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Year XV (2021), issue 27

 

Literature and Pandemic

Contents

 

Gerard Delanty. Six Political Philosophies in Search of a Virus: Critical Perspectives on the Coronavirus Pandemic (Transl. from English by Milena Popova) / 11

Manfred Gerstenfeld. Post-Pandemic Culture Shock (Transl. from English by Ruzha Muskurova) / 32

Jean-Luc Nancy. “The Pandemic Reproduces the Social Aberrations and Divisions”: A Conversation Between Jean Luc-Nancy and

Nicolas Dutent for “Marianne” (Transl. from French by Galabina Zaharieva) / 37

Eric Laurent. Biopolitics of Pandemic and Body, Material of Anxiety (Transl. from French by Anguelina Daskalova, Theodora Pavlova-Cullard) / 44

Ed Simon. On Pandemics and Literature (Transl. from English by Ruzha Muskurova) / 62

Abhik Roy. Literature and Pandemics (Transl. from English by Ruzha Muskurova) / 75

Valeri Stefanov. The Plague/The Virus. Algorithm of the Collective Crisis Behaviour / 80

Tatiana Ichevska. Power over Life (Michel Foucault’s Views on Safety Regulation and Population Management) / 90

Polina Penkova. The Sick Body in Women’s Writing / 107

Kamelia Nikolova. Theatre in the Time of the Pandemic: Old and New Challenges / 116

Vladislav Milanov. Lexical and Word-Forming Processes in Bulgarian in Pandemic Times / 131

An Year after the Onset of Covid Pandemic – How Has Our Life Changed? Is Beginning of Normalization Coming – Attitudes to the Return of Students to Classrooms and to Vaccines (Nationally Representative Survey of “Alpha Research”) / 148

Vasya Vutova, Bogomil Peshev, Vihra Milanova. Psychiatric Disorders in COVID-19 Pandemic / 152

 

Retrospectives

Paul de Man. Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant (Transl. from English by Georgi Iliev) / 158

Georgi Iliev. The Transcendental and the Metaphysical, the Linguistic and the Aesthetic in the Analyses of De Man and Deleuze on the Sublime of Immanuel Kant / 193

 

Debuts

Stefka Tsenova. The Female Presence during the Interwar Period. Psychological Analysis of the Dyul gerov Women in the Novel ‘Ana Dyulgerova’ by Yana Yazova / 205

Kristian Hristov. Vienna in the Lyric of Vesela Vasileva / 219

 

Reviews

Maria Ruseva. “The Tail”: Symptom of the Morbid Future / 232

Ventzeslav Scholtze. The Recurrence and Transmutation of Crises. A

Reader’s Response to “Is It Tomorrow Yet?” by Ivan Krastev / 237

Lilia Trifonova. Audibility and Consciousness / 248

Margarita Staneva. Art and Social Isolation / 253

Lora Nenkovska. Reading the Greek Symbolism / 257

 

For the Authors / 262
Journal “The Literature” / 272
Requirements for Publications in the Journal “The Literature” / 276
Ethics of Publication / 279

Summaries

Six Political Philosophies in Search of a Virus: Critical Perspectives on the Coronavirus Pandemic

Gerard Delanty

 

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) poses interesting questions for social and political thought. These include the nature and limits of the ethical responsibility of the state, personal liberty and collective interests, human dignity, and state surveillance. As many countries throughout the world declared states of emergency, some of the major questions in political philosophy become suddenly highly relevant. Foucault’s writings on biopolitical securitization and Agamben’s notion of the state of exception take on a new reality, as do the classical arguments of utilitarianism and libertarianism. In this paper, I discuss six main philosophical responses to the pandemic, including provocative interventions made by Agamben, Badieu, and Zizek, Latour on the governance of life and death as well as the Kantian perspective of Habermas on human dignity.

Keywords: Agamben, Badieu, Utilitarianism, Habermas, libertarianism, Latour, nudge theory, Zizek

 

Post-Pandemic Culture Shock

Manfred Gerstenfeld

 

The coronavirus pandemic has created a new kind of culture shock. It hasфaffected essential and highly personal elements of many people’s lives within their own environments. A culture shock of this magnitude has not occurred since WWII. The societies have already faced negative effects from the disruption of people’s lives caused by coronavirus – health problems, high levels of unemployment, social discontent, challenges for democratic governance, violence. When the pandemic ends, societies will be quite different from what they were in the pre-coronavirus era.

Keywords: culture shock, unemployed, new poor, long-term disorientation, vulnerable, civil unrest, change, violence

 

“The Pandemic Reproduces the Social Aberrations and Divisions”: A Conversation Between Jean Luc-Nancy and Nicolas Dutent for “Marianne”

Jean-Luc Nancy

 

In this interview, the philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy, an expert on all matters that concern the body and the community, shares with us his view that the Covid-19 virus is yet another prerequisite for the multiplication of inequalities. The different social groups experience the pandemic ambiguously, while at the same time, the current situation reminds us of a long-forgotten death that has, in fact, been humanity’s well-known companion for centuries. Although we live in an age when information itself is spreading like a virus, today, less than ever before, can we predict what tomorrow will bring. Because, as Nancy tells us, the lockdown is nothing compared to a complete temporal shutdown—we have forgotten that the essence of the future is to be vague.

Keywords: Jean-Luc Nancy, Concept of Body, Touching, Coronavirus, Pandemic, Lockdown, Biopolitics, Noopolitics, Giorgio Agamben

 

Biopolitics of Pandemic and Body, Material of Anxiety

Eric Laurent

 

The text of Eric Laurent explores the way, in which the biopolitics searching a model, based on a calculated certainty, have been infl uenced by the spread of COVID-19 all over the world. Is it possible in the scientifi c fi eld a unity to be achieved from the variety of ways of calculation and standardization

of the answers? The favourite maxim of the epidemiologists “All models are wrong, but some are useful” helps us to understand why the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan points out the necessity of precaution in using models in science and their remoteness in relation to the real. Eric Laurent invites us to make a different reading of Aristotelian syllogism “All men are mortal”, referring to the teaching of Lacan, in which the central place is taken by the topological montage between Symbolic, Imaginary and Real. Is there universal for the man? Does the function all exist in the pandemic? Eric Laurent deploys the position of Lacan, who identifying the discourse as epidemic, makes a new reading of the mortify cation of signifi er, which is not in opposition to jouissance. The article regards the question of the passage from universal for all to the subject, a singular subject, faced with outside-meaning of death. What is the function of proper name and what relation it has to raising the question of the man? How in the teaching of Jacques Lacan proper name, material of anxiety, body are articulated?

Keywords: epidemic, biopolitics, R.S.I (Real, Symbolic, Imaginary), subject, proper name, anxiety, body

 

On Pandemics and Literature

Ed Simon

 

What marks the literature of plague, pestilence, and pandemic is a commitment to try and forge if not some sense of explanation, than at least a sense of meaning out of the raw experience of panic, horror, and despair. Narratives calm down and distract, but also state of the feebleness of our civilization. Telling of stories is a reminder that sense still exists somewhere, that if there is not meaning outside of the quarantine zone there’s at least meaning within our invented stories. Narratives manifest that plague

upends society more than any revolution could and Illness sees no social stratifi cation. They offers testimonies, explains, warns, confi rms that we have been in this world and are still here. Fiction can preserve and recreate a world that is falling apart. Sickness reminds us that the world is not ours; the literature insists that it sometimes belongs to us.

Keywords: narrative, pandemics, tame, distract, feebleness, civilization, meaning, sense

 

Literature and Pandemics

Abhik Roy

 

The author briefl y examines three highly infl uential literary works on pandemics: Daniel Defoe’s “A Journal of the Plague Year”, Alessandro Manzoni’s “The Betrothed”, and Albert Camus’ “The Plague”. What makes pandemics similar across geographic locations and time is not the presence of germs and viruses but that the human response follows the same pattern. All three literary works inform us that the initial human response to the outbreak is typically one of denial. Furthermore, our response to a pandemic tends to be slow and the authorities often provide false numbers about the infected cases and deaths. The important message in „The Plague“ is that although pandemics have a way of upending our lives, they force us to live in the present moment and to see ourselves as members of a community and not as atomized individuals.

Keywords: pandemics, denial, scapegoating, displacement, corrupt, empathy, solidarity

 

The Plague/The Virus Algorithm of the Collective Crisis Behaviour

Valeri Stefanov

Sofi a University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

 

Based on Jean Delumeau’s study “Fear in the Western World”, the article refl ects on the coded sustainable models of global crises as a contemporary social and psychological experience. The text gives an opportunity to think the historical in the perspective of today.

Keywords: global crises, policies of control, destruction of structures and daily rituals, types of reactions, social and psychological experience

 

Power over Life (Michel Foucault’s Views on Safety Regulation and Population Management)

Tatiana Ichevska

Plovdiv University “Paisii Hilendarski”

 

The article examines the views of Michel Foucault on the structure of safety in society, as well as the advantages of safety mechanisms in dealing with epidemics and endemics. These advantages are derived by comparison with the ways in which sovereign and disciplinary authorities act in such crisis situations.

Keywords: safety, biopower, population, norm, normalization, epidemic, endemic

 

The Sick Body in Women’s Writing

Polina Penkova

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

 

This text explores the representations of the sick woman’s body in women’s writing through two short stories by Bulgarian authors Maria Stankova and Zornitsa Garkova. The sick body is presented through the notions of pleasure and sexuality. The paper aims to draw on the contrast between women’s corporeal and sexual experiences, their differences and interconnections.

Keywords: women’s writing, sickness, pleasure, woman’s body

 

Theatre in the Time of the Pandemic: Old and New Challenges

Kamelia Nikolova

Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences; National Academy of Theatre and Film Arts, Sofi a

 

The paper identifi es the radical re-examination of theatre’s relationship with the digital technologies as a main result of its existence in the pandemic situation which has spread worldwide over the past two years. The state of social isolation and online communication has to put to a severe test the two fundamental beliefs at the heart of contemporary theatre art. Above all, the large scale broadcast via satellite transmissions, streaming and various online performance formats (featuring both emblematic and established theatre classics as well as brand new productions on the European stages) undermine the conviction that the renewal of theatre through the digital technologies will happen unconditionally. The experiencing of a number of online theatre productions clearly allows for a differentiation between

the true innovative multimedia performances and the traditional ones employing technologies only as means to reach their audiences. The pandemic situation also casts new light on the second basic axiom and provokes a re-examination of its definite, until recently, conviction that theatre as an art form which offers physical togetherness and shared experience will always be of absolute necessity in an increasingly technologized world that creates distance between people. The analysis of these key questions is supported by emblematic examples taken from the contemporary theatre practice.

Keywords: Theatre, pandemic, digital technologies, multimedia performance, theatre streaming, theatre as a shared experience

 

Lexical and Word-Forming Processes in Bulgarian in Pandemic Times

Vladislav Milanov

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

 

The article studies current examples of inappropriate semantic uses in public speech, as well as competition between word-formation patterns in a pandemic situation. Examples from political and journalistic speech are analyzed.

Keywords: current word-formation models, competition between suffi xes; meaning and syntax in public speech

 

An Year after the Onset of Covid Pandemic – How Has Our Life Changed? Is Beginning of Normalization Coming – Attitudes to the Return of Students to Classrooms and to Vaccines (Nationally Representative Survey of “Alpha Research”)

Psychiatric Disorders in COVID-19 Pandemic

Vasya Vutova

Bogomil Peshev

Vihra Milanova

Psychiatry Clinic, UMHAT “Alexandrоvska”, Sofia

 

The COVID-19 pandemy is associated with higher level of stress in the population, which may impair mental health. The are 3 types of COVID-19 patients with psychiatric disorders. The most common are adjustment, anxiety and depressive disorder.

Keywords: covid-19 infection, pandemia, psychiatric disorders

 

Phenomenality and Materiality in Kant

Paul de Man

 

This text is a part of De Man’s later book Aesthetic Ideology that was assembled and published after his death. The text is a scholarly paper where the author examines Kant’s Analytic of the Sublime (Critique of the Power of Judgement), viewed in the context of transcendental philosophy and its relations to metaphysics and ideology. In De Man’s account Kant appears to hassitate between two trends. He is constantly divided between the strict transcendentalist writing that is characteristic of the mathematical sublime, and, on the other hand, the ideologized presentation of dynamic sublime that depicts intimidating objects that are nevertheless contemplated from a safe place. Kant uses different rhetorical techniques to get out of the above mentioned difficulties, thus providing abundant material for the rhetorical analysis of De Man. What De Man considers to be still valid today in Kant’s analytics, is the so called by the theorist himself „material vision“. It refers to the statement of Kant that sublime contemplation has to see objects as they are – without their conceptuaization. What we see here is the programme materialism of De Man, which he did not manage to develop due to his untimely death.

Keywords: Kant, transcendental philosophy, materialism, aesthetics, sublime, deconstruction

 

The Transcendental and the Metaphysical, the Linguistic and the Aesthetic in the Analyses of De Man and Deleuze on the Sublime of Immanuel Kant

Georgi Iliev

Department Literary Theory, Institute for Literature – Bulgarian Academy of Sciences

 

The article is dedicated to the juxtaposing of the interpretations of Kant’s Analytic of the Sublime (Critique of the Power of Judgement) made by two important postmodern teoreticians – Paul de Man and Gilles Deleuze. What is common between them is revealed in the concept of surface and hencem,

of materialism. Materialism should be understood as a one-plane ontology, absence of all transcendence, while the concept of surface – as a suspicion to everything interior, to everything „hidden“, and privileging the linguistic over the conceptual. De Man finds in Kant a version of the Sublime that is materialistic, close to the Deleuzian ontology. The text finally presents its own hypothesis of the conceptual difficulties Kant stumbles upon.

Keywords: Paul de Man, Gilles Deleuze, Kant, transcendental philosophy, materialism, aesthetics, sublime, deconstruction, ontology

 

The Female Presence during the Interwar Period. Psychological Analysis of the Dyulgerov Women in the Novel ‘Ana Dyulgerova’ by Yana Yazova

Stefka Tsenova

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

 

The novel ‘Ana Dyulgerova’ is a peculiar representation of the female in the interwar years. It plays the role of an invocation to society to break the patriarchal moral standards and to wheel in the concepts of modern times. Through the images of the female characters, the author asks the readers ‘What is a woman without a man?’ and the answer is not so ‘modern’ at all. The interwar times suggest that a woman cannot exist as a member of society on her own, but only through her family if needed.

The story revolves around four main female characters: Vera Dyulgerova, Aunt Elena, Marga and Ana Dyulgerova. Through the images of each of these women, the author outlines both problems related to women’s emancipation and topics essential to the time between World Wars One and Two.

As the plot develops, the three faces of Vera unfold embodying the nature of the abandoned woman. In her fear of loneliness Vera is authoritative, hurt and angry.

The position that the woman of the 1930s cannot exist as a single member of society is boldly defended through the image of Elena. This woman is permitted to be part of the community only as ‘Aunt’.

The years between the two world wars are steeped with many antithetical ideas. These are both times of transition from tradition to modernity and of heated political beliefs. The rapid incursion of the communist ideas, preceding the further development of historical events, is represented through the image of Marga.

We can assume that the idea of the emancipation of the woman in the interwar period is represented through the aforementioned ladies. The image of the unfortunate Anna Dyulgerova, on the other hand, introduces us to the ideas of the clash between province and city, the conflict ‘old’ – ‘young’, the problems with the modern woman’s education and the transition from child to a woman.

Keywords: Dyulgerov women, What is a woman without a man?, family, transition from tradition to modernity, transition from child to a woman

 

Vienna in the Lyric of Vesela Vasileva

Kristian Hristov

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

 

In the following text the reader will get acquainted with the figure of Vesela Vasileva. Her image is developed through poetic activity, as the accent will be directed to the space of military Vienna, where the author lost her life after a preposterous accident. The text also nuances the most specific images and motives found in the poet’s lyrics before her departure, alongside how they change, develop and become written while in Vienna.

Keywords: Women’s Literature, Vienna, Vesеla Vasileva, Interwar Period, Interwar poetry