Bulgaria's Poet Valeri Petrov Dies
Bulgaria's poet, playwright, script writer and translator Valeri Petrov passed away at the age of 94 in Sofia Military Hospital on Wednesday, reports the Bulgarian National Radio.
In the past few days he was in a coma the intensive care unit of the hospital, after suffering a massive stroke in the end of last week.
Petrov was born Valeri Nisim Mevorah on April 22, 1920 in Sofia, to the family of a lawyer and a teacher.
Valeri Petrov studied at the Italian School in the city, finishing in 1939. He graduated in medicine from Sofia University in 1944.
When he was 15, Petrov published his first book: the poem Ptitsi kam sever ("Birds Northwards").
In this and subsequent publications he used his non-Jewish mother's surname or other pseudonyms because of the pro-Nazi regime in Bulgaria at the time.
He later wrote the poems Palechko ("Tom Thumb"), Na pat ("En route"), Juvenes dum sumus, Kray sinyoto more ("By the Blue Sea"), Tavanski spomen (A Reminiscence from an Attic) and the poem collection Nezhnosti ("Endearments").
Valeri Petrov is particularly esteemed for the quality of his translation of the entire works of Shakespeare - the authoritative rendition of the Bard in Bulgarian.
He was also translator from German (Goethe's “Faust”), Russian, Italian and Spanish.
In the autumn and winter of 1944, Valeri Petrov worked first at Radio Sofia and then as a war correspondent of the newspaper Frontovak ("Front Fighter").
Following the war, he was among the founders of the humoristic newspaper Starshel ("The Hornet") and its assistant editor-in-chief (1945–1962).
He served as a doctor in a military hospital and in the Rila Monastery. Between 1947 and 1950 Valeri Petrov worked in the Bulgarian legation in Rome as a press and cultural attache.
He has also been an editor in a film studio and in the Balgarski Pisatel publishing house.
Besides poems, novels and translations, Petrov is also the author of numerous film scripts and plays – both for adults and children.
Since 2003, he is an academician of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.
Petrov has also been nominated for a Nobel Prize in Literature.