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Interview with Dimitar Hristov

Dimitar Hristov, an award-winning Bulgarian poet, playwright and literary translator, believes that as a writer he has to be continually experimenting to find the right voice and style for his new writing.

 

“Style comes when you find yourself. I do not stop searching, experimenting, I do not get tired of taking risks, but I know more and more how to reach the goal, the integrity of a work. Both before and now I try to be as honest as possible in transforming not only my thoughts and feelings, but also those that excite people,” he said, speaking ahead of his participation at the 5th EU-China International Literary Festival.

 

“The writer learns and improves his whole life in the ability to write. But the ability to challenge destiny, by not coming to terms with the problems of the individual and humanity, makes his mind and heart vulnerable, but also bold.”

 

Hristov is a versatile writer and has also found literary success in the realm of theatre and drama.

 

“Yes, I like to change genres and means of expression. By the way, there can be drama in poetry and vice versa. My monodrama “Marilyn Monroe – Triumph and Agony” was played the most. I am the author of several chamber plays and it is difficult for me to break into the theatrical community, but I do not despair,” he said.

 

“I notice the crisis processes in the temple of Melpomene,” he said, referring to one of the nine Greek muses and the patron of tragedy, “and I do not stop looking for like-minded people for higher aesthetic criteria.”

 

An accomplished literary translator, Hristov said the process of translating poetry can prove to be a “cruel” challenge at times.

 

“The translation of poetry is a cruel creative game – dialogue, chasing the original, walking on a rope between two shores – two languages. Co-authorship is inevitable, and it takes not only erudition, it takes love and respect.”

 

Hristov is currently Director of the Union of Bulgarian Writers and he has been deeply involved with the organisation for many years, which he feels plays a critical role in supporting Bulgaria’s writers.

 

“Our Writers’ Union has existed for 107 years, has good traditions and unites talented people. The so-called market principle inflicts great damage on real artists, on non-commercial art,” he said.

 

“We strive to develop the literary life in the absence of funding and minimal royalties. Society, government, the rich are indebted to writers, and we strive to increase opportunities for expression, for publishing books, for publications, for translations of Bulgarian authors abroad.”

 

Speaking ahead of the EU-China Literary Festival, Hristov offered his congratulations and admiration to the other participating writers.

 

“I would like to congratulate my colleagues from China and the countries of the European Union for their strength and self-denial to work for beauty and harmony through literature,” he said.

 

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Dimitar Hristov will join Chinese writer Wen Zhen on Sunday, December 6 at 5pm (Beijing time) to discuss “The Writer’s Life”. In conversation with Berlinka. (This event will be in Bulgarian and Chinese.)

 

EU-China-litfest 26: The Writer’s Life

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