Bai Ganyo.

Position:Book review

Victor A. Friedman (editor), Aleko Konstantinov (author); BAI GANYO; The University of Wisconsin Press (Fiction:Historical) $19.95 ISBN: 9780299236946

Bai Ganyo, Bulgarian anti-hero, is aa broad-shouldered, dark-eyed, dark-haired, swarthy man with prominent cheekbones, a turned-up mustache, and a five oaclock shadow.a Heas the title character of a series of short stories and novellas written by Aleko Konstantinov in 1894a95 and translated into English for the first time in this volume by a collective of Slavic language and linguistic academics. The stories are set up as if being told around the table at a gathering of young Bulgarian friends; each person present has a story about Bai Ganyo that can top the last, and they egg each other onaaaIf itas about Bai Ganyo, donat ask; tell!aaadelighting in his misfortunes and his lucky breaks.

A rose-oil peddler by trade, Bai Ganyo travels through Europe selling the precious stuff while constantly worrying about losing the glass vials to the slippery hands of just about every person he meets. The stories and extended novellas follow his many botched schemes, ranging from getting a free meal to getting elected to public office by brutality and sinister cunning. He represents a national anxiety about the vulgarity present in late-nineteenth-century Bulgaria at a time when the...

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