Gospodinov, GeorgiPrint This Post
Georgi Gospodinov was born in 1968 and is a poet, writer and playwright, one of the most-translated Bulgarian authors after 1989. His first poetry book, Lapidarium (1992), won the National Debut Prize. It was followed by The Cherry Tree of One People (1996), which captured the Best Book of the Year Prize from the Bulgarian Writers’ Association. Two other poetry books followed: Letters to Gaustin (2003) and the collected volume Balads and Maladies (2007). His poems have been published in many international anthologies, most recently in New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008); A Balkan Exchange. Eight Poets from Bulgaria and Britain (Arc Publications, 2007); A Fine Line. New Poetry from Eastern & Central Europe (Arc Publications, 2004). His most recent book in German is the poetry volume Kleines morgendliches Verbrechen, Droschl Verlag, 2010.
However, Gospodinov’s Natural Novel (1999; English version: 2005) is the book that has gained international acclaim. It has already been reprinted seven times in Bulgaria and translated into 17 languages, including English (Dalkey Archive Press, 2005), German, French, Spanish, Czech, Italian, Danish, and Serbian, among others.
The New Yorker described it as an “anarchic, experimental debut,” The Times as a “humorous, melancholy and highly idiosyncratic work.” According to The Guardian, it is “both earthy and intellectual.”
The German edition (2007), met with a good critical response as well. FAZ qualified it as a “small and elegant masterpiece.” Neue Zürcher Zeitung called Gospodinov a “humorist of desperation.”
Gospodinov’s volume of short stories, And Other Stories (2001), has been translated into English, French, German, Czech, and Italian, among other languages. In 2007, the English version of the collection was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Award. Gospodinov’s stories have been included in the anthologies Best European Fiction 2010 (ed. Aleksandar Hemon, Dalkey Archive Press) and Passport to Crime. The Finest Mystery Stories from International Crime Writers (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, 2007).
Gospodinov’s play D.J. (the initials stand for Don Juan) won the prize for Play of the Year 2004. It has been staged in Sofia, France and Austria. His new play, The Apocalypse Comes at 6 pm, has been staged in Sofia, 2010, and won the National Award Askeer for the Best Dramatic Text of the Year. The play has been selected by the European Theatre Convention (ETC) and it was chosen from among 300 plays for the International theater festival hotINK at the LARK, New York, 2011. A radio-version of The Apocalypse Comes at 6 pm has been produced by the Bulgarian National Radio.
Georgi Gospodinov has written screenplays for short feature films, including Omelette (4.44’), which won with Sundance Jury Honourable Mention at the Sundance Film Festival 2009 (International Shorts Competition Program).
Gospodinov edited I’ve Lived Socialism. 171 personal stories (2006), a collection of ordinary people’s memories of socialist times. His work in this field continued with the Inventory Book of Socialism (2006, co-authored with Y. Genova), a catalogue of Bulgarian everyday life objects from the period 1956-1989. Both works were among the most debated and bestselling books in Bulgaria.
He is the author of a graphic novel The Eternal Fly (2010, with the artist N. Toromanov), and a collection of essays and stories entitled Invisible Crises (2013).
One of his latest books, the novel The Physics of Sorrow, came out in Bulgaria in December 2011. It won the 2011/2012 Bulgarian Novel of the Year Award of the National Endowment Fund ‘13 Centuries Bulgaria’, the 2012 National Award ‘Hristo G. Danov’ for best fiction, the 2012 City of Sofia Award for Literature and the 2012 Readers’ Prize ‘Flower of Helicon’ for bestselling book of the year.
In 2014, the novel was a finalist for four international literary prizes. In Italy, Fisica della malinconia (Voland Edizioni, 2013), translated by Giuseppe Dell’Agata, was shortlisted for Premio Strega Europeo in Rome and Premio Gregor von Rezzori in Florence. In Germany, Physik der Schwermut (Droschl Verlag, 2014), translated by Alexander Sitzmann, was shortlisted for Haus der Kulturen der Welt International Book Prize and for Brueke Berlin Award. Recently, Physique de la mélancolie (Éditions Intervalles, 2015), translated by Marie Vrinat-Nikolov, came out in France. The novel was widely reviewed in Europe. “This book is madness… extraordinary and restless” (Berliner Zeitung).
In 2015, The Physics of Sorrow was published also in the USA by Open Letter Books, translated by Angela Rodel. According to The New Yorker, “As Gospodinov conceives it, the Bulgarian word tuga (… “sorrow”) is, like Pamuk’s hüzün or Nabokov’s toska…”.
So far, The Physics of Sorrow has been published in English, German, French, Italian, Serbian and Slovenian, and is forthcoming in Dutch, Danish and Arabian.
Gospodinov has a Ph.D. and is a researcher at the Literature Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; he was also a columnist for the daily newspaper Dnevnik. He has taken part in many literary readings and festivals in the UK, Germany, France, Portugal and other places all over Europe.
In 2008, he was a guest writer for the Berliner Kuenstler program, DAAD.
Books published abroad
• Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov (list of foreign editions):
- Naturlig roman, translated by Yordanka og Rune Bruteig, Oslo: Bokvennen Forlag AS, Norway, 2011;
- Natūralus romanas, iš bulgarų kalbos vertė Gintarė Kubilickaitė, Vilnius: Baltos lankos, Lithuania, 2010;
- Естественный роман, перевод с болгарского Марии Ширяевой, Иностранная литература, Russia, 2011;
- Doğal Roman, translated by Hasine Şen, Istanbul: Apollon, Turkey, 2010;
- Powieść naturalna; przeł. Marta Hożewska-Todorow. – Sejny : Fundacja Pogranicze, Poland, 2009;
- Una novela natural, translated by Neva Mícheva, J.M. Rodríguez Tobal, Barcelona: Saymon Ediciones, Spain, 2009;
- Dabiskais romāns, translated by Dens Dimins, Riga: Janis Roze publishers, Latvia, 2008;
- Natuerlicher Roman, translated by Alexander Sitzmann, Graz: Droschl, Austria, 2007;
- Romanzo naturale, translated by Daniela Di Sora, Irina Stoilova, Roma: Voland, Italy, 2007;
- En Naturlig Roman, translated by Helle Dalgaard, Arhus: Husets Forlag, Denmark, 2006;
- Natural Novel, translated by Zornica Hristova, Normal, London: Dalkey Archive Press, USA, 2005;
- Naravni roman, translated by Borut Omerzel, Ljubljana: Beletrina, Slovenia, 2005;
- Prirodni roman, translated by Tatjana Dunkova and Ksenija Markovic, Zagreb: Profil, Croatia, 2005;
- Prirozeny roman, translated by Ivana Srbkova, Praha: Lidove Noviny, Chech Republic, 2005;
- Природен роман, translated by Nikola Majirov, Skopje: Templum, Macedonia, 2003, 2004;
- Un roman naturel, traduit du bulgare par Marie Vrinat, Paris: Editions Phebus, France, 2002;
- Prirodni roman, translated by Marija-Joanna Stojadinovic, Beograd: Geopoetika, Serbia, 2001.
• The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov (list of foreign editions):
- De wetten van de melancholie, translated by Hellen Kooijman, Amsterdam: Ambo/Anthos, The Netherlands, 2015;
- Fizika žalosti, translated by Borut Omerzel, Ljubljana: Beletrina, Slovenia, 2015;
- The Physics of Sorrow, translated by Angel Rodel, Rochester, NY: Open Letter Books, USA, 2015;
- Physique de la mélancolie, translated by Marie Vrinat-Nikolov, Paris: Éditions Intervalles, France, 2015;
- Physik der Schwermut, translated by Alexander Sitzmann, Berlin: Droschl Verlag, 2014;
- Fizika tuge, translated by Ivana Stouchkov, Belgrade: Geopoetika, Serbia, 2013;
- Fisica della malinconia, translated by Giuseppe Dell’Agata, Roma: Voland, Italy, 2013.
- I inne historie, translated by Magdalena Pytlak, Sejny: Pogranicze, Poland, 2011;
- I druge priče, prevela s bugarskog Ivana Stoičkov, Belgrad: Geopoetika, Serbia, 2011;
- …e altre storie, traduzione di Giuseppe Dell’Agata, Roma: Voland edizioni, Italy, 2008;
- And Other Stories, translated by Alexis Levitin and Magdalena Levy, Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, USA, 2007;
- I drugi prikazni, translated by Nikola Madzhirov, Skopje: Templum, Macedonia, 2006;
- Gaustín oder Der Mensch mit den vielen Namen, Aus dem Bulgarischen von Alexander Sitzmann, Wien: Wieser Verlag, Austria, 2004;
- Gaustin neboli Clovek s mnoha jmeny, translated by Ivana Srbkova, Praha: Lidove Noviny, Chech Republic, 2004;
- L’alphabet des femmes, traduit du bulgare par Marie Vrinat, Paris: Arlea, France, 2003.
- Kleines morgendliches Verbrechen. Gedichte, translated by Alexander Sitzmann, Graz: Droschl, Austria, 2010;
- O coelho do amor, translated by Zlatka Timenova-Valtcheva, Petar Petrov, Roma Editora, Lisbon, Portugal 2010;
- Lapidárium, translated by Ondřej Zajac, Praha: Literární salon, Czech Republic, 2009.
- Kino. The Poetry of Nikola Vaptsarov. Edited by Georgi Gospodinov, Middlesbrough: Smokestack Books, UK, 2007.
Books In Bulgarian
- Nevidimite krizi [Invisible Crises], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2013;
- Fizika na tagata [Physics of Sorrow], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2011;
- D.J.; Apokalipsisyt idva v 6 vecherta. Piesi [D.J.; The Apocalypse Comes at 6 p.m. Plays], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2010;
- Vechnata muha [The Eternal Fly], art comics (with Nikola Toromanov), Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2010;
- O, Henry. 3 koledni istorii [O, Henry. 3 Christmas Stories], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2008;
- Baladi i razpadi [Ballads and Maladies], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2007;
- Inventarna kniga na socializma [Inventory Book of Socialism], by Georgi Gospodinov and Yana Genova, Sofia: Prosveta, 2006;
- Az zhivjah socializma. 171 lichni istorii [I Have Lived Socialism. 171 Personal Stories], edited by Georgi Gospodinov (Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2006);
- Poezia i media: Kino, radio i reklama u Vaptsarov i poetite na 40-te godini na XX vek [Poetry and Media: Cinema, Radio, and Advertisement in the Works of Nikola Vaptsarov and the Poets of the 1940s], Sofia: Prosveta, 2005;
- Pisma do Gaustin [Letters to Gaustin], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2003;
- I drugi istorii [And Other Stories], Plovdiv: Janet 45, 2001;
- Estestven Roman [Natural Novel], Sofia: Korporacia Razvitie, 1999;
- Chereshata na edin narod [The Cherry Tree of One People], Sofia: Svobodno Poetichesko Obshtestvo, 1996;
- Lapidarium [Lapidarium], Yambol: Modus Stoyanov, 1992.
- Peonies and Forget-Me-Nots by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Alexis Levitin, Magdalena Levi
- The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel
- A Review of Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov, The Believer Magazine, June, 2005
- And Other Stories by Georgi Gospodinov, Complete Review
- And Other Stories, Welt Literature Today, 2008, 7-8
- Natural Novel by Georgi Gospodinov, Complete Review
- Please Buy and Read Georgi Gospodinov’s Natural Novel Immediately, Transcript Review, 2007
- The Bulgarian Sadness of Georgi Gospodinov, The New Yorker, 17 April 2015
- Georgi Gospodinov:
- The Apocalypse Comes At 6 pm (a play) by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel
- D.J. (a play) by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Dimiter Kenarov