Father in Son or Finishing the Unfinished – a comparative analysis of “The Fountain of the White-Legged” and “Ralitsa” Cover Image
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Бащата в сина или дотворяването на недотвореното – сравнителен анализ на „Изворът на Белоногата“ и „Ралица“
Father in Son or Finishing the Unfinished – a comparative analysis of “The Fountain of the White-Legged” and “Ralitsa”

Author(s): Kalina Vasileva
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Studies of Literature, Bulgarian Literature, Philology
Published by: Институт за литература - БАН
Keywords: Bulgarian literature; Bulgarian folklore; Bulgarian modernism; Petko Slaveykov; Pencho Slaveykov; traditional demonology; personal mythology

Summary/Abstract: The present study makes a comparative analysis of two works emblematic of Bulgarian literature – “The Fountain of the White-Legged Maiden” and “Ralitsa”. Both are poems, written on the basis of Bulgarian folklore motives, dealing with the tragic fate of two star-crossed love affairs. An interesting thing is that the two poems were written by father and son poets, both colossi of two epochs in the development of Bulgarian literature – Bulgarian Revival and Bulgarian Modernism. The study is founded on the supposition of clandestine rivalry between father and son on the literary field, as the son rebels against the father, striving to surpass him and impose a new set of literary canons to synchronize the nascent Bulgarian literature with European Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th century. The son (Pencho Slaveykov) takes the poem of his father (Petko Slaveykov) as a model, presumably with the intention to set an example how traditional means of expression, motives, ideas, beliefs etc. can be used and incorporated into modern poetry. Who wins this peculiar competition – the father, who does not question the anonymous genius of the people and uses the treasure trove of Bulgarian folklore freely to an extent of obliterating his own role as an author, or the son who reworks and recasts every bit of traditional views and approaches in order to shift the emphasis from the collective and the mythological to the individual and the psychological?

  • Issue Year: 65/2022
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 17-51
  • Page Count: 35
  • Language: Bulgarian