The context in which this amazingly comprehensive study is situated is the identity crisis of Bulgarian philosophers after 1989. More than twenty years later, the questions about the assessment (and self-assessment) of philosophers in Bulgaria as well as about their work during the totalitarian era remain quite sensitive and controversial.
In Journal extime, Michel Tournier makes the following analogy between literature and photography:
The smaller the aperture, the larger the depth of field, that is to say, the sharper the background will be. Conversely, a large aperture brings the subject into focus and blurs the rest of the picture.
Since his death, and in the conditions of democratization in Russia, Merab Mamardashvili has become an object of special interest. He is no doubt one of the most widely discussed philosophers today.
Dimitar Vatsov’s book is so provocative that it allows one to speak as much of it as through it. This is what I shall try to do now, where in a number of cases in speaking ‘of’ I will inevitably be also speaking ‘through’ it. I will begin, however, by speaking ‘around’ it.