Researchers have been counted on analyzing Petko-Todor's drama "The Masonry," approaching the work by attempting to reconstruct her biography. The reconstructions are based on facts of different nature - the first published versions of the dramaturgical work published in the period 1902 - 1910. The history of Masonry testifies to the many different types (textual, semantic, compositional, etc.) that have been made, and more generally to the multifaceted processes related to the author's searches, attitudes and creative activity.
The biography of the play also contains taxes for the "re-reading" of PY Todorov's idylls - of idylls in which motifs, themes, plot lines, problems are present, partly concerned or more fully elaborated in the dramatic text. First, Pencho Slaveikov, in his article, "The Pansions of a Modern Poet," analyzed "Zidari" in parallel with "Over Cherkov" and "The Paradise Locksmith," hiding secretly moments from other idylls.
In order to draw attention to the themes, the problems to which the writer repeatedly returns, in which he views a specific side of the portrait of his work, one must trace the course of the temporal intersections between the conception, writing and subsequent revisions (dated or undated) of idylls and drama; the relationship between his artistic and non-artistic texts; his attitude to folklore, to his contemporary philosophical concepts, literary views; but also a number of other factors that can be or are not traceable: e.g. shaping the author's style, selecting ideas, conceiving ideas that crystallize, find their creative expression; not less important are the mentoring figure of Dr. Krastev, his editorial functions, the modernist aesthetic understandings of the participants in the circle "Thought", received or not received text responses in the written by the considered author, the materials placed and not placed on the pages of the eponymous magazine, etc. .n., etc.
And AP Yu. Todorov is constantly working on his works. A typical example is the Zidari drama.
In a letter dated April 21, 1899, P. Yu. Todorov wrote from Bern to Ivan Kirilov: “(…) At present I am engaged in economics and philosophy, and of course I do not fail to follow literature. (…) Recently I wrote the works of Brandes, Hauptmann, Zuderman, Ibsen and Arthur Schnitzler - I will pay 5 fr. per month. I want to get acquainted with contemporary drama. A plot is blurring in my head, which is very difficult, and here is more or less its skeleton. The drama will be called Kamanari.
Act I will present stonemasons building a temple in the ground at night - fearing a storm or Circassians - Circassians are heard to go to prevent the Gyaurs - not to dare to pollute the land of the padishah with such buildings…
Act II is: The walls that were made were demolished by the Circassians and the workers heartlessly captured the work that had already been started so many times… The opinion of the masters is that until they install a soul here to guard the temple, the building cannot be erected… After long conversations and under the influence of fanaticism the stonemasons decided that whoever the woman came to bring bread to him the first night would kill her…
Act III represents the tense state of the workers - each of them told his wife to come at the latest… But here that Petka's young bride can't stand it and appears first with bread and sweet words in her mouth… He gets excited, cries and is powerless to carry her under the wall. She asks him why are you crying? - Because I lost my wedding ring under the wall… She goes to look for it - the stonemasons cover her with stones.
Act IV is already the temple. It is getting dark про Petko - crazy waiting for his wife to appear on the sworn stone to look for his ring. Night falls, she appears… Friday in excitement… She gets lost and he hugs the stone in hallucinations. That is all. I haven't written a letter yet and I'm not going to start soon. Now from time to time I read folk songs - this mysterious treasure of the Bulgarian soul… Only now it dissolves so naturally: killed, crushed and reluctantly merry, as I have never seen it before… (…) "
The quotation of the almost complete text of the letter is dictated by the idea that data can be deduced from these lines not only about the work, but also about the epistolary revelations, in which the character traits of the author's consciousness stand out, with the urge to share his ideas, to it pours them into shape before they reach drafting, because as P. Yu. Todorov states: “writing letters, as well as appealing to different persons altogether, opens completely different sides of the same nature, of one and the same person, "and that's a topic, This requires additional and special attention.
The letter testifies that the Zidari drama was conceived at the beginning of 1899, under the title Kamanari. Fascinated by the incarnation of the story in a word introduced into the story, P. Todorov not only schematically recreates the unwritten work, but also interjects a fragment of the dialogue between the actors, and suggests the contexts in which the work originated, within several lines also show some of the directions of his intellectual interests at that time: philosophy, economics, modern Western European drama and Bulgarian folklore. The plot of the planned work appears precisely after the writer's strong desire to get acquainted with the contemporary drama and before expressing an opinion about the folk song, about whose riches he reminds and to which Ivan Kirilov points.
Three years after the letter, in 1902, Zidari was published in Thought Magazine, in three serials. Before the drama was published in periodicals, in a letter from 25 Dec., 1901 to Dr. Krastev, P. Yu. Todorov presented in a concise manner his work on his version returned from criticism:
"(…) My plot turned upside down. And I'm passionate about processing it. In the first act, I made very small corrections, as you'll see. It's over for me. I am sending it to you for book I. I am reworking the second action and I will bring a lot into it. And the third one I basically turn over. It has grown quite a lot, so they will not enter with II in one book. (…) The end is completely changed. I will let Hristo run after Rada's shadow (who will not sing) and she will run away, and he will be left alone on the wrong land again. (…) "
The following is a comment on the corrections made by Pencho Slaveikov - amendments with which P. Todorov agrees, except for the intervention in the language of the actors by the so-called. "first page". Although the dialogue in the drama is one of the reasons why the play should not be staged for years at the National Theater (before 1904 - "Tear and Laugh"). According to the letter, theaters believe that the dialogue is full of provincialisms, while the language remains literary, metaphorical, and in some places allegorical connotations. The play was first played in 1908.
In April 1908, P. Yu. Todorov wrote to Dr. Krastev: "I think in August I will already be able to get a fix" for Zidari. Apparently, the playwright's interventions are provoked by the addition of drama to the repertoire of the theater for the new season.
A new wave of misunderstandings, revisions, and corrections follows. The writer "glues etiquette", defines it as a tragedy, in the words of Yavorov, "not in a specific nature, but in his personal mood in creativity or only in the spirit of the material developed." The commentary of a colleague from Thought was addressed to the set in the National Theater, the unpublished version of the work - no longer in three, but in four acts. Another series of changes is likely, in which the "etiquette" of tragedy will be replaced by the more appropriate one - "drama".
As is understood, the plot of the drama before and after its first journal publication has been modified many times, with the "reforms" undoubtedly affecting the dramatic characteristics, the compositional features, the plot development. By comparison, the enviable modifications that the storyline undergoes are distinguished - a significant complication that affected the specific stratification and "dissolution" of the conflict into two constantly colliding semantic planes - the collective and the individual; the transformed plot also places new aspects in thematic terms, the action slows down considerably - insofar as it can be centered around the act of completing the church.
The drama appeared two years later, in 1910, along with Samodiva and Fearful Fearful Haidutin - in the volume Drama, Book One, Thought Edition. On the edition P.Yu. Todorov will later return again to finish.
The biography of Zidari - the stages, stages, stages in which he lives, which are not fully specified, go through the dramatic text in their artistic incarnations with the idylls Over Church, Paradise Locksmith, Hand, Unlucky "," Shadows, "" Falcon, "" Landmarks, "" Pieta. " The list may include more idylls, and why not dramas and articles. In an attempt to build an idea of P. Yu. Todorov's "aesthetic imagination", the foregrounded links between works (links that could be further clarified if all published and unpublished versions of the works are compared) only set here a fragmentary perspective through which the identification of only certain elements (motives, topics, problems, etc.) as peculiar "strokes" should trigger the idea of the overall picture.
At the same time, the aesthetic dream, catalyzed by the acquaintance with modern literary and theatrical pursuits, of folklore (rather thought by the author as a corpus of texts published in various collections - in which he sees literary potential), is formed gradually and gradually to the writer, who repeatedly sought the assistance of Ivan Shishmanov, and in 1904 shared in a letter: “(…) For some time now I have been visiting two modern theaters here, listening to the meetings of playwrights and rehearsals, but these modern theaters do not they are enough for me only and that is why I want assistance from the ministry to get access to all the theaters where I want. (…) "And in a letter to Ivan Kirilov from 1900 we read:" (…) The guiding thread that connects my work is my spirit - the spirit of a life-hungry man who wanders, lures, wanders, doubts, wants, fights, protests… (…) “
The thirst for the pursuit of the aesthetic does not leave him, but on the contrary, he is constantly engaged in it. In his letters to his wife, Raina Gancheva-Todorova, to Ivan Kirilov, to his closest ones, he goes from the literary and the personal to the literary, to the world of ideas, and his thoughts and words are already unfolding there.
In fact, the years (1899, 1902, 1908, 1910) turn out to be key (as far as can be determined) in the biography of Zidari. In the 1908 also appeared the collection "Idylls", the edition of "Thought" . The time and attention given by the author in the preparation of the collection, the numerous revisions, reworks, the selection of works, etc., also play their part, part of the continuous pursuit of the aesthetic dream. It was then that PY Todorov returned again (once again) to Zidari. The drama becomes a kind of example of the so-called. persecution.
According to Pencho Slaveikov (in his article cited above), the meaning of the work lies "in the longing and pursuit of the bricklayers: to achieve an ideal that illuminates their dark lives." It is as if the ideal is not only of the masons, but also of P. Yu. Todorov - who stared "too vividly in our Bulgarian reality", but also listened "to the voice of modern European writers" (again on "The Blues of a Modern Poet") . A number of letters can be cited as evidence, as well as all the mentioned and unmentioned textual metamorphoses of the drama, but also of his other works - in his overall portrait of a writer the desire to create the ideal creation is evident. Eternal construction. Eternal flight after the shadows of the unattainable.
But back to the original question: How do "Masonry" and idylls "read" each other, given Petko-Todor's aesthetic imagination?
"Orisniki" is considered to be a program work because of its placement as the first in the collection "Idylls" by 1908. The main idea of "Orisniki" - the denied possibility of a person in his earliest years to overcome his internal mental fractures , his forfeited opportunity to go beyond his own imprisoned self - the puncture of the third figurine - is embodied in Doncho's speech by Zidari, in the fourth act, shortly before the hero hangs himself, to "free" himself from his skin. Obviously, the idea does not leave P. Yu. Todorov - he holds it, it is part of his "covenants".
Doncho's words are reminiscent of the idyll, but in Zidari's plan, they portend his end, give him a tragic posture, tear him away from the world. His life has come to an end - he has nowhere else to go, nothing to do, has irrevocably lost his sense of belonging to society, his sense of home, his conscience has destroyed the "fog" of his own, individual "church". He is like the child of the "Faces", but already grown up - gifted with mind and dexterity, with an inward life, turned to the past of his own kind, but unable to prevent unbearable drama in his future.
The incorporation of Rada into the church makes God's abode (which the villagers long to gather, to resolve their misunderstandings) into a grave. The church above the church is also compared to a tomb in the last rows of the idyll. The comparison is preceded by Petko-Todor's modernist transformation of the "motive" introduced earlier in our literature for the inseparable and in death, for love that goes beyond the foreseeable contours of space. One of Zidari's themes is precisely the love and posthumous eternity that belongs to lovers. The game of elm and poplar from Above the Church reminds us of the comparison of Christo in the drama with a tree appearance. In comparison, the messages of idylls and drama gradually begin to intertwine - because of the close plans of associativity, the folklore and biblical motifs used, the similar mechanisms for incorporating them into the artistic texts.
In "The Unlucky" they discuss the gender and the sense of family affiliation with: "Don't you stop, don't root in one place - you won't know something from the world, nor will anyone know you." The main character - Boyko - is alone in his dreams, alone and dreaming, he is detached from society, rejecting the home, much like Doncho, but too different from the character in the drama. They are only different in their expressed personality. The Unlucky puts the individual hero out of the community, out of the world here-and-now. Boyko looks more like Christ, who is chasing the shadow of Rada, on the run to beyond.
P. Yu. Todorov began writing "The Unlucky" in 1899 in Berlin, drawing on ideas from folk art. He has already conceived Zidari - where he once again borrows and reformatted artistic folklore motifs - to incorporate the bride, to meet at the spring (drinking boobs and taking a wrist), to examine the tradition and the traditional through the images of Dragan's mouth and through others. bricklayers. The author of the idyll wrote about the work to Ivan Kirilov that he conceived it under the title "Kerwangia". In a later letter, PY Todorov claimed that the plot had been changed, the idyll was completed and renamed, and it was already occupied exclusively by Zidari. The letter testifies to the creative transition from idyll to drama.
In the Shadows, the subject of the genus, also known as the Masonry, is explicated in another artistic form than the "Unfortunate". Genus and belief in drama and in the Shadows, although they are different religious understandings, have been brought out as fundamental modalities in the construction of social human being. Christo will chase the shadow of Rada, will chase his elusive individualistic ideal.
In the Falcon, Ashik Ali is unable to prey on his bird - he was sent the god sent. The idyll hints at the loss of inner freedom, slavery to the unknown, to the unimaginable forces. Doom also weighs on Rada, Hristo, Doncho, on the bricklayers - who cannot find peace.
St. Peter of Paradise Locksmith also has the unenviable fate: not to be able to go home (like Doncho of Zidari), not to see peace on earth. The idyll overcomes the problem of conscience and guilt. The guilt turns the church into a masonry. Conscience breaks down the masons, the men who built the temple of God. They have obeyed laws that they no longer understand, which will separate Christ from Rada, God from men. And St. Peter is obliged to obey laws that do not depend on him, over which he has no authority, laws according to which his mother has no right to live in God's paradise and the son has no right to be with his mother. Both the Paradise Locksmith and the Shadows and the Zidari ask questions about the meaning of faith, holiness and choice, about sin and the fall, about the original weaknesses inherent in man, part of his nature.
Pieta also reveals images and motifs known by the Zidari, but also by the Hand, the motive for forgetting in sorrow, for sinking in oneself, the images of Jesus and the Virgin, on which the poetic tension of the two focuses. idylls and more. The semantic axis of the "Orisnitsa" and "Zidari", which is known from the time of his birth, repeats what he was assigned to be repeated! "Between Christo and the voivode of Pieta, parallels could be found, as long as there is a fraction of both of them. The idea of Christ, but in the idyll is the leading imprisonment of the mother and the lack of a tightly constructed image of her son.
The idea of creativity, of creation as the highest human manifestation, is leading in the Hand. The focus falls on the hand of Jesus, which the jeweler - dazed, enchanted - longs to cast. The master unsuccessfully tries to capture the radiance of the ideal by hand, for the creative spirit, beyond, supreme. He tries to embody him in order to save his son. Some bricklayers in the drama of the same name are perceived precisely as creators, as creators of something extraordinary, superhuman, listened to as Hristo by "Hand" in the elusive tones of the song above. P. Yu. Todorov wrote "The Hand" when he interrupted his work on Masonry.
As if eternally returning to one or another of his texts, P. Todorov again and again writes them throughout, in thirst, in longing, in feverish pursuit.
Continuous perfection lies in its aesthetic beauty.