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Frances Madeson

Very interesting post. I read the book with your sensitivity to setting in mind and am now contemplating if Gospodinov doesn't somehow equate maneuvering inside this Americanized milieu as a shortcut conduit to what he calls late in the book The Zen Zone—an imaginative zone in his protagonist's fantasy which, as the fantasy builds up steam, comes to enfold Bulgaria. “The cherry, the cherry will be the tree of the Bulgarian Buddha.”

Hristova even uses the word setting in the first paragraph of Chapter 37, which may have helped to focus me on this section as a fruitful source for extending the thinking about “almost anywhere.”

“I suppose Man was made oblivious of his own beginnings. We cannot recollect our birth. Memory does not function yet, that center in our brain isn't ready. The beginning is shapeless and obscure. The sums of several accidents setting in motion a series of inevitable events. And still the door to the beginning is never fully closed. There is always a crack—small enough to stop us entering and big enough to ooze soft, rosy, seductive light.”


Excellent points here. Other works, such as Iain Sinclair's Hackney, That Rose-Red Empire: A Confidential Report, make a virtue of their localism, an entirely different strategy. No U.S. publisher has printed it so far...

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