Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Ray Bradbury's Bulgarian Bibliography - The Storyteller throughout the years

“The Americans call him “The Great Moralist”. Which Americans? Because after all it was the Americans who set his home in Los Angeles on fire a couple of years ago, furious because of his merciless satire against their “Greatest Society” – this is how Venko Hristov began his afterwords of “Hail and Farewell” in 1974. Americans set Ray Bradbury’s home on fire?! Then he’s a real prophet, “Fahrenheit 451” is actually happening!
Or is it? After I searched on the net quite a lot I could not find any information on such an event! It is no wonder that back in those days the political propaganda on our side (and not only) was way over the top. But is it possible that they not only did their best to present the works of the translated western writers as anti-capitalistic satire, but they even added some imaginary facts to the biographies in order to create some communistic guerilla halo around them?! Imagine poor Ray Bradbury, chased out of his home in LA by a crowd of angry Americans armed with pitchforks and torches!
Venko Hristov goes on with some more harsh anti-USA pathos, and he even gets Lenin involved, claiming that Bradbury clearly has “a system of positive ideals” and his works have “their own moral, philosophical and social charge”.
And it gets me thinking, “Geez, if he goes one step farther he will say that Ray Bradbury is actually from the USSR!” Then I read the next line and I start laughing: “It wouldn’t take much more for us to say that Bradbury is “OURS!”. Well, Hristov didin’t go that far, instead he pitied Bradbury for being “class restricted” – the unfortunate writer is unable to grasp the real deal and fully develop his talent in that decadent western society.
Among the propaganda and the criticism of the West, Hristov still praises Bradbury’s style and admits the value of his stories. He calls his language “easy to understand for the general mass of readers”, but still “provoking intellectual and aesthetic tension”. “His protagonists” – Hristov claims – “are common men from the people, uncorrupted by the capitalistic social structure.”
Towards the end Hristov asks himself if Bradbury actually realizes that he is a supporter of the Socialistic ideology or not, and if the anti-capitalistic messages in his stories are consciously put there. He says that whatever the answer is, the result is what really matters – “the whole lifework of the great science fiction writer (who is actually a realist) carries one continuing idea – the world of the capital is degenerate and doomed, it has to go away and make place for a more humane, more sensible, happier way of life”.
I have no idea if this Venko Hristov actually believes in what he wrote, or it was just an unpleasant necessity, so the translation can pass some Commie Commission and get a permission to be published.

Years later, 1981, George Markovski’s preface of “The Halloween Tree” begins with the very same words: “The Americans call him “The Great Moralist”. Fortunately here the propaganda is brought down to a minimum. Probably it was the personal and abstract nature of the book which allowed on the preface to focus on Bradbury’s personality and childhood inspirations, instead on his political ideas and the social criticism of his works. The result is a much closer and warmer insight on Bradbury and his interests. In the preface Markovski also makes use of the famous Bradbury quote: “Jules Verne was my father. H.G. Wells was my wise uncle. Poe was the batwinged cousin we kept in the attic. Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers were my brothers. And Mary Shelley was my mother. There you have my ancestry” (though I’m not sure if back in those days the Bulgarian readers were familiar with Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers… even now many people have no idea about them)

1982’s edition of “Fahrenheit 451” contains a preface by Dimitry Ivanov. He concentrates on facts from Bradbury’s biography, bibliography and filmography. Ivanov describes Bradbury’s stories as “steeped in loneliness and sad, unostentatious irony” and calls him “a romanticist from the American prairie … emotionally engaged in the dilemma of scientific progress against humanistic tradition”. But he then switches to the political aspect again - “But where do you see Bradbury talking about politics? On what basis you turn his literary portrait into a political comment? – they ask” (yup, and I ask the same). Ivanov mentions again that Ray Bradbury’s home was set on fire, but he gives us some “details” about it – it was “burned down by a storm team of the reactionary organization called “The John Birch Society”. Again I search on the net, such a society surely exists ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Birch_Society ) and their ideas seem to fit the story (the society supports traditionally conservative causes such as anti-communism), but still I couldn’t find any information about them (or anybody else) burning down Ray Bradbury’s house. Besides this paragraph Dimitry Ivanov’s preface focuses on Bradbury as a storyteller, on his personality and the characteristic features of his stories. Ivanov calls Bradbury a visionary, compares his stories and the metaphors he uses to the traditions of Ancient Greek mythology, classical fairy tales such as “1001 Nights” and dark gothic fiction. He praises Bradbury for his humanity and love for mankind.

Svetoslav Slavchev is one of the most renowned Bulgarian sci-fi (and comic book) writers as well as one of the editors of the famous “Library Galactica” science fiction book series. He compiled a collection of stories titled “Sound of Thunder”, which was published in 1986, and also wrote the preface to it, titled “Bradbury with the many faces”. Slavchev pays attention to the wide variety of themes and topics throughout Bradbury’s stories. He underlines the “nostalgic sorrow which almost always colors his plots” and that this “nostalgia often grows into a denial of progress”. Of course, again we have some political aspect to the preface, even not so strong as in the previous two. Slavchev says that Bradbury criticizes “his society … driven by greed … where human relations are absurdly deformed.” Well, Bradbury really does that, but it’s not HIS society in particular that he criticizes, his ideas are universal and can be applied to literally any society, any form of authority and any political regime. The final paragraph categorize Bradbury as a humanist writer who is “against the fake moral of a fake society”, but still Slavchev does not name this society in a straightforward way.

Two decades after we have abolished communism the publishers have finally decided to let Ray Bradbury speak for himself. In the 2008 translation of 100 Разказа (The Stories of Ray Bradbury, 1980) we have a preface not by the translator or the editor, but by the author - http://www.chitanka.info:82/lib/text/10292

This bibliography is probably still incomplete, so if you know about some other of his books published in Bulgarian, please let me know.

Поредица Грийн Таун (Green Town)

Вино от глухарчета (Dandelion Wine, 1957)
— Превод от английски: Жени Божилова, 1979, „Народна младеж“, София
— Превод от английски: Жени Божилова, 1983, „Георги Бакалов“, Варна
— Превод от английски: Жени Божилова, 2008, „Бард“, София

Сбогом, лято (Farewell Summer, 2006)
— Владимир Зарков, 2008, ИК „БАРД“, София, 2008


Дървото на вси светии (The Halloween Tree, 1972)
— Превод от английски: Белин Тончев, 1981, Книгоиздателство „Георги Бакалов“, Библиотека „Галактика“ № 23, с предговор от Георги Марковски


451° по Фаренхайт (Fahrenheit 451, 1953)
— Веселин Измирлиев, превод от английски, Публикация: Издателство „Народна култура“, София 1966
— Веселин Измирлиев, превод от английски, Публикация: Издателство „Народна култура“, 1982, с предговор от Димитрий Иванов
— Веселин Измирлиев, превод от английски, Публикация: Издателство „Народна култура“, сборник „Черно слънце“, София 1990
— Веселин Измирлиев, превод от английски, Публикация: Издателство „Медиасат“, София, 2005
— Веселин Измирлиев, превод от английски, Публикация: Издателство „Бард“ (Рей Бредбъри – Избрано, том 1), София 2009

Смъртта е занимание самотно (Death is a Lonely Business, 1985)
— Превод от английски: Жени Божилова, Издателство „Народна младеж“, София 1988
— Превод от английски: Жени Божилова, Издателство „Бард“ (Рей Бредбъри – Избрано, том 1), София 2009

Гробище за лунатици: Друга приказка за два града (A Graveyard for Lunatics: Another tale of two cities, 1990)
— Превод от английски: Филипина Филипова, Издателство „Yassen Atanassov Company“, София 1992
— Издателство „Бард“ (Рей Бредбъри – Избрано, том 1), София 2009

От прахта родени (From the Dust Returned, 2001) — Превод от английски: Крум Бъчваров, ИК „Бард“, София 2002

Сборници с разкази
Карнавал на трупове (Dark Carnival, 1947)
— Превод от английски: Григор Попхристов, Владимир Германов, Издателство „Де ла Корт“, София 1996
The collection includes these stories:
"The Homecoming"
"The Jar"
"The Lake"
"The Maiden"
"The Tombstone"
"The Smiling People"
"The Emissary"
"The Traveler"
"The Small Assassin"
"The Crowd"
"The Handler"
"The Coffin"
"The Scythe"
"Let's Play 'Poison'"
"Uncle Einar"
"The Wind"
"The Night"
"There Was An Old Woman"
"The Dead Man"
"The Man Upstairs"
"The Night Sets"
"The Next In Line"

Марсиански хроники (The Martian Chronicles, 1950)
— Превод от английски: Никола Милев, Издателство „Народна младеж“, София 1966
— Превод от английски: Никола Милев, Издателство „Народна младеж“, София 1977
The collection includes these stories:
1.1 Rocket Summer (January 1999/2030)
1.2 Ylla (February 1999/2030)
1.3 The Summer Night (August 1999/2030)
1.4 The Earth Men (August 1999/2030)
1.5 The Taxpayer (March 2000/2031)
1.6 The Third Expedition (April 2000/2031)
1.7 —And the Moon Be Still as Bright (June 2001/2032)
1.8 The Settlers (August 2001/2032)
1.9 The Green Morning (December 2001/2032)
1.10 The Locusts (February 2002/2033)
1.11 Night Meeting (August 2002/2033)
1.12 The Fire Balloons (November 2002/2033)
1.13 The Shore (October 2002/2033)
1.14 Interim (February 2003/2034)
1.15 The Musicians (April 2003/2034)
1.16 The Wilderness (May 2003/2034)
1.17 Way in the Middle of the Air (June 2003/2034)
1.18 The Naming of Names (2004-05/2035-36)
1.19 Usher II (April 2005/2036)
1.20 The Old Ones (August 2005/2036)
1.21 The Martian (September 2005/2036)
1.22 The Luggage Store (November 2005/2036)
1.23 The Off Season (November 2005/2036)
1.24 The Watchers (November 2005/2036)
1.25 The Silent Towns (December 2005/2036)
1.26 The Long Years (April 2026/2057)
1.27 There Will Come Soft Rains (August 4, 2026/2057)
1.28 The Million-Year Picnic (October 2026/2057)

Възпявам електрическото тяло (I Sing The Body Electric, 1969)
— Превод от английски: Нели Константинова, Александър Бояджиев, Издателство «Христо Г. Данов», Пловдив 1982
The collection includes these stories:
"The Kilimanjaro Device"
"The Terrible Conflagration up at the Place"
"Tomorrow's Child"
"The Women"
"The Inspired Chicken Motel"
"Downwind from Gettysburg"
"Yes, We'll Gather at the River"
"The Cold Wind and the Warm"
"Night Call, Collect"
"The Haunting of the New"
"I Sing the Body Electric!"
"The Tombling Day"
"Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby's Is a Friend of Mine"
"The Man in the Rorschach Shirt"
"Henry the Ninth"
"The Lost City of Mars"
"Christus Apollo"

Гръмна гръм (The Sound of Thunder)
— Превод от английски: Лидия Ценова-Маринова, Александър Хрусанов, Издателство „Георги Бакалов“, Варна 1986, Библиотека Галактика №75, съдържа 22 разказа, съставител и предговор - Светослав Славчев

Нощен влак за Вавилон: Нови разкази (Night Train to Babylon)
— Превод от английски: Крум Бъчваров, ИК «Бард», София 2002

Здравей и сбогом (Hail and Farewell)
— Превод от английски: Нели Константинова, Издателство „Христо Г. Данов“, Пловдив 1974, с послеслов от Венко Христов

100 Разказа (The Stories of Ray Bradbury, 1980)
— Превод от английски: Венцислав Божилов, ИК «Бард», София 2008
The collection includes these stories:
"The Night", 1946
"Homecoming", 1946
"Uncle Einar", 1947
"The Traveler", 1946
"The Lake", 1944
"The Coffin", 1947
"The Crowd", 1943.
"The Scythe", 1943
"There Was an Old Woman", 1944
" There Will Come Soft Rains", 1950
"Mars Is Heaven", 1950
"The Silent Towns", 1949
"The Earth Men", 1948
"The Off Season", 1948
"The Million-Year Picnic", 1946
"The Fox and the Forest", 1950
"Kaleidoscope", 1949
"The Rocket Man", 1951
"Marionettes, Inc.", 1949
"No Particular Night or Morning", 1951
"The City", 1950
"The Fire Balloons", 1951
"The Last Night of the World", 1951
"The Veldt", 1950
"The Long Rain", 1950
"The Great Fire", 1949
"The Wilderness", 1952
"A Sound of Thunder", 1952
"The Murderer", 1953
"The April Witch", 1952
"Invisible Boy", 1945
"The Golden Kite, The Silver Wind", 1953
"The Fog Horn", 1951.
"The Big Black and White Game", 1945
"Embroidery", 1951
"The Golden Apples of the Sun", 1953
"Powerhouse", 1948
"Hail and Farewell", 1948
"The Great Wide World over There", 1952
"The Playground", 1953
"Skeleton", 1943
"The Man Upstairs", 1947
"Touched by Fire", 1954
"The Emissary", 1947
"The Jar", 1944
"The Small Assassin", 1946
"The Next in Line", 1947
"Jack-in-the-Box", 1947
"The Leave-Taking", 1957
"Exorcism", 1957
"The Happiness Machine", 1957
"Calling Mexico", 1950
"The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit", 1958
"Dark They Were, and Golden-Eyed", 1949
"The Strawberry Window", 1954
"A Scent of Sarsaparilla", 1953
"The Picasso Summer", 1957
"The Day It Rained Forever", 1957
"A Medicine for Melancholy", 1959
"The Shoreline at Sunset", 1959
"Fever Dream", 1948
"The Town Where No One Got Off", 1958
"All Summer in a Day", 1980
"Frost and Fire", 1946
"The Anthem Sprinters", 1963
"And So Died Riabouchinska", 1953
"Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Cellar!", 1980
"The Vacation", 1963
"The Illustrated Man", 1961
"Some Live Like Lazarus", 1960
"The Best of All Possible Worlds", 1960
"The One Who Waits", 1949
"Tyrannosaurus Rex", 1962
"The Screaming Woman", 1951
"The Terrible Conflagration Up at the Place", 1980.
"Night Call, Collect", 1949
"The Tombling Day", 1952
"The Haunting of the New", 1969
"Tomorrow's Child", 1948
"I Sing the Body Electric!", 1969
"The Women", 1948
"The Inspired Chicken Motel", 1969
"Yes, We'll Gather at the River", 1969
"Have I Got a Chocolate Bar for You!", 1976
"A Story of Love", 1976
"The Parrot Who Met Papa", 1972
"The October Game", 1948
"Punishment Without Crime", 1950
"A Piece of Wood", 1952
"The Blue Bottle", 1950
"Long After Midnight", 1962
"The Utterly Perfect Murder", 1971
"The Better Part of Wisdom", 1976
"Interval in Sunlight", 1954
"The Black Ferris", 1948
"Farewell Summer", 1980
"McGillahee's Brat", 1970
"The Aqueduct", 1979
"Gotcha!" 1978
"The End of the Beginning", 1956

Париж завинаги (We’ll Always have Paris, 2009)
—ИК «Бард», София 2009

Произведения на Рей Бредбъри са включени още в антологиите:
“Магьоснически свят - Разкази и новели” (1998)
“Девет живота” (1993)

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