Катица Кюлявкова

Intertextual dialogue in contemporary Bulgarian poetry


    The theory of intertextuality shifted the focus of the literary scene from the literary influence towards the (critical) dialogue with tradition, and not only the literary one, but also the cultural one. Intertextual dialogue is a meeting/contact, a replica, a quote, a reminiscence, but also a conflict between two views of the world, between two discourses and two types of poetics. This conflict can take the form of parody, the grotesque, travesty, and carnivalization. Intertextual dialogue represents at least two authors’ perspectives and implies a temporal, cultural and stylistic distance. The author updates, but also revises the literary (archive, memory, oblivion) and cultural memory (collective, conscious, institutional, unconscious). It can be given in the form of quotation, remake, and evocative replica (zero dialogicity), but also (in the form of) revision and irony (high dialogicity). Poetry, traditionally defined as a monologic genre, practices intertextual dialogue as a strategy of performative reminiscence. Modernist and postmodernist intertextuality in contemporary Bulgarian poetry are a reflection of the local and regional socio-cultural and aesthetic environment. This interpretive essay makes a typology of intertextual dialogue in contemporary Bulgarian poetry with modernist and postmodernist characteristics: Lyubomir Levchev, Alexander Shurbanov, Georgi Gospodinov, Roman Kisyov, and Lyudmila Mindova.