Category Bulgarian

Immigrant Song: “My Brother’s Suitcase: Stories About the Road,” Translated from Bulgarian by Ekaterina Petrova

By Izidora Angel No matter where you go, you always carry your loneliness with you, even that unconscious black loneliness that bubbles up beneath the youthful optimism. Zoya Marincheva, “Meridians and Demons” (from My Brother’s Suitcase) That Bulgarian even exists to translate from is a kind of miracle. Despite the country’s rich history dating back […]

Reading Elena Ferrante in Bulgaria(n)

By Stiliana Milkova Last year I read Elena Ferrante’s new novel The Lying Life of Adults (La vita bugiarda degli adulti) in Bulgarian, in Ivo Yonkov’s translation from Italian. It was September 2020, it had just been released by Ferrante’s Bulgarian publisher, Colibri, and I was in Bulgaria myself. I went to Helikon, the largest […]

Neither Here And There: The Misery and Splendor of (Reverse) Translation*

In Bulgarian, which I translate from, translating into a language that’s not your native tongue is colloquially known as obraten prevod, which literally means “reverse translation.” As an adjective, obraten carries the negative connotation of something abnormal or backward, something that goes against the grain, or something that simply isn’t right.

“The Dangerous Charm of Leaving”: Bogdan Rusev’s “Come To Me,” Translated from Bulgarian by Ekaterina Petrova

By Philip Graham   The discovery of contemporary Bulgarian literature has been one of the great gifts of my recent reading life. Though the books I’ve read can be quite varied, they seem connected by a combination of humor and soulful melancholy, a literary territory where trouble can perhaps best be endured by sad or […]

Translators on Books that Should be Translated: “Keder” by Yordanka Beleva

By Izidora Angel Keder, like other words in the Bulgarian language, is of Turkish origin. It means sorrow, but also grief and sadness. The story goes that the ancient Turks believed when a person dies, he bestows to his closest forty sorrows, for each of the forty days after death. With each passing day, fewer […]

The “Bulgarian” American Publisher: Chad Post in Conversation with Milena Deleva

by Milena Deleva  Chad Post is the publisher of Open Letter Books at the University of Rochester, a non-profit press dedicated to publishing literature in translation which he founded in 2007. But it does more than publishing: the press is at the center of an ecosystem that creates context and appetite for translated literature.  In […]

Georgi Gospodinov-The Physics of Sorrow

In Defense of the Minotaur: Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow, Translated by Angela Rodel

Reviewed by Stiliana Milkova “I imagine a book containing every kind and genre,” declares the first-person narrator of Georgi Gospodinov’s novel The Physics of Sorrow. And then he elaborates, “From monologue through Socratic dialogue to epos in hexameter, from fairy tales through treatises to lists. From high antiquity to slaughter house instructions. Everything can be […]