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Allegories of Silence (On Atanas Dalchev’s Fragments)

Nadezhda Stoyanova

Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski, Bulgaria

Atanas Dalchev is one of the famous Bulgarian poets who made his debut in the 1920s. In the interwar years, he published four poetry books and became one of the prominent authors of that time. From 1943 he started to publish the so-called “notes” or “fragments” (aphorisms, impressions, miniatures, short essays) mainly on literature and literary life [1, p. 409 – 414]. After the communist party came to power on September 9, 1944, he continued to publish in the literary press his “notes” that were quite different from the pathos of the epoch. However, the possibility of publishing did not last for long. In 1947 all the oppositional voices were silenced and works that were not propaganda could not appear anymore. It was not before “The Thaw” in 1956, that Dalchev could publish in the literary periodicals again (there were only two works published by him in the period 1948 – 1956). Later, in 1967, he collected all his notes in the book Fragments [2]. The presentation will be focused on two of the “notes” that were published in 1945 in the official newspaper of the Union of Bulgarian Writers – Literaturen Front [Literary Front]. They are “Rain” and “The Tree” [3, p. 2]. An attempt will be made to reveal the function of these works as literary gestures through the methods of literary and cultural history. As it can be noticed from the titles, the topics of the fragments are natural objects or phenomena, which was quite unusual for those years (in 1955 and 1957, there were discussions questioning the significance of works that thematize nature in the new political circumstances). These two “fragments” or “notes” can also be called “impressions”. They correspond to Dalchev’s poetry as a conception because, although the thematic accents of his works changed in the 1920s, 1930s and 1960s, the main problem remained the temporality of the world and the human. “The Rain” and “The Tree” can be read as allegories of silence. Silence can be interpreted as an existential choice of the subject in the first work. The absence of words and communication means that the person could stay for some time under rain’s “light shadow” – the dry plots – and do exceptional work on the Self that preserves and renews him/her. “The Tree”, however, presents the silence as the inability to fight the pragmatic egocentrism, the cynical anthropocentrism of the historical time and as a prognostication of the coming death. Most of his “notes” Dalchev wrote in the years of ideological control. Having in mind that their main topic was literature and literary gestures, it can be said that these two fragments were a reflection on silence as an existential choice, as an opportunity, but also as a form of weakening, which all those poets and writers who did not serve communist propaganda in the 1940s and 1950s were forced to comply and live with. References 1. Далчев А. Бележки / Г. Цанев (ред.) // Изкуство и критика. – 1943. – № 10 (53). – С. 409 – 414. 2. Далчев А. Фрагменти. – София : Български писател, 1967. – 96 с. 3. Далчев А. Дъжд. София – октомври 1944. Дървото. / Н. Фурнаджиев (ред.) // Литературен фронт. – 1945. – № 19, с. 2. *The extended abstract is published in “APPLIED LINGUISTICS-3D: LANGUAGE, IT, ELT”. Book of Papers. – Zhytomyr: Zhytomyr Polytechnic State University, 2022, pp. 12 – 13. ISBN 978-966-683-601-7.