On Wednesday Prof. Valeri Stefanov presented his new book “Love Stories from the Library of Babel” to more than 100 devout readers and friends at the Peroto bookshop. The start of the promotion was announced for 19h, but the audience had taken its place much earlier than the opening hour.
Among the guests were painter Svetlin Rusev, the General manager of Razvitie Corportaion Mr. Alexander Alexandrov, literary critic representatives, and journalists. Excerpts of the book were read by the popular actor Valentin Tanev, and after the presentation everyone who purchased the book received autographs with messages from the writer.
About the Book
The biblical story of David and Bathsheba is found somewhere in the librabry of Babel. King David fancied Bathsheba, he seduced her, killed her hisband Uriah and took her as his wife. From this sinful marriage, in the eyes of God, the wise King Solomon was born – the magnificence of ancient Hebrew glory, and its esoteric depth.
The book “Love stories from the library of Babel” re-creates six versions of the famous biblical story. Exercises in style, but rather exercises in meaning. A study of passion and adultery, of faithfulness, love and death…The biblical love drama is told by means of the stylistics and peculiar artistic worlds of six great writers of the twentieth century – Jaroslav Hasek, Franz Kafka, Andrei Platonov, Jorge Luis Borges, Jerome.D.Salinger, and Robert M. Pirsig.
About the author
Valeri Stefanov is a professor of history and Bulgarian literature at the Sofia University St.Kliment Ohridski – Doctor of philological sciences. He is the author of fifteen literary study books – “The Labirynths of thought”, “The Literary Institution”, “The Destiny of Babel”, “XX Century Bulgarian Literature”, “Bulgarian Verbal Culture”, “The Devil”, “The four authors of “Don Quixote””, etc. In 2004 he published his first novel – “The Lost Donkeys”. He’s the winner of the “Southern Spring” award for first-published literary critic work, the award of the Association of Bulgarian writers for his literary criticism book “Creation - a place in the World”, the Sofia award for the novel “Someone Underneath”, the “Book Knight” award of the “Bulgarian Book” Association, etc.
Valeri Stefanov answered a few questions for Razvitie.bg:
Is humanity predestined to repeat biblical scenarios?
Biblical stories are universal, and this is the reason humankind has read them with devotion for thousands of years. These are stories of passion and death, of faith and doubt, of love and eminence. We cannot avoid the groove of these tales, and will keep walking in it.
What was your personal gain from this book?
“Love Stories from the Library of Babel” gave me the pleasure to get involved with the literary works of some of my favorite writers. It faced me with the intellectual challenge to build my own versions based on their worlds and stylistics. And, above all, it opened up the opportunity for me to probe into the emotional culture and mental attitudes of the twentieth century. It’s important to know and remember them, as the twenty-first century is going to be different.
What was the topic of your conversation with Mr. Alexandrov?
We’ve been working with Mr. Alexandrov for many years now, and he has taken exceptional care of Bulgarian literature. We discussed the opportunity to open up some more windows to the world for Bulgarian books. Specifically, we discussed translating “Love Stories…” into English, as well as opportunities for the book to reach a wider range of readers with the help of foreign publishers.