Georgi Bardarov is a Bulgarian scientist and writer. He is Associate Professor of Ethno-religious Conflicts and Demography and Vice-Dean of the Geology and Geography Department at Sofia University. He founded and co-hosts the most successful course on the art of public speaking and oratory in Bulgaria. He is also part of the creative team of the publishing and production company Musagena. In 2015, Bardarov won the first intellectual reality TV show for writers in Bulgaria, called The Manuscript, which resulted in the publication of his debut novel, Аз още броя дните (I Am Still Counting the Days). The book is based on a true love story between a Bosnian Muslim and a Christian Serb amid the siege of Sarajevo during the Bosnian war. It was the winner of the PEN Club Award and was also nominated for novel of the year in Bulgaria. In 2020, Bardarov published his second novel, Absolvo Te. The book, inspired by two true stories, explores the abyss between two nations with common origins that have been waging fratricidal war for decades.
EUPL Year 2021 | Winning Book
The novel ‘Absolvo Te’ deals with four plots lines that examine philosophical questions relating to crime, punishment and forgiveness from different points of view. There are two space–time continuums in the novel: the first relates to the Holocaust and the horrors of Nazi Germany’s concentration camps, the second to the Arab-Israeli conflict in the 1970s and 1980s. Each storyline has several subplots incorporating minor characters while also following the life of the main character, Max, over a period of 60 years. The author uses the devices of ‘story in story’, ‘retrospection’, ‘visualisation’ and ‘journey as suffering’. In the novel, a psychological anti-logic penetrates the depths of the human soul, where good and evil live simultaneously, while the thirst for revenge fights against the sudden epiphany that forgiveness is a possible way out. This is a novel of hyperrealism – the events are so dramatic that they go beyond normal notions of what constitutes realism in fiction. The unifying theme is the internal conviction with which each of the characters defends themselves. The main message is about forgiveness, but the reader is left with a sense of historical pessimism. The novel offers a new perspective on the traditional reading of key historical events.
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