SmallStations - Books in Bulgarian

Plamen Antov’s poetry has always been rich in images, thought provocations and post-modern references. In this book, however, the author places a greater emphasis on immediate experiences of politics and nature, with an instability in the language like literature or a judge and medium between the higher and ordinary. The value of language depends on the author’s position between these two poles. To serve mammon or God.

The material and spiritual dimensions combine in this unusual book of poems from the experienced Bulgarian poet and translator Rada Panchovska. She gives us her vision of city life, managing to note down details that are important but often pass unnoticed. She steps through the borders of the contemporary world and the natural world we all inhabit with an ecological footprint, displaying sensitivity and cautiousness.

This novel is located somewhere between the genres of fantasy and political prose. The mysticism in the book is a metaphor for the breakdown of Albanian life, lost between generations and times. The past is full of guilt, the present is purgatory, and the future is an incarnation in a home for blind people. This is a desperate story about the post-totalitarian collapse of the soul, which wanders like an eel through a maze of underground rivers. To quote the newspaper Korrieri, “The prose doesn’t just roll along the lines, it flies.”

This is the only the second book written in the Galician language of northwest Spain to be translated into Bulgarian. Widely acclaimed and widely translated, The Carpenter’s Pencil is a story of love set against the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. The author, Manuel Rivas, seeks to dispel the darkness of hate with the light of fantasy, humour and tenderness. Günter Grass claimed to have learnt more about the Spanish Civil War from reading this novel than from any history book.

An anthology of sixty poems in Bulgarian translation. The American writer Raymond Carver had a difficult life but managed to find peace in the end. These sixty poems chart his journey from drunken beginnings to the realization that someone was waiting for him and happiness can be found in the simplest moments, for example watching the newspaper boy and his friend walk up the road in the early morning. The author comes out of himself to view himself from the outside and then to break in: “I bashed that beautiful window and stepped back in”. This is a book that is never without humour and modesty, the lessons of years.

In this book of nine essays written in Bulgarian and accompanied by colour photographs, the poet and critic Tsvetanka Elenkova travels from her native Bulgaria to Greece, Turkey, Macedonia, Serbia and England. Along the way, she shares her impressions of Athens, Delphi and the Dodecanese, of Alanya, of Kas and Megisti, where Turkey and Greece come face to face, of Lake Ohrid, the deepest in the Balkans, and Struga in Macedonia, famous for its poetry evenings, of the Serbian monasteries of Frushka Gora and finally of England, where she visits London, Chichester, Oxford and Portsmouth. In this book, the author connects legend with what she sees, a Balkan thread that ends up unexpectedly in England.

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