After Brussels, Georgi Grozdevís Novel Prey Goes to Paris
On Feb 23, at 7pm, the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in Paris hosted the presentation of Georgi Grozdevís novel Prey and its French translation. The audience was comprised of fans of Bulgarian literature, both Bulgarian and French, living in the French capital. After a short introduction of the author made by the translator Krassimir Kavaldjiev, the publisher Emmanuelle Moysan (Le Soupirail) shared her impressions of the book and delivered an interesting professional analysis of the masterfulness of the text.
She emphasized the role of metaphysics in Georgi Grozdevís prose and the particular presence of myth. She described the novel Prey as ďan unusual piece of work in which the author, through his narrative, offers a genuine metaphysical contemplation of the fate of man. This contemplation leads to something more powerful than man Ė to myth, thus making Georgi Grozdevís literary universe akin to the imaginary worlds of Albert Camus and Michel Tournier, quite an exclusive dimension of the authorís style.Ē
Krassimir Kavaldjiev pointed out the complexity of translating the laconic multi-layered sentences. He dwelled on their dynamics and intensity of variations of verb tenses which cannot be translated literally into the French language. It required almost a co-authorial contribution and high professionalism.
Parallel excerpts were read from the Bulgarian and French versions. Ms Emmanuelle Moysan asked Georgi Grozdev if had planned the trilogy which started with Prey, passed through Unneeded (translated into German), and for now stops with Entropy. The author summarized the ideas of his novels thus: in an age of preying, spiritual people who are untempted by the materialness of everyday life are unneeded and then the centrifuge of entropy appears which sweeps everything up in its path. In Entropy the characters transcend the dimensions of the literal and arrive at a point even before they have left for it Ė an echo of a famous quantum physics paradox.
The paradoxes of present and past times were also the topic of the open conversation with the audience while enjoying a glass of French wine. Georgi Grozdev compared his fresh impressions from the Museum of Honoré de Balzac with those from the Museum of Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky in St. Petersburg which he had visited a while back. The depth and scope of the novels of the two great writers runs in sharp contrast to their material misfortunes. Even the size of their humble offices, as well as their writing desks, is the same. Balzacís desk is almost as wide as the chair he sat on working for 24 hours on end under a different name to elude his creditors. Regarding this, the French classic writes that his desk is ďa witness to my pain, to my misfortunes, to my desperation and joy, to everything that I am.Ē
The guests expressed their gratitude to the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in the face of its director Ms Diana Ignatova. Georgi Grozdev donated first editions of his novels to the Instituteís library, including his latest one about China. He also donated a volume of The Disappearing Kind. Meetings with Masters. which is dedicated to the great Bulgarian writers Yordan Radichkov, Ivailo Petrov, Vera Mutafchieva, Gencho Stoev, Georgi Mishev.
From the French Publishing House