Category Archives: Bulgaria

Radoj Kirov – Bulgarian Rhymed Short Stories

Many years ago I got a book full of lovely rhymed short stories. They were written by Bulgarian children author, Radoj Kirov. He was born on February 6, 1916, and studied Engineering in Prague, Bratislava, and Sophia. I have no idea if he had any success as an engineer because he was to be better known as a poet and writer. He began to write, while still at school, and as a student actively protested against the Fascist regime. He seriously took to write after the Revolution of September 9th, 1944: first he composed poems for politically-savvy adult audiences, tried his hand at satyrical writing, and eventually came to write for kids. His poetry was translated in many languages, not only European.

As he noted in a short address to the book I have at home, when he compared his childhood with that of later generations, he could not believe how many kids were spoilt so much that they expected their parents to do everything for them. No wonder that some of the stories in the book “Слънце в торба” (Sun in the Basket) are about children who don’t look after themselves, their house, and so beget some “punishment” for being too careless or lazy.

And then there are others, poetic, romantic, witty, like How Echo Appeared (read it in Bulgarian). Or the one below, in Russian translation, An Adventure in the Skies.

Радой Киров, Приключение в небесах (перевод Л. Дымова)

Пошел погулять я на луг серебристый, сорвал одуванчик большой и пушистый и поднял его над собой, будто зонтик, тучу заметив на горизонте.

Но тут налетел ветер яростный южный, и я полетел, как на шаре воздушном, над домом и лесом, над горною кручей, навстречу далеким клубящимся тучам. И облако вскоре догнало меня. Как было похоже оно на коня! Я прыгнул на белую спину его, и мы понеслись, не боясь ничего.

А там, над горой, где ночуют туманы, уже собрались облака-великаны и сумрачных туч кочевая орда. А мой белый конь мчался прямо туда! Тут гром загремел – и зловещ, и тревожен, но сразу я выхватил шпагу из ножен. И молниями небеса осветились, но в тот же момент наши шпаги скрестились!

Но вы-то, друзья, понимаете сами: нельзя одному воевать с небесами. Пройдет всего-навсего десять минут – и в плен меня грозные тучи возьмут!..

Но в это мгновение вдруг из-за тучи – поверите ль? – выглянул солнечный лучик, увидел мой луг серебристый вдали и сразу с улыбкой коснулся земли.

По этому лучику, как по веревке, на луг серебристый спустился я ловко. И вот перед вами я – цел, невредим, и снова по травам иду золотым, и тучи вдали не пугают меня…

Но жалко мне белого чудо-коня.

And someone copied the illustrations from this book, by Kiro Mavrov. Enjoy!

Фотографии в альбоме «Радой Киров “Солнце в корзинке”» blagorodendon на Яндекс.Фотках

Солнце в корзинке-1

Roses, Postcards, and Raimonds Pauls

As the author of the IMDb.com review points out, you wouldn’t find a single person not in love with the story told in the TV series, The Long Road in the Sand-hills (1980). It was shot in Latvia, directed by Aloiz Brench, with a score by Raimonds Pauls.

Raimonds Pauls has long been one of the best-loved Soviet composers, and I grew up listening not only to “adult” songs he wrote for established performers, like Alla Pugacheva, Laima Vaikule, Valery Leontiev, Jaak Joala, but also to the songs he composed for the children choir and band “A little cuckoo“, of which he has long been the head. Just as Mikael Tariverdiev brought the classical air to his compositions, so did Pauls successfully bridged the Soviet and Western music. As a pianist, he performed Gershwin and Scott Joplin, among others.

The postcards you are about to see has been my Mum’s life-long passion. She received her own postcard with a rose from her aunt in 1967, but the earliest postcard in this video actually dates back to 1961, and was printed in Bulgaria. As she recalls, in the early 1960s quite a lot of Bulgarian postcards circulated in the Soviet Union. The postcards from a would-be 16th republic were glossy, a novelty for the Soviet postal cards market that was saturated with paper cards. Since then my mother has been collecting these postcards that were sent to her by friends and colleagues from all corners of the U.S.S.R. It was her, as well, who scanned and remastered those postcards that required a bit of love.