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The short-story collection Stories from the Past includes sixteen stories and a novella. For a short period of time the book managed to attract the attention of modern Bulgarian critics and audiences. The literary critic Angel G. Angelov says that in these refined texts what stands out is the characters and their communication – they communicate timidly and sorely, poetically but also painfully. These stories pose the most difficult question: what is the self comprised of? The themes and motifs that make up these short stories are dominated by the perception of loss. This is noticeable in the elements of the trauma surrounding the plots. Thus these stories draw not only a contemporary existential perspective of man but also look for a perspective on how the national, the Bulgarian one fits into the global one – placing the person in a traumatic engagement with the world sadness. The loneliness of the man here becomes a sort of a totem of modernity – that capsule without which its existence is impossible. The topoi on which the action unfolds are scattered both in the concreteness of space – Paris, Varna, Athens, and on the imaginary territories – death, the past, the dream. Here we find a fragmentary negotiation of today’s big problem – atomization and how are we able to establish a connection with others.
Photo credit: Plamen Mirčev
Petar Denchev is a Bulgarian writer and theater director. He graduated in drama directing from NATFA Krastjo Sarafov in 2010, and in 2017 from the master’s program Theater Art. He has received nominations and awards at various competitions for poetry and prose (Development, Svetlostruj, Veselin Hanchev, Extra – Altera). With the novel As a Man He Loves the Woman He Loves, he won the award for the new Bulgarian novel Development in 2007. He later published a collection of stories Stories from the Past (2010, Janet 45) and the novel Silent Sun (2012, Janet 45). He has published stories in Serbian, Macedonian, Croatian, Slovenian, German and English. He has directed in most major theaters in Bulgaria (Ivan Vazov National Theater, A. Konstantinov Satire Theater, DT S. Bachvarov Varna, DT S. Ognyanov Ruse, DT G. Milev S. Zagora, etc.). He was a playwright at the Stoian Bachvarov Theater in Varna from 2017 to 2018. He has worked on texts by authors such as Edward Albei, Jordi Galseran, Sarah Ruhl, Shakespeare, Mollier, and his latest novel is The Little God of Earthquakes, which was published by Janet 45, a novel that deals with the breakdown of the integrity of life on the trail of lost memories.
Dalibor Plečić is a writer, literary critic, translator and professor of literature. He has attended several writing residency programs abroad, including Artist in Residence, Q21 in Vienna. He has translated prose, poetry, and plays from Bulgarian, Macedonian and English. He has written a novel (Bunike), a collection of short stories (Zaporožac), as well as published poems in regional magazines. He regularly writes literary reviews for the Booksa portal from Zagreb, The Literary Review magazine from New Jersey and Beton from Belgrade. He is the editor of the culture magazine Zenit from Strumica.