|The book is important for understanding how “a historical epoch” is shaped in the collective conscience while being simultaneously a battleground for claims for political legitimacy. In this manner, the “Bulgarian Revival” symbolizes both a heterogeneous nation-building process, but also becomes means of instrumentalizing and ‘translating’ various political programs and identity narratives.
The author identifies at least three doctrines aiming at mobilization based upon appropriations of the “Bulgarian Revival” – nationalism, conservatism and communism. The volume describes the dynamics of the historical field under circumstances of competing ideological positions with the purpose of rewriting the past. The reader has the possibility to observe the features of a fundamental national motif and their re-interpretation and signification across almost one century and a half a century. This expansive view of patterns of national discourse allows the deciphering of the present physiognomy of the “Bulgarian Revival”. It opens the way for understanding the results in identity narratives produced by the historiographical synthesis based upon the ambivalent ideological experience of nationalism and Marxism (-Leninism) in Bulgaria from the end of the 19th century onwards.