I sit down with the intention to write good words for the great Bulgarian writer Bogomil Raynov. I am aware that this is a difficult task that few people would undertake. Especially lately, when I notice, it becomes fashionable to revise certain authors for political reasons.
Bogomil Rainov is a descendant writer, cultural figure and professor of aesthetics. Extremely erudite personality, just like his father Nikolai Raynov. He was born in Sofia in 1919, he died in 2007. In my text, I do not intend to give political opinions. I didn't Vaptsarovnor with Yavorov or Mikhailovski. I think that the quality of a work of art does not depend on the personality of its creator. As Nicholas Gomez-Davila observed: "Since the aesthetic achievement of a work does not depend on its creator, the intentions of its creator cannot tarnish it." Or if we pay attention to the aesthetic understandings of Bogomil's father, Nikolai Raynov ("What is art? The origin of art ") we will read the following truthful explanation of the creative process:
"There is an unpainted painting in the artist's soul, visible only from him. This painting must be transferred to the canvas for all to see. The more true the outer picture reflects the content of the inner, the greater the artist. Just in order to convey to his canvas his visions, he needs dexterity, training, gift, aesthetic feeling. If he is weak as a creator, he will probably be content to rewrite external reality with more or less deviations. If a living creative flame burns in his soul, he will nourish visions from a completely different world and seek to portray them (which is why Croce calls art "vision" or "intuition"). "
The origin of art (the "unpainted painting") is in the soul, not in the mind. So the problem of the quality of art is a problem of the quality of the human soul. He has no direct connection with the knowledge (vast or insignificant) of an artist. So, whatever “mental baggage” a creator (poet, writer, artist, sculptor, etc.) possesses, of whatever race and gender, whatever age he may be, no matter how many books he has read, whatever having learned as much foreign languages as he or she can not speak, whatever he does (even as a professor), it does not matter much to the quality of the art he creates. It doesn't matter, because if we refer again to Davila (one high school student, by the way): "Literature is the plastic rendering of the ineffable."
The ineffable - that is, something beyond the sensory and the irrational (beyond the mind). Being able to express it in a plastic way is not a given for everyone.
Otherwise, every professor would be more of a poet than Vagnarointellent Vaptsarov, because he is "smarter", he read more and knows more about him (his profession implies). And I have read verses from many writers and still writing poetry, Bulgarian professors, but I firmly state that none of them is a better poet than the "worker" Nikola Yonkov Vaptsarov. None of the Bulgarian scholars, as of yesterday and today, can measure growth with Botev's poetry and journalism: the work of a twenty-something young man. Well who can we compare to Petya Dubarova? How many poets, present and in the recent past, can write something as good as this one poem by 17-year-old Petya?
On cold nights when drunk
the dream is rolling on my ceiling,
when the moon goes dark with sin,
when my fear hangs over me,
hanged on the sharp edge of the night,
lend you my pale hand -
to you - stranger - darkly beautiful,
secret and specific, thirsty and wild,
lived only nineteen years,
and he tried everything and saw everything,
subordinate to no one, no one, not your own,
but he came to me, and truly mine
and fell on his way, wept, sinned,
but a gentleness a boy kept for me.
My hand - the imperious one - eagerly took over,
only you will be so brave with me!
Come on! We will wash the moon from sin!
We will cast the dead body of the dead,
we will sing with the rumble of the ship's voice
of the sea night in the good Bourgas.
And then when she steps back
and the sun shines upon us grace,
dream overgrown, smiling, embarrassed,
you will come real to me in my day!
Model poetry, high art in general, is not taught or "taught". One can learn to write poetry, but not to be a Poet in a capital letter. These things are not taught in universities. Courses in "creative writing" will not "produce" the new Botev, or Vaptsarov, or the new Dubarova. Art is a gift and a talent. Some are given great creators, others not. The bad thing is that many of those who are not given are not enough to be who they are. They begin to strive to have what is not given to them, which is how envy is born, and hence plagiarism, epigonism and graphomania. All the bad things in literature. But past them we understand what is good and what is not good.
Bogomil Raynov has a significant contribution to Bulgarian art. Creates "high" models of it. And this, regardless of their political beliefs. By name, we can put him next to the unsurpassed Lyubomir Levchev, who wrote "I who did not run away from Pompeii
That on the one hand. On the other hand, Bogomil Rainov lacks straightness. I will comment on his stories Black Swans and Roads for Nowhere. In my opinion, these stories should be read by every Bulgarian. They have an erudite taste. The mood and suggestion are reminiscent of Jean-Paul Sartre's "Despicable" and Albert Camus's "Alien". And if we think that after the Second World War in Bulgaria no prose was created to interpret the existential problems, we are wrong - it was created.
Bulgaria does not lag behind the Western tendencies, although it has been declared decisively by socialist realism. If a West European read these stories today, I believe he will see in them the same problems that have plagued the generation of the 60 and 70 years in his country. These stories may also apply to France, Germany, the United Kingdom. In them, the central place is given to the problems of the individual, alienated in their being, from others, and sacrificed all their energy in search of professional realization.
Bogomil Raynov's characters are unprofessional personalities (the Black Swans). Aspiring to something big, to feats, but unworthy of great success. Successful, but somewhat. Successful, but somewhat. Disobeyed high peaks and therefore - inferior. Those like them have already been discussed above. These are the ones who have not been given greatness. And they do not care, they try to overcome the "evil destiny" but are doomed to failure.
The tone of the stories is skeptical, lacking socialist vigor and optimism (belief in man). Even the opposite. Ivan Popivanov commented that Roads for Nowhere had elements reminiscent of some of Francois Moriac's works. The stories do not in any way refer to public problems. The view is focused entirely on human personality, the problems of the individual and the inner world of man. One man "thrown" into the big city, lonely and eager for his "feat". However, this feat is too great for his modest capabilities. On this plane, the main conflict situation in both narratives is intertwined.
Roads For Nowhere is filmed under the title White Room. Methodi Andonov's film is one of the best ever made in Bulgaria, with the "immortal" Apostle Karamatev in the lead role (of associate professor of philosophy Peter Alexandrov). In an interview, the director's daughter, Metodi Andonov, asked: "Do you have the feeling that they accept Bulgarian cinema abroad better than here? As if the look of our cinema, viewed from the outside, is not as sad as it seems to us? ", He replies:
- Well yes! When, in Berlinale's time, a parallel program included my father's film, Metodi Andonov - The White Room, and I was invited to present it from a participant position, after the screening, the boss of their film library came to me and said, "Where are you did these films cover them? Why don't we know about them? This is a European level! ”The film is at a European level, because the story is also European.
As for Black Swans, it's interesting to say that their storyline is very similar to the screenplay of the famous movie Black Swan (with five Oscar nominations), because of Natalie Portman winning the Oscar for Best lead female lead. The similarity is mainly that the main characters in both works are ballet dancers from Swan Lake. There is a Bulgarian movie "Black Swans" by Ivan Nichev from 1984. The main role in it (the role of the "ballerina Violeta" in the story of Bogomil Rainov) is played by the actress Diana Rainova. In her interview, she explains the similarities and differences between Bulgarian film and American later production.
"The two characters are of a completely different fate - both professional and personal, but they both struggle for excellence in this art. If Natalie Portman in the American film Black Swan is the last biggest obstacle that if she passes, she will reach the top where the stars are, in our film Bogomil Rainov deals with anonymous creators. The Black Swans are the ballet dancers. That's why he calls them "black swans" as a metaphor.
A very strong summary of the literary qualities of the story is made by Svetozar Igov: “And if the personal drama of the Black Swan ballerina reveals to us the existential drama of the unsuccessful creator, then her painstaking attachment to art, her willful determination, creative dissatisfaction and passion. "Longing for - to the radiance of the distant sky, then to the top" seems to be an irrevocable draw of any creative destiny, a genuine inevitability in the painfully sweet curse of creativity.
In conclusion, I would say that the two stories are worth reading as an extraterrestrial dialogue between father and son (Nicholas and Bogomil) Raynov. Particularly visible is the relationship, for example, in the guidance from the father to Violeta (the Black Swans), as some of them contain the father's views on art and aesthetics. Or in the essay about Henry Bergson (a respected philosopher father), which the student Peter Alexandrov (here a prototype of B. Raynov - Roads for Nowhere) refuses to write for ideological reasons. Father and son Rainovi, who is divided by politics, but unites love of art. Under the influence of this conflict, on an ideological basis, consciously or not, Bogomil challenges his father's understanding of aesthetics, culture, and life in general. In the way of the dispute, the son actually accepts many of his father's points of view. For example: "But what to do when one is given more and less is given to others. It so happens that the Lord gives to this one, but bypasses the one. Why and how - God forbid! And our goal is to serve the arts and not worry so much about the medals. "- from Black Swans.
And finally, Bogomil Rainov understands that quality art exists outside the realm of socialist realism. That is why the stories are so close in spirit to what is happening in Europe, to the fashion trends of the West in the arts - Existentialism or Philosophy of Existence.