Maria Dimitrova Gurgulova

Written by Радослава Илчева
Maria Dimitrova Gurgulova Maria Dimitrova Gurgulova

August 22, 1927 – April 11, 2011

Bulgarian literary critic, expert in Russian studies, author of interpretations of Russian literature and of the relationship between Russian and Bulgarian literature.


M. Gurgulova was born on 22.08.1927 in Plovdiv. In 1950, she graduated in Russian Philology at Sofia University of St Kliment Ohridski. In 1958, she enrolled in postgraduate studies (doctoral studies) at Moscow State University of M. V. Lomonosov. In 1965, Gurgulva defended a dissertation on Творчеството на В. М. Гаршин. Малкоизучени страни от творческия облик на писателя [The Works of V. M. Garshin. Less-known aspects of the creative specifics of the writer]. In 1974, she habilitated as an Associate Professor of Russian literature at the Paisiy Hilendarski University of Plovdiv. Since 1985, she has been a professor of Russian literature.

Although M. Gurgulova has been teaching Russian at the Mining and Geology Institute in Sofia (present-day Mining and Geology University) over the years, and has also served as editor-in-chief of the Nauka I izkustvo Publishing House, and as director of the Museum House of P. K. Yavorov, her professional realization was in the first place connected with the Paisiy Hilendarski Plovdiv University. She has great credit for the opening (in 1973) and the recognition of the specialty of Russian Philology in this reputable educational and scientific centre as a long-time lecturer in the history of 19th-century Russian classical literature and as head of the Department of Russian Language and Literature (1974–1983). Gurgulova was the Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Philology (1976–1977) and Vice-Rector (1977–1979) of the University of Plovdiv. From 1987 until her retirement in 1992 she worked at the Institute of Literature at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. From 1990 to 1992 she was the head of the Russian Literature section. She was also a part-time lecturer in 19th-century Russian literature at Sofia University of St Kliment Ohridski (1960–2007) and at the Smolyan Branch of the University of Plovdiv (1999–2001).

M. Gurgulova’s scientific interests and contributions were in the field of 19th-century Russian literature and Bulgarian-Russian literary relations. She presented to the scientific audience at home and abroad the work of V. M. Garshin, which has been insufficiently researched until the mid-20th century, even in Soviet literary studies. He had been a participant in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, and hence directly related to the new Bulgarian history. To this day, no study of this writer’s creative contribution has passed without reference to Prof Gurgulova’s monograph Творчеството на В.М. Гаршин [The Works of V. M. Garshin].

M. Gurgulova was a recognized scholar and researcher of the literary heritage of M. Yu. Lermontov. She paid special attention to the influence of the Russian poet on Bulgarian literature during the various stages of its development, as well as to the creative reach of his poetry on D. Chintulov, H. Botev, P. R. Slaveykov, I. Vazov, P. Slaveykov, P. Yavorov and K. Hristov.

M. Gurgulova was the only Bulgarian literary critic to be present with her articles in the prestigious Lermontov Encyclopedia (1981). She was one of seven foreign authors in this edition.

For her merits in the field of science and education in the mid-1980s, M. Gurgulova was awarded the Order of Cyril and Methodius.



  • Творчеството на В.М. Гаршин. С., 1966. 220 с.
  • Лермонтов и българската литература. С., 1987. 224 с.

Studia and articles (selected bibliography)

  • Всеволод Михайлович Гаршин в България. – Литературна мисъл, 1965, № 4, с. 136 – 145.
  • Гаршин и Лермонтов (психологическая параллель). – В: Проблемы теории и истории литературы. Сборник статей, посвященный памяти профессора А.Н. Соколова. М., 1971, 270–280.
  • Восприятие творчества Лермонтова в Болгарии. – В: Русско-болгарские фольклорные и литературные связи. В двух томах. Т. 1. Л., 1976, 321–352.
  • К проблеме типологии художественного мышления Ф.М. Достоевского и В.М. Гаршина – Болгарская русистика, 1981, № 3. 16–26.
  • Гаршин В.М. (с. 100); Болгария (388-389); Яворов П. (642) – В: Лермонтовская энциклопедия. М., 1981.
  • Творческата индивидуалност на писателя и проблемите на сравнителното литературознание. – Научни трудове на ПУ „Паисий Хилендарски“. Т. 29. Руска филология. 1988, № 2, 11–20.
  • Яворов и Русия. – Научни трудове на ПУ „Паисий Хилендарски“. Т. 29. Руска филология. 1988, № 2, 21–50.
  • Тема „воскресения“ в рассказе В.М. Гаршина „Ночь“ и повести Л.Н. Толстого „Смерть Ивана Ильича“. – Научни трудове на ПУ „Паисий Хилендарски“. Т. 29. Руска филология. 1988, № 2, 51–64.
  • О творческом контакте П. Р. Славейкова с поэзией Лермонтова. – Вопросы русской литературы (Львов), I, 1990, 131–139
  • К проблеме поэтики Гоголя и Гаршина. – В: Четене на литературната критика. Сборник в чест на 60-тата годишнина на проф. Петко Троев. С., 2002, 64–69.
  • Психологическая проза Лермонтова и Гаршина. – В: 60 години Руска филология в Софийския университет. Сборник научни статии./ Русская филология в Софийском университете. К 60-летию специальности. С., 2006, 229–236.

About Maria Gurgulova (selected)

  • Гургулова, Мария Димитрова. – В: 60 години Институт за литература. Юбилеен сборник 1948–2008. С., 2008, 348–349.


SESDiva ERA.Net RUS Plus Call 2017 – S&T

SESDiva. Project № 156

SESDiva aims at creating a virtual museum of written culture in relation to the social, religious, cultural, and ideological environment and relations between the South and East Slavs throughout the centuries from the 11th to the beginning of the 20th century.

Duration: 2018-2020
Program: ERA.Net RUS Plus Call 2017 ‐ S&T Projects