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‘The Good,’ ‘The Bad,’ and ‘The Evil’ in the Socialist Novel: A Case Study of Two Bulgarian Novels

Metodiev, M; (2014) ‘The Good,’ ‘The Bad,’ and ‘The Evil’ in the Socialist Novel: A Case Study of Two Bulgarian Novels. Tropos , 1 (1) pp. 59-68. 10.14324/111.2057-2212.010. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper argues that during a period of severe ideological repressionin Bulgaria, namely the Stalinisation between 1948 and 1953, two novels were published that to a great extent successfully overturned totalitarian normative narratives. I claim that their success was due to the fact the authors depicted their characters on two levels. On the one hand, there was clear unity with the officialdom and its Marxist-Leninist proclamations, on the other hand, the authors expressed an open disunity with the regime by separating their characters from the norms of political reality. On this basis I present my main argument: that the authors of these novels, by effacing the differences between ‘the good,’ ‘the bad,’ and ‘the evil,’ actually redefined communist principles concerning the role of the individual within the political realm. I use an interdisciplinary methodology that consists of historical and literary analysis and aims to bring together the communist regime’s ideological construction of the role of the individual with the positioning of the characters from these novels.

Type: Article
Title: ‘The Good,’ ‘The Bad,’ and ‘The Evil’ in the Socialist Novel: A Case Study of Two Bulgarian Novels
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.14324/111.2057-2212.010
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/111.2057-2212.010
Language: English
Additional information: © Metodiev, M; (2014). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Characterisation, Political reality, Individual, Escapism, Stalinism
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1420207
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