When reading the Lost Machine story, rivers of tears once shed. In "Nemili Nedrahi" Ivan Vazov tells how hashes participate in a theatrical performance of The Lost Machine. Macedonian plays the role of Zhelyu Haidutin.

 

The show is expected with great impatience. "The hall was noisy with mixed mists of spectators eager to see the curtain lift. Many interpreted the play, which in the form of a novel had drawn so many tears and many sighs so far. ”The show ended with spectacular success. "The applause was frantic and furious ... The audience sent their last clap of applause, shouting at the actors three times, and made a loud noise out of the door."

 

The book The Lost Machine has endured as many as twelve editions until 1939. It is the first work by a native author to become popular and loved by all Bulgarians. Ivan Bogdanov writes that The Lost Machine has been used for a long time with the glory of the first Bulgarian literary pride. "She is an inspiration, an entertainer and a role model. In terms of language, subject matter and ideas, he likes the feelings of the enslaved and thirsty for light Bulgarian. "

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There is evidence that this story is transmitted from hand to hand, from family to family in time. "It is impossible for us to imagine even the colossal success of The Lost Machine at that time, its incredible circulation in the illiterate sea." (Toncho Zhechev) Toncho Zhechev provides a nice comparison. Heinrich Heine writes of "that cry" Jean-Jacques Rousseau that he secretly forged in his roar the guillotine of the French Revolution. All this thanks to the sentimentalism that springs from the works of the great Rousseau.

 

And so does Ilia Blaskov. His power is also rooted in the tumultuous passions he stirs up in the reader. Blaskov creates a seemingly sentimental story whose plot is worthy of a contemporary soap opera series. Not as engaging as a children's tale, it excites all the tears to tears. Why?

 

"And the Lost Machine?" That national treasure, the humble work of the deserving Blaskov? Her heroes Zhelyu and Kolyo, with long knives and quivering potours, their desperate battle not with imaginary Pechenegs and Greeks, but with naked Tatars and Turks, living oppressors of the people, these living and real types of the new Bulgarian life, their tips and plans save a young Christian soul from the atrocious hands of going too deep into a simple youth; many knew this folk drama by heart; who played the role of Jelly and Nicholas, so his name remained, he was pointing his finger at both young and old. "(Zahari Stoyanov)

 

What is it about in The Lost Machine?

 

The action took place in 1854, during the Crimean War. In the midst of hostilities, the Dobrudzha Tatars devastate Bulgarian villages. In such a village, Tash-Avl (Constance), lives the family of Grandpa Ivan. His daughter Stanka is famous for her beauty. The Tartars kidnap her and take her (her brother's wife) Ned, and take them with her caravan. The Tatars set fire to their house and killed Stanka's mother. Old grandfather Ivan is broken. Only a miracle can bring his children back. The fiance of Stanka Peter, whose family was slaughtered by Tatars, and Ned Vasil's husband are sworn to save women and take revenge for all evil.

 

At first, they turned to the Greeks in Varna and Shumen for help. Both of them refuse. Such abductions happen all the time in Turkey, so there is not much to be done. This explanation annoys the Bulgarians: "Few poor Bulgarians are innocently imprisoned, for only one of your abominable revenge! And now, when you ask for help to save a soul, you wash your hands: you are not there! O Holy Fathers, you are only capable of evil, only of destruction ... ”In these words of his hero Ilia Blaskov puts his personal dislike for the Greek rulers (fanarios) in the Bulgarian cities, who not only do not help the enslaved Bulgarians, but they look how to take advantage of their humiliation.

 

Since the official Turkish authorities did not cooperate with Peter and Vasil, they associated themselves with two brave folk haiduts - Zhelyu and Nikola. And here is one of the great merits of the work. With the help of Zhelyu and Nikola, the image of the haidutin was presented for the first time in Bulgarian fiction. Blaskov's "Haidutin" is not a people's leader and a liberator, but a people's protector.

 

When they persuade the two haidut to help release the "slave cells", they are told:
- Walk and do not think that you are going to get drunk with blood, but that you are going to release two cages that look for help every hour!
- Oh, come on, my God! Cried Jelly almost shuddering. - I am ready, and know that either I will die under the Tatar knife or I will rid them! Nicholas, are you in agreement?
- Conscientious, brother, conscientious, - man demands it and we must work!

 

The two hadduts, secretly aided by Peter and Vasil, enter a bloody battle with the Tatar caravan. After a heroic struggle, they finally manage to release the "two slaves of slavery" and bring them back to their happy grandfather Ivan. Evil is punished, good triumphs.

 

Ivan Bogdanov points out that the story is basically based on the simplistic theses of Bulgarian fiction of that time: an impaired virtue - a punished vice - a triumphant virtue. The most influential images in The Lost Machine, the Haidut Zhelyu and Nicholas, are described as cruel and fearless, "through their eyes they know they live in the woods." At the same time, they are pious and with good hearts. They suffer for their Bulgarian brothers and sacrifice for their welfare.

 

The Lost Machine is a quality work because it not only treats the motive for the "unhappy family" in Bulgarian Revival literature. In addition, Blaskov describes the unfortunate participation of our people, oppressed by the Turks, Tatars and Greek clergy, hoping only for the protection of the Bulgarian haidut.

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