Who wrote the first Bulgarian novel turns out to be a difficult question, since the publication suffered a sad collapse, and its author was criticized by many creators who forged his unfortunate fate.
Who wrote the first Bulgarian novel?
Before Vazov’s eternal, most Bulgarian novel “Under the Yoke” was completed in 1888, printed in “Collection of Folk Thought, Science and Literature” and finally published as a separate edition in 1894, another Bulgarian novel attempted to reach the hearts of the readers. It bears the name “Nice Family and Airy Nature”, and the inspiration for its writing and publication in 1885 was “The witty hidalgo Don Quixote of the English Channel. A novel by M. Cervantes’.
The Spanish novel, which fell into the hands of the future author of the first Bulgarian novel, inspired him to create one and present it to the native reader. Today he is called the revolutionary of the pen, the bearer of unknown ideas, but during his lifetime he was not appreciated and went to a psychiatric clinic misunderstood, kicked and humiliated. Who is this Bulgarian? Who wrote the first Bulgarian novel and what is the sad story of his life and work that led to this sad end?
Born in Klisura and moved to Sofia after the Liberation, Nyagul K. Semkov is the author of the first Bulgarian novel. From the owner of an inn in the capital, Semkov turned into a creator, whose non-standard speech impressed, but whose novel had a profit fate – only a year after its publication, the novel, representing philosophical questions and answers about the universe and the place of man in it, was slandered and included among the .name “literary rubbish”. A number of popular Bulgarian artists, including Aleko Konstantinov, criticized Semkov, and the book thus published neither gained popularity among readers, nor was it sought after by them. The novel is dormant, and Semkov’s dream of receiving recognition and respect is shattered.
What will be the Bulgarian novel of the year?
The sad story of the novel
It is a curious moment that the author dedicated his novel to Stefan Stambolov, who, as the chairman of the National Assembly, to whom the author turned to for financing the printing of his work, dropped a few pennies in his hand as a donation “I dedicate this little worker of mine to St. Stambolov as a sign of his benevolence”. The rest of the money was collected by Bulgarians and foreigners, who gave 70 cents each to purchase the novel in advance.
However, the tale ends here and the author’s nightmare begins. Seeing the dedication, Stambolov demanded punishment for the author, the page was torn from the book, and a huge part of the circulation was mutilated. The bad news for Semkov does not stop there. A number of critics condemn his work, call it worthless, untalented, not worth buying. The author leaves insulted, insulted and misunderstood. Humiliated and sad. A fate not deserved by any artist who held a pen in his hand. No work, born from the heart and soul, conceived in thoughts and seen the light of day after so much effort to be written, financed and published.
The first Bulgarian novel and Semkov today
Today, Semkov is a recognized author, but he himself cannot understand that, finally, his novel is not called garbage, but innovative, conceptual, a literary phenomenon, avant-garde and great. It was only in 1991 that Semkov received high recognition – a magazine placed his name among those of Louis Aragon, Paul Eluard, Octavio Paz and other representatives of surrealism. A recognition that Semkov did not receive and felt during his lifetime, which cannot calm his soul, which remained somewhere there – destroyed and sick from the lack of understanding, from the lack of national self-confidence of his contemporaries. Thus ends the sad story of the first Bulgarian novel. Look for it and read it – as a kind of homage to the misunderstood and tortured soul of the author. His bright memory.