Bulgaria’s Alexandar Tomov Jr.: He Writes About All Things Absurd
Alexandar Tomov Jr. was born in Sofia, Bulgaria on June 3. 1982 in the shadow of the Soviet Empire. And, as Bulgaria was embarking on its own experiment in democracy when the Iron Curtain fell in 1989, Tomov Jr, was finding his own literary voice by reading the great authors of his country as a rising student.
Tomov Jr. is an up and coming author and film maker like his father Alexander Tomov was a prominent film maker and writer in his native country of Bulgaria and worked as a an editor at Bulgarian National Radio in Sofia. Tomov Jr. himself is a writer of pithy little short stories and a maker of film shorts in the genre of the Absurd. And he aptly captures the absurdity of such things as the absurdities of a world leader who makes a deal with the Devil to have and orgy in his mansion and another on whom the peace of the whole world depends who is guilty of rape and murder in his story entitled “Beyond The Absurd” (also the title of e-book collection of short stories) and the futility of the dreams of a young girl being controlled by her mother in a totalitarian household (environment) in the story entitled “The Wanderer”. Tomov Jr. has a real flare for political realism and satire in his imagery, and a common motif he uses in his stories is the presence of fire which is a common element in Bulgaria’s history that the people used to banish evil spirits, and more recently, was representative of the terror of nuclear annellation for the people. So perhaps Tomov Jr., with his own unique genius, is banishing the evil spirits and the terror of war from modern society in his stories.
This is his life and literature, and his father in his own words:
1.Tell us, Alexandar, about your life, the literature of your country and what were the seminal influences in literature on your own writing and film making.
About Your question… We have some very typical and original writers deeply connected with the Bulgarian nationality and history, like Ivan Vazov, Aleko Konstantinov, Luben Karavelov. But our most famous poet, who is also national hero in Bulgaria is Hristo Botev–.(1947 – 1876). Genial poet, many critics consider it untranslatable because of the deeply typical Bulgarian features in his poetry
My unique fascination with literature starting at the age of about 11 when I read “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint – Exupéry. This book amazes me to this day. It is a simply written story in which there is the whole world. This led to studying the works of some of my favorite authors as Fyodor Dostoevsky – ‘Crime and Punishment’, Franz Kafka – ‘The Metamorphosis’, Edgar Allan Poe – ‘The Black Cat’, ‘Morella’, ‘The Pit and the Pendulum’, Mary Shelley – ‘Frankenstein’, Friedrich Nietzsche – ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ and others. Much of my views of life and art were influenced by my favorites scientists – psychologists – Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung works. As I approached my tenth-grade year in high school, I started to conceive that the emotional creativity one gets from studying literature can be used in generating cinema, especially experimental films that we Bulgarian Filmmakers normally produce. There is more to just a story, but those deep underlying psychosomatic feelings that one gets when studying an excellent choice of literature that is important. I realized that there is an art and a skill of translating those emotions to the audiovisual in cinema. From my studies of literature, I came to the conclusion that there are ten to fifteen-story themes that, if told right, can mesmerize a reader. These themes can certainly be translated to the cinema and also make real-life inexplicably interesting. My personal listing of these eternal subjects are love, death, friendship, betrayal, jealousy, greed, envy, hate, power, sex, violence, fear, revenge, remorse, change.
2. I understand that your father was famous Bulgarian author and film maker Alexandar Tomov; can you tell us about him?
I start answering to Your question. Sorry for my language, maybe answers will need some editing for the interview. My father, Alexandar Tomov – Senior,(R.I.P, 1944 – 2020), was a famous Bulgarian writer and screenwriter with eleven screenplays made in movies in Bulgaria. Some of the most famous Bulgarian films of the 80s and 90s are based on his scripts. Movies like ‘The Insurance (1998), ‘Margarit and Margarita’ (1989), ‘Pantudi’ (1993), ‘Live dangerously’ (1990), ‘Romantic story’ (1985), and some newer films as ‘The Rest Is Ashes’ (2020). He also have more than 40 novels, short stories and poetry. My mother is also writer and playwright. So, I would like to take the credit for being one of those kids that literature and cinema was my life’s calling. My fathers profile in IMDb: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0866957/?ref_=pro_nm_visitcons
Thank you Alexandar for sharing for fascinating life, literature, and country with us. Living on the edge of the Cold War has made you an especially compelling writer about all things dangerously ridiculous.
Alexander Tomov Jr. currently lives in the bustling, cosmopolitan capital city of Bulgaria, Sofia, home of the Ivan Vazov National Theatre and the National Opera and Ballet of Bulgaria, where he writes and makes short films and book trailers for other writers. Sofia is the prime cultural center of the nation.
Alexandar Tomov’s short films, short stories and links his book “Beyond the Absurd” and to his book trailer business can be found on his Facebook group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/443545943496891. His book is also available directly from amazon.com. Check him out.