words about the book. I am very grateful to him! He and I introduced the Blue Hours in Plovdiv a few weeks earlier.
And how does your poetry translate into music?
It does not translate. The two are completely different. They do not start from one another, rather they start from the same place. But they require a totally different attitude and set-up. At least that's the case with me.
photo: Ivan Shishiev
I will now bring you beyond the reach of the Blue Hours to tell you more about the work of The Hollow, a space for literature and culture. You are one of its co-founders. How do you see such a place in contemporary social contexts?
I see it as important - it's not just my opinion. The place took its place in the social context, it needed it. It is different from other similar in purpose, it is not big, but there is already a story that can be felt when you are between the walls. We have been visiting 120 authors for just over a year. People are stopping by and so on with nothing, just to exchange a word, get off the street, see what's new, what's going to happen soon. It was also covered by several media outlets. I hope it continues to have its function for people, otherwise it would be self-contained.
You are part of Scribens Publishing House. Tell us about the movements in contemporary Bulgarian literature? What is the business of publishing, organizing and competing? Can you list the names of authors and titles that came out or what to expect?
The Scribens publishing house continues and complements the activity of the ARS publishing house with the main mission to publish debut books of contemporary Bulgarian authors, to discover new poetics and names. We also hold an annual competition for manuscripts. Since that year, the debut regulation has been expanded to include no book in the relevant category - Poetry, Prose or Humanities - in which he applies. Debuts are not the only thing though, we recently published Chris Enchev's second poetry book, Over-Requirement, for example. Just days ago, Dennis Nouf's corridor debut came out - again with poetry. Ninko Kirilov, who has two books of short stories and one of plays, is yet to be published. One curious series, which started very soon as a project, is the series "Scribens Acoustic", dedicated to contemporary Bulgarian bands and music artists, who have stayed on the stage for the last decades. In the summer or fall of 2019, expect the biography of Ostava - we're working on it right now. By the end of the year I hope we are ready with the one for PIF
Are you an organizer and host of a number of cultural events in Sofia, tell us something about them, about the specifics of the course, about the ideas that are at stake in their happenings?
Yes, I run a lot of events, different. Every time it's about the situation, the people, the place, these things have to be taken into account. It all matters, it can be used and the audience involved in what is happening. It is nice to approach individually, so it really gets tighter, creates an atmosphere. The question is not to pass, but to remember. As with everything else, I think.
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