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Biography of Dimcho Debelyanov – Bulgarian: Димчо Дебелянов

 

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 Biography of Dimcho Debelyanov

Dimcho Debelyanov (Bulgarian: Димчо Дебелянов) (28 March 1887 – 2 October 1916) was a Bulgarian poet and author whose death in the First World War cut off his promising literary career. Born to a prosperous family in Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria, he experienced hardship upon the death of his father in 1896, which necessitated the family moving to Plovdiv, and then onto Sofia in 1904. Debelyanov always spoke of the eight years in Plovdiv with regret, calling it “the sorrowful city”.

In 1906, he began to send poetry to Bulgarian literary magazines at the urging of Pencho Slaveikov, where he saw his first printed works, which were well received. He moved from job to job during the next six years, unable to settle and seeing employment as a junior clerk for the central meteorological station and as a freelance journalist, before joining the army in 1912 to fight in the Balkan Wars. In 1914 he was discharged from the army and took up a post in an office, a position he hated so much, that he rejoined the army in 1916, but was killed near Gorno Karadjovo during a battle with an Irish division. His body was buried in Valovishta, today Sidirokastro, Greece. His mortal remains were carried in his native town Koprivshtitsa in 1931.

His body of work was collected by friends following his death and published in a two volume anthology with a collection of letters and personal writings. These became very popular in post-war Bulgaria, critics commenting that they reflect the poet remarkably well, being in a Symbolist style and thus unable to settle on a theme, focusing most closely on the presence of death and despair, creating a “gloomy melancholy” effect.

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