ULYSSES AND HIS DOPPELGÄNGER (The Antiquity, the National Philosophy of Toncho Jechev and the Poetry of the 90-s)

Boyan Manchev

The paper inquires in the symptomatic appearance of Ulysses’ character in
Bulgarian culture during the last two decades. The structural elements of
Ulysses’ character that allow its integration in T. Jechev’s ideological essay The
Myth of Ulysses
are viewed. Ulysses’ double status as an exemplar Greek hero,
on the one hand, and as a hero of the departure from the domestic, on the other,
allows his figure to be used as a legitimation of the Bulgarian national project –
revealing Bulgarian culture as an inheritor of the universal culture of Antiquity,
yet at the same time testifying the difference from the latter.
The second part of the paper views at the appearance of Ulysses’ character
and of the arche-text of Odyssey in the Bulgarian poetry of the 90-s. This utterance is conceived as an implicit reaction not only against Jechev’s national ideology
but against binding the poetical with the political in general.

Published 1 October 2002
Original in English