Studi Slavistici XV, 2018, 2
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Bulgaria, Year 1918. Disappointments and Hopes

Krassimir Stantchev
Roma Tre University

Published 2019-02-02


  • Bulgarian Literature,
  • Year 1918,
  • Bulgarian Futurism,
  • Bulgarian Expressionism,
  • Geo Milev

How to Cite

Stantchev, K. (2019). Bulgaria, Year 1918. Disappointments and Hopes. Studi Slavistici, 15(2), 181–200.


In 1918 Bulgaria was supposed to celebrate 40 years from the liberation from Ottoman rule (1878) having gathered, as it was believed, all Bulgarian ethnolinguistic territory under the national flag. The end of the First World War, however, went differently for the Bulgarians and caused a deep hiatus after which nothing was as before. Paradoxically, it is precisely the warlike defeat that led to a total renewal of the Bulgarian culture and, in particular, of the literature to which this article is dedicated. The author takes a quick look at the previous century to better highlight the radical novelties in the Bulgarian post-1918 literature: 1) the denial of realism and patriotism – the two fundamental characteristics of Bulgarian literature after 1878, even when it waved the banner of modernism; 2) the aggressive entry of the expressionist and/or futurist poetics through the literary and editorial work of Geo Milev; 3) the anti-expressionist positions of the promoters of the ‘pansymbolism’ that presented itself as the alternative novelty in the field of art; 4) the romantic-revolutionary poetry of Ch. Smirnenski; 5) other post-war currents: diabolism, imaginism, female poetry, the ‘aestheticism’ of the group around the magazine “Zlatorog”.


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