This year marks the 120 years since the birth of Dimitar Talev - one of the big names in Bulgarian literature that has left a clear mark on our history. On this occasion, the Institute of Literature at the BAS organized a national celebration with a rich cultural program.


On November 5 from 17: 30 hours at the "Bulgarian Army" theater will be the official opening under the title "Dimitar Talev - the code of history and labyrinths of the present in literature". A little later, a contemporary reading of one of Talev's most famous works, The Iron Lamp, will be presented at 19, with director Asen Shopov.


On the 6 and 7 November, from 10 in the central building of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgarian and foreign cultural figures will look for ways through the mazes of Talev texts in the announced scientific conference. The aim is to remove the forgotten texts from the dust and to provide a field for presenting new perspectives on them. The event is under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture.


We present you a conversation with Alexandra Antonova - one of the organizers of the event and a member of the Institute of Literature.


Tell us how the idea for this conference was born and what goals you set for it?


The formal occasion for the conference is the 120 anniversary of Dimitar Talev's birth, but the intention is to update the reading of Talev's texts, to propose and discuss new approaches and aspects of the reception, which is also the overall concept of literary criticism and history of the specialists in Modern and Contemporary Bulgarian Literature at the Institute of Literature. Designed as a national cultural holiday, the solemn celebration aims to renew the interest in one of the most significant Bulgarian novelists, folk psychologists and publicists. Literature is the bearer of national memory and hence identity. It is a communicator between the national and European cultural environment. The revival of Talev's reading therefore becomes part of the idea of ​​identity that literature preserves, and hence, part of our cultural communication with today's global world.



Which audience is the conference focused on?


The audience is as wide as possible, and in addition to specialists, it aims to intrigue literature teachers - Talev is the author of the compulsory curriculum in high school, creator of the novel model in Bulgarian literature from the 50s and 60s of the XX century with the unique on its scale a novel epic - the tetralogy "The Iron Lantern", "The Prespa Bells", "Ilinden" and "I Hear Your Voices". That is why a particularly important aspect of the forthcoming conference is the methodological one, the teaching of Dimitar - Tale's texts.


Dimitar Talev is a very beloved author, widely popular with reading Bulgarians. His heavy personal destiny, full of vicissitudes, has been discussed in numerous publications, it has become a symbol of personal stoicism and incredible creative spirit, soaring above political conjuncture and historical vicissitudes. The event also aims to attract and introduce to its classical texts the young generation of readers and connoisseurs.


Who will be the guests of the conference and for which countries is the topic of particular interest?


The solemn evening, dedicated to the 120 anniversary of Dimitar Talev's birth, envisages to gather a wide cultural and scientific community of specialists, connoisseurs and connoisseurs of the creativity of the writer, guests from home and abroad, historians, literary writers, writers at the Bulgarian Army Theater. , cultural and community leaders. Scientists from leading scientific and educational institutions, such as Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ", New Bulgarian University, University of Shumen" Bishop Konstantin Preslavski ", Plovdiv University" Paisii Hilendarski ", National Literary Museum, etc.


We also expect that the guests of the celebration and the conference will be teachers and students, who are heavily involved in our efforts. It is very important for us to reach and provoke the interest of high school students in texts from the high vault of Bulgarian literary classics, to turn this interest into the basis of a cultural and educational debate on the acquisition and interpretation of the text in general, and the teaching of Bulgarian literature.


The Iron Lamp, which will be the main topic of conversation, looks at the period of the Bulgarian Revival. Heroes are aware of their belonging not only to their race but also to their people, to the community, understanding the need to be united. Are we less united today than we have been since then, and what is the reason for that?


The sense of oneness has changed its shape. European identity is becoming more and more a natural part of the national identity, without destroying it, simply modifying it. The "native - foreign" debate has been essential to our culture since the beginning of the formation of our national identity after the Liberation and our intellectuals, from the first decades of the 20th century, bring the definition of the national precisely through the universal - the human, not through the ethnographic - the plausible. It is the belonging to the universal soul of the great human race, and not the description of life, that forms the national - the physiognomic. In addition, it seems to me that the sense of belonging to the genus has not only disappeared, but it has intensified over the years, fueled by nostalgia. And we are constantly living in this process of self-discovery that unites us. The Renaissance cohort, based entirely on pragmatic, working relationships and interdependencies, ascended to the spiritual - intellectual. So, coming back to the question, we are no less, but differently, united today.


In the novel, the Sultan is a woman who devotes herself to preserving family values ​​and traditions. Do you think the family is losing because of the new role of the woman she has won in the last decades?


Man lives in his own time, the attempt to live in a foreign, not his own time, deforms. The new role of the woman is adequate and therefore saving for her, besides the Sultan is a modern, one eternal woman with her strong, governing role. The woman changed her change, but in her thinking and behavior, she is the dominant ruler of the hearth, as is the Sultan. The instinct for family, for family in general, the adherence to tradition is deeply human and I find it essentially indestructible.


What unites the family in those years is faith. Today, she seems to be absent. Don't we need it anymore? Can Tale texts ignite the flame of faith today?


Faith has always been necessary for us. It is intrinsic to man. The acquisition of the novel is also through ethical values, for the adoption of which requires the provocation of free, creative interpretations. Therefore, the methodological aspect of the conference is particularly significant - it concerns the philosophy of literature itself, the human need for it.


The novel is part of the curriculum for the 12 class. Do today's students succeed in grasping the text and understanding the meaning of honor, dignity. and the "accessories" that Talev invested in?


As I stated above, re-actualizing reading, discovering the eternity of values ​​is the big meaning and therefore the purpose of our conference. The refreshing of the reading and therefore the teaching of the Tale texts, the sharing of impressions and the discovery of connections, which is the main objective of the educational process, are inseparably linked and, in essence, is precisely the contemporary contextualization of the so-called. "Eternal values" - aesthetically and ethically. They are inherent in human thinking and perception of the world, they are its supports and in this sense they are indestructible.


Lately there has been a lot of talk about modern performances, breaking stereotypes, updating art. Do you think this is the only way to the young?


Art is constantly changing, the idea of ​​modernization is not so contemporary at all. Recall that modernism, developed in the mid-nineteenth century, aims at a radical transformation of thinking about art. But avant-garde gestures, some quite extreme in terms of expression, because of their extreme conception of the meaning of art, are always clever in a balanced, neo-traditionalist, neo-realistic art with a human face. Art lives in and over time, so it naturally finds its language, its path. And these processes are larger, precisely because they are more natural, than theorists who claim to "legislate" artificially and speculatively in art.


What needs to be done to increase young people's interest in the classics in native literature?


To provoke and give freedom of interpretation from the training bench, to encourage students to give freedom of imagination and freedom of expression, to work on texts. To eliminate the idea of ​​a stereotype of perception, to indicate and suggest the possibility of a text to be both meaningful and felt in many ways. However, literature is the most emotionally received teaching material, and it condenses the most empathy in communication with it.

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