Paul Claudel (1868-1955) is one of the favorite French authors of the translator Andrey Manolov. He has been translating Claudel’s works throughout his youth, and it has been a real pleasure for him. The same pleasure is experienced by the readers when they are immersed in the whirlwind of Claudel’s Cinq grandes Odes (Five Great Odes) which was published in 2004 by Prozoretz Publishing House.
This book was mentioned on October 31 at the French Institute in Sofia, where a meeting of the Open Book cycle was dedicated this time to Paul Claudel. The talented French author was presented by his translator and Dr. Tony Nikolov, a philosopher, university lecturer and journalist. The meeting was moderated by Albena Charbanova.The trio talked in a very fascinating way about significant moments of the author’s biography. It turned out that 1886 was particularly important for him when, during the Christmas service at the Notre Dame fe Paris, he had a revelation and discovered God. In the same year he made another fateful discovery that marked him for life – in a Parisian bookstore he found magazines with poems by Arthur Rimbaud, which for him was tantamount to divine enlightenment.
Paul Claudel is not well-known in Bulgaria as a writer. Probably the majority of Bulgarians associate him with his sister, the sculptor Camille Claudel, whose tragic love with Auguste Rodin was the subject of a popular movie. In his homeland, the writer is not loved. They find him retrograde because of his zealous Catholicism. Moreover, he could never be part of the literary life in his country, because his diplomatic career led him to long-term residency abroad. However, Claudel remains one of the best stylists who has influenced many French authors. His plays continue to be played in France, his books are reissued, and connoisseurs can taste the beauty and variety of his style.
Definitely, in this country Paul Claudel will continue to find his fans, thanks to the magnificent translations of Andrey Manolov.