Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

<< Border Zones: Travel, Fantasy and Representation

TRANSLEGENDRY: Borders and Archetypes in Bulgarian Legends

Gergana Apostolova (South Western University, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria)



In the age of electronic orality the art of tale-telling has found new spaces to conquer reviving ancient fantasies to high-tech-supported adaptations and extensions reaching far into the motivation of the individual conscience raised within the clashing values of ethnic identity and global humanity.

If Arabian Nights have left their touch on all our folklore and tales of the exotic, if Border Ballads have entered the world of gamebooks and late 20th-century fantasies, if Stephen King has employed the boat running along the ‘gutter swollen with rain’ which has reached It through the tale of the Brave Tin Soldier and Alice’s sea of tears, if the Discworld is possible, then borders have merged swept by the spreading wings of fantasy, and eventually the cultural membrane of the 21st century has proven benevolent to revived legendary archetypes.

Cultural borders melt in the realm of fantasy where text is infinite space within subtle limits.

Still there are texts, built on archetypes, which have not entered the space of modern fantasy. Like secret gardens in the heart of the Balkans, enclosed by high and broad mountains to the south and the west, by the three parallel ranges of the Balkan itself and finally made hard to access by the deep waters of lower Danube and the Black sea to the north and the east, Bulgarian legends have given soil to strange seeds taken from the wide world outside, which have blossomed to flowers of new colour and scent.

While the folktale has populated the dark forests with wood nymphs, werewolves, dragons, lamias, witches, shepherds, bears and foxes, giving job to good and bad girls and brave young men, - thus closing this dreamy world from the common practices of real people, legends fix on activities and attitudes started by everyday routine and reaching tangible effect. Legends come to represent a separate field where the space of fantasy merges with real life, building a new type of awareness and destroying the limitations of the subconscious.

The following text is a brief tale of border archetypes represented in the symbols, heroes, values and rituals of Bulgarian legends where liminality is represented as Fate or as a concrete extension of the theory of Alexander Went.

Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-10-11