Yordan Radichkov was born in the village of Kalimanitza, Mikhailovgrad region, in a poor village family. He completed secondary school in Berkovitza in 1947. In 1951-52 he was a correspondent for the newspaper NARODNA MLADEZH for the Vratza region. From 1952 to 1971 he was an editor for the newspaper NARODNA MLADEZH, SEPTEMVRIYCHE and VECHERNI NOVINI; for the Scenario Board of Bulgarian Cinematography; and for the newspaper LITERATUREN FRONT. In 1971 he became an advisor on the Council for Cultural Treasures of the State Council. He became a member of the Union of Bulgarian Writers in 1962, and in 1974 received the title of Honored Cultural Worker.
Radichkov began his literary career as a journalist, writing sketches and reports. He first began to publish short stories in the newspaper VECHERNI NOVINI. His first full-lenght book, SARZETO BIE ZA HORATA (The Heart Beats for the People), was published in 1959; his early collections of short stories attracted the attention of readers and critics with their lyricism and directness. Gradually the lyrical and romantic in his work was replaced by parody and the grotesque, with an increase in folkloristic elements which included folk fantasy and humor. Then Radichkov entered a phase of parodying styles and forms. Reality in his works began to exceed natural limits. He turned everything upside down, deproved objects of their natural dimensions and took them out of context; he combined the uncombinable and transformed reality into a comical theater, a colorful parade of comic masks. It is as if everything in his stories takes place in a village square during a carnival-here, at this thoroughly national holiday, all things, all world and historical events are evaluated through the people's sense of humor. This is the laugther of those enormous rural masses who have been held by history for thousands of years; who now, because of social change in Bulgaria, are coming into contact with all their enforced thousand-year-old backwardness. Radichkov shows this process as tragicomic, treating its absurd aspects by means of laughter.
Radichkov's writings are a laugh ten volumes long. His work is full of irony directed at the world and at himself. He simultaneuusly judges and excuses. He evaluates the history and civilisation with which he comes in contact, its absurd and comical aspects, and at the same time evaluates his own personal tragedy and absurdity. In this rustic style, he celebrated the end of the village.
This tragicomic chronicler of a finished and already vanishing phase of Bulgaria also gives us the description of a worldwide historical process: the urbanization of our planet, the movements of untold masses and their entrance into history. This is a problem of contemporary humanity which Radichkov's work has helped to bring to the public awareness.
Also among Radichkov's work are the plays SUMATOKHA (Commotion) 1965,
ZHELYAZNOTO MOMCHE (The Iron Boy) 1968, and YANUARI (January) 1974, performed
with great success in Bulgaria and elsewhere. Besides these he has written
scenarios for the films GORESTO PLADNE (Hot Noon), PRIVARSANIYAT BALON (The
Tied Balloon) 1967 and POSLEDNO LYATO (Last Summer) 1974. His works have been
translated into virtually all European languages.
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