Papers of BAS, Humanities and Social Sciences

Vol. 2, No 1-2, 2015

HISTORY, LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE, CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY

RETHINKING BULGARIAN LITERARY MODERNISM – 25 YEARS AFTER THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL

Ivan Hristov

Abstract: For decades under the communist regime in Bulgaria, literary modernism was renounced as a deviation from the “correct” norm of Socialist Realism. Modernist works by some of classic Bulgarian writers were disparaged and neglected, while other modernist writers were directly struck from the canon and forgotten. With the partial liberalization of the regime during the 1960s, some of the Bulgarian modernists, especially those with leftist convictions, were rehabilitated. However, the true rethinking of Bulgarian modernism came shortly before the Transition – during the 1980s. Modernism began to be recognized ever more often as a positive and creative movement, and after 1989, it was acknowledged as one of the most significant phenomena within Bulgarian literature. After 1989, numerous monographs about individual authors and literary circles, as well as whole modernist trends, contributed to a new interpretation of that period and to the objective construction of a heretofore unwritten history of the movement. The present paper aims to present and analyze this process of change, with a particular focus on the question of the local – the global, as well as to examine the specific interrelations between the various modernist and totalitarian ideologies.