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16-6 What did Leland Buxton write about Bulgarians




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This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev radev@tune.cs.columbia.edu with numerous contributions by others.

16-6 What did Leland Buxton write about Bulgarians

(by Luben Boyanov)
From "The Black Sheep of the Balkans", by Leland Buxton, 1920. pp 94-96.

Chapter IV - 'Vae Victis'

"The Bulgarians, though believed to be of Turanian origin, have been
so completely Slavised that they may now be regarded as a branch of the
Southern Slavs, with whom they must eventually throw in their lot. So
efficient have they shown themselves to be, during the last fifty years, in
almost every field except those of propaganda and diplomacy, that many
people besides themselves have thought them entitled to become the leading
power in the Balkans. This was always an idle dream. Even if they had
obtained possession of Macedonia it could never have become a permanent
reality, for they are less numerous than the Serbs, the Romanians, or the
Greek. But a Southern Slav Federation, including an autonomous Bulgaria and
an autonomous Macedonia with ports on the Aegean, would be an effective
barrier against any Central European Imperialism on the north and against
Hellenic Imperialism on the south, thus insuring Slav predominance in the
Balkans.
It is unwise to express any other opinion, favourable or otherwise,
of the Bulgarians, for any one who does so is suspected of being a dupe
either of the Bulgarians themselves or of their enemies. To some people the
Bulgar is so objectionable and inhuman that they become almost frenzied in
their attempts to describe him; to others he appears to combine the virtues
of Don Quixote, St. Anthony, and the Admirable Crichton. Impartial writers,
however, usually describe him as industrious, practical, tenacious,
patient, courageous, honest and truthful; but silent, unexpansive,
grasping, and obstinate. He compels admiration rather than affection, but
Englishmen generally find him, in spite of his impenetrable reserve, less
irritating than some of his neighbours. He does not, however, possess the
attractive manners of the Serb or the Albanian. To the French temperament
he is antipathetic, and it was unfortunate for Bulgaria that the country
has been mainly in French occupation instead of British or Italian. Middle
class Bulgars, most of whom are sons of peasants, are often painfully
self-conscious and too much aware of their lack of polish, and their
unfortunate desire to keep up appearances sometimes creates an impression
of snobbishness."

 

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