For the last few months I have been working on getting funding for a project based on Bulgarian author Aleko Konstantinov the author of To Chicago and Back which is a travelogue based on his 1893 trip to the Chicago World’s fair. He was assassinated by a pistol shot to the heart years later in 1897 and his pierced heart is exhibited today in his house in Svishtov.
it really is fucking strange. you ask me “Why Bulgaria?” and all I can do talk half-stupidly about “signs.” Just a feeling stemming from lots of little moments and coincidences that lead me to believe that I am somehow working on the right project at the right time of my life.
For example, I need help from a woman who received this same travel grant to Bulgaria that I am applying for. What did she research with her grant? the life and work of Mikhail Bulgakov, author of “The Master and Margarita” which is a book recently given to me by my good friend The Political Scientist.
In researching theaters in Bulgaria, I come across a site created by a fellow playwright, a Bulgarian playwright, and in reading his first play I find a reference to the role of performers in society and as a social lubricant, laxative, and anesthetic spoken by a young Harry Houdini who quotes a passage concerning the circus from the book “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” also given to me by my same dear friend, The Political Scientist!
So, there is no rationalism in this. It is not Bulgaria itself so much as a sticky little mess of a life that sits like a clump of damp lint with little charges of energy zipping around inside of it, bouncing off the static charges caused by its own internal frictions.
There is no Bulgaria, nor is there any choice.