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Gospodinov, Georgi

Entry updated 29 May 2023. Tagged: Author.

(1968-    ) Bulgarian poet, playwright and author, much of whose work portrays modern Europe as a labyrinth riddled by time, some of the narrative elements involved clearly originating in Fantastika. Two of his translated works are of interest. The "pathological empathy" endured by the protagonist of Fizika na tagata (2012; trans Angela Rodel as The Physics of Sorrow 2015) works effectively as a form of Time Travel through his reliving the life experiences of his grandfather, evoking intense visions of life in the twentieth century. Sharing the same protagonist, Vremeubezhishte (2020; trans Angela Rodel as Time Shelter 2022) begins as a Pandemic (which can be identified with Covid) ravages Europe, inducing Gaustine to become involved in a nationwide retreat to various and intersecting better times, usually some point in the 1980s, where fond memory becomes something real. The overriding portrait – of strangled populations avoiding the bad futures so easy to anticipate under lockdown – neatly represents the power of the fantastic to make sense of the "real". Some Satirical points are made when nations conduct referendums, on the model of events in "Great Brexitania", to determine which bolthole seems safest to the majority. The novel won the International Booker Prize in 2023. [JC]

Georgi Gospodinov

born Yambol, Bulgaria: 7 January 1968

works (highly selected)

  • Fizika na tagata (Plovdiv, Bulgaria, Zhanet 45, 2012) [binding unknown/]
  • Vremeubezhishte (Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Zhanet 45, 2020) [binding unknown/]
    • Time Shelter (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2022) [trans by Angela Rodel of the above: hb/]


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