site.btaUPDATED Novelist Theodora Dimova Receives Sofia University Grand Literature Award
Bulgarian novelist, playwright and essayist Theodora Dimova received the 2022 Grand Literature Award of the St Kliment Ohridski University in Sofia at a ceremony here on Tuesday.
"The Sofia University Grand Literature Award has invariably sought to distinguish the authors who not only write good books but are prominently present in public space, with a voice asking the questions that other people shun. Theodora Dimova is a question-asking intellectual," said Assoc. Prof. Boyko Penchev, Dean of the Faculty of Slavic Studies, addressing the event. "Her essays in https://kultura.bg/web lend a new depth to our turbid political and consumerist everyday life. Her novels tell about the fall, the ordeal and the salvation, the opposition between bodily and spiritual, between earthly and heavenly. Resignation to life in Theodora Dimova's novels is only possible as an insight or a reincarnation reducing to ashes the misery of everything earthly and carnal," Assoc. Prof. Penchev went on to say.
He described the Sofia University Grand Award as "a token of recognition" and "an expression of confidence that science and the art of writing have a common cause: to resurrect the human spirit".
In her acceptance speech, Dimova said that as time passes and age advances, writing comes to seem an ever more strange and inexplicable, almost mystical pursuit. "Friends and journalists often ask me how a novel comes into being. Writing needs to be stripped of its romantic halo because it is hard labour, an unrewarding and daily drudgery. Writing demands self-discipline, spiritual ascesis, the concentration of a surgeon during an operation. Writing abhors empty words, bohemian flippancy, scheming and technical dexterity. It must not reckon with outside criteria such as liking and disliking, success or failure, popularity or obscurity. Every novel is like an individual person, it appears in a unique way and has a fate of its own, just as people do. The last-written novel as a rule is your nearest and dearest. In most general terms, writing is a trip to your inner self, reaching a second heart and pausing there in silence. Once you start writing, you become subservient to your writing," the author said.
Dimova's novels include Emine, The Mothers, Adriana, Marma Mariam and The Defeated. The Mothers won the 2006 Prize for East-European Literature of Bank Austria and KulturKontakt, has had 11 press runs in Bulgaria, and is translated into nine languages. In 2010, Marma Mariam won the Hristo G. Danov Prize for Bulgarian fiction. The Defeated received the National Novel award of the 13 Centuries Bulgaria National Endowment Fund and the French Fragonard Award for Foreign Literature.
The Sofia University Grand Literature Award was established in 1999 and acknowledges the work of an outstanding author once every two years. Its previous recipients are Vera Moutafchieva, Boris Hristov, Yordan Radichkov, Ivaylo Petrov, Konstantin Pavlov, Anton Donchev, Valeri Petrov, Georgi Mishev, Doncho Tsonchev, Boyan Biolchev, DImiter Shoumnaliev, Ivan Tsanev, Ekaterina Yossifova, Ivan Teofilov, Kiril Topalov and Boyko Lambovski.