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Petrov, Valeri


PETROV, VALERI (Mevorakh ; 1920– ), Bulgarian poet, playwright, screenwriter, author of plays for children. Petrov was born in Sofia into a family of intellectuals. His father was Prof. Nissim Mevorakh, the outstanding Bulgarian jurist and diplomat. Petrov graduated from Faculty of Medicines at Sofia University and, after four years of work in Rome as a cultural attaché, finally abandoned the medical profession in favor of poetry, writing with great virtuosity in an accessible though highly poetic language.

Among his best-known poems are "Palechko," "Krai sinioto more" ("Around the Blue Sea"), "Juvenes dum sumus," "Na pat" ("On the Way"), "Tavanski spomen" ("Attic Memory"), "Na smiah" ("For Fun"), "Dajd vali – slanze gree" ("It Is Raining – The Sun Is Shining"), "V mekata esen" ("In the Soft Autumn"), "Sbogom, tate" ("Good-bye, Dad"). These were collected in Jivot v stihove ("Life in Poems") and Raztvoren prozoretz ("Opened Window").

In the theater Petrov also sought new forms, combining prose and poetry, drama and music, the sad and the joyful. His plays include Kogato rozite tanzuvat ("When the Roses Dance"), Teatar, liubov moia ("Theater, My Love"), and Chestna musketarska ("Honest Musketeer's"). For children he wrote Biala prikazka ("White Story"), Kopche za san ("Button for a Dream"), Meko kazano ("To Put It Mildly"), V lunnata staia ("In the Moonlit Room"), and Puk!, which was an international success.

Petrov's cinema scripts helped create some of Bulgaria's best films, such as Na malkia ostrov ("On the Little Island"), Slanzeto I siankata ("The Sun and the Shadow"), Rizar bez bronia ("A Knight without Armor"), and Lo-Ho-Ho. Petrov also devoted his energies to poetic translation, including the complete works of Shakespeare in eight volumes and Goethe's Faust. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including Bulgaria's highest state honor, Stara planina I class, and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

[Emil Kalo (2nd ed.)]

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