Bones of Contention: The Living Archive of Vasil Levski and by Maria Todorova

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By Maria Todorova

This can be a historic research, taking as its narrative concentration the lifestyles, loss of life and posthumous destiny of Vasil Levski (1837-1873), arguably the foremost and simply uncontested hero of the Bulgarian nationwide pantheon. the most name refers back to the 'thick description' of the reburial controversy through the ultimate section of communist Bulgaria, which founded searching for Levski's bones. The publication supplies a particular realizing additionally of the connection among nationalism and faith within the post-communist interval, via studying the hot canonization of Levski. The methods defined, even though with a chronological intensity of just about centuries, are nonetheless a great deal within the making, and the residing archive expands not just in dimension yet with the consistent addition of bizarre new types they take.At one other point, the e-book engages in numerous common theoretical questions. It deals insights into the issues of background and reminiscence: the query of public, social or collective reminiscence; the character of nationwide reminiscence compared to different different types of reminiscence; the range of reminiscence over the years and social house; substitute stories; and, memory's ideas like commemorations, the mechanism of constructing and transmitting reminiscence.

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Additional info for Bones of Contention: The Living Archive of Vasil Levski and the Making of Bulgaria's National Hero

Sample text

Here are a few details as I heard them from my father. In the aftermath of Levski’s hanging, late in the evening, my father and Khristo Khambarkov (the churchwarden of “Sv. Paraskeva” who lived in a house in Sofia, on Sredna Gora Street, near the pub “The Grey Horse”), went to the place where Vasil Levski had been hanged with fezzes on their heads and with a wooden wine vessel (bîklitsa). The weather was cold and icy. There was nobody around except the guards, the fields around were desolate.

On the other hand, one cannot help hearing Khaitov’s later exclamation: “Just imagine that on the next day after the publication of the paper—on March 7, 1937—someone had dug into the altar of ‘Sv. Petka’ and had come upon the skeleton in the northern part of the altar which was dug out in May, 1956 during the ‘rescue’ archeological excavations! ”55 Petev himself used this and other memoirs to establish the identity not only of the two priests but also of the two “servants” referred to in the accounts who helped take down the body.

61 What this semantic memory tells us is the overall atmosphere where it was felt that dealing with an issue such as the reburial or grave of Levski was not significant enough. ” should not be read as evidence for neglect of Levski as a historical figure. 62 The phrase can be taken as an illustration of a particular Zeitgeist. It can be interpreted in the framework of a relatively weak nationalism or at least a nationalism that is comparatively less vocal and demonstrable, and not so obsessed with its symbolic repertoire.

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