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Death under Socialism - Heroics and Post-Heroics

Editor: Daniela Koleva
CAS / RIVA Publishers

Death under Socialism: Heroics and Post-Heroics

Compiled and edited by Daniala Koleva, ISBN 978-954-320-444-1

The way we die reveals the essential qualities of the way we live. Could there be then something like ‘a socialist death' to correspond to ‘a socialist lifestyle'? Undoubtedly, death is a universal biological fact free from the impact of ideologies, faiths, and political regimes. However, death gives rise to an incredible number of cultural reactions that do not simply indicate its importance, but also how profoundly it has been enmeshed with conventions, normative expectations, rituals, symbols, etc., which - unlike the biological fact of dying - undergo significant changes over time. How then did the Bulgarian Communist Regime ‘domesticate' death? What became the new sanctity; with what new essence was death endowed under the impact of official Communist ideology? How was ‘socialist death' thought of, and how was it adjusted to the Communist mega-narrative? And how was ‘common', ‘unheroic' death considered and controlled by authorities, especially in a society where religion had been pushed to the margins and deprived of its traditional function to provide answers to existential questions?
CAS's new publication, Death under Socialism: Heroics and Post-Heroics, comprises the academic outcomes of the seminar papers and debates of CAS's first discussion series, Existential Socialism, and aims to provide some answers to the manifold ways death under Socialism was conceived and thought of. The book launch took place on 17th January 2014, in the CAS conference hall, where the collection was presented by Profs. Kristina Popova, Ivan Elenkov, and Vladimir Gradev.

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