Believing that good literature is a remedy for being in a bad mood or a having a bad taste, the first Bulgarian edition of one of the world’s most famous and prestigious magazines for literature – Granta has been released on the market. Thereby Bulgarian is the fourth language next to English, Spanish and Italian, that the magazine will be published in. The magazine was established back in 1889 by Cambridge students. It is an edition about new literature, in which unpublished texts of debutants as well as locally and worldwide well-known authors will be published. The ratio in the Bulgarian edition will be 60 % translations/ 40% Bulgarian contemporary literature. Every issue will be thematically differentiated, as in Bulgaria the beginning will be set with “Future” – a subject which no other “Granta” edition has developed. Fragments from Roberto Bolaño, Carol Ann Duffy, Stephen King, Arthur Miller, Paul Auster, Wu Tsing are published, as well as texts from their Bulgarian colleagues – Krasimir Damianov, Hristo Kardjilov, Momchil Nikolov, Bogdan Rusev, Vladimir Sungarski and others. The cover is drawn by one of the best Bulgarian illustrators at the moment – Iasen Giuzelev. Now, with the idea to have a better look with hope for the future, let’s go back and find out from the editor-in-chief Svetlozar Zhelev himself how and why this prestigious magazine appeared in the Bulgarian market.
“This happened thanks to the “Elizabeth Kostova” foundation and the creative writing workshops, which the author organized – he says. – Last year editor-in-chief of Granta-International John Freeman was a special guest at one of the seminars . We spoke with him then and an opportunity to establish the magazine in Bulgarian arose. We immediately took advantage of making this idea a reality, because it places Bulgaria on the world map of literature. This has been my most important goal for years now – to popularize the Bulgarian literature abroad in spite of the difficulties. I hope that step by step, because Granta-Bulgaria is only a step in the right direction, we will succeed to place our authors and our literature to their due place on the map of the literary world.” – says Svetlozar Zhelev, who is publishing chief in one of the biggest publishing companies in the country.
The editorial team consists of world famous writer Ilia Troyanov, who was born in Bulgaria, and the most translated contemporary Bulgarian authors abroad Georgi Gospodinov and Alek Popov. Alek Popov himself admitted that he had sent for publishing the first English translations of his stories to the international edition of Granta. He facetiously says that now he will be able to keep a close eye on the rivalry and especially on the work of the young generation among the writers. The first edition has two new names – Zornitsa Garkova and Beloslava Dimitrova. Beloslava is just 25 years old, writes poetry and is our colleague of the BNR program “Hristo Botev”. According to Svetlio Zhelev both girls have an exceptional talent and a great future awaits them. He refused to compare our authors with the foreign ones who are featured in the first Bulgarian edition of Granta, because in his words every author has his own voice. “One can talk about small things with big words and this is the sense of literature” says Zhelev. As a prove that Bulgarian words tend to become bigger, the editor-in-chief pointed out the fact that yet last year the online-edition of Granta.com included texts from 7 Bulgarian writers.
“Another very important success is the 17th edition of the American literary magazine Absinthe, dedicated to Bulgaria. We had the pleasure to have the editor-in-chief Dwayne Hayes in Bulgaria to present personally the edition during this years creative writing workshop organized by the “Elizabeth Kostova” foundation, so that all these steps give us the opportunity to place our literature out of our everyday life and provincial context.”
On June 17 the editor-in-chief of the international edition of Granta John Freeman and the editor of the online edition Ted Hodgkinson will be on a visit in Bulgaria. Svetlozar Zhelev hopes that this meeting will be very useful for the Bulgarian authors. He hopes that the friendly talk will give answers to questions, related to topics such as contemporary literature, its publishing, the translation of authors writing in “smaller” languages. Granta-Bulgaria will come out twice a year for now. The online version www.granta.bg
is being intensely developed. The 2nd edition will appear on the book market around November 1 – The Enlightment Leaders’ Day with the subject Sex already chosen, just like in the 2nd editions in Italy and Spain. Whoever wants his text to be placed on the pages of the paper edition or the website of Granta-Bulgaria can send in his unpublished works related to the subject without genre restriction until July 31, 2012.