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Ancient Bulgarians Census (ZOOM seminar)

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

My new novel „Ancient Bulgarians Census” is a political satire with elements of adventure and romantic comedy. It started as a movie project but gradually acquired the texture of the prose. The “quest for roots” is the core theme around which issues of corruption, demographic crisis, fears of migration and lack of democracy revolve. The story takes an ironic approach to the phenomenon of rising nationalism in Eastern Europe and tries to see it in the broader context of the search for identity – a trend unfolding on various levels in post-modern societies all over the world. The plot is set in an imaginary land: the remotе post-soviet republic of Turan, the supposed cradle of ancient Bulgarians, ruled by an unscrupulous local autocrat.
My talk will focus on the creative challenges and the research methods in the process of writing. How did the concept evolve and how and why did I construct this imaginary space which at the same time remained true to the real context. In order to better understand my characters, I followed up their steps on a long journey in Central Asia which gave me unique practical experience. And at the next stage of my research, it was somehow exciting to read about the Hungarian travelers to the East and their exploits in search of the ancient Magyars' roots. I would try to explain how this new knowledge has enhanced the scope of my vision and enriched my narrative.