Elin Pelin


Elin Pelin (penname of Dimitar Ivanov Stoyanov) was born on July 8, 1877 in the village of Baylovo, Sofia Region. He studied in his home village, thеn in Sofia, Zlatitsa, Panagyurishte, Sliven. He started writing and publishing as early as his schoolboy years, the poem “Quiet Sorrows” published in 1897 was the first work signed with the penname Elin Pelin. After the end of 5th high school grade, Elin Pelin came back to his home village where he worked as a teacher for a year, and from 1899 on he settled in Sofia. For the period 1903 – 1909 Elin Pelin worked as a librarian at the University Library, for the period 1910 – 1916 – at the repository of the library. In 1924 he became the first curator of the Ivan Vazov Museum and stayed on that position till his retirement in 1944. During a bombing raid and due to the subsequent fire, a large part of the literary archive of Elin Pelin was burned. In 1945 he got a job at the editorial of Septemvriyche newspaper. He died in 1949.

He is the founder of the magazine Rustic Chat, author, editor and collaborator of many newspapers and magazine, including some children’s ones.

In Sofia Elin Pelin got along with the circle of Chronicles magazine lead by Konstantin Velichkov, as well as with the circle of Bulgaran magazine. He was in close friendship with the caricaturist Alexander Bozhinov, Prof. Ivan Shishmanov, Prof. Alexander Balabanov, Zmey Goryanin, Trifon Kunev, Dimitar Podvarzachov, Dimitar Boyadzhiev, Dimo Kyorchev, Todor Borov, Dimitar Mitov. He stood up in defense of Nikola Vaptsarov in front of Tsar Boris III, he also signed the letter of protest in defense of the Bulgarian Jews.

In the history of Bulgarian literature Elin Pelin shall be remembered mainly with his short stories, his novelettes (Evil Spirit, The Geraks, Land), his comic fragments Pizho and Pendo, his book with aphoristic parables The Monastery Grapevine. He is the author of a number of books of mixed genre, and of the classical children’s novels Yan Bibiyan and Yan Bibiyan on the Moon, of many poems and remakes of folk songs.

In the archive of Elin Pelin there are biographic and literary materials. An interesting part of it is comprised of varied illustrative materials like the following: portraits, sketches and caricatures of Elin Pelin, covers of his books, photographs of Elin Pelin with his relatives and friends, as well as photographs from the work process of films and performances made after his works.

An attractive part of the archive are the manifold and varied personal items from different periods of the writer’s life that are digitalized in 3-D format.