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Физика на тъгата

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  5,972 ratings  ·  766 reviews
Аз сме. Едно момче говори – от подземния лабиринт на Минотавъра, от мазе в края на Войната, от приземна квартира през 70-те и 80-те, от старо бомбоубежище утре.
Роман за емпатията и нейното чезнене, за световната есен, за минотаврите, заключени в нас, за възвишеното, което може да е навсякъде, за елементарните частици на тъгата и вечното време на детството, което ни предсто
Paperback, Трето издание, 344 pages
Published 2011 by Жанет-45
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  5,972 ratings  ·  766 reviews

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Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bulgaria. The country where:

... the first Christian church ever on earth, currently the oldest functioning church in the world, was built in the fourth century A.D.;

...authors, such as Ivan Vazov(1850-1922), protesting the rule of the Ottoman regime, is commemorated against the buildings;

...And other writers, such as father and son, Petko and Pencho Slaveykov, is invting visitors to a conversation on Slaveykov Square

... and open-air book stalls nearby lure the reader in!

The variety of books fro
MJ Nicholls
This sprawling and brilliant new work from the Bulgarian maverick responsible for the “novel about nothing” (not his words), Natural Novel, returns in English with a novel that has “career-defining” stamped all over (not on the cover). A rich exploration of the author’s family history, the Minotaur myth, the physics of elementary particles, the author’s own melancholies, socialism, vegetarianism, and boredom in Bulgaria, and quirky absent friends, narrated in numerous novel and hilarious and mov ...more
Chad Post
Just read a 75-page sample of this, and WOW. I love Natural Novel (and helped publish the English translation of it), but based on this excerpt of Physics of Sorrow, I think this may be Georgi's masterpiece . . . ...more
As many reviews show, this book cannot really be summarized; it is also almost impossible to describe what kind of novel this is, because simultaneously an essay, a melancholic reverie about the life in the Bulgarian version of "true socialism", a coming of age story, a war novel, a whimsical fantasy story, a re-living of ancient myths (especially around the Minotaur), and so on. Gospodinov constantly changes tack, hides himself behind various characters (including his grandfather, but also ... ...more
Brendan Monroe
How many pages does it take until you realize you're reading something truly great?

A great beginning may just be that — a great beginning, and not much else. So you have to give it more than 50 pages I think. Really more than even 100.

Or maybe it's based on the book's length. Does the knowledge that you're reading a great book come only after you've crossed the halfway point? At that point, if everything is firing on all cylinders, is it safe to acknowledge the greatness of what you're reading?
Goodness how I gushed about this book at first: it's beautiful, strange, witty, poignant, so poignant. Chock full of achingly moving - and wise and funny etc etc - points of nostalgia that must be what people a little older than I am who grew up in Communist Bulgaria recall from their childhood and teens. This is what it would have been like. Such a friendly, intimate book. Rustic tales about grandfathers showing how lovely and harsh life on the land was longer ago. Solitary present-day wanderin ...more
Sanjay Varma
I found this book in the library on the New Arrivals shelf.

When I was born in 1970, how could I know that I would later have half a dozen Bulgarian friends? If you told me that I wouldn't have believed you. I met them in Seattle in the early 90's and they were instantly familiar. I think we recognized each other because of a deep resonance of our sadness. It's a sadness that predates Communism, religious persecution by Ottoman Turks, and serfdom. It is sadness bound up in the winter, hunger, an
Chad Post
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
DISCLAIMER: I am the publisher of the book and thus spent approximately two years reading and editing and working on it. So take my review with a grain of salt, or the understanding that I am deeply invested in this text and know it quite well. Also, I would really appreciate it if you would purchase this book, since it would benefit Open Letter directly.
Sorin Hadârcă
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: balkans
I felt that every word in the book could have been written by myself. But perhaps too many labyrinths in it. Bad for health. Perpetuates sorrow.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC from Open Letter Publishing through Edelweiss

In The Physics of Sorrow, the story of the narrator, Georgi, and his family are told through the lens of the ancient Greek myth of the Minotaur, the half-man, half-bull creature that inhabits the dark tunnels of a labyrinth. The story itself feels like a labyrinthine journey which the author leads us through; we feel like we are groping around in the dark, never sure to which style of writing the author will take us next. Sometimes w
Post-modern I believe is the style of this book. It rambles but, until the end of Part V, I felt I was catching the drift, how everything was, even if distantly, connected to the myth of the Minotaur. And I was enjoying the stories of family and life in Bulgaria through the four generations of family under different political systems. But near the end of Part V, I lost the thread. After that, while I liked some of stories he "bought" and some of the stories about the town of "T," it just did not ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hello another book in my ultimate favourites list!!
That was one of the most beautiful things I've ever read... I really need some time to comprehend my emotions now, they're a mess, but I'm really glad I read it <3
Beautifully written
May 18, 2020 marked it as fuck-this-shit-i-m-out-dnf  ·  review of another edition
stories within stories, that's not my style at all ...more
Jaimie Lau
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is definitely an interesting and entertaining book. There are many different parts to it and it can be difficult to view them as a cohesive piece of writing at times. However, the central thread that seems to connect the free-for-all content of the narrative are the two central myths of the minotour and Scheherazade. Gospodinov's narrator takes on the role of both throughout, being both the abandoned and the collector of stories. The book itself serves as a labyrinth and as the narrator him ...more
May 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful myriad of thoughts and a brilliant sense of perspective, scattered through the labyrinth of life. Definitely a book I could relate to and one I will come back to in the future, as it includes a fine selection of precise observations on everlasting topics, a perfect use of an array of literary techniques and some of my favorite historical and geographical settings.

"Боли ме тук, нещо вляво долу, може да е апендикс.
Без диагнози, ако обичате. Апендиксът е отдясно. Няма
какво да ви боли
Tarlan Asadli
Oct 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Aya, at three and a half, draws a picture of me in pen. She hands it to me, takes another a look at me, thinks of something and quickly takes the paper back. I forgot to draw those lines on your forehead, she says. And thus we age." ...more
Wry and labyrinthine, it was fun to read just to find all those little fragments that caught your attention and made you think for just a minute about how it would be to look at the world the way this book describes.
Stella S
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow :) ! The moment I finished the book I wanted to read it again! It's like a never ending story, the life, the world, eternity... ...more
Apr 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Post-modern literature perfection. I just love it when I come across a totally new style that makes every single page an awesome discovery. Kudos to the Greek translator as well, great job.
Paul Fulcher
"The man who herded us into the tent (his master and guardian) begins his tale. An odd mix of legend and biography, honed over the course of long repetition at fairs. A story in which eras catch up with one another and intertwine. Some events happen now, other in the distant and immemorial past. The places are also confused, palaces and basements, Cretan kings and local shepherds build the labyrinth of this story about the Minotaur-boy, until you get lost in it. It winds like a maze and unfortun ...more
Georgi Gospodinov’s fragmented narrative was a true delight. A mix of his family’s memoirs, philosophy, mythology, his perspective of abandonment and the socialist era. For some reason, I found his story and experiences so relatable to my own story, giving the circumstances (he, a kid from the Bulgarian socialist era; me, a kid from the Brazilian military dictatorship era - different beliefs, same brutality) … His description of living in a basement got under my skin, making memories from my chi ...more
Kobe Bryant
I'm not a fan of this Sebald-like ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A most beautiful book!
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A funny, bittersweet and innovative genre bender, but a bit too long. Thus, 4 stars.
Aaron (Typographical Era)
We Am

So ends the series of schizophrenic introductions found in the prologue to Georgi Gospodinov’s The Physics of Sorrow, a novel that finds a young, fictionalized version of the author jumping into the memories of his immediate family and the other people and beings around him to experience their pains, sorrows, and joys first hand. Gospodinov has discovered from an early age that he possesses an acute gift for empathy. The ability to understand and process what another person is experiencing
Jun 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Strange, original, ultimately a bit lost in its own concept. Gospodinov's 'The Physics of Sorrow' is a labyrinthine novel, if we might call it that. It is the story of a narrator who identifies with the Minotaur, and who can't help but digress into a million little side stories and observations as he is telling his story, which in the end has diverted so much from its initial premise that it is clear Gospodinov's Minotaur has not found a way out of the labyrinth. Much like the Minoan Minotaur, t ...more
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story of the Minotaur is really the labyrinth of the author's mind as he considers abandonment, time, family, storytelling, what makes someone human. It's non-linear, which means there's a lot of paging backwards if you lose the thread; but (unlike with other authors' experiments with this structure) I liked Gospodinov's meanderings. He actually stops at one point: "Let's wait here for the souls of distracted readers. Somebody could have gotten lost in the corridors of these different times ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

If you google the Minotaur and “popular culture” the results are astounding, wresting, anime, Batman, Doctor Who, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, Dexter, Power Rangers, Time Bandits, Inspector Gadget, “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe”, Borges, Kubrick’s “The Shining” video games, manga, even My Little Pony.

Not every reader has studied Classical Greek Mythology, and I’m fairly confident children watching “My Little Pony” and coming across a character called “Iron Will”, half bull, half pony
Aug 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"The darkness is so thick that time has gotten lost."

Space and time: how does the physics of being affect human existence?

The narrator does not follow a linear path in his experience or telling. Time opens or is compressed or wanders in all directions. He is himself but also becomes the stories of others: his grandmother, his father, his descendants, an animal, the universe, the minotaur in the maze. He is here, there, and everywhere; before, now, and after.

The labyrinth looms large.

Is it memory
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Well... Where do I begin. To be honest I can hardly be objective on this book. It's been some time since I had to build a strategy of reading a book - not more than 20-30 pages at a time and definitely not before night time... except if I'm ok with being awake in a brainstorm in 4 AM...
Up to a point I felt like everything was written about me in one way or another. All the themes were there for me to reflex back upon. To go back to the secluded childhood of an only child, to face back the fear
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Georgi Gospodinov is a writer, poet and playwright based in Sofia, Bulgaria. He studied Bulgarian Philology at Sofia University. Later he defended a PhD on New Bulgarian literature with the Bulgaria Academy of Science's Institute for Literature. He is one of the most translated Bulgarian authors after 1989. He published the first Bulgarian graphic novel The Eternal Fly (Вечната муха).

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“Лабиринтът е нечие вкаменено колебание.

Най-потискащото в лабиринта е това, че непрекъснато си в ситуация на избор. Не липсата на изход, а обилието от "изходи" обърква.”
“Дадох си сметка, за пръв път с тази яснота (яснотата на януарския въздух), че онова, което остава не са извънредните моменти, не са събитията, а тъкмо нищонеслучващото се. Време, освободено от претенцията за изключителност. Спомени за следобеди, в които нищо не се е случило. Нищо, освен живота, в цялата му пълнота.” 99 likes
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