Full text: The little review (12 (1926), 1)

G EORGES PAPAZOFF was born in Bulgaria. His 
family, one of the oldest in the country, is covered with 
glory; and legends which form part of Bulgarian 
folklore have grown up around its more prominent 
members. Georges as a boy had little liking for school 
life. He had hardly read Robinson Crusoe before he imitated 
him—and this in the heart of winter, on an island in a frozen 
lake, and for background the virgin forests of the Balkans. He 
lived on wild plums which he found beneath the covering of 
snow. This bucolic episode lasted as long as a box of matches; 
he came home barefoot like the son of a prophet. He began 
work on a farm, spending his vacations at the lycee, where his 
parents thought they should send him—as was proper for 
respectable merchants of a little provincial town. He was their 
favourite child. When of age he became a comitadji, taking 
advantage of this venture to increase the probabilities of love. 
Nevertheless, the shoemaker’s trade attracted him; and then, 
after publishing several articles on Russian art, he did not hesi 
tate to fight a duel with the director of the State Bank who 
frequented the house of Papazoff’s mistress. He felt himself 
insulted, but in reality it was the financier who laid prior claims 
on this woman with her eyes as soft as those of a sleeping bird. 
The Sofia prefect of police classed the incident by exclaiming, 
“Vive la’amour.” Papazoff went into penance, accompanied by 
some book of Dostoevsky and a good Mauser—selecting as the 
scene of his exploits the independent theatre of Macedonia. 
Later he picked himself the profession of architect, which ended 
in disaster by his constructing a hangar for Zeppelins at Sofia 
which was carried off by some fatherless wind. This was evi 
dence to him that he was destined for a subtler kind of architec 
ture and thus he became what we usually call a painter. His 
painting is like the man. We will never know whether his 
painting is done to explain his temperament or whether some 
pure germ of painting seized his body to find there its incarna 
tion. The bey Billouk, a great friend of his father, summons 
him to Constantinople each time the needs of nature become 
importunate. In the “Intran” some time back, there was an 
advertisement: “Loft to rent (if possible in the Quartier Mont 
parnasse). Address Papazoff, 28 rue Vavin.” 
Tr. by Kenneth Burke. 

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