Bulgarian Folklore and Civilization
Bulgarian cultural heritage is unique in its combination of Slavic and Balkan features. In Bulgarian epic songs, music, folk costumes, calendar, customs, etc., survive myths, heroes and motifs – evidence from the deep and forgotten historical past. During the 19th century numerous folklorists with romantic enthusiasm have discovered this heritage, gathering songs, tales and legends. Among them are Shafaric, the Miladinov brothers, Verkovic and Shishmanov. In the 20th century we see a different process – modern authors exercised attempts to establish individual style, incorporating Bulgarian folklore in various genres. This tradition is seen even earlier, established by Karavelov, Botev and P. R. Slavejkov, although the folklore-based-modernity is typical for Vazov, P. P. Slavejkov, Yavorov, Yovkov, Elin-Pelin. In music such authors are Vladigerov and Stajnov; in painting – Markvichka and Vl. Dimitrov-Majstora. This course introduces students to fundamental issues about Bulgarian folk culture. In addition it looks at this transformation – from customs and everyday practices to modernity, which is in fact a combination of Western and some Eastern influences in South-Eastern Europe.