WE'VE GOT MAIL
My wife and I had a first-time experience of your beautiful country when we were staying in Varna.
We loved your country, your history, tradition and culture and we shall be visiting Bulgaria again in September.
I took out a subscription to your magazine in order to get to know your country better and to keep abreast of current affairs and developments. I find “Vagabond” very interesting and informative. I would recommend it to any English-speaking visitor or anyone considering investment and other business opportunities in Bulgaria.
One question – I am intrigued by the choice of the name “Vagabond” for your magazine. Is there any particular significance in this unusual name?
Anthony E. Guillaumier, Malta
Encyclopedia Britannica defines “Vagabond” as a traveller, wanderer, someone who roams about, moving from place to place. “Vagabond” is originally Latin, being derived from the verb vagare: to wander. Through many centuries of overuse it has become one of the most standardised words in many European languages.
It also has a deeply-rooted cultural significance, from Classical Greece to the United States. Some of the Cynics in the 4th Century BC either propagated vagabondism or lived the life of vagabonds: Antisthenes and Diogenes were notable examples.
In England, in 1794 William Blake published his famous Songs of Experience, which included “The Little Vagabond,” one of the most beautiful poems we have ever come across.
In 19th Century Germany there was even a literary School of Vagabonds. Rudolph Baumbach extolled the virtues of vagabondism in numerous drinking songs and narrative verse, which became immensely popular in the German student world. Some of those were “Die Lindenwirtin” (“The Linden Hostess”), Von der Landstrasse (1882; “On the Highway”).
Many vagabonds inhabited music as well. Louis Moreau Gottschalk, the first American pianist to achieve international recognition, mainly because of his utilisation of Latin American and Creole folk themes and rhythms, was a notorious vagabond, forever island-hopping in the Caribbean and meeting a sudden death while conducting a festival of his work in Rio de Janeiro.
Our most precious vagabond, however, is French: that's the main character of the early 20th Century novel Le grand Meaulnes by Alain Fournier.
We love the book. We think Bulgaria is full of people like that.
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