Fictitious Anthologies in (Post-)Modern Bulgarian Literature: The Creation of the Canon as Art

Fictitious anthologies simulate the collecting of representative works or masterpieces by inventing them and mystifying the authorship. They use the normative authority of the meta-genre of anthology to propagate and canonize individual stylistic directions as well as overarching aesthetics or even national literatures, or to question this canon in a playful and subversive way. Fictitious anthologies are thus acts of performative creation and carnivalesque critique of canons. As such they play a central role in Bulgarian literature from the national revival until post-modernity, from the mystified folk song collection of the Veda Slovena to the fake anthologies of the post-socialist transition period. Using a comparative perspective, the research project aims to extrapolate and examine the normative functions and aesthetic specifics of this Bulgarian “art of anthology” (S. Igov). The research will focus on the following questions: Which function does this playing with anthology serve across epochs in the national canon-building of Bulgarian literature in times of aesthetic paradigm change? How can the respective anthology projects comparatively be embedded in (post-)modern mystification aesthetics considering their problematization of authorship, originality and plagiarism? To what extent can they be interpreted as a mimicry strategy in terms of post-colonial cultural theory, through which concepts of the own and the foreign are played out using genre theories and from the perspective of the cultural periphery? The research project will answer these questions through a diachronic study of fictitious anthologies in Bulgarian literature from the national revival to post-modernity. At the same time it positions the Bulgarian anthology games within the matrices of European mystification policies, as manifested in James Macpherson’s invention of the Gaelic Ossian in English “translation” (1760-1765) or Valerij Brjusov’s forging of the Russian symbolists (1894-1895). The project thereby provides a contribution to the study of Bulgarian and Slavic literature, that is relevant for general and comparative literary studies as well, such as in the field of current research on canon questions, mystification theory and pseudotranslation.

Schmidt, Henrike Dr. (Details) (East Slavic Literatures und Cultures)

Duration of Project
Start date: 09/2016
End date: 11/2020

Research Areas
European and American Literature, General and Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies

Research Areas
cultural history

Last updated on 2021-04-01 at 17:44