The article presents the analysis of a novel by Stefan Canev 'Mravki i BOGOVE. Khronika na XX vek' (Ants and Gods. The Chronicle of the Twentieth Century). The novel is an attempt at reckoning with the passing century. In his multidirectional and intracultural discourse Canev seeks to clarify the relationship between the cultural tradition of the Bulgarians and their understanding of history. To achieve this, Canev reevaluates notions mythicalised in the 20th C. reflection on national heritage, such as: protobulgarism, paganism, bogomilism. The construction of the world presented in the novel points to their role as an active culture creating force. Manichaean picture of the earth as a Satan's dominion becomes an antithesis to the Enlightenment view of history driven by the idea of progress. Due to the allegoric expression created in the Canev's work by a circle of repetitions, history appears to be not a mechanism of eternal life and progress but a process of fading, decay and disillusion of historical ethos.
G. Szwat-Gylybowa, Instytut Slawistyki PAN, ul. Bartoszewicza 1b, m. 17, 00-337 Warszawa, Poland
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