Bulgarian Rhapsody

灵岩
The Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov is a novel of beginnings, and surprisingly lacking a conclusive end. It’s evolves into the natural history of the toilets after talking about a man named Georgi Gospodinov whose wife was pregnant with a child of another man. The natural novel is characterized this book is a novel that describes nothing, which is something this novel exactly does. A series of new beginnings start with each small sections, and the character Georgi has so many random coincidences with those described in the novel, a kind of apocalyptic or predestined doom. Toilets are being described as this heavenly world, the last haven of civilization, where private apocalypses dictate. The concept of forgetting and remembering is of crucial importance here the author constantly evokes the remembrance of personal tragedies with social accidents such as the Prague Spring of 1968, and the extol of nation over everything. The author also purposely evokes Salinger, Eliot, and Bart...
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The Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov is a novel of beginnings, and surprisingly lacking a conclusive end. It’s evolves into the natural history of the toilets after talking about a man named Georgi Gospodinov whose wife was pregnant with a child of another man. The natural novel is characterized this book is a novel that describes nothing, which is something this novel exactly does. A series of new beginnings start with each small sections, and the character Georgi has so many random coincidences with those described in the novel, a kind of apocalyptic or predestined doom. Toilets are being described as this heavenly world, the last haven of civilization, where private apocalypses dictate. The concept of forgetting and remembering is of crucial importance here the author constantly evokes the remembrance of personal tragedies with social accidents such as the Prague Spring of 1968, and the extol of nation over everything. The author also purposely evokes Salinger, Eliot, and Barthes to evoke particular emotions. We are always forgetting something original, remembering the ideas and forgetting the words. There is a forgetting of pleasure involved in the story, where Bulgaria became this place of sadness where there lacks an end to the pursuit of meaning in life. The husband-wife relationship was depicted to its most inconceivable ways. Ironic things keep repeating themselves in a way to make the protagonist desperate, and the novel of natural history seems to have a multi-angle way of seeing the world, just like the flies. There is a fly in the human body as well. The bible of flies was mentioned as to stress the importance of seeing the life from the way of the flies. The fragmented observation technique used naturally by the flies seems to resemble the structure of the entire novel.

Men are oblivious to their own beginnings, and that produces a necessity to chronicle such beginnings, although random and characterized as nothing. The futility of life is exhibited: Anancasm, the relationship between history and botany (botanists are the natural historians), and the ironic fact that life is still normal after the advent of catastrophes. Pointless conversations are pinpointed with the lack of meanings, as the swarms of flies of 1968 that ultimately contributed to nothing.

How should novel freed itself from its traditional counterparts? Gospodinov provided us with a new answer. The concept of natural history, the flies, the toilets all constitute a specific meaning through the ostensibly nihilistic representation of the world – a complication where the meaning is forgotten and nonentity becomes part of the important discourse that keeps life move on. This Bulgarian sadness, the sadness of human futility and meaninglessness, is observed through the multifactional eyes of the flies.
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