The Ballad and its Presence in Hristo Botev’s Poetry Cover Image
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Баладата и нейното присъствие в поезията на Христо Ботев
The Ballad and its Presence in Hristo Botev’s Poetry

Author(s): Alexander Panov
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Институт за литература - BAN
Keywords: Ballad; Hristo Botev; Poetry

Summary/Abstract: This article attempts to give an overall answer to the question of the presence of the ballad as a genre and the ballad motifs as an important aspect of the fictional structure of the literary work in Botev’s poetry. Ever since the 1920s “Hadji Dimiter” has been qualified as a ballad in Bulgarian literary studies. There are even curious cases when the general characteristics of the ballad are described in such a way that they coincide with the structure of “Hadji Dimiter”. But the truth is that the role which is played by the ballad in Botev’s poetry is not clear enough. And this role is diverse and has many directions, as far as the general literary background of the Bulgarian Revival is full of ballad motifs - not only concerning typical motifs for the ballad, but also in the overall presence of the ballad in literary life. This cannot fail to influence the plots, the motifs, the figures of speech and the strategies of impact of Botev’s poetry. To avoid misunderstandings which go along with the usage of the term “ballad”, especially in the analysis of Botev’s work, a detailed definition of the essence of the European ballad is given in this article. This article uses Hans Robert Jauss’s scheme for describing a genre - model in four main directions - status of communication, world of understatement, attitude to tradition, and “place in life”. After that all possible aspects of the presence of the ballad and the ballad motifs in Botev’s poetry are described and the conclusion is reached that it is saturated with them, but in most cases the result is not a typical ballad, but more likely an argument and transformation of the ballad expectations into another unexpected direction. Of course, the author touches upon the question about the genre of “Hadji Dimiter”- the poem that seems to have grown together with the definition “ballad”.After a thorough analysis of its structure and comparison with the structure of the ode, the ballad and the epic song, one reaches the conclusion that “Hadji Dimiter” is not and cannot be a ballad, at least in the meaning which world literary studies attribute to this term.

  • Issue Year: 2010
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 5-70
  • Page Count: 65
  • Language: Bulgarian