Thursday, August 06, 2009

Tragedy On Both Sides Of The Equation


The text below is a comment I found left by a forum user concerning the death of the Bulgarian actor Antonii Genov, three years ago - an actor of which I am a huge admirer. His characters were always highly intellectual, spiritually potent and strong with a melancholy disposition, mellow but captivating voice and careful, equanimous conduct. He was very popular during the Communist era though he went underground afterwards.

He died supposedly of alcoholism brought about by years of solitude and self-imposed exile.

I translated the comment and decided to post it here because I think it's nicely written and contains an exact and truthful vision of my beloved bastard of a country which I visited recently - a trip to which I may devote a separate post at some point.

Anyway, here it is:

"Antonii really was a great actor! Not just with his films roles, but his performances in the theatre too...
What killed him, like so many cultural figures, intellectuals and many other decent people from the various tiers of the social pyramid, was all that happened in Bulgaria after 10th Nevember 1989 (fall of communism), and which became a byword for disillusionment in the minds of people - the so-called 'democracy'. What killed all of them was the eventual structuring of the social system which differed hugely from what they imagined on their 'Aesop-style' theatrical stage and in the images and visions they painted with their quills, believing that there lay the future of the nation they belonged to. People perish like flies, overwhelmed and crushed by fundamental democratic reforms - that is death as imagined today. But the cyclically reproduced by the system greed, aggression, spiritual degradation; the nihilism offered to us by our politicians, serving the economic interests of their western and Russian mentors - all that will end up killing us and our children, slowly and stealthily. All this until we 'federalise' ourselves as a country, until Bulgarian becomes the second most popular language in the land of Asparuh, Simeon, Levski and Botev and we start dancing our folk dances in late-night clubs - some as emigrants in another country, others as spiritual emigrants in their own land."

Tragedy on both sides of the equation as I would like to call it - the worst kind of tragedy, no doubt. One thing leads to another, another leads to yet another. The end is but the betrayal of the beginning.

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