Building of the Bulgarian Cultural Hero in the 19th and 20th Centuries

Vladimir Trendafilov.

This essay dwells on the notion of ‘cultural hero’ and its place and development in the modern Bulgarian culture. It is defined as ‘a signifying image or name within a given society’. The main point of the argument is that cultural heroes are personified emblems of their respective social systems, forming together a kind of a value-laden shared language. Another point is that the average cultural hero of the Bulgarian tradition is, mostly, a collectiveentity, a type rather than an individual, representative of the total “imagined community”. Among the types discussed are the Bulgarian, The Bulgarian woman, the Educator, the Revolutionary, the Man of Letters. Also discussed in the same vein are several individuals, either historical figures or literary characters, that have acted as pivotal shapers of Bulgarian mentality.