Recently, I set out to read my favorite novels, which I had to go through as a standard at university. I do it today because at that time I did not have the necessary time to delve deeper and carefully enough into their content. And the book of value must be read slowly in order to pay its due and to enjoy its enchanting beauty. Guided by this thought, I began a series of re-reads.
Yesterday, I finished the last one outlined - The Wolf Wolf. I was reminded that this is one of the most shocking and original Bulgarian books. With her polyphonic concept, intricate storylines and moving images, she introduced me to her world and completely engulfed me. It is claimed that Bulgarian literature has five really strong novels: "Under the Yoke" by Ivan Vazov, Tobacco by Dimitar Dimov, "The Iron Lamp" by Dimitar Talev, "Ivan Kondarev" by Emilian Stanev and the last one, created closest to our time - "A Wolf's Haul" by Ivaylo Petrov.
In my opinion, "The Wolf Hunt" is the best Bulgarian novel ever written. A work that plunges the reader into a vast gap of questions and leaves him struggling there to finally get to the Truth if he manages to supplement. In this sense, Haikata is an intellectual endeavor and a challenge. We emerge from it just as stunned, confused and thoughtful as from masterpieces such as Andrey Platonov's "Chevengur" or Gabriel Garcia Marquez's "One Hundred Years of Solitude". Even though there is nothing magical about the Wolves story. He is regarded by critics, albeit with some contingency, in the canon of socialist realism. His appearance in bookstores is the "1986 Literary Event for Bulgaria". That is to say - this Bulgarian novel is a true description of the socialist reality that took place shortly after 9 IX 1944.
But is that so?
There is no way to know this categorically. And it's a description of reality, but it's much more than that. I consider the historical reading of the work as limited, given the scale of its artistic impact. The book really focuses on the problems of land co-operation after 9 September, which fits in the socio-political perspective perfectly into the pursuit of socialist realism. The novel begs the question: to what extent do the peasants voluntarily give their land for the sake of a bright communist future? Honestly, I'm not particularly concerned about this side of the book, but I'll briefly share what I know. I have read a lot of criticism about Haikata and I am aware that this cooperation is a key problem in the perception of the book among the readers and critics of NR Bulgaria. Perhaps at that time it was something sensational for a writer to question the adequacy of cooperative work in socialist Bulgaria.
The novel was published in parts during the 80, and its appearance was hailed as a provocation to power. From where to where in the art work will the criticism of the cooperative work, the collectivization of the land in Bulgaria be made? This is something unheard of and unseen at the moment. Todor Zhivkov himself arranges a personal meeting with the chairman of the Union of Bulgarian Writers Lyubomir Levchev (on 12-December 1981), at which he says: "What is this" Wolfs' Haul "what is it like? They come to ask me how such an enemy book can be published. ”L. Levchev, who has strong positions in power, somehow obscures things and justifies Ivaylo Petrov. I'm not going to go into the details of the Wolfhound Case. It somewhat resembles the Tobacco Case.
It is clear that no totalitarian authority will agree, even with the most deliberate criticism, when it is not requested and addressed by "right and trustworthy people". And Dimitar Dimov and Ivaylo Petrov, as more ideally-minded communists, initially naively thought that they would get away with it, since they had entirely good and not "enemy" intentions. After all, with some tricks - publishing the novel in parts, deliberately waiting for an appropriate time of "cheering" - Ivaylo Petrov manages to publish his sensational book. The interest in it is exceptional, it comes out in huge circulation.
However, we must admit that the further we move away from the time of the cooperatives, the cooperative business, and in general the period of existence of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the less affected the socio-economic problems affected by the readers of "Wolf for Haul". We're beginning to get more and more excited about human drama. In their transformation, the artistic mastery of Ivaylo Petrov is most clearly evident. Mihail Vassilev claims that in the images of Ivaylo Petrov lies the way of life and the spirituality of our people. The reader, who is in love with literature, appreciates the works on their literary side, not so much how successful the economic forecasts and evaluations of the writer will prove.
The artistic impact of The Wolf Wolf is incredible. It seemed as though darkness and all-consuming hopelessness had subsided. It is a book with a very heavy emotional charge. Although in many places the humorous talent of Ivaylo Petrov, already demonstrated in Before Before Born and After, can be clearly seen. As Encho Mutafov notes, the author does not refer to a wolf-haul as just a mere troupe of enthusiastic hunters, but describes a haul about unresolved existential issues and dramas.
What is the origin of the drama in the book? On the one hand, the characters are tasked with solving existential questions: - Who are they? Why did all this happen to them? Each of them carries the heavy burden of a compulsory answer. The reader is waiting to learn. It takes a lot of strong will to reveal the characters in "The Wolf Wolf" to their readers.
But how can all this be done after the characters themselves are free?
Panko Anchev notes that each of them has subordinated his will to someone else, "broken is under his authority and obliged to do his will." Solen Kalcho, Ivan Shibilev, Stoyan Kralev, Zhendo Haydutina, Kiro Dzhelebov, Nikolin Miyalkov - the main characters in the novel, they are not truly free souls, but some "blind wills". This is where the drama intersects: the high expectations of the characters (to find the truth for themselves) and their inability to live up to those expectations because of their freedom. Rosalia Likova has the feeling that the characters are involved in an "ephemeral haul" that moves itself and bundles knots in people's souls.
"Why is everyone succumbing to hatred, and although they know they should not cross the line, they go boldly and decisively to their own moral and physical destruction?" . (Panko Anchev).
In fact, as Zdravko Nedkov observes, wolves move from the forests to the souls of humans, to hunters from the haiku. The chase goes hunting for those wolves (evil) that rule their souls. Their purpose is deliverance, but it is unattainable. That is why the novel, ending the heralds of the greatest evil - murder. Kiro Dzhelebov records on the last page of the family record that he will kill Stoyan Kralev on December 24 1965.
Otherwise, the main characters in the novel are good people, but the circumstances force them to do evil. Salen Calcho tells his wife, "They're all good, I tell you, but life makes them do different things!" However, these good people have shattered moral foundations. This is evident everywhere in their comments, often filled with cynicism.
"It was not legal to be anything. That everything in this world is legal and nothing is legal. It depends on which side you look at it from. If it gets rid of you, it's legal, if it doesn't get rid of you, it's not legal. Life is made in such a way that everyone has their own law. And each robs the other. The stronger robs the weaker, the richer - the poorer, the wiser - the stupider. And the more beautiful one robs the uglier one, even though he doesn't want it. ”“ Because people are not the same. If they become the same, there will be no life, there will be no one to bake bread for you to eat… ”(Jendo Haidutina)
After all, it really is supposed to be considered as a novel - a warning. The warning that when wolves move from the forests into the souls of humans - hatred, revenge, and ultimately murder, follow. In some wild times and a wild world, it is as cruel as it is real.