The Gift of Literature

Todor Hristov

Abstract


The traumatic question “what has Bulgarian literature given to the world” acquired particular intensity in periods of crisis such as the Balkan Wars, and after 1989 and the subsequent Bulgarian EU accession. It is generally accepted that the value that Bulgarian literature transmits to the world lies in the identity it represented. The goal of the paper is to show that Bulgarian literature was constituted as a gift responding to the gift of world literature, yet ever unable to repay the debt incurred by its initial gift, and trying to alleviate its indebtedness by means of a specific language of exchange. Hristov believes that studying the literature on the value of Bulgarian literature will demonstrate that the notions of identity, recognition, value, translation, national and world literature have been inscribed in a scriptural economy blending gift and exchange in a peculiar way. He hopes that this economy emerged as a modification of the scriptural economy in which the notion of world literature had been embedded, and that it has been globalised into a universal literary economy.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/Studi_Slavis-15364



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