Let's look at the Bulgarian past, but not with the help of textbooks, historical novels, documentaries or historical films. And in the most immediate way for me, using the then periodical press. In the leading Bulgarian print editions, written before 1944, we can find a surprisingly large number of issues that still occupy the minds of the Bulgarian cultural community today, decades later. Although many of the topics in newspapers and magazines seem to be topical, some philosophical cases are also often treated, or as the poet put it: "super-terrestrial issues that no one has ever solved." That in itself is too interesting for people who are able to parallel the processes of then with what is happening today.

Still, we must have one mind in mind and read critically, because, as the great Joseph Herbst wisely put it, "An impartial, hello, even an impartial newspaper is a journalistic eunuch." instance and tribune of the absolute truth, however, reading some of the texts is well worth it.

I will briefly introduce some of the more expressive ones that have in common not only with the past but also with our present.

For example, how does the mysterious pen of the mysterious Marcellus from Contemporary (January 1910) pile up against falsehood and hypocrisy in Bulgarian literary circles from the beginning of the 20th century.

Anton Strashimirov, a famous Bulgarian writer, editor of Contemporary


 "Where is that awake intelligentsia that once stood firm in its post, which it still had today, and tomorrow, God forbid, it must surely stand up again?

Where did she go?

Where will she come from again?

Where is the literature that was and is no longer?

And now we are one big nothing.

See, for example, this twisted, laughed mustache boy: he studied in Paris yesterday and is now a pure Parisian.

And how can you think he would be French today if he had left a Bulgarian yesterday?

And here is the one with the thick mustache, our Ivan from our village, he is Italian, studying in Rome. The other, the pepper who steps on the stones and raises and inflates his shoulders like a cat. Neighbor Petko, he did not step when he left, but now he comes from Berlin, Leipzig, Jena, Munich and is all German.

How did it happen, my God? Weren't they among us yesterday? Didn't our mother give birth to them? Didn't our hand water them?

And when they return, they dream like day and night. They dream of the alleys where they were walking, the gardens, their rest, the streets they had well done, and they cannot remember a single name from the streets of Sofia.

Why so?

Are we not lost souls today, have we mistakenly exchanged our images so that we cannot even recognize ourselves?

I'm not a chauvinist and I'm not talking about patriotism either. What are chauvinism and patriotism looking for here? We are all young before we are patriots.

In fact, you can be a terrible chauvinist and a good patriot and still blot your skin with foreign paint.

And as it is to smear your skin with a foreign color so that you do not know yourself, so it is also to tear apart your soul and not be with your image.

If one is a Frenchman, the other an entrepreneur, what will it be like to be the one who writes and who wants to know about him?

Then where will the literature we need that we are waiting for come from?

From where will it rise, climb again to its high pedestal, on which it rose proudly yesterday?

Despite the critical tone of the pseudo-intellectual community at times, despite the many controversies over aesthetic issues between the rival camps of competing cultural regulators, the Bulgarian press generally refers to education, science and the arts. Often, the reproach of native imperfections and adversities is at the forefront, but the positive feeling is leading, the optimistic articles prevail. The hope lies in the enlightenment and the science of improving the condition of the Bulgarian people.

A typical example of how reality is presented in this way is the East daily. It employs distinguished artists as editors, realizes high circulation and is fashionable among the Bulgarian intelligentsia then.

Here is an example of a pressing problem of that time (1926), which has some relevance today, in this sense is close and exciting for our contemporaries.

Chavdar Mutafov, Bulgarian writer, architect, contributor to the East

"There is certainly a more unhappy student population than ours, consisting mostly of the sons of poor families. With scarce resources, but thirsty for science, she comes to Sofia and suffers deprivation, which students in other countries are unaware of. It may seem unbelievable to anyone, but it is true that we have students without any means who even work as night waiters to make a living.

 One student was polishing shingles in front of the bathroom and still finished his education and is now a high school dasher in the countryside, another we saw in his dulgerian clothes and yet he is one of the best students. "I have studied!" He said, "By the eaves of the houses, I was stealing time to prepare!"

This is worthy of respect, one has to take off one's hat in front of these martyrs.

Especially given that even for the more affluent who have their full time, the conditions for university education are too unfavorable. The Bulgarian University is relatively young in our country, our country is poor and therefore does not have a rich library or comfortable premises. There are even seminars that exist by name only without having reading rooms. And it is clear that under such conditions the student's activities cannot go as successfully as in the West, where universities have rich libraries and convenient facilities for laboratories and seminars. We have only one university with a small number of students to take care of them. In them is the future of our people. " (East, 1 October 1926)

On the pages of "Iztok" newspaper we can get acquainted with the opinion on the current issues for the Bulgarian by the famous writer and historian Stoyan Chilingirov.

 Stoyan Chilingirov, writer, historian, contributor to the East

About us

"It is not a legend that the strongest students abroad are Bulgarians.

And we are in favor of the individual gifts of the Bulgarian. A Bulgarian who is capable of doing miracles, but when he is out of Bulgaria alone.

Elsewhere, life is bubbling, the sand grains grow to the mountains, and we tread in the same place, dead and turning the mountains into sand grains.

Why is that so?

Here is a question on which all conscious attention must be addressed. Why we can give gifts, but in order to grow them, we have to send them abroad, so that only by radio telephone to listen to their artistic singing, to enjoy other illustrations, to enjoy their paintings, or to think of other linguistic magazines as their thoughts paid dear and expensive these supreme delights when we had the opportunity to dearly and dearly please almost free of charge and directly from these rich treasures in our country. "(Stoyan Chilingirov, East, 30 January 1926)

To conclude the brief review, I will focus on the article with a programmatic character of the famous scholar Dr. Konstantin Galabov, whose merit for the emergence of essays as a literary genre in Bulgaria is enormous. Konstantin Galabov, writer, philologist, collaborator of "East"

Our cultural tasks

"I despise those Bulgarians who consider our people unfit and just whine. I am not a chauvinist, but I do not see why we should consider Bulgarians to be less capable than others. Take a peek at our university. You will be amazed at the abilities of that large number of young people who, under extremely scarce resources and poor conditions for scientific pursuit, are gathering material for the future cultural Bulgaria. Recently, Ass. Zlatarov wrote me one as good and meaningful letter from Paris. After talking about the life of the big city, he adds: “But for Bulgaria I am sad. I can't do without her, I can't! I think about the job I left behind, my office, my people close to me, my students. And I will not regret when I leave for us. I have learned a lot here, but the most useful is that we are not the last ones in the cause of thought. We have not only the material conditions to increase our strength. And this is our tragedy. "

We must deepen our cultural manifestations to the level of the universal and the way for this is the greater inclusion in the values ​​of the West. (…) of which we must preserve only the undoubtedly valuable. (Dr. K. Galabov, November 14, 1925)

Getting acquainted with Bulgarian journalism from the beginning of the 20th century is a necessity for every person with claims for knowledge of our culture. We need to be aware that many of the things that excite us today and that we consider to be unique are in fact an integral part of our heritage. And so it is easier for us to learn a lesson and not to repeat the mistakes of our ancestors, if not, at least to get acquainted with their experience.



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